Thursday, 29 May 2008

Full on and photo's of new Bertha

It has been a struggle to blog recently. After the excitement of new Bertha doing her Houdini disappearing act, I lost all energy and it was a struggle to post last week's training. You may have or not noticed that they appeared on Monday not Sunday as usual.

It wasn't the blogging it was the culmination of consistent training, a lot of work and a lot of rain for the last few weeks. I have never been a winter person it really does get me down, one of the many reasons for leaving the UK. But it also caused a lot of washing/laundry both children can wet the bed but not all the time and not always together but without a dryer it was struggle to get it dry and it was getting me down. And this week was particularly busy because Teresa had parent interviews Tuesday and Wednesday and I had to pick Emily up from school, take her to ballet, wait for Teresa. I decided training wise to have most of the week off because I have been really happy with training but I'd just started not enjoying it - so time for recovery.

We have started considering to look at a move nearer Napier because we spend more time there and although it is only 20km away it all adds up especially as we don't want to buy another car. We think we would like a bit more land were we can do more of what we are doing now and possibly have a bed and breakfast place. However we also don't want to get another mortgage when this one is finished next year. We have to decide which is most important Teresa working less possibly just 3 days a week (I may need to do a bit more website work or teaching- especially after both children are at school). or more land. Not sure we can have both.

Anyway I've the first pictures of the infamous Bertha. She doesn't bolt for the door anymore but didn't like me holding her yesterday. Top chicken (Daisy) was doing a lot of bullying of Bertha yesterday and not allowing her outside in the run - need to keep an eye on the situation.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Weekly training Mon19-Sun 25May

Weekly Training
Swim3 sessions with fist gloves. Experimenting with my propulsive kick.(see comment above)3600metres
Bike2X1 hour indoor trainer rides. M2 style intervals. 3rd session 18.5min strength on trainer 36.97miles
Run3x2mile runs at 5am6miles

Weekly core Training
Swim cords2 sessions Building specific strength - 50 on each arm
Back2 sessions
Abs2 sessions 7 different exercises based on crunches and leg lifts
Weights1 sessions with dumbbells
Push ups2 sessions - some moving side to side, hindu pushups
Stretching5 sessions

Chicken story - Chapter 3 The Return

The continuing adventures of new-Bertha.
When we last left Bertha she was last seen hopping over the neighbours fence at 5.30pm Saturday afternoon never to be seen again. On Sunday we went to the farmers market, out for coffee, bought some hanging baskets for growing strawberries in and then home for lunch. I got on the turbo trainer for my hour, determined to get off if my legs didn't respond but they did but not as well as Thursday. When this happens I lower my target heart rate 5beats, I could reach my original target but at what cost, this is a mistake I have made in the past and the result is overtraining. I now realise it is tiredness so I ease back and it seems to be working.

Teresa and I were feeling sorry for ourselves and the chicken, the persistant rain didn't help. New Zealand east coast has great weather but sometimes we get a lot of rain it isn't known as the 'Land of the long white cloud' for nothing. After my bike I get wrapped up with the children, me to rake up leaves (it has therapeutic benefits) and the children to feed the chickens.

Today Monday I was asked by the deputy principal at Napier Central to take her class for the morning possibly the whole day. This was complicated by the fact Teresa car pools when ever she can with another teacher and she was relying on us because she had no car today. Cameron had to go to childcare and then we all had to go to school. On the return Emily had gone to a friends house after school, pick up Cameron and return the other teacher home ( her house is about 4miles out of way.

Late, tired and grumpy after a confrontation with a rude parent I got home to get dinner sorted, feed chickens and Teresa went for Cameron. As I went to feed the chickens one of our neighbours Paul was practically hopping up and down with excitement. He had seen the chicken at the back of his house, over a fence on a shed roof. He had got a couple of ladders and climbed over with a sack. He said that he had just picked up, he reckoned it must have been just very tired and dehydrated from its adventures. So he stuffed in the sack and waited 3 hours for us to come home. He wouldn't let me have it he wanted to wait for the children so he could see their faces.

So the escaped chicken is in the Henhouse Hilton with the girls fed watered and the asleep. I'm going to buy Paul a pack of his favourite to say thankyou.

All I could think about was that I would now not have to tell my friend Shelly about the loss of the chicken..not just yet anyway.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Chicken story - Chapter 2 The one that got away

Last Sunday at the Farmers market I was telling friends Bruce and Shelly ofhannaberryfarm boyensberry farm about our new chickens and the told us they had too many and we could have had some of theirs. (we paid NZ$17 each). We thought nothing more about until the death of Bertha on Wedneday night.

