12 of 12 March 2016 – Part 2

Part 1 of this post, in which I try to get into the habit of an earlier bedtime, is here.

The story continues . . .

I decided that, even though I wasn’t feeling so good, I’d get up and go for a walk this morning. Slabs suggested I sleep in and walk later in the day. While the idea sounded good, I didn’t think this was going to work because it’s cooler earlier in the day and walking in the heat* is likely to have tired me out more. And that’s assuming I’d be able to muster up the energy to get out of the house later. I find it much easier to get my walks out of the way first thing, before I get caught up in everything else I’m doing during the day.

2 of 12: I did sleep in. A bit. For me. By the time I got up and out of the house it was light, so I decided to wander along the walking track, which I can’t often do because it’s too dark most days when I get up.


3 of 12: I took it easy. No 16 km walks this morning. 30 minutes was about 3000 steps, and I was grateful for the park benches dotted along the walking track, as I needed a rest by this point. This meant that I’d need to do seven lots of 30 minutes to reach my target. This sounded like a lot at 7am, but I was confident it was doable if I rested up in between.


4 of 12: These signs are quite new. I can’t figure out if the council retro-fitted the dog poo stickers or if someone who was sick of stepping in poo go the shits and stuck the stickers onto the signs themselves.


5 of 12: The river looking very peaceful this morning.


I cut my normal route a bit short because I was getting tired and my walk was taking longer than normal. See! I’m not pushing myself.

6 of 12: I used some of my walking time to catch up on my French lessons on Duolingo, which I’d recently started again after a long absence. I followed the principle of making a new habit as easy as possible to do, so I reduced my daily goal to one lesson, which is possible to slot in almost anywhere in my day. I’ve generally tried to do it first thing after dropping Kramstable at school on my way to work. So if you see me walking along hunched over my phone in the morning I’m not on Twitter (probably). I’ll be learning French.


After breakfast it was time to take Kramstable to swimming. An ideal opportunity to fit in two of those 30 minute walks I need to do. While it’s not the most pleasant and relaxing walk, as it’s mainly along main roads, it’s a good way to get us both moving.

The thing that struck me, as it did last week when we had to walk because Slabs needed the car, was how many cars went past and how few people were walking anywhere – I could count them on one hand each time. Most of the people that were walking were walking dogs rather than looking like they were walking to somewhere for a purpose.

As I watched the never-ending stream of cars go past, I wondered how many people were driving because it was quicker and easier than walking. After all, most people are busy, and taking an hour out of your day to walk to somewhere you could drive to and back in ten minutes is a big chunk of your day. Unless I’ve had no car, I’ve always jumped in the car and driven to swimming. It’s so much easier, I can leave a lot later and I have more time at home to do stuff like checking Twitter. I mean vacuuming the floors.

(What followed here was a ramble about the time needed to walk, slowing down, using the time as one-on-one time with Kramstable, environmental concerns about using the car for short trips. Followed by the eventual realisation that if I get up at the same time, walk for an hour less in the morning and walk to swimming instead I’ll still have the hour I would have saved by driving, plus all the other benefits. I’ll save all that for paspresentfuture: the director’s cut.)

8 of 12: Kramstable had a good swimming lesson.


9 of 12: While we were up the street today we noticed someone had tried to set fire to the community notice board. Nice one.


Also up the street, we learned some new roundabout etiquette where you indicate you’re going left before you even get onto the roundabout, and then go straight, confusing the hell out of people who are trying to cross the road. A change from the usual “indicate right when you’re going straight” crowd.

10 of 12: Washing day for the leggings!


11 of 12: Today’s leggings. Today’s step count: 21,406. Two days to go. I might just make it.


12 of 12: I made lasagna tonight. This is one of my favourite epic dishes that takes all afternoon to prepare. So you know that I’m not overdoing things, I had a rest first. And I went to bed early.



* By heat I mean anything above about 18 degrees when the sun is shining. The sun here is burny and melty, and saps my energy every time I go outside, regardless of the actual temperature. I’m told the sun is more intense in Tasmania than in other places, and I find it to be really uncomfortable to be outside in. I hate walking in the sun.


12 of 12 April 2015

Today was the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival, which is one of the biggest events held in the Valley each year.

The weather forecast wasn’t sensational, but there wasn’t any rain or wind forecast, so we had everything crossed that it would be a nice day. It was a chilly 7 degrees in the morning when we woke up, and by the time Juniordwarf and I arrived at the festival just before 10.00 it was 11 degrees. I wished I’d worn some more layers, as the day’s top was only 15. At least it didn’t rain!

