For the July school holidays, Sam headed out to the Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra (NRYO)…
Its a 3 day intensive of music from 8.30am to 5 pm.
Sam had been put into the Senior orchestra.
We printed out the music and it was daunting…
Sam was literally fearful to even attempt playing the songs before heading out…
Yet, still, he showed up.
At the end of day 1, he was tired to the point of exhaustion.
At the end of day 2, he was actually physically sick.
This may have been a virus or possibly just due to the amount of concentration that he was required to put in to keep up.
Most of the other musicians who attend are GOOD.
For Sam, saxophone usually falls third behind soccer and Fortnite…
So it was a significant challenge for him.
We showed up last night and at the end of the third day, there is a concert.
The concert was great!
It was clear that in 3 days the bands had gone from never having played together to put on a display of excellent music.
On Saturday we headed out to Mt Barney for a family camping trip.
We had been on the Gold Coast and had lunch at “Bam Bam Bakehouse”.
The Bakehouse had awesome food…
It was a lot like eating at Masterchef and Matt Preston had recently been there to pick up “ a couple of his favorite pastries”, at least according to the menu.
We left the beaches and highrises and headed west.
As we arrived at the campsite, the transition from the Gold Coast could hardly have been more stark.
The campsite was basic and Mt Barney stood imposingly in the background.
It was dry.
We settled in, chose our campsite and put up our tent.
This was the second time we had put it up and it was smoother, faster and better than the first time.
Also, actually putting it up while it was still daylight definitely helped too!!
Nonetheless, the lack of marital bickering from start to finish suggested the design of the tent was pretty good.
Unfortunately, while the tent was up...
And I found… my razor… BLUNT.
So blunt it was actually HURT to shave.
Now, this was peculiar… as my wife’s razor was right there…
And the only other time I had experienced the blunt razor phenomenon was when my wife had used my razor on her legs…
But her razor was right there.
I don’t know what it is about the leg hair.
I figure it must be like ironbark.
One leg shave and the blade is cactus.
But… I had no proof it was her.
After all… her razor was literally right there!
So even though I was pissed about it, I was confronted by three options.
Much as part of me was tempted by option 3, and option 2 was probably the most required…
I chose option 1.
“You pussy” you might think…
You should have confronted her.
But here’s the...
I have been watching my son Sam play soccer at the “Premier International”…
Its a big soccer competition with good teams.
Sam plays for the Liverpool Academy which operates out of Southern Cross University in Lismore.
I did not play soccer when I grew up.
I played Rugby Union.
It was a lot of fun but the downside is that my understanding of the subtleties of soccer is limited.
So, as I watch Sam, I notice that he appears to be jogging around most of the time.
And I realize—I just don’t know if he is staying in position or if he is not putting in 100%…
Now, this is important as I would like to know!
I would like to be able to tell between the two.
If he is staying in position, I can congratulate him on his play.
If he is underperforming then we can discuss what’s going on for him and what it would take to lift his level of performance…
In this situation, I see how my lack of knowledge about the game, makes it hard to judge what is...
Sam is playing the “Premier International”…
Its a three-day soccer festival on the Gold Coast.
While we are up on the Goldie, we are staying at the Mercure, the old Palm Meadows resort…
Its a typical Gold Coast hotel, nice rooms, TV, the usual.
I made sure we upgraded to queens sized beds—they are critical to actually get any sleep with 3 kids.
Now, the kids had quickly spied the spa and as 8 pm rolled around, the call went out from Sam to hit the spa.
I was excited too.
My legs have been aching from too much personal training…
And a spa was just what the doctor ordered… so to speak…
We headed down.
The spa was lukewarm.
Even with the jets on, there was no palpable increase in heat.
In a word… the spa sucked.
Now, this is by no means the first time, and it will not be the last, where my mental expectation of the experience and the actual experience itself are vastly different.
Sometimes it goes the other way and...
Yesterday I was practicing a Qi Gong form called Dai Mai Qi Gong.
