Dec 31, 2010

Summer by the Pool

Aahh, summer by the pool. No expense spared here!
I learned this summer you cannot use a bicycle pump to short-cut blowing up a big wading pool - it has to be done the old-fashioned way. One hour and numerous dizzy spells later, the kids had their pool:

Dec 23, 2010

Get over yourself Mum

My five-year-old called me out on high-mindedness last night.

We had a lovely night last night with some friends visiting, so we could catch up before Christmas and exchange gifts for each others' kids. After they left my girls were unwrapping the birthday gifts their godmother had given them, and I was using the large kitchen scissors to free the Barbies from the tiny, transparent but industrial strength plastic ropes that bound them in ten places to their cardboard containers.

As M stepped near me to get a closer look I said "Be careful of my scissors!" in that authoritarian voice mums use when we're running the show and sending a warning.

M was not having it. "No Mum, it's not me that has to be careful, it's you, because you're the one waving them around."

And she was right, of course.

Dec 16, 2010

We are family....

...though the number of family members is clearly a matter of opinion...

This one is by A.
It looks somewhat like one of those fake children's paintings you see in movies where you know that someone in the studio has really done it - but this is a real one, honest.
Apart from the colour that is quite an accurate depiction of my hair.

This one is by M. I love the way she always draws her people all over the picture like floating ghosts.
I think the blue and red figure at bottom left is the cat. I'd say Mum and Dad are in front (interestingly Mum on the left in both pictures...clearly the boss of the house, ha!).
Not sure who the extra kid is as I'm sure we only have two...

Dec 15, 2010

Not the right time for banking reform

I hesitate a little to put this out there because SURELY the men making the noise and the decisions know what they are doing and understand all this stuff better than us. Surely... Don't they? Oh that's right - they don't.

Background: Since the "end" (huh!) of the GFC, Australian banks have been moving their interest rates [on loans not deposits!] "independently" of the Reserve Bank. This mostly means that when the RBA raises the cash rate by a certain amount (usually 0.25%), the Big Four banks are these days raising theirs anywhere from 0.10 to 0.50 above the "official" rise.
This has caused shock and anger and there has been a lot of talk about banks gouging customers and price signalling, and the fact that there is limited competition in Australia among banks.
So first the opposition shadow treasurer and then the actual treasurer have proposed various measures to reform the banking system and force banks to be nicer.

All of which are wrong-headed in my mind and doomed to fail.

Now speaking personally, we have a hefty mortgage, which we have made precisely NO headway in reducing, and we are feeling the rate rises - but here's my view.

Yes no doubt the banks are taking advantage where they can - it's in their nature, plus they probably feel compelled to "catch up" for the low interest rates during the stimulus period of the GFC.

Banks face increasing funding costs due to the GFC and tighter credit in the global markets, blah blah blah insert bank press releases here - which is true but it is equally true that the funding processes provide a nice cushiony less-than-transparent way for banks to add a little extra without exposing this to their customers.

Those rate rises get smaller again - at some point the GFC will pass or abate, banks will get less jittery and the normal competitive urges between the banks [limited as they are] will re-assert themselves.

The GFC is a total, global, unprecedented, once-in-three-generations event which has had eye-popping and massive impacts which are still playing out like the ripples from a stone thrown in a pond (or a meteor slammed into the sea). Not a good time to legislate as a reaction to the fall-out.

Both our government finance ministers and the opposition ones are, well, somewhat new, shall we say, to
the worlds of banking and finance and perhaps are not quite qualified to make sweeping reforms...? (Though to be fair I will add that I don't think anyone can manage this very well)

We should keep in mind the law of unintended consequences here; on a small scale look at what happened when the Reserve Bank brought in the new ATM fee system which notified customers using a "foreign" ATM of the fee that would be charged. Transparency increased - but so did the fees. Where some banks decreased the fees or stopped charging them, they started charging others instead.

[I am reminded here of the story of a daycare centre related in the first Freakonomics book which increased late pick-up fines to try and reduce the number of parents running late to pick up their kids. The result of the increase was more parents running late more often - because once they were paying a premium to be late they no longer felt so guilty about it and were happy to "buy" the right to come later when it suited them].

If banks are legislated against applying certain fees, they will just apply others, or increase costs to borrowers in less transparent ways. Obviously. John Locke pointed this out back in 1692.