I know Shelly through masters swimming at Flaxmere and the triathlon club and frquently see her at training. When I saw her Friday (when I had a fantastic swim- I started doing 50m and because I now have a propulsive kick my tumble turns were fantastic -I haven't done any in 2 years of re-learning to swim) I told her what had happened to Bertha and she said come round tomorrow and get one of theirs so we did.

We took a beautiful black chicken home, Bruce offered to clip some wing feathers to stop it flying, we declined the offer. We arrived home with the new Bertha and went to put her straight into the Henhouse Hilton with Choc Choc, Ethel and Daisy (the girls). I was just closing the door and paused for the children to stroke the new chicken and it was off out the door running as fast as it legs could carry it.

Teresa and I tried to round it up but of course it was scared and the inevitable happened it flew over into the neighbours with me in hot pursuit. I came back over the fence and went round to the neighbours properly. I had never met this neighbour before because the back of their quarter acre garden borders the side of ours and there are 2 houses on the corner. The neighbour came with me and tried to trap the bird but it was off again and we couldn't find it. We called it quits and went in for lunch and then had to go out to buy clothes for the children. I failed to mention that it was chucking it down with rain the whole time.

After we got back from shopping and a coffee I was busy making pizza and Teresa went to feed the girls and saw new Bertha happily pecking away in the same neighbours garden. We gave chase Teresa to the neighbours and me to get the bird netting from the veg garden. In 30minutes that wouldn't have appeared out of place in old slapstick comedy, involving several gardens. neighbours and a big dog the chicken ended back up in our garden more by luck than anything else.

I can hear your collective sigh of relief and mutterings of alls well that ends well but the story hasn't finished there is more...

After all calming down I decided to leave the chicken to peck around get the feel of the place and chat to the girls (chickens). She (new Bertha) seemed perfectly happy and I thought even if she doesn't go into the Henhouse Hilton she will roost in the garden ready for tomorrow. Just as I was getting complacent (it is around roosting time -dusk) she starts walking around the to the front of the house, I head round the front of the house birdnetting hand to stop her getting away. But it was just a ruse to get rid of me, by the time I had got round the back Teresa and I could only stare in disbelieve as new Bertha calmy walks back to the neighbours fence and with much clucking hopped over the fence.

All I could say was that hopefully the big dog the neighbours will be in the garden tomorrow and will scare it back into the garden. Teresa got extremely upset and when we realised she had put cheese on my part of the pizza she lost it. It took the combined cuteness of the children and myself to make her feel better.

I don't know what I am going to say to you Shelly but I hope you understand why I thrust a piece of paper at you with address of my blog on it.

The inner battle

My frugal self and my triathlete self have been having a pitched inside my head. On the triathlon side I am desperate to return to olympic distance racing. But my frugal has been saying just one more year and the mortgage will be paid off, his argument is this the we would have to travel to the longer races, pay for petrol, accommodation, the race etc and on top of that the children are very little.

So the result is that my frugal self defeated triathlete self especially when frugal phil reminded triathlete Phil of the huge challenge of improving his swimming to the point that it outshines triathlete Phil's cycling and running and therefore become a much better triathlete that will be mortgage free and therefore able to afford going away to race.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Why the chicken died

Sounds like the opening line to a bad joke. The vet said it was probably a prolapsed something or other which means it had a tried to lay an egg that probably had a very soft or no shell. This would have made it almost impossible to lay and it tried so hard it expelled its reproductive organs - and that is exactly what it looked like.

Teresa told the children while I was at the vets, Emily had a little cry but thats okay. We told them that Bertha was dead had died no saying she had gone away or chicken heaven because that is not what happened and would only cause problems in the future and Emily is always asking about dying.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

How do you tell a child their pet has died?

Yesterday I found a few droplets of blood in the Henhouse Hilton and what looked like a poor attempt at laying an egg(without the shell). All the chickens seemed fine when I fed them at 2.30. At 5.30pm I went tohelp them perch and Bertha was just sitting very quietly on the nesting shelf, she didn't seem distressed, I picked her up and examined underneath and it looked like after birth stuff was sticking out. I phoned the vet and they said yes it could have been caused by a large egg but there were other reasons too. As I am teaching in Teresa's class today I made an appointment with the vet at 4.30 hoping it would be better by morning. We checked on it at 9.15 last night and I found it lying cold and stiff on the floor.

