Wandering Thoughts

December 30, 2015

Swimmers

Filed under: Ramblings and Musings — terence @ 5:32 pm

I didn’t pay them much attention. They looked unsure about the small changing shed attached to the public toilets. Her lycra bathing suit was unfair to her shape. He was pale. They paused at the water’s edge, then carefully stepped in.

I’d never thought about swimming in Lake Burley Griffin, in the middle of Canberra. Man made by damming a creek. Closed when the algae become toxic. Plagued with carp. Sad little beaches hemmed in by slimy stones.

But as Jo and I sat on the park bench–me thinking about work, families, and side-effects–they swum out around the triathlon training buoys. Calm. The water was pale, mirror-blue. Tiny ripples turned the reflections of trees with yellow flowers into brush strokes. He swam perfectly: noticeably smooth and fast. She wasn’t far behind. At the pace they were going there must have been tightness in their lungs, and aching in their arms. But from where we watched there was nothing except easy forward motion. They swum round the first buoy, then the second, taking maybe twenty minutes before returning to the lake’s edge. Nothing awkward or uncertain now. They both had the muscles of swimmers, and that done-something, after exercise glow. We got back on our bikes, me doing a better job for a while of watching, not thinking.

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December 20, 2015

Rain again

Filed under: Ramblings and Musings — terence @ 1:50 pm

The day before was one of those days with a swallowing sky. Burning blue, no clouds. A hot, dry wind.

Today started the same, until the thunderstorm. The downpour wasn’t long, but in its wake it drizzled all afternoon. A horrid grey drizzle, with a sky filled up with low, clingy clouds. And that determined rain that soaks you, without being heavy.

There are places I would have complained about riding home in it. But not Canberra. Not riding along bike trails amongst avidly green trees, and by a grateful smelling soil. Not riding past canals that were flushing with water. Not riding past brand new ponds occupied by busy, happy ducks.

I keep writing about it, but that’s because it’s such a strange thing to find yourself liking in a place. The fact that its so hot and dry as to make rain a treat. Even when your shoes are sodden, and there’s a creeping damp claiming your clothes, and as you try to avoid the puddles sprawled across the cycleway.

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