Monthly Archives: July 2010


We’ve been back on the tandem! Three weeks in a row now, and we hope to keep it up  -if I can wangle a leave pass from netball again that is.  A joke we made on the weekend about our (lack of) social life has led to a new (but perfect!) term for our time together on our bicycle built for two:    “Speed dating.”  (Think about it!)

So on Saturday we went speed dating – and did our ‘civilised’ ride into town to meet up with the earlybird (6.30am) Community Ride cyclists at 8.00 when they arrive back at the mall for coffee. Our ‘date’ is to ride 23km into town,  have coffee, a bite to eat, and a chat, and then ride the 23km back home up the highway again – just in time for Himself to drive the girls to netball.

Unfortunately, part and parcel of being a cyclist who rides any distance is that you cop abuse from motorists who don’t know the road rules.

On Saturday we copped a doozy, with a karmic twist, you might say. I was that fired up about it, that I wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper. It is way too long, so probably won’t get published…  So, in the interests of self-publication, and lack of time (!), rather than rehash it as a blog post, I’ll copy it here:

An experience on the weekend leads me to beg all road users to refresh their knowledge of their road rules.  Like it or not, bicycles are classed as vehicles, and as such are actually allowed to be on the road. Blowing your horn and yelling abuse to a slower moving vehicle in the lane in front of you, but following the road rules appropriately, is actually not ok.

Local business owners in particular might like to take the opportunity to ensure that their employees are up to speed with their road rule knowledge.  On Saturday morning my husband and I were riding our tandem in town, obeying the road rules as we waited at the lights at [.. a major intersection], and then headed north on the highway. In the short distance under the railway bridge, we were ‘honked’ and then abused by the occupants of a truck carrying the identification of a local company, simply because we were on the road.

Karma is a strange thing. We are about to start major house renovations. Guess which company will now not be given an opportunity to quote on a significant supply and fix job? And guess which company name will inevitably be mentioned when we share that particular experience with friends and fellow cyclists?

And guess which truck just so happened to end up parked just up the road from our house later that morning?  My husband took the opportunity to let the driver know that his knowledge of the road rules needs updating.  (The passenger responsible for the verbal abuse also did not know that you are only allowed to ride your bike on the footpath – where he thought we should have been – if you are under 12 or supervising an under-12).

I am still trying to decide whether to let the business owner know as well.

Before receiving a tirade of letter abuse in response, I would add that, just as a percentage of motor vehicle drivers do the wrong thing on the road, I acknowledge that there are indeed cyclists who give the rest of us a bad name by doing the wrong thing on the roads. As a motorist AND cyclist, I’ll get cranky with either!

I would also acknowledge that when we are riding we also experience some great courtesy from drivers. A big thank you to all those trucks and cars who do give riders some room and some breathing space.

A quick Google of ‘nsw road rules bicycles’ and a read through the Bicycle Safety section of the RTA road safety information is recommended reading for all of us who use the roads.

I just sent a copy to my friend who works in the smaller local paper. Maybe I’ll get some mileage out of it.  If I can enlighten a handful of people about the actual road rules, then I will have achieved something.

I just wish I’d been a fly on the wall of the car when Himself spotted the exact same truck in our street.   He was.. what can I say .. not aggressive.. but .. ‘firm’.  And I think he may have left him stewing about whether I am going to ring his boss!

But what are the chances of seeing that exact truck a couple of hours later  – in our street?!

That’s what I call karma.



Filed under miscellaneous minutiae, on yer bike, what the???

Mystery solved!

Well, there you go. You learn something every day – and in fact one day was all it took to get a response from the Museum Victoria’s Discovery Centre. How impressive is that?

So this (from a mere two posts ago)


is a sand collar.

Sand collars are a gelatinous egg mass which has been deposited by a sea snail belonging to the family ‘Naticidae’

They also sent me a pdf attachment, but in the interests of being able to link, now that I know what I’m looking for, I’ve been able to google away merrily.

Here’s how Wikipedia summarises it:

Sand collars are the egg masses of certain sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Naticidae, sometimes known as “moon snails”.

These egg masses often wash up on sandy beaches, either whole or sometimes in fragments. When they are whole, sand collars are shaped like an old-fashioned detachable shirt or blouse collar (hence the name). They consist of sand grains cemented together by a gelatinous matrix, with embedded eggs.

A fresh sand collar feels stiff and yet flexible, as if it were made out of plastic. Each sand collar contains thousands of capsules, each one housing one or several live embryos. In species with planktonic development, these embryos hatch out as bilobed veligers. After the eggs hatch, the sand collar disintegrates.

If you google image search ‘sand collar’, you’ll get more info than you can poke a stick at!

Obviously I was holding a lot more than I bargained for in my hand!

And so… what to do with the prize I offered… ?

Noone actually got the answer as such, however Jayne, whose “Feral Beast” nearly had it.. and Jen who also suggested shark egg cases,both set me off on a non-seaweed research track.  So, Girls!  I can offer each of you a 6 x 8 inch print of any of my photos that you choose, or a full resolution digital copy of a photo of your choice (resized to whatever dimension you prefer) that you can use for your wallpaper.  Email me (see my About page) and we’ll sort it out.

Thanks for being part of my very first competition!


