It is all about Friends

Just under two weeks ago I got on a plane to Europe to attend the International Sailing Summit and METS. For this reason I have a couple of blogs to write as too much happened to squeeze it all into one!

To get over the jet lag I was lucky enough to spend a few days with some friends of mine Marlene and Marty. I am lucky to have such good friends on the other side of the world.

When I arrived in Frankfurt I was greeted by Marlene and their eldest Thom who had recently been to Australia with Marty. I am pretty sure Thom just wanted to be there to see what goodies I had brought with me hahahaha! When he was in Australia and heard I was coming to Europe for work in November he asked me to make sure I was there in time for his 7th birthday! Now that was an experience! A 7th birthday in Germany was great fun even if I could not understand what the boys were saying I could certainly see the fun they were having.

I found myself helping some of the boys with their crafts, it didn’t matter that I could not speak to Thom’s friends who didn’t speak English. It is something I would like to do but find it hard, learn another language. I have done a course but without people to speak to on a regular basis it is tough. I certainly pick up a few words each time I visit.

The first day I got there I had no time to think about jet lag. I had time for a shower to wake up in the mid afternoon to head to a Lantern lighting ceremony! It is a tradition to celebrate St Martin’s Day. There is no better way to get over jet lag than to walk the streets with the local children and their parents singing songs in the cold night air. My friends youngest two Jake and Emilia are in Kindergarten so were taking part in all the activities! I was so impressed with the locals on the route who set up candles in their windows or came outside to join in.

My time in Frankfurt was all about spending time with friends. Dinners, birthdays and celebrations. With a family dinner to celebrate Thom’s Birthday with his extended family, his birthday party with his friends and more happening it was a great few days! If only I got to see them all more often! The three kids are growing up so fast.

It is also interesting to see the difference in German schooling to Australia. Earlier starts and shorter days but they seem to be more education focused in the earlier years hence the shorter days. Fairly different to Australia. Each morning the local kids would walk past and Thom would be waiting outside ready to join his friends on the walk to school! Another big difference to where I grew up.

Marlene did spoil me with the food and one lunch was very special. She knows I have a love for cheese and it is pretty good stuff in Europe. Some flavoured Brie type cheese heated in the oven to dip fresh vegies in! YUM!

It is nice to be able to visit my friends every couple of years due to work.  I am very lucky to be able to stay with them and have time catching up.  It wasn’t for long and heading to Amsterdam I knew I had a massive few days ahead.  Thanks to Marty, Marlene and their family for the hospitality and catch up!  Next up will be the International Sailing Summit in Amsterdam.

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Fitness and an Expo

My training partner Cate and I in the rain making it count.
My training partner Cate and I in the rain making it count.

Well if I haven’t been working I have been working out!  That is the story of the last month! Lots of gym time doing Aqua and Pilates Reformer which has seen a massive improvement in my core.  Then throw in walking Long Reef once or twice a week with my training partners too! I am absolutely loving it and just have to be careful not to over do it as I just want to do more.  The last three days have been big ones including supporting a friend of mine doing the Pub to Pub which I want to do next year.  Just one of the many fitness goals I have now that I am getting the Hyper Mobility under control.

The Sydney Sailboat Expo has also taken up a great deal of my time as you can imagine.  It is such an exciting journey and I can’t wait to put it all together to celebrate the sport of Sailing.  Between the Expo and DeckHardware there is no such thing as a day off at the moment but I am finding time for plenty of workouts to make sure I am at my best for everything I am doing.  It is a challenge but I am enjoying it and lucky that I am able to work the flexible times to try to fit it all in.  With the visits to the Physio and Massage also needed to keep me going thanks to my extra special joints.

Summer is just around the corner and the Calendar is filling up fast between all the events I want to do as an Umpire and events that DeckHardware will be supporting.  I can’t wait to get out on the water again.  Having winter off to get all the joints under control has worked wonders and I am really starting to notice a big difference in my overall fitness and health.  I can’t wait for summer and might just have to get out for a sail too!

 

 

My kitten who is 10 months old helping me work on the weekend.
My kitten who is 10 months old helping me work on the weekend.

 

This makes the hard work of getting to the top all worth it.
This makes the hard work of getting to the top all worth it.

A fascinating sky

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I was umpiring at the NSW Teams Racing Champs. But this isn’t about the racing. As there wasn’t much breeze I spent a long time looking up at the sky trying to predict the breeze. As well as trying to work out when the wet weather gear needed to be on or off. While doing this I realised just how much I love watching clouds. Yes we got wet as it rained on us in no breeze. To make up for the no wind and getting rained on the sky put on a show for us to keep us entertained during the multiple postponements. I still hate as a sailor drizzling rain and no breeze. I much prefer rain and breeze!

Clouds at different levels crossing over as some go North and some South. The varying colours and types are truly fascinating.  I still don’t fully understand what they all mean but after laying back in the rib I realised I just enjoy watching the way they move and could do it for hours.

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Getting into this umpire stuff

On Saturday I headed over to the CYCA for the Navionics Match Racing Regatta as an umpire.   Or should I say rookie umpire.  I am not sure when I turn into an actual umpire just yet?  Learning as I go…  Maybe when I buy my whistle this week?

Talk about terrible conditions to try and learn!   So much rain it is hard to see and breeze shifting like nothing else plus holes so big appearing out of no where!   Not the best conditions for competitors or officials…  It was great though to learn a little more and witness close hand some match racing.  I think I have a lot more reading to do before I attend the next one though!   Any tips????

One of the best things about heading to the CYCA was catching up with an old friend Nicky Souter who was even colder than I was.  Someone forgot it wasn’t summer in Aus…   Or maybe she was hopeful?  Any way I donated my booties to her as I knew she would freeze in just thongs even with wet weather pants.   It is one thing being on a boat hard at work sailing.  It is something else all together sitting around watching others sail!  You get so cold so fast not working a mainsheet or kite sheet or helm.

Driving home in clothes that were soaking wet from the walk to my car with Nicky was just a little crazy…   It took a few hours, a hot shower, a couple of glasses of Red wine and a hot dinner to come good.   I did have to laugh when Nicky asked if I minded her getting in my car when she was so wet!  I just said “look at me”!  Two drowned rats…   I don’t think we have ever sailed together when it wasn’t a nice day!   Maybe that tells us we are better off sailing than umpiring haha.

There is a little story on the CYCA website.

Seriously though any tips or websites to check out to learn more would be greatly appreciated.   I  might watch some youtube videos of match racing too!  I only ever did a little at the CYCA on their Friday afternoon training sessions.   Years ago so it is all a memory…

How important is coffee to your day?

I have a coffee machine at the warehouse and one at home and I know I am pretty lucky.  They are the same machine so that I can make the coffee with my eyes closed.

The weather in Sydney lately has been pretty predictable.   It will rain at some point each day without fail.  In fact the storms coming through each day have almost been like clock work.  So this morning I had to feel sorry for someone who clearly was so desperate for Coffee he had gone across to the mall and not taken an Umbrella.   That was a big mistake as it is not under cover at any point and crossing a pretty busy road as well.   Needless to say the rain came through pretty heavy, so much so that there was minor flooding on the roads around the mall.

I just hope his coffee warms him up…

Over the weekend I drove back from Gosford in very heavy rain on Saturday afternoon and Sunday we were packing up after sailing in the rain.   Sunday was a beautiful morning but even still I took out my wet weather jacket on the RIB just in case.  I thought myself crazy but it was needed after all.

You would think we are getting use to it but then again this is meant to be summer in Sydney Australia.