We are glad it isn't Daisy. I am still going to take her to the vet to try and find out what happened. Teresa and I are upset because they are pets and we enjoy having them around. We are going to tell the children that one of the chickens died and Daddy is going to try and find out why.

On a happier note Emily had her first ballet lesson although she already knows it all according to her. We have discovered little 5 and 6 yr olds seem to to think they're right all the time and know everything I thought that happened in the teenage years.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Feeling swamped

Just sometimes:light the fire, training, deadlines looming, fitting in teaching, Cameron to kindergarten, Emily wetting the bed and it's raining, do the washing, chop firewood, feed the chickens, training, clean the house, cook, Cameron to dentist, Emily starting ballet, training, bed.

This is real Tri

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Chicken visit to Kindergarten

Just come back from taking one of the chickens in to Cameron's kindergarten for the children to have a look at. It was supposed to be the one called choc choc but I can't tell the difference. It is surprising that although we live in a town that is a rural service centre lots of the children haven't seen a live one.

It reminds when I was teaching full time back in the UK one boy on a school camp at mealtime asked what was on his plate, indicating a chicken breast. He was told it was chicken, a whole chicken he asked. Then he commented that his chicken had a jacket on , it was of course the skin of the chicken. A lot of children these days are fed a lot of crap and of course nothing looks like anything :fish fingers, chicken nuggets (chickens don't have nuggets and fish no longer have fingers although who nows the bounty that genetic modification will bring), etc

Live, eat organically and simply

ITU and draft legal triathlon

I've been reading the blogs of the guys like Simon Whitfield and other world cup racers and watching the races over the internet and I've concluded I think they're really good.
I confess that when the ITU first went down the road of legalising drafting for the professional I like many others shrieked in horror at the capitulation to the sin of drafting. I think I and many others saw it as the death of non-drafting racing but they co-exist quite nicely. The athletes come in for a bit of stick but I am coming out of the closet and I say I enjoy the world cup races (as long as non-drafting races also exist). I will even say I admire the athletes and the intensity they race at, I especially admire their swim ability and for someone like myself who never really got the hang of swimming very envious and the triathlon is probably the only race I will watch during the Olympics. I am looking forward to the showdown between whitfield, Gomez and Docherty and there is always the darkhorse.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The economy and complaining

People are complaining about the ecomomy at the moment. Complaining about the price of food, petrol, etc, etc and yet they still eat expensive junk food, drive grat big fat cars, still consume beer and amazingly can still afford cigarettes. But I guess it is easy to blame the government and everybody else than take some personal responsibility and admit they financially illiterate, abuse food, cigarettes and alcohol.

I have always considered myself a socialist (I can almost hear you cringe)but socialism to me is about taking care of the weak or the needy like villagers or small communities still do, and about profit sharing. It has never been about giving handouts to lazy people who don't take any personal responsibility or contribute to society

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Children and chickens

Woodburner in action - it must be winter

Saturday, 17 May 2008

A great post from Tim Luchinske (Lucho)

Great post from Lucho on his blog. He put my thoughts on paper (computer screen)except for the donkey bit. I very rarely comment on other people's blogs but I did this time.

This is my comment:
"I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I have a term I use 'the ugly people' and really it is nothing to do with looks although people who are grossly obsese, drink and smoke to excess generally are, it is more a reference to the way they live there lives without regard for themselves, the planet or those around them. Ugly in spirit and attitude. I find myself increasingly wanting to barricade myself and my children away from the rest of the world. We have a quarter acre and I increasingly finding myself wishing for a ranch."

But for it to make more sense read
Lucho first. Just maybe we can start a movement or revolution.

Weekly training

This week has been spoilt a bit by Cameron having a couple of nights waking up. Last night he woke up 4times, it doesn't happen very often anymore and we are definitely not used to it.

Swimming on Monday was fantastic and I was on a high, position seemed really good therefore legs floated up which resulted in a really great propulsive kick. So Wednesday and Friday I tried to replicate it, I couldn't so although I didn't swim badly (think fist gloves) I'm after perfection. I tried to reconcile myself that the great swimmers like Ian Thorpe were also on the same search for perfection...although I think they were a bit closer than me.