It is a form that is working on the Dai Mai meridian… One of the “extraordinary” meridians of Chinese Medicine.
It runs around the abdominal region.
The Qi Gong form to work the Dail Mai has 7 movements…
One is called “Plucking a Star to Illuminate the Third Eye”.
Another is “Turning the Wheel of Tai Chi”.
As the Dai Mai is activated through points on the gallbladder meridian, the movements stretch that meridian as well as activating the Dai Mai.
What was interesting about yesterday practice, was the focus I had on the breaths BETWEEN the movements.
The form calls for three slow breaths between each movement…
In, out, in, out, in, out…
Usually, I rush through these.
I’m keen to get to the next movement…
Yesterday, the breaths were long and slow.
There was no rush.
It was not as if I was trying to slow them down or focus on them…
I am day 2 of building the habit of tracking my food intake.
I have tried before and failed.
This time is a little different.
Well… I’m putting cash down.
My personal training pitched her program to me 3 months ago…
Its called “Metabolic Precision” and costs $750.
3 months ago I said no.
I was interested but it did not make sense at that time.
After all, I was training 3x per week and doing at minimum 10 minutes of mixed body training or 20 minutes yoga on the other days.
It should have worked.
And it did.
To a degree…
I lost 2cm off my waist measurement.
I went nowhere in my weight loss…
Apparently, this is common as even though I presumably lost fat, I gained muscle and so my weight went didn’t change.
So three months later though, I am interested in the diet course.
1. I still have a gut.
Sure, its 2cm less than 3 months ago, but it is there.
2. The weight loss conversation is a common one in GP.
Even in Mullumbimby,...
As I put my middle son Hamish to bed last night, he rolled away from me.
“What’s going on buddy?” I said.
“I didn’t get to spend any time with you today”.
He was not a happy camper.
He didn’t want to talk.
I said to him, “Ok, buddy, look… when I get home tomorrow after work, let’s hang out.”
I arrived home and literally had the appointment in my calendar flash up…
“Hangout with Hamish 6–8 pm.”
I come home.
I go down on my knees to give him a hug…
And he says…
Can I have your phone?”
I lost this round.
Phone 1. Dad 0.
And this is not an unusual battle for my house and I keep losing.
The weird thing is that Hamish will most likely still feel like he didn’t have enough time with me…
Even though he was the one who chose the phone over hanging out…
What’s worse for me, is that both my boys love playing...
It has now been raining for many weeks in the Byron Shire.
As in, it seems like it has been raining FOREVER…
It’s a funny thing to live here…
It takes 3 or 4 months for people to start complaining about too much sun…
Yet after even 3 or 4 DAYS, it is enough for people to start complaining about the rain.
“When is it going to stop raining?”
“No wonder it is called the Northern Rivers, it never stops raining…”
The amount of rain does make distinct problems around my house.
The grass is sodden.
I can’t mow because the mower will tear the grass to shreds with its wheels…
And the whole thing gets covered in mud.
This leads to longer grass and it takes even longer for the ground to dry out.
Water is pooling in lots of places.
What is most interesting is that after all of this rain… it is very clear where my property can and cannot handle the amount of water we are experiencing.
We did not consider drainage very...
Yesterday Emma had to help out covering another family whose turn it was to drive to Lismore.
Em wanted them to drive the 10 minutes between our house and theirs and come and pick their child up.
The other family said, “it’s just another 10 minutes, can’t you do it?”
Except for it is a round trip 90 minutes to Lismore already, and while it might be 10 minutes to them but it's another 10 back to a total driving time of 110 minutes for her.
The family wrote back that they would have to interrupt their dinner to come and pick up their child.
At this point, Em lost it and said we are out of the carpool.
Not only did they fail to take their Friday to drive to Lismore, but then complaining that their dinner was being interrupted to come and pick up their own child was too much.
I agreed 100%.
We decided it was critical to cut ties and run.
It might mean we are now driving 3 times a week to Lismore, but that is little cost compared to being around such toxic values....