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Bags

Saturday November 25th, 2017 in Craft, Sport | No Comments »

I’ve started turning netball bibs into bags and selling them on Etsy.

Customer research suggests that the main factor limiting sales is that people don’t think they need a bag, believing it is better to move things using their hands alone. In fact, bags are a practical way to carry a wide range of items. Once you start carrying things in bags, the possibilities are endless. Here’s a list of just some of the ideas.

1. Shopping

Are you sick of carrying armfuls of produce back to your house, before returning to the supermarket to get more? Bags will save you heaps of trips back and forth.

2. Personal items

Keys, wallets, phones and neck pillows can all be carried in bags instead of pockets. In fact, bags are in many ways a detachable pocket.

3. Collections

I cannot walk down the street without finding an old leaf or stick that I just have to have. Instead of clutching these (which makes holding hands to cross the road difficult), try putting your gorgeous and essential collection in a bag.

4. A change of clothes

Spilled food, weather, rolling in dirt – all of these things happen. Carrying a change of clothes in a bag is a practical alternative to wearing three t-shirts.

5. Secrets

Many styles of bags are opaque, meaning that others can’t see what they contain. This allows you to discretely carry soiled underwear and treasure maps – no more stuffing them up your jumper and hoping no-one notices.

(Please note that these bags are not appropriate for transporting live animals, uranium or unrestrained water.)

Netballstrology – June 2017

Monday May 22nd, 2017 in Sport | No Comments »

Astrology chart overwritten with netball positions and with an orange in the centre.

Everyone knows that astrology is rubbish, right? Equally however, everyone knows that you can tell a lot about a person based on what netball position they play. I would go further and argue that you can predict a person’s future based their netballstrology chart. Here are my prophecies for June.

Centre

You’re all over the place and June will be no exception. However, there’s still that pesky matter of the goal circles where other people ruin or validate your good work.  You can’t control everything. Let it go. By which I mean, scream instructions. Remember, the ball will always alternate back to you for the centre pass, and then other people will ruin your life again. In June you will come into a lot of citrus fruit. Eat as much as you want, you deserve it.

Wing Defence

If. You. Need. Let’s think about those three little words. Actually, let’s not, it’s too sad. No-one will need you this month either, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there. Actually, I tell you what we do need. Someone to wash the bibs.

Wing Attack

Are you living up to your potential? No? Actually, the answer is yes. The truth is, you’re where you are for a reason. And that reason is probably limited talent. “Keep doing what you’re doing” said the man to the tree as if it needed his advice.

Goal Keeper

You’re tall. This gives you a valuable perspective on your surroundings. It’s like you’re standing on your desk all the time without Mr Keating even telling you to. June will provide new opportunities to utilise your lofty heights. At my house. We have a few light bulbs that need changing. Just stick your arms up, we know you can.

Goal Defence

Do you ever feel like you’re doing twice as much work as someone else standing only a few metres away? Remember, rewards come in many forms and some of them may seem like painful broken bones at first but then you realise it’s a blessed relief granting you a break from all the relentless, unrewarding, unappreciated work that you do. So in June I recommend that you let go of the handrail on the stairs, scatter some banana peel around your bathroom and joyfully anticipate the inevitable splat and eight weeks in a moonboot.

Goal Shooter

I’m seeing a lot of armpits in your life in June. As usual, ignore them. (I’m really talking about relationships.)

Goal Attack

I get that you’re a go-getter, but you didn’t get this far in life without also being quite accurate. So this month, don’t hold back with your opinions. If you see something you don’t agree with in an area you’re not technically allowed in, stand as close as you can and shout encouraging advice. Also, in June you will kill again.

A Personal Glossary of Netball

Wednesday April 19th, 2017 in Knowledge, School, Sport | No Comments »
Early game of netball with text of positions and oranges added. One player says 'If you Need!'

Early netball game

When I was in primary school I was desperate to start my netball career. I was certain that “career” was the right word as I planned to play netball for Australia and therefore become rich and famous. Behold my nesting dolls of delusion.

Joining my first team, Newstead Junior 2, was the start of a very steep netball learning curve. Unfortunately it wasn’t steep enough to lead to international netball, but I still learnt a few things, which I’d like to share.

Indoor Netball

When I was in high school I played a couple of seasons of mid-week indoor netball. This has all the same rules as outdoor netball except you’re allowed to kill people. It was an incredibly rough competition. Luckily the courts were surrounded with nets and there was no bitumen so breaking a pelvis didn’t hurt.

A team from a local low-security prison were also in the competition. One week one of their players threatened to kill Julia. This was clearly unacceptable. So at half-time our captain swapped Julia out of that position. And swapped me in. I was baffled by this decision because I tend to shit people at the best of times.

I kept my distance and the woman only threatened to punch me in the face. I didn’t play my best half of netball ever, but it wasn’t the point. I had discovered something important about myself; people didn’t always want to kill me.

The next week this lady apologised, explaining that she hadn’t been taking her medication. No worries I said. No worries at all.

As a general rule, the prison team were much less frightening than the young mums team who brought their toddlers to the game, smoked next to the court and absolutely hated our university-destined guts, to which I can only say fair enough as I imagine we were pretty annoying.

