Can’t sleep

I suffered from terrible insomnia in high school which got way better at University and pretty much disappeared once I had children. Tonight though I just can’t get to sleep so I’ll most likely ramble a lot.

I just can’t get over what incredible weather we are having. Usually Feb, March, April and even May and June are pretty good in PE, then we get a little bit of winter (with lots of nice days in between) and in September or October the wind starts. This year the wind started later (winter lingered) but boy did the wind howl. Then all of a sudden it was like someone flicked a switch on 15 December and it’s been pretty darn incredible since then. We’ve had 3 lots of out-of-town visitors and they have all been blown away (ha ha) by how gorgeous it’s been. Mid-twenties or a bit higher, so not too hot with a gentle breeze and often completely windless early morning and evening and the best of all has been the warm sea water. It’s so warm you don’t even catch your breath going in. Our pool is 34 degrees which is ridiculously warm and we should probably turn the heating off but it’s just so glorious, especially for night-time and early morning swims that we haven’t. So, that’s what we’re used to at home now and yet the sea is so warm it doesn’t feel cold. Zoe is absolutely loving swimming in the sea and she’s getting really good at it. She can boogie-board (with a little push to help her catch the wave) but then with the actual  swimming in the waves she has started to dive under the big ones and jump to get over the smaller ones and is happy to swim in the surf. She is only 4 years old. I am astonished. This evening Chris went for a proper swim in the sea in his brand new R2000(!!) Iron Man wetsuit and we went along.

I should quickly add, PE is Iron Man country and if you’re not doing it yourself, with each year that you live here you will know increasing numbers of people who are doing it and you will eventually do it, except me of course I’m adamant that I won’t be sucked in. Anyway, starting in about December every Friday afternoon from about 4pm everyone goes for a training swim in the sea. They are like ants all with their wetsuits on but it is rather festive particularly on a gorgeous day like today. They swim anything from 600m-2,4km or even further (the swim is 3,8km in Iron Man). Because this is PE, no one is working on a Friday afternoon anyway and although there are organised sea swimming races on Sundays this is just a very casual but extremely popular occurrence.

We have been doing lots of swimming in the sea this holiday. What we tend to do is go to the beach early, 8.30amish and stay for a few hours and then go again at about 4.30/5pm for more swimming. The amazing thing about Zoe is that I spent a month here when she was almost a year old and Chris was studying for his final exams. At first she refused to put her feet on the sand and the only way to get her to play in the sand was for her to be sitting on a towel. Eventually by the end of the month (and almost daily trips to the beach – it was Feb) she started to like the sand and the rock pools,etc a bit. I never would’ve believed you if you’d told me she’d be diving under the waves and lying in the sand making sand angels or burying herself a mere 4 years later.

We got back from the beach just before 6 this evening and I went for a run (because the Iron Manner is cycling tomorrow morning) and couldn’t get over the number of people still swimming in the sea when I was getting back about 7pm. There is also such a lovely atmosphere at the beach. We usually go swimming at the beach just down the road from us (Pollock Beach) and every evening you meet the same families/people down there when it’s not holiday time, although we’ve been most evenings this week and it’s been a case of all the usual suspects with lots of extras. We usually take the dogs with to Pollock and they have just as much fun. The sea swims happen at Hobie Beach which is usually much busier (no dogs) and Zoe prefers boogie boarding there – the waves are a little less dumpy- and so that’s where we went this evening (for Chris to swim). We knew a few of the wetsuit swimmers but the rest of the people on the beach were all just such a good mixture and everyone was having loads of fun. It had been a gorgeous day and the beach was packed all day and yet there wasn’t even much litter around.

I know I’m going on and on but I need to because of what our visitors had to say. It’s so easy to get caught up in one’s busy life and dwell on the negative. We need to remember every day how blessed and lucky we are and it would be criminal to waste these perfect days because all too soon Chris will be back at work and the girls will be at school and we won’t be able to walk down for a play in the morning. Hopefully we can still do lots of evening swimming this summer but Chris won’t always be able to join us and how blessed we are again to live in a place where I can walk down to the beach on my own with the girls and have a swim and build a few castles and know without a doubt that we’ll bump into friends and people we know all doing the same thing – walking, cycling, swimming and playing.

And now for something completely different…

I’ve been watching Fat Doctor on Channel 125 I think. It is shocking. Chris is rather sympathetic to these people. Some do seem to try while others don’t at all and I just want to slap them. These people are so fat that most don’t work and they need other people to do absolutely everything for them. There was this guy last night of 30 who had a 23-year-old wife and 3(!!) young children. I’m still not sure how he got her pregnant in the first place and he was so fat she had to wash him and wipe his bum (and bring him all his food of course). They showed her grocery shopping. He sometimes ate 24 small packets of chips A DAY and then tries to tell us he can’t help being so fat and he just keeps putting on more and more weight, well no s#$t sherlock. He cannot even stand up for longer than a minute. I could go on and on. Some of their BMI’s are 60/70. Mine was 23 when I was 9 months pregnant. I also look longingly at the buy 5 get 1 free doughnuts that tempt me in the aisle at Woolies but I don’t buy them (often). We ran 30km yesterday morning and my very clever watch tells me how far we ran exactly, how fast and how many calories I burned (1800 I think), so that probably entitles me to eat a packet of chips (which I did) but only 1 not 24.

Something is wrong in the UK if you can sit at home, because you are too fat to work, have 3 children and a wife at home but then somehow still afford to buy hundreds of packets of chips a week and drink coke all day long. I know our tax money gets wasted disgracefully and I try not to think about it, but that also seems wrong, surely rather give food coupons and make it healthy food. Yes, I know that healthy food is expensive but surely one can think of something. Okay, getting back to the program.

The people all then have gastric bypass surgery and lose loads of weight and feel great and start exercising and the 30-year-old with the 23-year-old wife even started bringing his wife tea in bed and could wash himself and wipe his bum, so really great except the one poor chap died and that was pretty heartbreaking. Chris and the doctor who does the surgery both argue that it’s a lot of factors at play in these people’s lives which results in them getting so obese that they get to the point that they will never be able to lose the weight as they are too big to exercise (and will die pretty soon) but I still DO NOT understand it at all. I do not have an addictive personality (although I do start to get a bit edgy if I don’t run for a few days) and have pretty strong willpower and motivation so I really can’t get my head around it all. It’s quite entertaining though and it does make me want to send some of them to Chile and put them in a mine shaft for a few weeks. The chap this evening was too embarrassed to eat in public so goes to the KFC drive-in and ordered a zinger meal, a rounder meal, a side order of onions and then tried to get an ice-cream but they didn’t have. He told the doctor quite proudly that he ate quite healthily as he had lots of fish and chips!! You all know how healthy English fish and chips are. We once got it and I got halfway through and was nauseous the rest of the day. I do have to admit that tonight for supper we had pork sausages and chips and I didn’t even have any of the sweetcorn Chris made to go with. Naughty, naughty. I felt so bad I just went and ate a bunch of grapes!

Better go to bed as the big cyclist is meeting a friend at 5.15am to go cycling. This friend has been training for the Half Iron Man for a good few months now and Chris was rather distraught when he heard this evening that he ran 15km this morning, swam 2,4km in the sea and will be cycling for 4 hours (so over 100km) tomorrow morning. He had a tummy bug last week and he’s Chris’s height (1,76m) and told Chris he weighs 66kg (after the bug and with all the training). That’s a BMI of  21 and he’s from the UK!!



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