Another fine day


I got up at 6:30 this morning, scarfed down a punnet of blueberries, and went for a run on the Green Corridor. As I ran onto it, I saw a sign declaring that it would be shut for excavations from the 19th of September until 2019. All year, my favourite route has been on borrowed time, and now at last they really are digging it up. This was thus my last run on it ever, because when they’ve finished laying pipes down it, they’re not going to restore it to its muddy glory, but instead have another soulless concrete path with drainage and lampposts and no inconvenient foliage. And to think that I’m romanticising a muddy path that runs alongside a motorway; the state of things is pretty bad…

I was wearing my Stryd powermeter again, as I have done every time I’ve run since July, but this time I decided to see if I could train to a particular power output. My reasoning was that by going for power rather than pace, I might be able to prevent myself going too hard up the hills. I set my watch to beep at me if I went above 250 watts or below 220, and then had a miserable hour where it seemed to be beeping at me continuously. It didn’t even provide a particularly good time, which I think is because I restrained myself from running as hard as I could up hills, and then didn’t get much benefit running down again. I got home and had to peel off my top, a piece of nylon that had got so sweaty it was like pulling off a neoprene suit. Call that compression wear?

However, perhaps this was a good defensive move as I wasn’t a broken man as a result. We had a big day ahead of us: first we went up to Ronin for breakfast. My wife sought out the most complicated way to order: we wanted scrambled eggs and toast for me, scrambled eggs and toast for her, and scrambled eggs and toast for the kids to share. So she ordered scrambled eggs for me, and scrambled eggs for her with extra eggs, and a side of toast. The waiter seemed quite terrified until I changed the order to three lots of scrambled eggs and toast. Have w made some new science?

Outside, the street was full of sports cars – Porsches, one in a strange, drab pink, and a Ferrari, looking most out of place next to Toyota Corollas and various cheap backpacker hostels. We remarked on the lack of luggage space, then scuttled off to the National Gallery, where we had all sorts of new fun things to see. These included a strange installation in the entrance, a lot of political art from South East Asia on the fifth floor, and a transparent nylon bomber jacket my wife refused to let me spend $500 on. What madness was this?

And if that wasn’t madness enough, I discovered an inscription to Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas in the National Gallery. What, did his parents have a stutter?

The kids did well until about 11:30, then went loopy, so we cut short our viewing of the puppet show and went home. I napped for half an hour, and when the children awoke and the thunderstorm began to roll in, the sky turning an angry yellow, then we took the train to the Botanic Gardens and happened on a biodiversity fair. That meant La Serpiente got to see a boa constrictor in a small tree, Destroyer got given lots of balloon animals, and I got rained on. But there’s a monkey-watching tour I might go on next year, so that’s a good thing.

We came home and fed the children and then bathed them, and then I tried to explain to La Serpiente about works of fiction that start in media res, with reference to Hedgehogs Don’t Eat Hamburgers rather than any of the works of John le Carre.

All this, and we’ve had no added sugar all day. Two days down, 28 to go.

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