The Day Before Winter

The day before winter. Cold start, but blue skies. Perfect walking weather. Vanessa and I set off not far south of Adelaide for the Marion Coastal Walk.

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The coastal walk is essentially Mount Lofty by the sea, a challenging ~10km return walk. But with more places to park, and a few less groups of dri-fit clothing models in the way. The trail goes up and down some serious sets of stairs. Unlike Lofty, there's no split between up and down, so your heart will be challenged all the way out and back.

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We started our walk from Seacliff (in fact, we started it from the top of the infamous Seacliff Zig Zag Path, meaning one more slope to conquer on the way back). The walk goes through Hallet Cove Conservation Park where there is an amazing boardwalk circuit taking in the geological sights of past glaciers. Beyond that is Hallet Cove beach which has some new facilities including a public toilet that plays classical music while you lighten your load for the return trip.

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The Marion Coastal Walk is an awesome alternative to Mount Lofty Summit hike, beautiful on a clear day at this time of year, with views out into the gulf.

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The last day before winter was also Vanessa's birthday, and there were dog balloons.


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Dance Nation 2002, in retrospect

I was recently feeling some nostalgia for old EDM classics, and I spotted on my shelf these things I once used all the time, CDs.
Among the lot was Ministry of Sound (Australia's) Dance Nation 2002. I ripped it, and have been listening to it over the past week.
It's brought out some feelings.

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2002 was a simpler time. Dance music had shed the cheese of the nineties, bringing house influences into the mainstream. People still had the attention span to enjoy a solid 4/4 song for five minutes without a dubstep drop halfway, or needing to check their phone. Social media didn't even exist, and all the perceived injustices of the world were just that. Perceived.
The world definitely wasn't a better place, but it was more palatable.

Over two discs, continually mixed, Ministry of Sound's Dance Nation 2002 perfectly captured that time. Every track, okay, about half these tracks, take me on their high-fidelity nostalgia roller coaster right back to 2002.
I wish I had the words to more eloquently describe just how bold those bass hits sounded for the time, the free-feeling in those reaching synths, the swagger in those funk and old soul samples mixed with progressive house rhythms. All at non-stop 140bpm.

Then I opened up the CD booklet and found the picture that summarised everything about 2002 EDM I wanted to try and say.

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She'llbeRight

I'm concerned that She'llbeRight has become a verb. In Australia, all across the planet, things seem to be getting worse. Whether it's geopolitical tensions, economics, climate, corruption of political systems, the ugly side of capitalism. At a micro level, we're too bogged down in personal lives, family finances, and social status to really challenge the systems that seem to be working, by virtue of "they're complicated", and not apparently one-hundred percent on fire. So we She'llbeRight at home, we She'llbeRight at work, in the car, at the doctors. She'llbeRighting through the days, weeks, election terms.

How much longer can it last? I'm all for taking a quick glance at a weather radar, and pretending I'm a shaman for not getting rained on, but at some point I have to take some responsibility. Life owes us nothing. If we don't take action now... Nah, She'llbeRight.

Bummer

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Bloody winter, there's a lot to remember to pack when you're going to the football after work. Extra layers, woolen socks, poncho, mittens, water, snacks. I was 90% of my way to the train station yesterday morning when I realised I'd left my seat padding behind, and I was bummed.

I've been pretty bummed for nearly three years now, due to the constant pain in the spot inches from my taint, where my hamstring objects to being connected to my pelvis. Every kind of treatment, drug and therapy makes no difference. If I want to sit, e.g. for a football match, on a football stadium cheap seat, I need my padding.

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Lunchtime, before the game, I went to Kmart. That's where my original butt cushion, a small exercise mat, came from. They were all out.
I was considering purchasing a full body exercise mat when I spotted actual cushions, being sold at typical Kmart prices that make me believe global equality and my quality of life are mutually exclusive. I found a stray cushion, not to thin, soft but firm. I had little choice, I'd pay the few dollars for potentially a single use pillow. When I got to the checkout I discovered it was on clearance, and only 50 cents! When she told me the price I thought she was talking about the shopping bag!

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Several beers and a few quarters of football later, I was telling everyone about this bargain (including you, dear reader) because this cushion did an incredible job of helping my tendon avoid being sandwiched between hard plastic and my skeleton. I thought, imagine the delicious irony if this was a magical cushion that might completely cure my fear of chairs. Thousands spent on doctors, injections and medication wasted compared to one 50 cent pillow.

After today, I can sadly confirm that it is not a magic pillow. What a pain in the arse. At least I can keep using it for the football, and it kept my cheeks warm.


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Diamonds and Guns

Yeah, I carry a butt-pillow with me most places. I never know how to correctly answer the question, “How's it going?” I wear sunglasses on cloudy days. I prefer to stand on the train. I rock New Balance 624s on the regular because they fit my orthotics. I duck through every doorway on instinct. Life's too short. Anytime my ego starts to wither, I remember, according to my shampoo I'm

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Four Days Later

In 2018, the Australian Rockmelon Industry missed their golden opportunity to join the rest of the world and re-brand as Cantaloupe.

Anyway,

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High Noon, The Shortest Sunday of the Year

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Managing Somehow

I was disappointed this morning when my new norm of back to back meetings meant I didn't have a free half hour to mix cereal, fruit and yogurt together and eat it. Repetition, a sensitive tooth, weather so cold that my yogurt warms up after I take it out of the fridge, have not swayed my affections for this pre-lunch ritual.

This afternoon, after I spotted my yogurt tub in the kitchenette fridge, I went to my calendar to see if there would be time Thursday to fit in second breakfast. To my despair every thirty minute block had been allocated to some need or another. Then I noticed one appointment, at 10:30, simply titled “busy”. It had no location or other attendees, and I remembered that last week when I saw my calendar filling up for the morning that I booked out half an hour just in case I wanted to eat cereal and yogurt.