1 of 12 - Pre-show selfies

1 of 12 – Pre-show selfies

Juniordwarf and I were scheduled to do a half-hour slot on our community radio station’s outside broadcast from the festival at 10.00 but, due to circumstances beyond our control, we ended up doing the whole hour until 11.00 – which is Juniordwarf’s normal timeslot on the radio, but today he’d been looking forward to getting off early and looking round the festival, so he was a bit irritable during the second half hour.

2 of 12 - On air (thanks to one of our lovely volunteers for taking the photo)

2 of 12 – On air (thanks to one of our lovely volunteers for taking the photo)

He’d been eyeing off this climbing maze from where we’d been sitting, so that was the first place he went to.

3 of 12 - Kid heaven

3 of 12 – Kid heaven

20150412-13 Climbing maze

$5 to play for as long as you like, though I’m not sure it means you get to abandon your child there while you go and explore the rest of the festival. Thankfully I had another responsible adult (Juniordwarf’s grandmother) with me, so I could run off and do a couple of things I needed to get done while he was having fun.

4 of 12 - This looked like fun

4 of 12 – This looked like fun

There was heaps of stuff to do and see and eat and drink.

We bought chocolate wheel tickets.

5 of 12 - Lions Chocolate Wheel

5 of 12 – Lions Chocolate Wheel

We won nothing.

We checked out the local railway society’s display.

6 of 12 - Derwent Valley Railway

6 of 12 – Derwent Valley Railway

Juniordwarf lined up very patiently for a long time to go on this attraction. I know it’s heaps of fun for the kids, but it always seems weird to hand your child over to a complete stranger who then seals them inside an oversized beach ball!

7 of 12 - Juniordwarf getting blown up inside a beach ball

7 of 12 – Juniordwarf getting blown up inside a beach ball

7 of 12 - Who knew rolling around in over-sized beach balls could be so much fun!

8 of 12 – Who knew rolling around in over-sized beach balls could be so much fun!

9 of 12 - Lots of people

9 of 12 – Lots of people

One of the new features of the festival this year was the Taste of the Valley, where local producers talked about their produce. We were treated to a lesson in making beef stock and sauce by the fabulous Ashley from Two Metre Tall.

9 of 12 - Our favourite mad scientist brewer makes beef stock

10 of 12 – Our favourite mad scientist brewer makes beef stock

I thought the raspberries had finished for the season and was pleasantly surprised to find lots of them at Westerway Raspberry Farm’s stall (probably should have taken the picture before I started eating them).

10 of 12 - Raspberries

11 of 12 – Raspberries

We bought soap from the lovely Veronica from Veronica Foale Essentials and her able assistant Kim, who was SUPER HELPFUL!

11 of 12 Soap by Veronica

12 of 12 Soap by Veronica

Unfortunately I missed out on seeing the snakes this year. They are usually a highlight for me, but we didn’t get there before they packed up.

Just before we started getting ready to leave, Juniordwarf wanted to take the camera for a while. So as a special bonus, here’s 12 of 12 from the festival from Juniordwarf’s perspective (slightly cropped but otherwise as he saw it).

It was interesting to see the things that caught his eye. I think I should let him do this more often!

1 of 12 – That looks pretty good.

20150412-02 Autumn Festival

2 of 12 – Cute car

20150412-04 Autumn Festival - Wine Car

3 of 12-  Jane from Two Metre Tall in action

20150412-05 Autumn Festival - Jane

4 of 12 – Pat from Tynwald Estate with some of their Wessex Saddleback ham.

20150412-08 Autumn Festival - Tynwald

5 of 12 – Jam from Westerway Raspberry Farm

20150412-10 Autumn Festival - Berries

6 of 12 – A random festival goer enjoying a Forester Ale from Two Metre Tall

20150412-11 Autumn Festival - Me

7 of 12 – Veronica and her able assistant Kim and a lot of yummy soap

20150412-16 Autumn Festival - Kim and Veronica

8 of 12 – Big Red Box

20150412-17 Autumn Festival - Big Red Box

9 of 12 – A very large dog (he cut its nose off)

20150412-19 Autumn Festival - Dog

10 of 12 – Some coats.

20150412-20 Autumn Festival - Coats

11 of 12 – Wandering players


12 of 12 – One of the four entertainment stages

20150412-27 Autumn Festival - Band



CARE Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge Day 6

Today was the day I’d decided to bust my 12.45 km walking record and aim for 15 km. I expected it would take less than 3 hours and be about 20,00 steps.

I left the house just after 5.30 – a full half hour after I go out on weekdays. What a luxurious sleep in I had.

I started off on my normal route – the 3.5 km one that takes about 35 minutes if I’m on a 6 km/hour pace. I didn’t expect to maintain the pace for the entire 15 km, but I at least wanted to get the first 3 or 4 km in at that pace.

