Wednesday, February 25, 2009


18.50hrs: Hm, I remember these strange contraptions.... oh yes, that's right, adjust the seat height with this knob, twiddle that one to set the distance back... heave-ho and up onto the seat I go and my GOD why don't they make these things a bit more comfy?

18.55hrs: OK, feeling good, loosening up after the workout last night. I can do this. It's only 45 minutes. I can do this.

19.02hrs: I have to get my heartrate HOW high during the warmup? Are you kidding? Hrm... no, really, it's not so bad. I can do this.

19.10hrs: peddle peddle peddle what? Stand up and peddle to the beat? OK.... peddle peddle peddle ow peddle ow ow peddle OW ok 5 more and I'll sit back down oh my GOD that hurts peddle sit... are these people inSANE?

19.15hrs: sprint? You want me to peddle HOW fast?! Hmm... here we go... how does everyone else make their legs go round and round that quickly? Don't they have joints? Or bones?

19.20hrs: aw come on, how can it have only been 20 minutes? How am I gonna survive another 25?

19.28hrs: no matter what, just keep peddling. Listen to the music, get into the music, whatever I do DON'T STOP PEDDLING. I can do this.

19.35hrs: my butt is completely numb. Is it still on the seat? I think so... at least I'm not falling off. The only thing keeping my legs going is the spinning wheel pulling them around.

19.42hrs: there's only one track to go? One track to... Yay! One track to go!! I can't believe I've made it this far.

19.45hrs: aahh, cool down. What? Let go of the handle bars? Are you frikkin' kidding me? Hesitantly let go... didn't fall off, yay! Aahh, wheels going around slower, stretching upper body... aaahhhhh, bliss.

19.47hrs: oh no. Oh hell. Oh sh*t. I can not get myself off this damn bike. My numb bum doesn't know where it is, and my legs are refusing to lift me the required inch to get off the seat. Ok, 1 2 3 and HEAVE. Woot, I'm off!

19.48hrs: oh, a little wobbly... ok here's the trainer. Smile. Say 'thank you' with apparent sincerity (well, really, it was sincere, but it's hard to look it when you feel half-expired). Look happy, as though happy-exercise-endorphins are flooding your system instead of the truth. Feel bouyed by the trainer saying that you'd done well, and should come back to the class again next week.

I know my fitness level leaves a lot to be desired, but my trainer said I should try the cycle class to complement my resistance workout. She said I would probably not be able to keep up with the class, but that I should try everything and, no matter what else, just keep peddling. And you know what? I did. I doubted myself quite a few times during that class. But no matter what else happened, I kept making my legs go round and round. When I couldn't keep up with the rest of the class I peddled in time with the beat and added a bit of load. And really, 10 minutes after class finished I felt really good.

Well, until this morning when I tried to walk up a flight of steps and couldn't make my legs pull me up. I ended up hauling myself up with the railing.

But I'll be back on that damn bike next Tuesday night.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tongue Twisters

I really don't know why, but all my life I've enjoyed tongue twisters.

We all know the old "Peter Piper", and "She sells seashells" (whoa, it's even interesting trying to TYPE that one!), but for several days now I've had the pheasant plucker twister stuck in my head. You know the one:

I'm not the pheasant plucker
I'm the pheasant plucker's son
I'm only plucking pheasants
Till the pheasant plucker comes

Try saying it - out loud - several times very quickly, see what happens.

Why can't I have something intellectual or thought-provoking stuck in my head?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back to the Gym

Now that circumstances have changed to allow it (thank you, Mr Reserve Bank), I've started back at the gym. I had my fitness assessment (cough) last night.

After about 6 months away I was worried that I'd be right back where I started, and have to make up a whole heap of lost ground before I could start seeing results. Thankfully this is not so! While my general fitness has decreased (and my upper body strength has gone to crap), my weight hasn't changed much, which means that I've basically just lost muscle tone. And that's easy to build up again!

From my original starting weight, I've lost nearly 30% of my total goal. Not a bad effort, I think, considering all of my vices (beer... a few occasional cigarettes with the beer... good food...) and relative lack of exercise in the past 6+ months. Sadly I don't think I'll be doing as much walking as I have so far - my calves are getting too muscley (if you can believe it)!