Banks are entitled to charge some fees. Switching mortgages, paying out a fixed loan earlier than the maturity date, going into overdraft, or basically doing anything that requires extra funding by the bank can reasonably attract a fee.
However there is no doubt banks take advantage. In the old days you couldn't easily go into overdraft - the bank would not honour payments. Now they honour them and charge you an overdraft fee. People are reasonably angry about this. Under pressure, the banks have reduced (and in one case removed) these charges, and to my mind a small (single digit!) charge is reasonable for this "service". But a better way would be giving customers an option when they set up their accounts: do you want payments honoured into overdraft for a small fee, or do you prefer the bank to dishonour any payment which would send your account into overdraft (for no fee). Even better, charge different fees depending on the amount into overdraft, time taken to bring the account back into credit, etc. Most clients would pay minimal fees (a few cents or dollars a time say). Banks have very sophisticated systems and it is not difficult to set up algorithms to manage this type of charge. There is little administrative burden and the charges are not really designed to discourage overdrafts - at least this way the charges would be honest and useful (larger fees for larger overdrafts would serve to discourage overdrafts as well as cover the bank's risk, where the customer had chosen this option rather than the option not to honour payments).

Similarly for switching mortgages - yes the charges to switch are outrageous, but the government is correct to look for adding ways to make switching easier, rather than outlaw the fees. (Some sort of fee is reasonable unless another aspect of switching allows banks to recoup costs from each other - as remember when you pay out a loan early you are [in theory if not always in practice] disadvantaging the bank which has borrowed money to fund your loan using a rate based on the value and time of the original loan life). As well as the amount of the fee, one of the big disincentives to switch is "bundling" - the process banks have of getting you hooked up to linked transaction, saving, credit and loan accounts at the same time as you get your mortgage. Switching would be easier if "unbundling" was as easy as the "bundling". There should also be easier options to set up a mortgage and retain transactional accounts at other banks (though this is not necessarily advantageous currently, what if same-day transfers between different banks were possible without the cost?)

I do believe there must be legislation and watchdogs over banking - but the legislation has to be fairly "light". You can't legislate fairness completely. And you can't concoct fake competition into a market that doesn't have much. New Zealand chose to set up a state bank to increase competition - I'm not convinced that's a solution (and obviously neither is our government as they have ruled it out); we all know how nimble and competitive state-run institutions are (not)!

We do have to accept that there will always be costs associated with banking. There must be minimum legislation to keep basic fairness and retain competition, but in general when it comes to rules and legislation around finance, the required basic rules are already in place. You have to think very carefully about any new ones as after hundreds of years of commercial banking and finance, there is not really anything new and new rules and legislation are seldom actually needed. (Similarly, repealing or removing existing rules is not always a good idea either - there are reasons for rules that have been in place for decades or more).

Here is a great quote to finish off, on the law of unintended consequences:

"The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it."
- Rob Norton, "Unintended Consequences", The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics - at:

Dec 14, 2010

The Working Through It Spag Bol

I was very impressed with myself today so have decided to share with the lucky internet my delicious recipe for a sort of spaghetti bolognaise, invented and ingested today.
Inspiration: We are only a couple of days back from a short break away, and there is not a lot of fresh veg in the fridge, but there were 2 tomatoes and an eggplant sitting there which were about to turn.

I made this this afternoon while working from home and it passed all my just-invented busy-working-mum tests: it used enough fresh ingredients to make me feel virtuous, used all ready-at-hand ingredients to make me feel economical and clever, was easy to make, incorporated a good serve of veg, and was liked by 3 out of 4 family members - that's good enough for me!

  • olive oil
  • 400g lean mince
  • one eggplant, diced
  • 2 very ripe tomatoes
  • bottle of commercial bolognaise sauce or other variety (mine was Dolmio Red Wine pasta sauce) (and cut me some slack on the sauce, I'm busy)
  • one celery stick, chopped (I buy celery and cut up each stick and put them in ziplock bags and keep them frozen for soups and sauces - so in my case this is one bag of frozen celery pieces)
  • one packet of frozen spinach
  • one sachet, or about 2 tablespoons, tomato paste
  • squirt of tomato ketchup (if needed)

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat
  2. Add the mince and brown it
  3. Add the eggpant, celery, spinach and pasta sauce; mix so the frozen vegs are in the middle of the pot covered with sauce. Turn down heat to low, cover and simmer for 40mins plus, checking and mixing occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't reduce too far.
  4. When the sauce and veg are well cooked, mix in the tomato paste and leave on low heat uncovered while spaghetti is cooking.
  5. Cook and drain spaghetti, mix in with meat sauce in the pot, and taste.
  6. If a little extra flavour is needed, or if kids need enticement to try it, then at the table add a squirt of tomato ketchup.

