Saturday, March 31, 2007

Day 334
Lots of riding today as I need to do some longer training rides and the weather was lovely though just a bit windy. I cycled up Mount Stromlo where I sketched the dome of the burned 74" reflector (you can look through the window and see it all rusting inside). The dome itself has been repaired and repainted and can be seen from many parts of Canberra, as before. Then I cycled round the other side of the lake and back through Manuka, about 50 km. After a rest at home, I cycled a 10km route to Mum's and returned via the same way - 70 km for the day. My legs are fine but I do get a stiffness in my shoulders from the hunched position though I have a touring bike, not a drop handle bars style. Anyway, I think I should manage the daily distances to Orange comfortably enough.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Day 333
I was busy all today, finishing off a set of memory paintings. At four, I cycled over to Mum's and after my time with her, cycled to Manuka to collect an extra ball of wool for my autumn knitting. Then I sketched it at home while Ralph cooked dinner. 11 km cycle

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I cycled via a 10km route to Mum's where I found her in an unusually crabby mood. I thought I might as well sketch her while I listened to her rant and we had tea. I haven't got her eyes right - well she kept moving and sometimes they were above her glasses or obscured by them. Then we went shopping and for a walk and she cheered into her more usual self and started sing the Water Lou song (which I've never heard before). Julie and Penny - I have sent you an email about the Art of Moving Exhibition that I wrote about in January. Please let me know if you don't receive it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Day 331
Two more library blokes. The one on the left kept opening one eye and looking at me but didn't seem to register that I was sketching him. 12 km cycle

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Day 330
Better weather today, so I headed up Mt. Stromlo again, sat in a warm sunny spot and sketched a few things on a page. 27 km cycle

Monday, March 26, 2007

Day 329
I'm just back from riding up Mount Stromlo, an area which was all burnt out during the 2003 fires. The observatory, library and other scientific facilities were ruined. The Brindabellas, in the distance, were all ablaze and the fire rushed across the pine plantation valley and up Mount Stromlo before anything could be saved. There were lots of possibilities for sketching but by the time I got there it was starting to rain - almost snow, it felt like- so I found a spot under the closed cafe and did these three views. I should have taken more clothes - I was fine when I was cycling uphill but sitting sketching and, even worse, cycling downhill, I was freezing and could hardly think.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day 328
A very quick effort today, while I was out strolling with Mum. Tomorrow, I will be doing a long ride with a 3 km hill.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day 327
I wizzed twice round the lake this morning and just got home before the rain. I added another mini-landscape to my page while Mum had a quick sit down on her walker-seat this afternoon (too soggy for her to lie on the ground today). This view is looking south-east, towards the Tinderry Mountains. 34 km cycle

Friday, March 23, 2007

Day 326
I took it easy today as I had to wait around to be 'squeezed in' at the doctor (to look at my finger which is mildly infected - sigh) and after that it was too hot and horribly humid for exercise. At four, I cycled to Mum's and we went walking in Commonwealth Park on the northern edge of the lake. She had a nap while I did another credit-card view looking across the lake toward the National Library which looks like the Parthenon. 2 km cycle;1 km walk :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Day 325
Today, I cycled twice round the lake and then on to the cyclists' clothing shop. There wasn't much choice for the 'femmes' but this outfit will do. The shorts feel like wearing nappies but are very comfy when riding, and top and bottom can be washed and dried overnight. 40 km cycle

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Day 324
Gorgeous weather today so, in preparation for my big ride, I rode twice round the lake and stopped three times to do these credit card views along the lovely cycle path. 34 km cycle

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day 323
Back at the library... and an internet-free day. 12 km cycle

Monday, March 19, 2007

Day 322
It's rained most of the day. Before dinner, I walked with the umbrella to the shop for a few things and then home via the lake. I stood looking at the light spots from the parkway on the other side and their long reflections. Then I heard an enormous plop but saw only the ripples of, I guess, a jumping carp. 4 km walk

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Day 321
The usual wheelchair lifting excursion this morning. Whilst serving dinner, I took hold of a plate that had been near a flame and had one very hot edge - seared five fingers but thanks to 5 hours of freezer blocks and bowls of cold water, have only one inch-long blister. After dinner, I decided I may as well walk to Hermione's bench. I cannot imagine the pain that must result from even moderate-sized burns! 6 km walk

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day 320
Another busy weekend, the sixth in a row with visitors staying. Today, we went to see Cirque du Soleil. It's impossible for me to catch the energy, sound, outrageous costumes, surprise and awe but my daily exercise comprised walking long distances to and from the car so here's the 'sketch along the way'. 4 km walk

Friday, March 16, 2007

Day 319
Today I wanted to sketch a flower to make a little hand-painted card. This is our bluebell, a very hardy little plant that flowers all about after rain. There were also lots of decaying pine cone 'leaves', beautifully delicate in the way they disintegrated. 12 km cycle

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day 318
Just another of my library fellows. Today I borrowed Hockney's Portraits and People and a book on upholstery. I have a new old armchair, who tells me she is called Harriet, in need of a new outfit. 12 km cycle