So here, dear readers, I shall share with you my main goals:

Weight: 70% of my total goal to go (ie. I wanted to lose 35kg, and I'm 30% of the way there)
Waist: reduce measurement by at least 20%
Resting Heart Rate: reduce by at least 10 beats per minute
O2 Uptake: increase by at least 10 (mg/something/minute)

Obviously these are not short-term goals. My trainer has said that she'll have me in the shape I want to be in in about 18 months or so, providing I stick to my side of the deal. I really really want to stick to my side of the deal. I have a hopeless track record when it comes to sticking to something. I guess it comes down to - how much do I want this? How much do I want good health? How much do I want to like looking in the mirror? How much do I want to enjoy shopping for clothes - in the "normal" clothes shops? I have a picture taken a few years ago that shows me at my largest: I have it on the fridge at home (along with a list of my goals), and on my desk at work. I'm hoping it reminds me what I'm fighting against.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An old favourite - ricotta and spinach turkish bread

I'm having one of those afternoons: on my feet since about 6.30am, asshats abounding at work at the markets, then an afternoon filled with walking, and I really can't be bothered taking too much effort with my dinner.

But lo, what's this... free turkish bread rolls from a stallholder at the markets. Hm... a quick flit to the shops produced some lovely fresh ricotta, and some salad spinach leaves (and a whole heap of other stuff that I hadn't originally planned to buy).

On goes the oven to heat, then I split the turkish bread roll in half and slathered some ricotta on the bottom. Covered that with a generous heaping of spinach, and topped it with a smattering of grated cheddar then the top of the roll. Threw it in the oven for 10-15 minutes to heat through, melt the cheese and crunchify the crust.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eating Out: Ingleside Bakery

4 Russell Street
Evandale TAS 7212
P: 03 6391 8682

I can admit that the Ingleside Bakery is a favourite stop of mine for lunch when I'm in the area. There's just so many things to choose from - something from the menu, or a pie, or a cake, or some slice, or biscuits... They do a pretty decent coffee too. The next pictures are a random sample of things we've eaten there.

Ham and salad sandwich - thick soft bread, crisp salads, lovely ham.

Spinach and ricotta quiche and salad - biiiig plate makes it look tiny, but there was plenty of food there. The salad is dressed with a light balsamic for added flavour. The chutney to the side was delicious.

BLT - a real monster of a sandwich. R ended up admitting defeat in the end and couldn't finish it, just picking to make sure he got all the bacon :-)

This was.... oh yes, a toasted leg ham. tomato and mozzarella foccacia. Brilliant.

Evandale is about 10-15 minutes from Launceston Airport, and gets pretty busy at lunchtime, but really I'm not surprised. I've enjoyed the food every time I've been there. Prices are damned reasonable too.

Eating Out: Rendezvous Cafe

Shop 4 Salamanca Square
Battery Point
Hobart TAS 7004
P: 03 6224 8638

It's not often that I get to eat lunch at Hobart, so it was interesting finding somewhere everyone agreed on. Rendezvous got nods from all three heads.

R ordered nachos. Looked good! Tasted alright too.

S got a souva... I think Hobart should leave the souvlakis to Melbourne. This was apparently ok, but you just can't compare it to something slapped together at 2am in a dingy shop on Brunswick Street...

I had the "gourmet chicken burger". Brie, baby spinach, tomato, chicken fillets, and tomato relish. Very nice.

I ended up going back to this place for breakfast the next day. The brekky menu is quite good. I decided on french toast. What came out was chopped fresh strawberries scatted over 3 pieces of eggy-crusted bread, dusted with icing sugar. A dollop whipped cream sat on the side, and a pot of maple syrup was provided. It was fabulous. If only I'd remembered the camera.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Be What You Teach

Every now and then I cruise on over to the All Men Are Liars blog to read the latest on Sam's mind. Quite often I roll my eyes with a resigned laugh at the stuff that comes out of his keyboard. But sometimes he pens a piece (and it'll get comments) that really gets me thinking, like the one I've linked to.

It really is true - kids learn from what they see you doing, not what you TELL them to do.