Where are my jacaranda flowers?

We have a beautiful jacaranda tree in our back yard, which flowers every October. Every springtime like clockwork, as a lovely birthday present to me (!), beautiful clusters of purple flowers appear all over the tree, and each day over the next few weeks are shed to form a gorgeous lilac carpet over our lawn.

This is not our tree - but you get the idea
Image by Thierry Caro, from Wikipedia,
copied under license Creative Commons
Except this year.

All through October, November and into December, we had no flowers!

THIS is our tree  :-(

Can I blame global warming? The end of the drought...? Are we in an El Nino year?  (On that - what happened to El Nino and La Nina? Not many years ago they were all the rage, an El Nino was identifiable and talked of every 3 to 4 years - now very seldom discussed. Have they really disappeared? Or do they not fit the climate change paradigm...?)

I tried Google and I googled "Jacaranda flowers" and asked "why hasn't my jacaranda tree flowered?"  Unusually, both let me down - no info other than a summary of where Jacarandas come from (South America and the Carribean) and when they flower (spring).

I have heard since that there is a bit of a thing in Melbourne this year, where jacarandas have flowered later than usual, and no one knows why.

This week, we have got a few flowers - a very tiny number, but perhaps we'll see a full flowering soon. Fingers crossed.
Our tree with this year's first flowers - two months late!

What Jacaranda litter usually looks like
Image by Peter Greenwell, at Wikipedia,
copied under license Creative Commons

Our jacaranda litter -
not exactly the sea of purple we were expecting

ADDENDUM, 1 January. We got our flowers - in mid-December?! Tree looking more respectable now.

Some Beauty

Lakes Entrance, December 2010


Dec 13, 2010

Sixty (Off Topic)

This questionnaire comes by way of Princess Pandora Queen of Denial, Blurb from the Burbs, and The Plastic Mancunian. Filling this out was a nice way to keep posting while I was on holiday and my mind had turned a bit mushy.
Image: Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes at
Flickr Creative Commons

1. Are you happier now than you were five months ago?

Oooooh, yes. Definitely. Five months ago I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, stressed and sad and yelling at my kids, and wondering what was wrong with me. Since then I have had a very helpful prescription, had stress leave from my job, talked to a psychologist, had a holiday, and am a different person.

Interesting Dangerous Idea

More on a topic I love, correlation vs causation.

Michael Agger from Slate Magazine has been soliciting ideas for how to use data from online sources such as social networking sites, for making improvements in our lives.

One of the suggestions was The Correlations Project, which proposes:

"I want to see a website that lets me keep track of something simple for a set period of time, and then compares it to a database to search for correlations. For example, over the course of a week or month or year, or even on an ongoing basis, it could ask, "What did you have for breakfast today?" or "What color shirt did you wear today?" or "How many calls did you get on your cell phone today?" Maybe a daily e-mail would remind you to log in with the answers. Then it would compare the answers to other things that are already tracked such as the stock market, phases of the moon, sports scores, etc., and spit out some correlations. It could tell you "On 93% of the days on which you ate eggs for breakfast, the stock market went up." Or, "When the moon is waxing, you are 88% more likely to wear a green shirt than when it is waning." Or, "On days when you get more than 7 phone calls, the Yankees win their games."

Agger explains: "The point of the correlations project, according to the submitter "IronicSans," is to demonstrate the axiom that correlation does not imply causation." He points out the ubiquitousness of coincidences and our tendancy to see links and cause where none exist, and he quotes the case of Paul the Octopus as one example.

A really interesting idea. I have a feeling though that the correlations brought up would become the point in themselves, the site would become a mecca for people believing in its power and accuracy, and in the end it would achieve the complete opposite of what it set out to do!

Kids spoiled much??

Somehow my kids have ended up with three birthdays this year.

