The goal is cycling in France. A blog might just get me on my bike.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
The Handover at Centennial Park
Only two rides this week. One on Monday with Therese and then a reward ride on Australia Day with THE Coach in Centennial Park, where we met Bill and Gen for the official handover of Melissa's bike.
It was a warm morning as we joined hundreds of cyclists ranging from the slick, speedy Italian looking blokes cycling in packs, to the elegant solo rider, leisurely pedaling along on her lovely bike with basket.
THE Coach had a plan. He led us five, or six times round the park, always leading from a distance in front well out of shouting distance so he couldn't hear our calls for a drink stop. To earn our coffee we also had to climb the hills - yes, there are two hills in Centennial Park and we rode up them several times till THE Coach was satisfied that we were sweating.
Finally, we were allowed out of the park for a coffee and quick bite of delicious fruit toast at Monica's favourite Woollahra cafe.
Gen seemed to take a shine to Melissa's bike enjoying the raised flat handle bars and suspension seat, but not the toe clips. Only one slight accident as we slowed to cross the road with Gen forgetting to step out of the clips, but a few grazes didn't faze her, as we were almost back to the cars.
All up it was about 30kms, probably about the distance we'll be riding in France on some of the shorter days.
July 2010 "Lunch in Paris". The recipes look good but the story - completely forgetable and that's possibly erring on kindness.
June 2010 "Brooklyn" by Colm Toibin. A touchingly beautiful story of Ellis Lacey, a young Irish girl sent to New York in the early 1950s to escape poverty and islolation. As she overcomes terrible homesickness, gradually develops confidence in herself and begins to fall in love she is called back to Ireland for a family emergency. A book I didn't want to end.
June 2010 "Feeling sorry for Celia" by Jaclyn Moriarty. Another YA novel but this time its a conventional story about friendship, growing up and first love. What else can I say...
May 2010 "Liar" by Justine Larbalestier. Although this is a novel for young adults I found it un-put-down-able. Hard to describe because it breaks so many writing conventions. The narrator is unreliable. She's a self confessed liar. Left me puzzling about the book for days. Highly recommended.
May 2010 "Saffy's angel" by Hilary McKay. A sweet story for young teenagers. Saffy never feels that she quite belongs and sure enough she discovers she's been adopted. Off to Italy she goes in search of her story.
May 2010 “Big fat Manifesto” by Susan Vaught. Jamie is a talented student writer who’s ambition is enter a prestigious university. Her aim is to write a prize winning feature article series about a controversial topic – teenage obesity. Jamie is the ideal investigative journalist – she is obese and her column “Fat girl” is personal perspective on the social injustices she faces as an overweight teenager. Although I found Jamie's voice clear and honest, I couldn't quite believe the romance that develops between Jamie and the handsome, dry witted editor of the student paper.
April 2010. "The behaviour of moths" by Poppy Adams. Too many moths for my liking. An atmospheric setting – a crumbling, gothic mansion where the reclusive Ginny lived alone since her parents died and her younger sister left home. So why does the vivacious Vivien return after 47 years? Like AS Byatt’s “The Children’s Book” the contextual information detracted from what could have been an intriguing tale of mystery and murder.
April 2010. "Things to make and mend" by Ruth Thomas. The cover and format of this little book entrapped me. Unfortunately it was a very light story about two women who fell out over a boy during their teenage years, but who meet up in later life. Forgetable - don't bother.
April 2010. "The boy in the dress" by David Walliams. Yes, he is also the writer and star of "Little Britain" and this short YA novel is infused with his humorous voice. Dennis discovers that life is not boring when the girl you fancy dresses you up in her frock and takes you to her French class as a visiting student. Of course the disguise doesn't last and life becomes very interesting for Denise/ Dennis.
March 2010. "The piper's son" by Melina Marchetta. YA novel by popular Australian author. Tom's family has fragmented after shocking death of his much loved Uncle in the London tube bombing. Although at times melodramatic, I enjoyed this modern family saga. Easy to visualise the characters and setting as it features the streets of Petersham and Leichhardt. Worth reading if you enjoyed "Looking for Ailbrandi".