A few years ago I was living with a then-boyfriend (ug, what was I THINKING dating that freak?!) and every second week his kids stayed with us. All four of them. And I really loved those kids. I guess I still do, but it's been years since I last saw them. I still think about them every day, though, and miss them. Anyway, it's a little scary the things they notice about what's going on, and the way you live your life. I hope I was a good example to them, particularly the oldest two (both girls). These girls were largely ignored by their parents, unless their parents wanted them to do something. I guess it was only natural that we'd click, and I would become a type of older sister/friend to them. We'd often head off to the park, or I'd take us for a drive somewhere, and we'd talk. About anything and everything. They'd tell me things they couldn't or wouldn't tell their parents or school friends, and I hope I was a good source of advice, or at least reassurance.

More than that, I hope they picked up on all the little things I do that are good (NOT the bad stuff)... but I guess you can't really choose what people notice about you.

In recent times the number of children in my social sphere has increased quite a bit - from basically none, to half a dozen or so bubs and toddlers. And with all these new little people now in my orbit, even though I might not see some of them all that often, I'm wondering what they'll learn from me. I think I'd better get my act together to make sure they see the best of me, and not so much of the worst.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Eating Out: Theodoti Greek Tavern

63 Brisbane Street
Launceston TAS 7250
P: 03 6334 7044

My second night in Launceston was interesting. I was meeting up with a couple of friends from WoW for dinner and, despite the jokes among my colleagues about Greek threesomes, it was a great (and PG-rated) evening.

Theodoti is not what you might expect when you see it from the street. It has a fairly modern interior, good colours, cheerful and friendly staff, and an easy atmosphere. The menu is quite extensive, with the emphasis on lamb, although there are chicken and seafood dishes as well as a vego option or three. I was hard pressed to make a decision, it all sounded so good.

I can not for the life of me remember what this dish was called, but it was basically a lemon and lamb casserole, served with roast potatoes, salad, and a wedge of fresh lemon. And oh wow, it was magnificent.

A ordered the calamari, and it looked damn fine as well. You'll notice the salad and roast potatoes seem to be a common theme. But hey, they were good :-)

B had the meatballs. Check these babies out.

Theodoti seems to be a good, simple place to get yummy food in a cheerful surrounding. It's not flash, it's not high-society dining, but it is damn nice food, well priced, and cheerfully provided. I can't ask for much more than that!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Eating Out: The Jail House Grill

32 Wellington Street
Launceston TAS 7250
P: 03 6331 0466

I really do like Tasmania. Well, to visit, at least. I'm not entirely sold on the idea of living there. I digress. One of the things I like about the trips to Tassy I do are the chances to check out new eating. Helm had suggested the Jail House Grill as a tasty option, so our first night away that's where we went.

One of the selling points of the JHG is that it's open on a Monday night. We found that's not an easy thing to find. With no booking we rocked up and had to wait about 20 minutes at the bar for a table, but I tell you, it was worth it.

My fondness for starters is no secret, and the garlic bread at this place is fan-frikkin-tastic. My taste buds did a little jig just at the momory.

I opted for a medium-sized scotch fillet steak, cooked medium. It was a little dark in there, so the pictures aren't the best, but you can trust me when I say this was one of the best steaks I've eaten in recent memory. Perfectly cooked, perfectly tender, perfectly yummy. I chose to have the steak served without any sauces, just the dob of herbed butter. Delish.

You can see a plate with some salad up the top of the picture. Normally I'm not a fan of salad bars, but this one was well done: small containers of good salads and antipasto that emptied and were replaced frequently, therefore cutting down on the chances of nasties. It's still not my preferred method of serving, but this was acceptable :-)

R also ordered a medium-sized scotch fillet, cooked medium. He chose, though, to have the JHG topping: onions, mushrooms and bacon. There was almost as much topping as there was steak! He reported it was an excellent choice. S had the same cut of meat as us, with one of the sauces on it. I think I can safely say that we all enjoyed the meal. Of course the beers before it and wine during wouldn't have had anything to do with that...

Speaking of beer, this is my brew of choice in Tasmania. Do yourself a favour - if you get the chance, give it a go. It seems impossible to find in Melbourne, although Dan Murphy's assure me that some of their stores do stock it. Fingers crossed I can find it...