Being mid-December babies, birthday parties are a bit difficult. December is very tricky for birthday parties - you have to schedule around your own family/work/friends parties and year-end events, plus everyone else's committments, and also make sure you don't set up anything on the same weekend as the Wiggles concerts. I learned this the hard way...

Thirty Minutes a Day

Today's exercise: Greek dancing at the Melbourne Pontian club Christmas party!
A good work-out for waist, arms, knees and soul.

Dec 10, 2010

Thirty Minutes a Day

Today's exercise:
  • 7am: one 50 minute walk (normal pace) to and around the foreshore walk at Lakes Entrance.
  • 11am: one twenty minute walk around and on the beach, and 5 minutes of running through sand with the kids
  • 2pm: 10 minutes leisurely swimming
  • and planned for the evening: another 20 minute walk around the esplanade.

All still very sedate and nothing compared to the exercise I used to manage in a day, but pretty good going for me these days!

Thirty Minutes a Day - Thursday

Okay, I admit it - my thirty minutes a day have not happened the last few days. The first 2 because it was so HOT, the third because we were in the car en route to our holiday and the fourth because, once again, it was HOT. We did do a bit of walking and swimming on these days but nothing that would even add up to 30 minutes, so I'm not counting them.

I'm getting back into it now.

So yesterday's exercise was:
  • thirty-five minutes in the pools at our holiday park, mostly lazing around or playing with the kids, but I did do a few laps - I will count this as five minutes' exercise to keep honest
  • two twenty-minute rather leisurely walks (no other kind when with kids) - one around the Esplanade and one around the Foreshore Walk
Leisurely as it was it must have done something - I retired for the evening pleasantly spent and with that slightly smug satisfaction one feels at the end of a physical day.

Dec 6, 2010

Work Life Balance

I have found the balance! I am on holiday. Holidays for parents provide the perfect work-life balance. You don't completely chill out because you're looking after your kids, and kids have ENERGY and want to DO STUFF - and they also still want to eat, be clothed, washed on a regular basis, etc.
So life on holiday is a beautiful balance between the "work" (see above) and the absolute fun or relaxation in between.

Before I had kids I was appalled at the average "family holiday" as it appeared to me. Camping, caravan parks and the like seemed to me to be a holiday for dad and the kids and just uprooting the domestic chores to a more difficult place for mum. I couldn't believe that women could really be happy with these "holidays".
As a result, when we had our girls, having only got over the hard bits of looking after two babies by the time they were around two, I was not keen on the standard holiday park getaway for some time, imagining the worst. When we finally did it, it was wonderful. WONDERFUL. Two days in Sorrento (Mornington Peninsula, not Italy) staying in a huge old fibro shack were two days of absolute, easy, relaxing bliss - with two happy, relaxed toddlers.

Since then we have done one a year and I am a complete convert. Give me a cabin with a deck near a playground and trampoline or pool (or both - o joy!), a suitcase full of colouring books and Barbie accessories and a fridge full of fruit and wine, and I am in heaven.

The only drawback - it's still hot, sort of. It's very breezy where we are near the beach and not quite warm enough for really satisfying swimming, but it is humid and I am STILL bathed in sweat and mopping my forehead from morning to dusk. You can see what I am like in the heat here.

But - we are on holiday; no work or responsibilities outside of our family unit for a week.

And life is good.

My Grandfather and the History of Seat Belts in Victoria

Today is my grandfather's 90th birthday.
He's my only surviving grandparent and this is not surprising - he is a big, tall man and has always been as strong as an ox.
At 49 he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and had three-quarters of a lung removed. He and my grandmother moved from Melbourne to the Central Coast of New South Wales for its milder, wamer climate, after his operation.
In those days there was just the operation - no radiation, no chemotherapy, nothing else. I have no idea what the cancer survival rate was like for this type of operation back then, but no doubt my grandfather was lucky to stick around.

Today my father and aunt and my mother hosted a birthday for my grandfather. Though the family is small, five generations were there - the only time since my grandparents' 60th anniversary that all the family had got together and the first time my daughters had met some of their family.

