NaBloPoMo conglomeration

I saw Wendy‘s comment about being #7 in something via Facebork, so decided to give this a go! Sometimes- just on impulse, I’m impulsive, but mostly I’m not. Also, I’ll have a go at anything so I’m certainly willing to try writing something every day for a month- no guarantees apply whatsoever about quality, content or service!

I’ll do some short blobs of blog for the first two days of December, then try harder for the others. Here goes:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
If you could stop your body from aging at any point in your life, what age would you want to stay at and why?

As far as the body is concerned (NOT the brain, thank you), I would have liked to stay between 35 and 45, when I think I was most fit and having the most fun using my body. During that time my partner and I had houses with a pool and we could swim any reasonable day, both before and after work. On really hot days I could even come home from work for a swim at lunch time because I only lived 5 minutes drive from work.

This is the pool from our second house:

Murfomurf, on Flickr”>Old backyard

Having been an asthmatic all my life, I had always wanted to have a convenient place to swim regularly- with the home swimming pool I had it at last. I am definitely not a good swimmer, but once I get some practice and get my breathing under control, I can swim for hours without tiring noticeably. However, I am more a “water baby” than a strong swimmer and “playing” in the water, not just stroking up and down, is what I love best. I’m one of those people who has never grown up and I like to turn somersaults and dive for stuff on the bottom of the pool! It’s such fun, it makes me terribly happy and it’s excellent therapy for my depression, which has been with me on and off since childhood.

My body is not the interesting bit in this blog entry, but the pools are! My bod at the age of 35 was reasonably youthful, I had rather big muscles for my small, short frame (and have always been that way, even when others might have considered me grossly underweight) and there was nothing wrong with my shape [Spotrick would probably agree- indeed he thinks there’s not much wrong with it now, LOL!]. I could wear a Size 10 (Australian/English size which I think is a 2 on the new 1, 2, 3, 4 system and an 8 on the US one) swimsuit and looked OK- no cellulite to speak of (and not much now). Spotrick encouraged me to wear a bikini- but he’s just a bloke and I wanted to actually SWIM.

Around that time, I also went to a thing at the local gym called “Super Circuit” once or twice a week with friends, which kept me pretty fit for a while. I didn’t go to prance about and be seen, like a lot of the cute, young things and I didn’t do anything superfast or super-crunchy! I just managed to get through using each machine and work up a sweat. I probably stayed around the same size during this time, only increasing weight slightly as I got older. This hasn’t been the joyful tale in recent years! AND- no pool, just a small, paved courtyard.

The poor old bod did eventually cop a few problems from all the swimming- I got tendinitis in both shoulders and elbows at various times, but a physio fixed it all up for me and I kept swimming, doing more backstroke than overarm. Those electric buzzy thingoes sure are weird- but they work! Ultrasound worked OK too, but was not as fast as the zapper combined with the Voltaren cream. [There’s a bit of unsolicited health advice for you; also- see my other, somewhat neglected, blog: http://healthforhumans.blogspot.com].

These days I really don’t like my body all that much- I’m the chubbiest I’ve ever been in my life and knowing past tendencies, it won’t go down again either. My weight goes up slowly and steadily with age- and since I’m not quite 5 feet tall (1.5metres), each kilogram is fairly obvious! Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually grind to a complete halt because my body won’t be able to propel me forward any more against it’s own load!

So- I didn’t have much trouble with that one. Now the next prompt:

Thursday, December 2, 2010
What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

I don’t really know!

During my life I have done a few things that others might consider dangerous and looking back, I might admit some of them WERE dangerous, but…the MOST dangerous?

My headmaster thought I was putting my possible university scholarship in great danger when I downright refused to study history and took Art instead- strictly not on for the class “brain”. But it didn’t feel dangerous to me- quite liberating in fact. I HATED history and still think it’s useless unless it becomes personally relevant. For instance, when I read “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr, I looked up the history and geography of late 19th century New York and surrounding states so I could picture the context and the appearance and concerns of the characters. It made interesting reading beside the novel. It would have been completely uninteresting to me at 14 to read about social class in the USA and Theodore Roosevelt- but these days I have a good perspective on the times. My rebellion turned out to be quite safe for my scholarship prospects as well- I got a full one to the best university in the country and got into Medicine- so boo to Stan Condon!

There have been some interpersonal things that might have been dangerous- for instance, walking around a darkened Sydney Harbour with a bloke from India I had only just met, who seemed keen on immediately starting a relationship with me! I wriggled out of that one by the skin of my teeth, joking and kidding him about various things until I caught a train home again! I’ve probably entered into a few relationships rather dangerously in my time, but I’ve survived so far, finding the bonuses outweighed the danger.

I’ve tempted fate by flying down the freeway at over 150 kmh in our (then new) Turbo-charged 1.5L Nissan. The only danger was being caught by the cops- they regularly had radar guns out there, but I always went down at about 10am, when it wouldn’t be worth their while to go because the traffic volume is nil! I LURVED the feeling of speed and noise- wheeeee!!!

What about abseiling and climbing back up cliffs? Is that dangerous? I went out with some blokes who wanted to try some rough terrain with local experts around some gorges near Guyra in the NSW Northern Tablelands. [I think one time, the writer Tom Kennealy actually came along with us- but can’t remember if he abseiled on that occasion or we just walked]. I remember  “minding” the abseiling line several times- keeping an eye on it’s secure seating and then untying it and throwing it down after the others reached bottom. Then I was getting bored with hanging around, so I started abseiling as well. I took to it quite well- spronging out from the cliff face and paying out the line thru the running carabiner. No worries- that felt good too- whee, the gravity-defying feeling in the tummy is my sort of high! I think that climbing back up later was more dangerous, as we had no rope most of the time and I used to get very wheezy with my asthma and find it difficult to hang on.

Other dangerous things have involved standing and sitting on the very edge of cliffs and gorges all over the place where others might get dizzy or be convinced they might lose their footing. For instance, I was quite happy to sit on the edge of the cliff at the top of the Grampians’ Lookout in Victoria. They’ve since built a lot of fences and a platform so I’d have to be very determined to get to the actual edge these days. Here’s a panorama of the view. I’ve also gone to the edge of the Verdon Gorges in France several times- that’s the one they drove down vs. climbing on Top Gear Series 7 Episode 2!

Friday, December 3, 2010
If you could erase one type of animal from the face of the earth, what would it be?

Crocodile/Alligator-  I truly LOATHE them and can hardly watch them on TV, let alone in real life. I don’t think there is anything in the world I am more scared of, nor anything else that I truly hate! They should have died out with the rest of the dinosaurs as far as I’m concerned. Bugger the ecosystem where they live!

This guy Chita must be just plain insane to befriend this monster– it could turn on him at any time! Look at the creature- it’s obscenely powerful and f**k-ugly!

Crazy man and his croc companion

I hate the piggy eyes with the primitive vertical pupil-slit- if anything looks evil, they do! The rough hide looks as though it would cut me on contact- how do they make it so thin and smooth for shoes and handbags?? The worst thing I think about crocs is their capacity for tremendous speed. I’m sure many think they are slow, heavy, lumbering animals- but just watch them leaping for food! They are single-minded predators and they give me the creeps. When they come on the TV news or in a movie, I have to look away and go “Eeeerrrgghhh!!”- and I shiver- I really do!
How Steve Irwin could do this and then get killed by a nice manta ray, I haven’t the faintest idea! Hey- maybe that’s another “dangerous thing I’ve done- swimming with sting-rays! I’m the pale one with sunglasses:
Tahiti_2003 035a

Whoops- some of these ended up being quite long. Seeya!



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