I was a little bit under – at 15 minutes I’d done 1.48 km and at 30 minutes 2.96 km. 5 km took me 50 minutes 42 seconds, and at the half way point (7.5 km) I’d been walking for 1 hour 17 minutes and done 10,000 steps or thereabouts.

It was cold. It started out cold and got colder. My hands were like ice and I really wished I’d worn gloves. They hurt more than my feet, which started out hurting, but I moved them around in my shoes a bit and that seemed to relieve whatever was causing the problem. The band aids helped too.

It took me 1 hour 43 minutes to get to 10 km (14,000 steps) and I’d arrived at the Hill of Pain. This is a road called Saddle Road that goes up from the Magra Fire Station over the hill and back into the Avenues section of Fairview. I went up the easier side and down the steeper side (although I have been known to walk up this way in the past).

If it’s a nice morning you get a good view of the town. This wasn’t that day.

20150321 WIHS Day 6 1 Saddle Rd

Two hours in and I’d done about 11.6 km, and I cracked my previous 12.45 km record in 2 hours and 9 minutes. At 2 hours 24 minutes (13.85 km) I hit 20,000 steps – my original Walk In Her Shoes daily goal.

I was on my way home when I hit the magic 15 km mark (2 hours 35 minutes, 21,000 steps), at which point I had to make it to 16 km or I wouldn’t have got home.

Competitive me made me walk just a little longer, and I ended up at 16.58 km in 2 hours and 53 minutes, with an average pace of 5.76 km/hour. It was almost 24,000 steps.

20150321 WIHS Day 6 14 combo 2

I could have continued for a few minutes more and hit the 3 hour mark and reached my step goal all in the one walk (and competitive me wanted me to do it), but I didn’t – so there’s a challenge for another day.

Then competitive me said, ‘So how are we going to top this tomorrow?’

I said, ‘We aren’t.’

I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve outside the step goals this week: a 6 km walk in under an hour, and a 15 km walk. Even though there is a little niggling disappointment that I didn’t keep walking this morning, I did what I set out to do. And part of me deliberately didn’t go for that extra gold star because it wanted me to be satisfied that I did what I set out to do. I can imagine competitive me saying something like, ‘Hey, you’ve got this far, why not go for 20 km?’

No. I reached my goal. That’ll do. (Apologies to the writers of Babe.)

And tomorrow I have 25,000 steps more to go and one more pair of leggings to wear, so it’s not quite over yet.

This is a plain orange pair of leggings overlaid with a purple lacy pair.

This is a plain orange pair of leggings overlaid with a purple lacy pair.

CARE Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge Day 5

This was a fairly uneventful day. As I dragged myself out of bed at stupid o’clock this morning, all I could think of was that this was the last day I’d have to get up quite this early.

5.5 km walk this morning, the morning school run, a walk at lunch time (the first time this week I’ve actually gone for a walk in my lunch break), the afternoon school run and then as much walking (and jogging on the spot) as I could manage after work.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be getting up at a slightly less unmentionable hour to attempt my major Walk In Her Shoes goal of walking 15 km. I posted on Facebook that I was accepting entries in the ‘how long will it take and how many steps will it be’ competition. First prize was a fabulous opportunity to see a wonderful children’s entertainer accompanied by my lovely son on Sunday.

Strangely enough I had no entries, other than Lil Sis, who needed further information on how many hills and other obstacles would be involved before she committed to an answer.

I’m hoping it will take me less than 3 hours, and I think it will be about 20,000 steps. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Today’s leggings. I’ve now worn bright leggings to work every day for a week and no one has commented. Perhaps they were too polite.

20150320 WIHS Day 5 1 Leggings

Walking selfie. Who needs a selfie stick? Bonus points if you know where this picture was taken.

20150320 WIHS Day 5 2 Walking selfie

Today Juniordwarf’s school wore orange for Harmony Day, which is tomorrow. I decided to get into the spirit too. Orange and pink go together well, don’t you think? (Thanks Juniordwarf for the photo.)

20150320 WIHS Day 5 3 Me and Zoe

OK, two days to go. I can do this.

CARE Walk in her shoes challenge: Day 4

My feet hurt! The blisters I thought had settled down from a few weeks ago are rubbing again and I don’t like it.

I might try some different shoes for the next day or so.