Weekly Training for 12May-18 May 2008
Swim3 sessions with fist gloves. Experimenting with my propulsive kick.(see comment above)3600metres
Bike2X1 hour indoor trainer rides. M2 style intervals. 3rd session 15.5min strength on trainer 35.75miles
Run3x2mile runs at 5am6miles

Weekly core Training
Swim cordsBuilding specific strength - 50 on each arm
Back2 sessions
Abs7 different exercises based on crunches and leg lifts
Weights2 sessions with dumbbells
Push ups2 sessions - some moving side to side, hindu pushups and sliding side pushups.
Stretching5 sessions

Poor flexibility and Stretching

To continue on from last weeks post. I started to write about how important my stretching is. When my arthritis struck my whole body seemed to tighten up and as I started exploring options to try and 'cure' the arthritis I sort of discovered a long the way that it was only really affecting my hands and that with stretching I started to return to normal or it may be a coincidence and things got better as the arthritis started to settle down after a few years. In many ways it doesn't matter and although today I get flare ups mainly in my wrists I still stretch daily or at least 5 times a week.(positives always come out of negatives)

I could never touch my toes with straight legs I could barely get past my shins now I can get my hands on the floor with my arms bent. When I started sitting on the floor with one leg straight out in front and the other leg bent flat on the ground I had to use a strap to get myself forward I can now comfortably hold onto my heel with both hands. And recently achieved the swimmers stretch where you bend one arm down behind your back and the other arm you bend it up behind your back and then grasp hands. I even had trouble sitting cross legged on the floor.

I have been doing regular stretching now for 10 years and I am the most flexible I 've ever been (except for when I was a child). I would really like to take up yoga.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Monday, 12 May 2008

Weekly training

Weekly Training for 5May-12 May 2008
Swim3 sessions with fist gloves. Experimenting with my propulsive kick.3600metres
Bike2X1 hour indoor trainer rides. M2 style intervals. 3rd session 12min strength on trainer 35.2miles
Run3 runs at 5am6miles

Weekly core Training for 5May-12 May 2008
Swim cordsBuilding specific strength - 50 on each arm<
Back2 sessions
Abs7 different exercise based on crunches and leg lifts
Weights2 sessions with dumbbells
Push ups2 sessions - some moving side to side, hindu pushups and sliding side pushups.
Stretching5 sessions

The stretching is the most important. Started when I was crippled with arthritis and the fear of it coming back makes it my religion. When it happened my flexibilty was appalling. More next post...

Caught out by cheap software

As the title says I was caught out by buying cheap software. It was an online reseller. It was so much cheaper than the buying the same software from the official supplier I ha suscpision (spelling??) right from the start but the bargain hunter in me won. It was a lesson learned that cost me about $200US. It was fulll of bugs didn't install correctly wouldn't uninstall so I could install a full cost version.

I am annoyed with myself because I hate wasting money- I had the money saved for the upgrade of the software (it is for business), I had to get a technician out who couldn't solve the problem of the uninstall and wanted to take the computer in for a couple of days (I have some deadlines looming).

However after the tech went away without the computer (this all happened Friday)I was going to drop it in next Tuesday but I was prompted by something he said. I went onlione and found some uninstall software (free version) and that did the job. I installed the new software, worked out how to mySQL databases server running again (for testing my work) and I was away.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Weekly training

Weekly Training for 28April-4 May 2008
Swim3 sessions with fist gloves. Starting to spend most of the time in the 'ZONE'. The 'ZONE' is fantastic effortless swimming,3600metres
Bike2X1 hour indoor trainer rides. M2 style intervals. Started 3rd session 6min strength on trainer 34.11miles
Run3 runs at 5am6miles

In addition to these I do a lot of core work and stretch cords to supplement my swimming with the fist gloves. More detailed break down coming soon.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Number 100 and yet more pooh

It is my hundreth post. I don't want a party or anything special just send money.

One thing I won't miss as Cameron gets older cleaning up pooh. Now to be honest he doesn't do too badly but he is having a bad patch we think he doesn't like the cold toilet seat. (Harden up! Boy!!) I had sent him to his room for wetting himself instead of telling us he needed the toilet, I didn't check for pooh. I went to let him out of his room and there he is sitting with poohey (spelling ???) thunderpants smeared all over the floor.

No I won't miss the last of the pooh. And all Teresa could say was 'aah! he still just a baby'.

They have arrived

We went to get the chickens this morning. I had to spend time at dusk teaching them how to perch so they could roost, they are young birds and have never been out of a cage before. They won't start look laying for a few weeks yet.