My father made a speech which praised Pop's skill on the golf course - three hole in ones - and his feats in business. Pop worked most of his career for an Australian car part company which used to be a big manufacturer and these days is a chain of retail outlets. In the 1960s and 70s Pop was in large part personally responsible for getting seat belts made mandatory in cars in Victoria (and by extension, later Australia). Recognising the need to get seat belts backed by legislation to make them profitable, Pop got his company together with the other two companies that manufactured car parts in Australia at the time, and suggested they pool resources to get legislation happening. Through a canny mix of government lobbying, advertising and public relations campaigns he and his colleagues created something which has become a natural part of driving in this country, and which has also saved many lives.

We all joke with Pop as we know, and he readily admits, that the seat belt campaign was a business strategy to secure a market and make money. But, as he campaigned and lobbied and demonstrated the effectiveness of seatbelts, and as he worked with the manufacturers to improve the technology, safety and comfort of the belts over time, it also became something he believed in very passionately, and he spent a good part of his ensuing career continuing this work and advocating for the safety and necessity of seat belts.

He has some good stories to tell. He had a couple of colleagues who demonstrated the selt belts' effectiveness at trade shows by being human crash test dummies, driving a car into a barrier then jumping out and exclaiming something like "I'm fine! Thanks to my seat belt!" At one show the guy limped out moaning "I think I've broken a rib" and Pop said "well keep quiet about it for god's sake!" and got him to wave to the crowd. Aah, the good old days...

It was interesting to hear about the science that went into the development and improvement of seat belts.
I know that sentence could sound strange when read alone - but as my mother taught me, everything is interesting when you look into it.

In the beginning the seat belts were lap sashes only, and made of nylon.
Very quickly it was found that another strap was needed, as test dummies and real people were still hitting their heads when strapped in at the waist. The strap diagonally across the chest was added as a compromise between safety, cost and convenience - in those days they were not yet mandatory and so had to be saleable, which meant they had to be comfortable and able to be put on with the minimum of effort.  Tests had shown that the double harness seatbelt (similar to what goes over your head and chest on a roller coaster) was the safest seat belt possible - but it was too expensive to produce and off-putting to consumers, who at that time wanted to just get in their automobiles and enjoy a drive as a carefree and stylish experience.

In the 1960's cars were still not designed to take seat belts, so belts had to be designed to be fitted to the cars. Thus the major challenge then was to design belts that were safe but also comfortable. With the addition of the diagonal strap across the chest, because of the way the belts had to be attached to the cars, the new strap tended to dig into the throat - so the challenge was on to design something more comfortable. It was also recognised that cars had to be designed to incorporate the seat belts, for real advances to be made.

Seat belts were invented in the US in the 1880's, but Volvo introduced the modern seat belt in 1959. Extensive research and development went into seat belts, using people and technology from aerospace engineering. Pop told us how the buckles were designed with the press-release technology using just the right amount of give, as it was found that the most that a human being could comfortably press with one finger was 37 pounds pressure. He told us how the straps had to be designed to withstand 400 pounds of pressure which is what is brought to bear by a human body in a crash.

The improvements continued. The nylon was found to deteriorate over time from exposure to sunlight, so other materials were tested and tetralene was adopted, eventually replaced by the polyester or polypropylene used today.

As Pop's company was heavily involved in the development of seat belts in Australia, they had access to overseas developments but as a manufacturer they also did their own research and development, and made continuous improvements to the belts to get a workable balance between safety and marketability. After seat belts were made mandatory in Victoria in 1970, they continued to improve the belts in response to consumer and vehicle manufacturer experience, to improve safety and cost, and to convince the rest of the country on their necessity.

Pop travelled to Detroit for trade shows (as my brother-in-law observed today, imagine the excitement and beauty of all the new cars in Detroit in the late 1960s!). In Australia he appeared on a television talk show where the host argued against the mandatory adoption of seat belts, using an anecdote about a friend of his who had run off the road and was thrown from his car before it crashed - which would not have happened had he been wearing a seat belt. Pop responded, "If you want to design an accident, we can design a seat belt to suit it."
Another argument often made was that seat belts were inconvenient or uncomfortable; people asked, "Do you have to wear it all the time?" Pop's response was: "You don't have to wear it all the time. You just have to be wearing it a few seconds before you crash."

Funny how things bring back memories. When I was a child in the 1970s there was still some occasional argument about seat belts, and in 1979 when we moved to the States (where belts were not mandatory but the conversation was taking place), the same arguments came up - the belts were uncomfortable and inconvenient, and in some accidents you would be safer without one. (In the US there was an additional argument that we didn't have in Australia: making seat belts [or anything] mandatory was an infringement on freedom of choice).