I’m now more than half way through the challenge and have met my step target every day. Someone at work asked me today what I was doing to get to 25,000 steps a day.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing:

  • Getting up at an obscenely early hour and going for a walk. This is my fast walk for the day where I try to maintain a 6 km/hour pace. (As I said yesterday I don’t know what a normal walking pace is, but this is a stretch for me – just out of my comfort zone.) Depending on the day, this is either an hour (6 km) or about 40 minutes (4 km). It’s about 6,000 to 8,000 steps.
  • Walking from Juniordwarf’s school to walk. I’m not sure how far this is, but it can take anywhere up to 30-40 minutes depending on which way I go and what I need to do on the way. Most days I walk back to school to pick him up as well.
  • Incidental walking during the day. This does add up. Try and go a slightly longer way somewhere – around the whole block instead of straight up the street. Leave the washing in the basket and take 3 or 4 trips to put it away instead of taking the basket to the wardrobe. Follow an 8-year-old around for a while. Just find opportunities to move when you otherwise wouldn’t.
  • The Exertime program on my computer at work reminds me to get up and do something every hour. Mostly I choose the ‘walk’ option. It’s about 150 steps round trip to the kitchen to get a glass of water and back to my desk. That adds up over the day.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift at work. Hahahahahaha. No.
  • Going out at lunch time. Even strolling around the shops for 30 to 40 minutes (which I said I wasn’t going to do) adds quite a few steps to my total. Going for a walk would be better, but I’ve had things I needed to do at lunch time.
  • On the day I work at home, I finish work at 1.00 so I’ve been going for walks for about an hour (or more this week) to make up for not having walked to work.
  • A quick 20-30 minute walk when I get home. You know, instead of collapsing on the couch and going on Twitter. Because I would never do that. Not much. Maybe sometimes. Maybe there’s time to do both . . . (Probably about 4,000 steps.)
  • Walking after dinner until my Fitbit buzzes to tell me I’ve reached my goal. Then walking a bit more as a buffer in case I don’t make it to the goal on another day. This is about 20-40 minutes, depending on how many more steps I need to do. This is about 1.5 to 4 km, depending on how fast I want to walk. (Not very at that time of night.)

I’ve been finding that there are lots of opportunities to increase the amount I move. Sometimes it’s as simple as just realising I have a few minutes when nothing much is happening and there’s nothing I actually have to do right then, and going outside for a walk around the block.

Finally . . .

Today’s leggings.

20150319 WIHS Day 4 2 LeggingsLeggings

20150319 WIHS Day 4 3 Walking

I forgot to take a picture of Zoe while we were walking, but she helped me write this post.

20150319 WIHS Day 4 4 Zoe blogging

Walk in her shoes challenge: Day 3

It’s Day 3 of CARE Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge. I managed another 6 km walk in under an hour this morning. I have no idea of what a decent pace is, but it takes a fair bit of effort for me to maintain a pace of just over 6 km/hour for an hour, so I think I’m doing OK.

20150318 WIHS Day 3 1 6 km

So far this week my step counts have been:

  • Monday: 29,299
  • Tuesday: 29,226

Today’s final count will be less than that, but I’ve reached my 25,000 step target. So far so good.

Today’s leggings. These are one of my favourite pairs. You might remember them from my photo in the paper.

20150318 WIHS Day 3 2 Leggings

Zoe and I went out for a walk after dinner.

20150318 WIHS Day 3 5 Me & Zoe going walking

Now I’m tired and ready for bed – well before 11.30. Perhaps this is the secret to an earlier bedtime: Wear myself out. It just means I won’t get anything done tonight that I wanted to.

I guess it can wait.

See you in the morning.

Walk In Her Shoes Challenge: Day 2

Day 2 of the Walk In Her Shoes challenge and the weather forecast wasn’t looking promising for getting out and walking a lot.

20150317 Not a good outlook

It was still fine in the morning though, so I wanted to do as much as I could before the rain arrived. On this morning’s walk I achieved something I set myself to achieve this week, which was to walk 6 km in under an hour. I’ve been managing to do 3.5 km in under 35 minutes, but I didn’t know if I could keep the pace up for 6 km. It seems I can.

20150317 6 km 1

This was about 8,000 steps.

Today’s leggings.

20150317 Leggings

This is one of my favourite pairs. I love the pattern and the colours. They’re thicker than most of my other pairs and I was going to change them later in the day when the weather got a bit warmer. It didn’t, so I didn’t. (The sticker has been on there for months. Probably years. Courtesy of Juniordwarf.)

By lunch time I’d only reached about 11,000 steps, so I went for a long walk after lunch. It still hadn’t rained, though it was trying to. I checked out the new coffee van on The Esplanade (it’s good) and walked around to Tynwald Park up the steps.

This part of the walk always reminds me of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

20150317 Hanging rock-esque IG

After dinner it was time for another walk to get me up to my 25,000 step goal. It was raining by this time and my walking buddy Zoe doesn’t have a rain coat, so she had to share mine.

20150317 Zoe doesn't have a rain coat

Goal achieved. All going well.