Losing

For me, netball and losing are intertwined. I have never been a member of a winning netball team. I’ve never played in a final. I probably lost 95% of all netball games I played in. The score for my first ever netball game was 17 – 1. With losing so inevitable I set other goals. I might feel like we’d had a great game because we achieved half the score of the winning team, or because we won one quarter, or because no-one wanted to kill me (see Indoor Netball).

Mixed Netball

Men playing netball may seem shocking but once you accept that not everyone will be classically trained (and you might witness such horrors as a Goal Attack taking a free pass outside the goal circle) mixed netball can be quite fun. I’ve filled in for a few mixed netball teams in Melbourne and have mainly enjoyed it without tsking.

Graph of straight line saying "What people think sucess looks like" next to a photo of a netball trophy Newstead Junior 2 Most ImprovedMost Improved

One of the proudest achievements of my life was winning the Most Improved trophy in my first netball season. I did deserve that trophy. I had started the season playing half games as a Wing Attack. I ended the year getting the occasional quarter as Centre. The lesson is, make sure you start as badly as you can to maximise apparent improvement.

Netball nicks

These are a pair of black underpants worn over your normal underpants so that no-one sees your underpants when your incredibly short skirt flies into the air. Here’s a thought – shorts.

Oranges

Orange quarters are the perfect food for half-time. All athletes like to be sticky and have bits in their teeth.

Ra Ra Ra

When I played classical netball, at the end of each game both teams were required to stand in a circle with our arms around each other and chant:

Three cheers for “Winning Team”, Ra, Ra, Ra.

Three cheers for “Losing Team”, Ra, Ra, Ra.

Three cheers for the umpires, Ra, Ra, Ra.

I presume we were made to do this to prepare us for the for the indignities of giving birth.

Socks

Socks were very controversial on the ’90s netball court. Ankle sports socks were the fashion but were banned. Everyone still wore them (except me because my mum wouldn’t let me) and usually nothing was said. The exception was on the one occasion when my C Grade team Wesley Hill unexpectedly and uniquely won a game. Our opposition team (I say that, but I mean their mums) put in an official complaint about our socks and we didn’t get the match points.

I like to hope that these dark ’90s days of socking shaming teenage girls have passed, but I thought that about Pauline Hanson.

Umpiring

I am always shocked by sports where the players criticise the umpires. This was not allowed when I played netball. I don’t know how they achieved such discipline but I think it involved making examples of people.

I only personally umpired one game of netball. I had aced the written netball umpiring test and felt quietly confident. Then I discovered that in real life it’s  all a lot more confusing than in the book. No-one actually abused me while the game was going on, but after there were a number of official complaints, including from the team who won.

 

Olympic Dreams

Friday April 22nd, 2016 in School, Sport | No Comments »

Amigosparasiempre

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my dream to be an Olympic athlete.

It started when I was in Grade 5 and the Olympics were in Barcelona. It was a great Olympics. The theme song by Andrew Lloyd Weber Amigos Para Siempre was even more moving than Memory, Kieren Perkins smashed his own world record in the 1500m freestyle final, and I became determined to march into an Olympic stadium as an athlete.

I wrote in my Grade 5 diary:

“I have a dream to get to the Olympics not as a spectator but as a competitor. And God Dam it if I don’t. I am turning 11 next week. My days of being ten are numbered.”

The only problem was that I wasn’t at all sure which sport I would excel in. I wasn’t worried though. I assumed it would only be a matter of time before I discovered it.

It hasn’t happened. Instead, one by one I have gotten too old for all the sports. It started with gymnastics. By the age of 13, when I should have been reaching my gymnastical peak I couldn’t touch my toes. Then I realised I couldn’t swim fast, then I realised I couldn’t run fast. Then I realised I was hopelessly uncoordinated, ruling out all ball sports and anything with a stick.

Fortunately, in my primary school diaries I also said I wanted to be an actor, a great debator, travel around the world without using aeroplanes like Michael Palin, and (this was implied) become a nun. So still, lots of options. But oh! The Olympics would have been great.

PS I also used to want to be one of the cats in Cats but that’s not happening either.

Coverage

Thursday July 14th, 2011 in Podcasts, Sport | No Comments »

The Sag Wagon podcasts, which I’ve been listening to every day, are basically coverage of SBS’s coverage of the Tour de France. As someone who cannot be arsed staying up to watch the Tour, but would still like to be informed every time a commentator mixes a metaphor, or a farmer makes a giant sculpture out of cow poo, I appreciate this.

But not everyone has the time, inclination or ability to listen to a podcast. So for those people…

Podcast 11 was a return to form for the Sag Wagon team following a workman like Podcast 10. Host Sam Pang (stranger in a strange land and knows nothing about cycling) and Dave Culbert (don’t call him a former Olympian) opened with a solid gambit about the tour starting tomorrow in the mountains, as opposed to a week and a half ago when, to the untrained eye, the tour appeared to start. This provided the fuel and the theme for the rest of the podcast.

