Fifties fitness

New challenges at work will require peak physical and psychological performance, no more excuses. Time to do something about fitness in my fifties. 

Procrastinated for a year; moping and moaning in melancholic moodiness. Finally I shook off the can’t do attitude this morning. 

Only one other person in the gym. Fifteen minutes of cardio followed by forty five of weights has set me up for the day. Hoping I will be able to do it again tomorrow. 


A smattering of these signs appeared on the side of bus shelters around Sydney. 

A smattering also describes my knowledge of this initiative by American Express. 

I am reliably informed that there are four businesses listed in the locale; a smattering here too!

The plane, the plane

Public transport is a necessary evil in the daily grind of Sydney life. Since moving here almost nineteen years ago planes have been a source of wonder, excitement and irratation. 

When living in Brighton le Sands we were so close to the flight path that we could see our community reflected in the belly of the aircraft. Passengers could be seen gazing from the windows. The noise pollution and vibration was intense. It was no wonder that we looked for quieter surroundings in the Eastern suburbs. 

After a couple of years of noise from garbage trucks outside the bedroom window in Paddington we headed to the inner west. Newtown delivered distant plane and train noise and the neighbour from hell. She loved to party in the early hours of Tuesday morning and any other time she fancied. 

The town house in Petersham was directly under the approach to the runway. When outside we would pause our conversations until decibel levels returned to normal. 

Lewisham was all about the noise from the traffic bombing along a concrete road that joined two arterial roads. We awoke and nodded off to the sound of aeroplanes at either end of the day. 

Leichhardt used to be a suburb plagued by  aircraft noise. In recent years flight paths have been adjusted to share the intrusion. Mornings and evenings continue to be our designated times. At other times it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. 

The Etihad flight above has its landing gear down. It is about 15 minutes away from the terminal building. 

Thankfully attempts to extend or lift the 11:00 pm to 6:00 am flight curfew have failed. 

Advance Australia fair

Three new towers stand with puffed out chests on the left of this scene. This photograph was taken from the Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour. It will soon be dismantled as the new Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre is now open for business a short distance away. 

Darling Harbour is a popular tourist destination, night and day. Drawn by bars, restaurants, aquarium, Maritime Museum and countless other attractions, visitors flock to this former heavy rail and shipping port. 

A monumental six star casino and hotel will rise to the left of the new towers. There is a daytime picture of the site in the Casino 2 post. 

Austerity measures

As a child Toblerone was for me the holy grail of chocolate, a treat at Christmas time. When white and dark bars along with giant Toblerones hit the shores of England I was in heaven. I enjoyed the nutty, mild honey taste along with the adventure of breaking it into pieces. It was not the easiest of confections to eat, especially when chilled. I remember the experience of biting a triangle off the bar as the adjacent piece scraped the gums surrounding my upper teeth. 

The bar has been downsized, with less pieces in each bar, now looking a bit like gaps from missing teeth. I have heard it said that the austerity measures are due to Brexit, perhaps the bars are a little easier to eat. Dezeen Magazine reports that the changes are shaping up to be the worst received redesign since Uber changed its logo this year. 

I invite you to share your thoughts. 

Bizarre behaviour on a bus

When catching the bus to and from work there are certain seats that I prefer. Being broad shouldered I have found that sitting towards the back of the bus provides more room. The seating area is elevated to such a level that the bottom of the windows are under my elbow, allowing one arm breathing space.

One day this week I got on a bus, a short walk from my home. All seats were occupied except for the back seat. I wouldn’t normally venture this far down the bus as it can be hot and noisy sitting above the engine. With limited leg room this seat is designed for five people. In my experience four is the maximum for those with a fuller figure. Today was no exception; there was movement as I approached; two dubious looking individuals scooted in opposite directions towards either window tugging belongings onto their laps. After sitting down to face the front right hand side of the bus the person behind me sat down on the left.
I caught myself gazing absent mindedly at the back of the head of a stocky man seated next to the aisle in front of me. A crazy paving like pattern of faint pink veins ran up from his neck across the surface of his light coloured scalp, snaking through the stubble of a closely shaved head. It reminded me of a river system seen from above the Earth. 

After travelling uneventfully for about ten minutes, I heard a quiet jingling noise to my right. I did not catch the words the older looking lady seated next to Pink River System Man (PRSM) was uttering, however from her agitated manner and hand signals I realised she had spilled the contents of her bag on the floor. She spoke loudly to a darker skinned chap in front of PRSM. A number of passengers assisted to retrieve the runaway items. 

When it looked like calm was returning to my journey I was fascinated to see a fist appear in front of PRSM. It proceeded to grind into the back of the head of Darker Skinned Chap (DSC). The goodwill of fellow passengers quickly faded as the woman continued to hurl rapid directions at DSC. I wondered if they were related, then thought, “Well they aren’t sitting next to each other.” 

PRSM informed the woman that rather than abuse DSC she should search for her belongings herself. She muttered that he was in a better position to see where they had fallen. The woman began sorting through the contents of her bag. For the rest of the trip she took out and replaced items in a frenetic manner. 

All in all, bizarre behaviour on a bus! 

I have included a picture of an equally bizarre Paisley pattern I developed a while ago.

Poetry like water

During periods of drought
And feelings of self doubt,

I lack inspiration, become a lout.

It helps to go out and about;
Amble, absorb and tout. 

Passers by glimpse the pout.

Frustration mounts. 
Just want to scream, to shout,

To wake myself up with a clout;

Still fruitless at every bout. 

Can’t call myself poet devout. 
At times there are ideas I should flout.

Use notebooks to record, later rout them out. 

Now noises drown thoughts out
Needing and urging result in nowt. 

It’s enough to bring on one’s gout!