flooding with love for the kid

(Title stolen from an excellent film)

This morning I woke up and asked Siri what the weather was like. “It’s wet out there”, she told me, and then showed me a miserable hourly forecast of rain, rain and more rain.

I huddled further under my blankets and double duvets and thought about writing off my morning bike ride plans as “Oh well, the weather.” Then I thought about how disappointed I am in myself when I spend the whole morning in bed, and I thought about how much I love wearing my lululemon running tights, and I got up and layered on a lululemon yoga top, Icebreaker hoodie, and my rain jacket. I felt like a pro. Then I remembered the misery of my sinuses on the last ride — the cold wind gets in through my nose and ears and gives me blinding headaches. So I pulled on my biker-neck-scarf-headband thinger, tucked my hair in, and plonked my helmet on, and suddenly looked far less pro.

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Anyway, enough complaining — time to brave the elements. I went out to get Gary from the shed and suddenly, the rain stopped. And hasn’t started again since. Which I am very happy about. However, within minutes of heading out (I’m afraid I’m not very imaginative about my bike rides at the moment, it’s all Capital City Trail until my legs are stronger), I realised the rain was still going to do its best to thwart me.

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It rained like CRAZY last night. There was a huge storm, and I was loving it, as I was tucked up in bed warm and cosy, listening to the thunder and emailing back and forth with my ginger ninja in Afghanistan. But this morning, I realised all that rain had to go somewhere… and that somewhere was the Yarra. Big, brown, raging!

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So many sections of the East of the trail between Merri Creek and Toorak were under water. Each time I had to find my way back to the road and then hope I would eventually hit the trail again… which I did.

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These two ducks were whirling around and being swept away down the river. I was a tiny bit worried for them, but I turned and saw them come out the other side of the bridge and they looked supremely happy. Just some white water rafting for ducks!
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Kayaks! you can’t tell from a static picture but they were being thrown around just like the ducks — and enjoying it just as much too.
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At Collingwood Children’s Farm, I spotted a peacock roosting up on top of a shed, with a smart red tractor in front of him. There were actually a few other peahens roosting on roofs — I can’t visualise how they get up there as I’ve never seen a peacock fly, but they must have.
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Just near this part of the trail, I unintentionally interrupted a lady who had dropped her dog’s leash and was embracing a tree, shushing it. I suppose she was concerned for the tree’s well-being after last night’s storm… I wondered if the other trees were traumatised watching one of their own floating down the river.
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Hello Skipping Girl.
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More “Thou shalt not pass”
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A glimpse of bright blue sky in the Docklands!
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Rosie and Gary, kind of muddy.
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The Yarra was so much crazier up along the Yarra Bends of course, but there were always ways to work around it. However the section between Docklands and Kensington — which I had some premonition wouldn’t necessarily be easy to navigate — did have several flooded sections, and the worst one didn’t have an overpass. So… I wiggled my toasty warm toes in my nice dry running shoes… took a deep breath, and began to navigate my way through the dark water, hoping that the reeds and rubbish swirling around me wouldn’t upset Gary. I was using that sneaky technique where you half peddle forwards and then back-peddle to keep your toes out of the water, but… we hit a tree branch and I had no choice but to get my feet wet. And my ankles and calves. Whilst it was a bit off-putting to wade through the dark, rush-filled water, it wasn’t so bad.

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Plus I don’t mind having soaking wet running shoes, thanks to my all-too-brief months running the China Hash in Taiwan. I actually kind of enjoyed it… it reminded me of scrambling through rivers and over slippery boulders trying to keep up with the other runners… I digress, but I was still grateful for the slightly more adventurous streak I developed in Taiwan.

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Especially as everyone I met along the way ended up turning back rather than wade through the water. Weaklings! That’s me, tougher than the average woman :p

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It ended up being nearly 34km, and because of all the flooding and the stops and starts, it took so long! I have friends who could run that faster than I cycled it. But I feel good!

Aprés l’effort, le réconfort! Brunch on the couch.
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And now I’m studying in the library as planned snuggling in bed before I go to see The Great Gatsby with Nom. I have no desire to see this film, but I am somewhat encouraged by this review by Siobhan, who despite sharing my strong dislike of the book, found the film bearable, if not exactly riveting. I will report back!


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