Agenda
We saw a relaxed attitude to the agenda in Episode 11. As Sophie Smith (actually knows what’s she’s talking about) delivered the news, the conversation naturally diverted to Podium Watch, Where did Tony Martin Finish? and Aussie Watch. This free-flowing approach worked well for them, and we may hear more of this in the future.

Names
This episode was all about consolidating established names, including Greipel as the Baby Gorilla and the original Thor Hushovd, God of Thunder. Sophie Smith did not gain any new names and remains solid as the Lois Lane of Cycling, Agent 86, and the Jana Wendt of Cycling.

Did Sophie Smith go to Sleep?
The way I heard it, no. Although she did take a little Googling break to look up the definition of a viscount, she came across as conscious throughout the podcast. This was good to hear after a disappointing Episode 10 where she faded after delivering the News and probably nodded off.

So, that’s my take on the coverage of the coverage. So I bet reading this is almost like being at the Tour, yes?

Men crying update

Monday July 11th, 2011 in Podcasts, Sport, Television | No Comments »

I’m following the Tour de France through SBS’s Sag Wagon podcasts. They only go for about 30 minutes each, but when it’s over I look up the footage they’ve talked about and it pretty much provides enough audio visual fun for a whole evening.

Last week I listed my top men crying moments. I can add another one to the list today. Johnny Hoogerland cried while receiving the polka dot jersey. And having just watched the accident footage, I can see why. It is amazing that he managed to get up from that crash at all, let alone finish the stage and get on the podium.

It’s a rest day on the Tour now so the Sag Wagon are also taking a break. Luckily, I can always fall back on that other great competitive spectacle for excitement, Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s got the determination, it’s got the spills, it’s got just as much fake tan and just as little body hair. And as the pageant parents say, beauty pageants are just like sport. It’s so easy to judge, but how is getting your five year old’s eyebrows waxed any different from buying them a bike and putting Spokey Dokes in the wheels?

Lessons learned

Tuesday April 5th, 2011 in Audio books, Sport | No Comments »

I’m listening to The Road by Catherine Jinks read by Kate Oliver, described as a “chilling thriller”. I borrowed it because I love Catherine Jinks.

I am highly affected by scary things (I find Midsomer Murders gritty and disturbing). The Road is becoming quite tense and that is causing problems. Yesterday before work I became over-engaged in the story and just sat on the edge of the bed for 15 minutes listening instead of putting on socks.

I should have known this would happen after the whole Murder on the Orient Express debacle. Unfortunately I am not a very good learner by experiencer.

Yesterday I also went to a session to learn about sports nutrition. It was all about a frightening one kilogram tub of protein. The fact that I found the product’s catch phrase, “train harder, more often” vastly unappealing and would have preferred “train less hard, less often” suggests I’m not really in the target market.

However, I did learn something useful about nutrition yesterday after all. Don’t eat a chicken and mayonnaise roll at 5.15 and then go for an energetic run at 6.30. Lesson learned. Although, I did previously learn a very similar lesson involving yogurt and a big piece of oat slice.

Running

Sunday February 13th, 2011 in Audio books, Cooking, Sport | No Comments »

Today I went on my weekend long run. I usually try to run for between 60 and 90 minutes. I meet up with a group when I can, but often I end up going by myself.

I run pretty slowly so it’s physically fairly easy, but I find it psychologically challenging. At the start it seems impossibly long and far.

I would almost certainly enjoy listening to a story tape while running, but I’ve always resisted this. It feels like cheating because facing the boredom and loneliness is part of the challenge for me.

It’s also true that I do some valuable thinking when I’m running. I’ll start the run feeling confused and stressed about something, but by the time I’m really tired at the end, I’ve generally distilled the issue down to it’s fundamental core.

For example, at the start of the run I might wonder, “Are face cloths really a good idea? Or are you just wiping germs onto your face?” But by the end of the run I’ll have got to the heart of the matter, “I really need to do a load of towels this afternoon.”

So maybe I use the running time to work out the issues in my life. And I couldn’t do that while listening to a story tape.

On the other hand, I always listen to a story tape when I’m cooking on my own. I would never make muffins in silence. Perhaps this is weakness though, and I could use that lonely sifting time to resolve my feelings towards my father. Dunno.

Sporting Glory and Rabbit Proof Fence

Sunday January 23rd, 2011 in Audio books, Memoir, Sport, Travel | No Comments »

We headed to Inverloch this weekend for some sport. I participated in a very windy ten kilometre beach run and my partner did an ocean swim. We are a sports mad fitness couple like Grant Kenny and Lisa Curry ex Curry-Kenny nee Curry, except not divorced yet.

(In case you’re wondering just how glorious our sporting achievements were, let’s just say that we both saw a bit of the podium. From the crowd during the presentations. Not to worry. We are friends with the girl who came third – reflected glory!)

Needing a cassette based story tape for the car (one that wouldn’t shit my partner to tears) I borrowed Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and Nugi Garimara, read by Rachael Maza.

This was top story tape selection. Not only is the story itself gripping but I felt like I was learning something. And something important too. Listening to the tape I realised that I haven’t engaged with many stories about the stolen generations in Australia, and I should.