Those arguments belong mostly to history now. It is an accepted notion that seat belts save lives and must be worn while driving. Victoria was the first jurisdiction in the world to make the wearing of seat belts in cars mandatory. Other states and countries followed as the safety benefits became clear, and the wearing of selt belts is now mandatory in most industrialised countries.

And my Pop did that!

From Wikipedia, courtesy of

"In Victoria, Australia the use of seat belts became compulsory in 1970. By 1974 decreases of 37% in deaths and 41% in injuries, including a decrease of 27% in spinal injuries, were observed, compared with extrapolations based on pre-law trends.
...By 2009, despite large increases in population and the number of vehicles, road deaths in Victoria had fallen below 300, less than a third of the 1970 level, the lowest since records were kept, and far below the per capita rate in jurisdictions such as the United States. This reduction was generally attributed to aggressive road safety campaigns beginning with the seat belt laws."



Dec 5, 2010


It's hot in Melbourne.
It's only the early days of summer, but as always in this fair city, the first few days of summer knock us for six and leave us wondering, Is it always this hot so early? Surely it wasn't like this last year? Imagine what February will be like...  and so on.

It's not actually that hot - I know - but it is humid, which is awful. Makes everything hotter.

I have to get used to the heat every year. I've been the same since I was a kid - useless at handling the heat.
At home I wander round opening windows and turning up the evaporative cooling, changing my clothes, swigging water and looking for something to fan myself with; my husband wanders round behind me turning down the cooling (or even turning it off - when he dares) while smirking at my suffering like the cruel heat-tolerant person he is.

When I was in my twenties I lived in Greece over 3 summers, working morning, day and evening seven days a week from May to October each year. I never got used to the heat in August. I remember walking the ten minutes to my house in the next village one year, literally and pathetically sobbing from the heat.
But May, June and September were gorgeous - mild, dry heat that even I could sit outside in. In Italy and Greece I discovered the joy of the beach.
As a child in Melbourne I didn't like the beach, hated the inescapable, burning heat, the march flies, the sand that got everywhere, the crashing surf, the inevitable sunburn, and the fact that everyone except me seemed content to stay there for hours.  In Italy and Greece for the first time in my life I enjoyed the beach. Swimming in gentle, warm clear blue waters, lying comfortably on smooth pebbles or large-grained crystals of sand, and the very civilised practice of lying on a reed mat instead of on one's beach towel (thus always having a dry, sand-free towel at one's disposal). And the sun: warm, gentle, dry heat, without the stinging burning sensation on arms and face, or the need to cover your face in zinc to preserve your nose's natural colour... I could happily lie sunbathing on the beach for hours, even in the middle of the day - unthinkable for me here.

One of my daughters has inherited my heat intolerance. By the afternoon she is red-cheeked, damp hair plastered to her forehead, while her sister, like her father, remains dry-haired and cool to the touch.

Nine o'clock this morning, the kids and I had icy-poles for "morning tea" - bliss, sweet short-lived bliss.

I am such a heat wuss I know - anyone reading this in Melbourne will be chuckling because as I am well aware, it is not even truly hot yet. But it is hot enough for me!

Oh, and "thirty minutes a day" has been on hold for the last 2 days - just...can' it.
But will get back on track in the next day or so - promise!

Dec 2, 2010

Thirty minutes a day

I'm on holiday from work and today's 30 minutes are done! 10 minutes on the exercise bike, 20 minutes of "pilates" (floor exercises we used to call them). I am on a roll, baby!
I need a shower.

Dec 1, 2010

Thirty Minutes a Day

I have decided to make myself do 30 minutes of exercise a day.
I know that's no big deal for a normal person, but it is for me considering I have pretty much been living on a conveyor belt between home, my car and my office chair since I went back to work full-time. Three years ago.

This is not going to be easy.
Firstly because I have NO time, and secondly because I have got so far out of the habit of exercising.
But I will allow myself to break up the day's exercise into 10 or 15 minute chunks, to get me going.

Today's exercise:
  • one fifteen-minute power walk around the local shopping centre (It's true - I wore my sneakers)
  • one more leisurely twenty minute walk window-shopping for shoes (yeah that counts - I'm starting from zero here)
Feel the burn!


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