Archive for June, 2010

Extreme Sport

Last week my son joined the Facebook group, Extreme Ironing. According to the official website, extreme ironing is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

It briefly crossed my mind that perhaps as part of my Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge, I should participate in something a bit crazy and out of my comfort zone to see if it would build my confidence, but that thought quickly disappeared. Surely you’d have to have some kind of insanity in your character to do something like ironing while abseiling?

Personally I think that normal ironing is dangerous enough; firstly there is the extremely hot iron and all that scalding steam, then there’s the easy-to-trip-over electric cord, and lastly there is the finger-trapping ironing board. But does that stop me ironing? No, I iron all the time. Well, that’s not strictly true; if an item has been in the dryer and looks good enough I will just fold it and put it away. However, the reason for that would be less about my safety, and more about my laziness.

Generally I do tend to avoid scary things. I would not dream of  jumping out of a perfectly good plane, and casually iron my undies while trying to remember which cord I need to pull for the parachute to open. Well, I don’t iron undies anyway, let alone while plummeting to the earth at a gazillion miles per hour. I should be seeing my life flash before my eyes, not my knickers. But some insanely confident and strange people do these  thrill-seeking things, just not people like me.

Actually, now I come to think of it, even normal sport is not my thing. The closest I ever got to sport was watching snooker on the TV in the 80s. I didn’t enjoy it much, I only watched it because my husband liked it. An extreme version of snooker might be fun to watch; this Jackie Chan fight scene springs to mind.

So, it didn’t take long to decide that I won’t be doing anything extreme, anytime soon. I’ll continue to get my rush of adrenaline while merging on the motorway every morning on the way to work; although, it’s less like an adrenaline rush and more like white-knuckled, abject fear.

As for my son, I think he likes the idea of extreme ironing as a sport, but I don’t think he will actually be taking it up. It would be nice if he did some normal ironing. Maybe if I pointed out its subtle dangers he might be tempted?


Wintersun 2010.

It was cold at 6.00am. I’m not a morning person, and the fact that my bed was nice and warm, and the temperature outside was less than 10 degrees C, added to my grumpiness. But the mood didn’t last long as I rugged-up in three layers of clothing, thick socks, a scarf and gloves, then donned my helmet while Chris warmed up the trike, for today we were off to the Wintersun Festival at Coolangatta.

We left at the unearthly hour of 6.40am – that’s very early for me! Nearly half an hour later we arrived at the service station where we’d arranged to meet up with a couple of other trikers whom we followed  for the 45 minute ride into Coolangatta.

When we got there we split up and three of us: myself, Chris and our friend Steve, wandered around a grassy park area for about an hour looking at hot rods, custom, and classic cars. We even found some small retro caravans like our Teardrop.

After that we headed for the beach and had some breakfast at Bellakai café on Marine Parade, I imagine that if there were not an extra 1,500 cool cars and  thousands of extra visitors and their cars, we would have had a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean.

We sat in the outdoor area of the café, slightly raised from the footpath, as beside us the crowd jostled for a good view of the parade due to start at 9.45am. When it started we couldn’t see a lot, but the atmosphere was cheery and we caught glimpses of the parade through the throng as we chatted and sipped our hot drinks. There were custom cars, people on roller skates, some motorbikes and lots of Elvis lookalikes. The floats were in full view, carrying cover bands, rock & roll dancers, and a Banana Queen (of course), and everyone was smiling and waving.

The breakfasts arrived just as the parade finished. Steve and I had the spelt toast, Chris forgot all about cholesterol and fat and went for a huge bacon sandwich. The sun shone and the day started to warm up, I finally shed my jacket but I still kept on my other two layers, I’m a wuss when it comes to the cold.

We walked off  breakfast with the masses strolling up and down Marine Parade, taking lots more photos of very cool cars and some ‘renovator delights’.  Music permeated everything, sometimes it was prerecorded, sometimes buskers, and there were several stages with bands. I spotted line dancers doing their thing too. Other notable sights: an otherwise very sensible looking man in a bright yellow suit, a much more casually dressed man in a top hat, and a glamorous lady who looked like she belonged in an old French art movie, (not that I know anything about French art movies, to be honest, I think it was the beret that swung it). It was all very interesting, people-watching wise.

Chris thought that lowered VDubs looked funny.

I’d need a periscope to drive this one.

A renovator’s delight.

Chris checking out an Anthill Mob car.

And just in case you don’t know what an Anthill Mob car is.

The teeny-weeny Goggomobile Darts made me smile.

And finally, this number plate summed up the morning (literally) and the rest of the day (figuratively).

You will find another 146 photos on Chris’ Wintersun album on his Facebook page.