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day 317
I did two cycle rides today but didn't see anything to draw. However, while walking with Mum this afternoon, I found both an opportunity and subject matter. Mum lay down for a rest just as a flock of yellow-tailed, black cockatoos started raucously 'playing' overhead. I've never seen them feeding on the ground as the white cockatoos are wont to do, so this is as close as I can expect to get. 22 km cycle
In mid April is my annual holiday to the textile forum/workshop and I am thinking of cycling there. It would be three fairly easy days (55, 75 and 85kms) or even 2 days, along sealed, undulating country roads with time for sketching along the way. I need to do a few longer rides between now and then, buy some padded cycling shorts and a few spare parts and learn how to adjust my gear set. I will decide at the last minute when I see what weather is expected. It would be a challenging near finale to this year-long challenge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 316
I feel uninspired today - this was my second attempt at something and the top half was so awful, I cropped it off. Never mind - tomorrow is another day. 6 km walk through the woods and across paddocks.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Day 315
I cycled to the lakeside to meet Robin and as usual we walked around the lake and had coffee at the National Gallery. Before dinner, I set off for the woods to find something to sketch but by chance met another friend and walked the loop with her - still no drawing. So, later, I tried to catch walk and talk/ gossip/discussion/chat while sitting with Ralph and Tor as they watch a film. 12 km walk, 10 km cycle

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day 314
A very hectic Sunday finished with a beautiful night walk - so still and quiet - no moon. I found enough light at the shops and sketched a view of the chinese restaurant and pharmacy from across the road and behind a veil of seed pods of a black locust tree. 6 km walk

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Day 313
A very busy weekend ahead and it begins with being cut off the internet for not updating our server with the new credit card expiry date. They could have emailed us to warn us. Have to wait until Monday to sort it out. All Ralph's relatives are staying to celebrate the 80th birthday of his Dad. So I just managed a quick gallop to Hermione's bench and picked this beautiful weed to sketch as I watched the vegies cook. 6 km walk

Friday, March 09, 2007

Day 312
I cycled off from the house at 3.00pm and, via a lot of hills, got to Mum's by 4.00. After a cup of tea, Mum and I went strolling down by the lake. She spied this row of portaloos which has been positioned ready for the weekend Canberra day festivities and of course wanted to use one - "to get the value from my taxes and be the first to try them out". I have to hold the door open in case she gets locked in, never to be released. This was the only one we opened - I hope there isn't already a granny stuck in each of the others :) 20 km cycle

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day 311
After Mum's, I cycled down to Manuka to buy a few things and then back along the lakeside bikepath. Often I think parents keep their children on too short a leash these days, but I really hate to see this - these birds can suddenly become very vicious. I used to try warning parents but they always ignored me so now I remain silent. I'm glad nothing happened on this occasion. 15 km cycle

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Day 310
I cycled to Woden to get my hair cut. As I was cycling, I was trying to ponder an article I was sent by Anne E Harris (through our memory paintings, we have discovered we have quite a lot in common and have been corresponding) about whether the human brain is hardwired to be religious and if so, how might that have come about. But my mind kept straying to underwear and how I really need some new items - so I went to the department store and had a pleasant time sketching - and a less satisfying time trying to find anything suitable. They are always out of the right size, colour and any bra without underwiring!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Day 309
I cycled to Manuka to see Miss Potter again. I've already seen it once but had Mum with me and so missed quite a lot. I really enjoyed it - the music, landscapes, the furnishings, especially her room, and the portrayal of her as a feisty woman. On the way home, I sketched this house which has recently been built. All the windows have external louvres - it looks like an office and the internal access from the garage means that the family is never seen. So much for community. 12 km ride

Monday, March 05, 2007

Day 308
At the library again - this time in the afternoon, when there were lots of school students doing homework. This young fellow was trying to understand a maths problem and looking pretty demoralised as his friend tried to explain it. But neither of them gave up and by the time I'd finished this sketch, he had got the concept and done the algebra. Later, I saw him in the square walking up a narrow ramp on his hands, looking a complete natural. 12 km cycle

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Day 307
Hot and humid again so I did an early ride without stopping to sketch as I had to be a Mum's at 10 am. She and I went to the open day at the Governor General's residence just 'round the corner' from us. There was a mandolin orchestra, an early English dance group and a community orchestra that did the 1812 overture and Peter and the Wolf. The gardens were beautifully green and shady. Mum enjoyed being a part of the crowd.In her current 'lifestyle', she is much more isolated than she would like. 17 km cycle. Lots of wheelchair pushing.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Day 306
A hot and humid day. Mum and I had a very slow walk along the lakeside, punctuated by several nap times for her. She doesn't stay still for long though. I made up for the lack of physical effort with a ride to Manuka after dinner. 10 km ride

Friday, March 02, 2007

Day 305
I did my usual cycle round the lake first thing in the morning. There seem to be an increasing number of joggers, cyclists and other exercisers, most of them older. I see very few young people, whatever time of day I go out. This fellow is a combination of several who passed me as I sat sketching. 17 km cycle

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Day 304
I cycled over to Mum's and cared for her for several hours. Rain was brewing again so I decided to sketch Dad's old chair while I was there and just do a ride afterwards. Mum sat watching me and trying to remember the words of 'Ain't it good to be blooming well dead'. I wrote some of it down, then ran out of space as she remembered, or made up some more...There goes Aunt Sally , she ain't got no knickers and here comes the pervert, can you see, it's the vicar! Then 10 km ride up and down the hills to Manuka.