Saturday, April 14, 2007

I should have known better...

I’ve had rather a mixed week. There have been a couple of lovely social occasions, including a gorgeous lunch to farewell one of my friends who is (sadly, for us) leaving town. Another friend’s husband did the cooking and everything was superb, especially a dish they call bugamundi. This is a combination of Moreton Bay bug (a small crayfish) and barramundi (a delicious fish, famous in North Queensland). These were stir-fried together with chilli and (many more things no doubt). Yummo!!

At the lunch, my friends, all teachers, shamed me into upping my exercise routine. My walks along the Strand are not enough. I should be “doing the hill”. The hill is Townsville’s famous Castle Hill and I used to walk up there with them but have slackened off in recent years.

“Let me practise on my own first,” I said, worried that I would be embarrassingly out of nick.

So on Wednesday morning I did the hill. I walked by road all the way from where I live (most people drive to the foothills), and I went to almost the top and was pleased that I managed this without any horrific gasping and panting. Then, as I neared the top and saw the place where the “goat track” joins the road, I was inspired to go down the goat track.

Big mistake.

I was about a quarter of the way down when I remembered that the last time I did this, I ended up in agony, but it was already too late to turn back. No way could I climb UP all those stairs. The goat track has hundreds of rough rock stairs and it's perched precariously on the edge of the hill. My thighs, by this time, were feeling distinctly shaky. My graduated lenses made it hard to judge these uneven steps and I tripped and nearly fell off the mountain on at least three occasions. I was terrified and exhausted.

Eventually, I made it home. But the round trip took two hours. And I soaked in a Radox bath instead of stretching… so you can guess the result.

Yes, screaming tight thigh and calf muscles for the rest of the week.

Of course, the view from the top is almost worth the pain. But I'm sure Phillipa Ashley would tell me that I should have known better than to do the goat track alone. (Read her book Decent Exposure to find out why:)

There have been other nice social events this week. My writing is chugging along – too slowly – but it is chugging. And I read The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley. Loved it so much I’ve ordered another of hers – Not That Kind of Girl.

Have started reading Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs. I really enjoy Susan Wiggs and this book is a finalist in this year’s RITA.

Will restart my exercise routine again… tomorrow.


Liz Fielding said...

Sympathy on the calves, Barb. I'm suffering from "gardener's elbow". No fun.

I loved Mary Wesley's books. Harnessing Peacocks was a favourite. And the one with "Fun Funerals" (a mistake in the advert) and Calypso appears in later books; one with a young man who produces "happy hams". What a treat you have in store!

Phillipa said...

Ohh.. I hate that 'trembly' calf thing that happens on the way down. Funny I should visit your blog today - how about this for spooky. I have been writing an opening this morning and when this goergeous hunky Aussie guy popped up in my fictional Lakeland village, he somehow opened his mouth and said: "I'm Greg Hannay from Townsville." :) It sounded so authentic, you see!

Hello Liz...(waves and hugs on the elbow). I have chronic runner's Achilles - an absolute bu**er toshift.

Barb said...

Greg Hannay, huh? Well, I hope he doesn't turn out to be the bad guy. :)
Seriously, Phillipa, if you decide to go ahead with him and want to know anything about Townsville, sing out. I'd be happy to help.

Liz, what do you have to do for gardener's elbow? Does it interfere with your writing?