Park Run?

I had heard about park runs for quite a while. Friends of mine all loved it and ‘did’ it and talked about it. But these friends were sociable beings, always doing things in groups, super fit, good runners, supremely confident. Me? Don’t be crazy, I’m old, unslim (such a word? – there is now)and not all that good in ‘group activities’ so I stayed away.
Until I didn’t… reluctantly and nervously I succumbed and joined J at Jells Park at 8am.

I had no idea what to expect, what to bring, what to do, take my car keys, bring water, leave my jacket where?

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This is a volunteer run community group showing people working together at its best.  The welcome so genuine, the smiles so easy, leave your jacket here, its perfectly safe.   A short chat to congratulate milestones (50 runs etc), brief chat for the newcomers and then we were all off.

A bell is rung and the front runners who had already run who knows how far before joining our run.   This was a very serious time trial for them as they took off like the proverbial bats.   They are remarkable as without fail I notice each week, they arrive at the finish line as I begin my second lap.   There are mums with new borns in prams; family groups; a grandpa and his young granddaughter – who hold hands the entire route.   I am not sure who is supporting whom, but this will be one of those remarkable memories for her that will bind them forever.   There are young children and old ladies – me amongst them, and old men.   Everyone out and doing the best they can, and no one cares whether it is fast, slow, sprinting, jogging or walking.   It is the spirit of being out.

And Jells never disappoints – whatever the weather, it is a special place.

After the first run – followed by yummy coffee with new friends, I was hooked.   And so is my special four legged friend who has run it with me every week since then.

I thank my fit, supremely confident, group movers for  persuading me to join you.   I thank the park runners and volunteers ( everyone puts their hand up to volunteer at some time or other)

And I shall now look for Parkruns wherever I travel.    They have appeared all over the world, Swellendam in the Cape, the Drakensburg,  Ireland, UK. and the rest  As if I needed an excuse to wander the planet……

Spring is here – for today at least…..

And Melbourne sparkles.

Neighbours appear with the sun,

Children ride their bikes,

Lawnmowers come out of the shed,

Bicycles appear – not just the lycra clad; no weather a problem riders, but the mom and pop kind of cyclists, with kids in tow.

All a little wobbly as they navigate the muddy bits and find their summer muscles.

 

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Perhaps, precisely because weather is such a topic of conversation and variation,

Days like today are so so special.

Anyone who has lived here for more than a month knows that there is no telling…..

So the sun is out,

It is a Sunday – skip the ironing, the chores, the cooking –

Go out and smell the roses,

Explore the park,

Smile at the stranger –

It is good to be alive…..

 

Day 3: A walk with friends 

I went for a walk today, to use different muscles after so many hours in the saddle.
Joining me was my delightful young German companion, a volunteer at the stables, the two resident dogs and a ginger cat!!!😻
We set off on a trail marked

‘Fynbos’ with no idea where it lead nor how long it would be. It took us almost two hours and our remarkable cat walked with us the entire way!!!
The dog’s of course ran back and forth and in and out and up and down exhausting us just watching and we took our weary bodies up through beautiful leucadendron forests – taller by far than we.
We passed a dam used usually for swimming and kayaking which sadly was empty, another one which delighted the dogs; beehives, protea fields, and grasses with strange scents.
Everywhere again we saw butterflies – such a good omen in these times.
Different continent, different ‘friends’ the same unity of spirit as we take a walk


 

Procrastination

I have friends who are organised.   

They plan their trips a year in advance, they know where they are staying, 🚂which train they will catch from which platform; ✈️which bus will be used from which side of the street.   And they pack – neatly, 👔👖👗👢organised, with nothing left behind.   All their ducks neatly in a row.🐤

I wish I could be like that.   

I have no idea where or when my next trip will be, which means when it does happen, it is a little like a whirlwind of organisation with no structure, but an ebb and flow, like an amoeboid being pulled by the currents.    

This trip is no different.   

Of course I am hugely excited; of course I will have a wonderful time; of course it will all work out; and of course I have no idea what bus I will take from Dubai to Al Ain because my flight has changed, but I have been unable to change my bus booking.    And of course I will not miss another flight.  😂

I am so fortunate to have friends all over the globe inviting me to participate in the adventure of Life, with new ones joining my circle daily.   Even Dawn from Etihad, in Manchester, (me in Oz – Etihad in UAE – go figure) who helped me with my flights went beyond the call of duty – thanks Dawn.

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Tickets paid for, trail booked, friends waiting to meet me – so so fortunate.

 

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So why the hesitancy in packing, why the knot in my stomach and the voice that says, if it is all cancelled, it will be fine.   You can stay, walk with your friend, tend to your garden, spend time with friends, be close to your daughters.

Must buy Panadol, tummy meds, antibiotics – maybe not.   But then again remember what happened last trip. 😂  Suntan cream, band aids (plasters),   And then again I probably won’t.   Oh yes and don’t forget adaptors.    Camera?   Just phone?

Friends have lent me packing capsules in an attempt to get me ‘more organised’ and 24 hours before my flight leaves, I have still not packed.   I shall do so shortly.   img_7358


And as I write that sentence, I am reminded of how all weekend I said to myself, I will start packing, …. But first I’ll mow the lawn.    I’ll get packing…… But first I’ll do the washing….. I’ll get packing….. But first I’ll vacuum the house (why I hear you ask? )    I’ll start packing …. But first  I’ll write a blog 😄

😄So here I am – about to pack, my room looks like a bomb has hit it, the dog is restless, I really should try and get some sleep but  know I won’t.    What to include in the case and what to leave out –

Binoculars, maybe not, riding gloves – don’t forget.  One pair of shoes or two?   Beanie or sun hat?   either way I don’t exactly get it right – so I guess it hardly matters. 😂😂

I always promise myself I will be more organised next time 🙂 🙂 🙂

Am I the only traveller that leaves in such a state of mixed emotions with everything done  at the last moment.   😩😜

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May Take
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Will Take
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Must Take
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Can’t take