Filed under miscellaneous minutiae, our beach


Nothing whatsoever to do with anything over this past weekend – but before I forget to share…

This was the present Ms Just-About-15 gave her big sister for her birthday.  Well.. two months late for her birthday, but it was definitely a labour of love. She made it at school – in her ceramics/pottery class (or whatever the heck class it was – honestly, the list of Year 8, 9  & 10 electives reads like an evening college brochure..)

Ms 17, as you might deduce, is obsessed with all things Dr Who.

Pretty good huh!


Filed under kidz, miscellaneous minutiae

Once more upon the beach

If I can’t give you words, well I can give you images. Beach images. Of course.  With low tide coinciding with late afternoon at the moment, it’s definitely my favourite time for doing my beach walk thing.

Naturally after not taking my camera the other afternoon (whereupon I was going *click, click, click* in my head with all these perfect ‘mind’s eye’ shots), yesterday afternoon, camera clutched in my hand I was struggling.

Come to think of it, I was out a bit earlier than the other afternoon. You have to time it properly –  till the setting sun brings out that exquisite pastel pallette.

Meanwhile, with my small (but dedicated!) blogging audience to appease, there had to be something on the beach I hadn’t photographed before…



I see them all the time on the beach, and they always looks to me like man-made rubbery things.

Like broken rubbery.. seals; and often there are loads of them washed up on the beach.

In the interests of investigation, this time I picked up one to look more closely at it. Just for you of course!

Hmmm. Perhaps they aren’t rubber after all.

It looks distinctly seaweedy to me.

As for what sort it is, I have no idea, and right now, with my ginormous list of Things To Do, skiving off on a Google seaweed search isn’t even on the front page, never mind near the top.

If someone has the time and inclination to suss it out (or perhaps is on friendly terms with a botanist) well… you could let me know, and maybe I could arrange some sort of prize. (Heaven knows what – I’ve never considered that option before, but when I think about it, I’m sure I could organise, say, a print – of your choice – of one of my beach scenes?)

That’s a long shot I know. But if someone comes through with the research, I promise to put my money where my mouth is!

Otherwise, we can all just go “Hmmm, how quaint it is the things one finds on Australian beaches!”

And, for the sake of adding some colour to this anticipated blog post, I prolonged my walk on the beach long enough to get some of that pastel pink into the photos:

(I confess to tweaking this one, above, in photoshop, but all the rest, I swear, are au naturale!)

(What beach post of mine would be complete without The Island?)

With visions like this on my beach on many an afternoon, heaven knows why I don’t make it down there every day.

I suppose I might just get blasé about it.

And you might too!


[Ed: Mystery solved!]


Filed under our beach


It appears I have forgotten how to write – except in short bursts of 140 characters. (Oh, ok.. a few more when I wander over to Facebook from Twitter.)

My conscience tells me I shouldn’t spend time blogging (I can easily lose a whole morning writing a single post) – yet I spend the same amount of time surfing aimlessly between Tweetdeck, Facebook, blogs, the news, and my favourite time-wasting sites.

I do a bit of desultory commenting – but even feel like I have failed my blog friends with my lack of involvement. I am still keeping tabs on everyone… I’m just… not quite all here…

This lack of direction probably reflects everything in my life right now. Like blog, like life – I’m lacking a theme, and a sense of purpose.

Maybe it’s the netball fatigue.

The State Age weekend is over. The 15 yr old’s team did well. The 12 yrs team didn’t win a game, and it was hard to watch. Both Netball Dad and I truly wondered if we should have got this team together. Their coach (our Ms 17) is upset with us for expressing that – she can only see positives, looks only at improvement, however small it was (and not at the million times they didn’t do the basics she’d been trying to teach them.)

Let’s just say I am enjoying the break from all things netball over the rest of the school holidays. Though trying to get the mountains – nay, volcanoes (the type that form up out of nowhere) – of washing done and dried last week was a feat in itself. (Annoying weather it was, damp, cloudy days that prevented the usual simple line-drying in a day approach. Plus the dryer died again!)

By the weekend I finally caught up – and then Himself and I dusted off the tandem (actually – he did that, after having taken it in to the bike shop recently to get something fixed on it) – and we did our first tandem ride in more than 6 months. His idea of easing back into it was a 35km ride down the highway and back. Apart from the chestiness (new medical term I just made up to describe the lingering chesty cough feeling in my lungs), I was actually surprised at how I pulled up. Now we just have to make it a regular thing again.

Next project now is to get a handle on starting the renovations/extensions. I’m dropping off the Owner Builder permit application to Fair Trading today. I made a start on trying to clear out some junk on the weekend. But I think Himself needs to take a week or two off work to get the ball rolling.

Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk on the beach. It’s criminal how long it has been since I’ve done that. I didn’t take the camera, and of course wished that I had. There’s a potential photographer hiding deep down within me – she just doesn’t know how to get out.

Right now I’m off to take Ms 11 and friend to the movies. Toy Story 3. I could do without seeing it in 3D, but they insist.

Regular transmission may resume again soon – once I find my writing mojo amongst the mess. Perhaps I need to go out and buy a new direction. Any idea where they sell those?


Filed under lost in procrastination, miscellaneous minutiae