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January « 2010 « Abigail Bayley's Blog


Archive for January, 2010

Catastrophic Risk

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Catastrophic risk – sounds pretty scary and dramatic doesn’t it?  Well, this is how the current fire risk in parts of Victoria is being described today.  We are lucky in Melbourne and its surrounds, the risk here is apparently only extreme!

We are in the middle of a heatwave here in Melbourne with the temperatures hitting 43.6 in the city yesterday afternoon and not dipping below 30 degrees overnight.   El Scorchio to say the very least.  Walking home from the pool yesterday my hair was sun and wind blasted dry 2 minutes down the road.

Days like these bring back bad memories of 2009 and the days that preceded and followed Black Saturday when over 100 people lost their lives in bush fires here.

Back in 2009 there was a week of temperatures above 40 degrees (or 100!).  Usually familiar and safe places felt dangerous and off limits in this heat.  Just heading out for a run seemed like a risk.  Wildlife was dying all over the place – the family of possums that lived in a tree on Steve’s parents property just literally dropped out of their tree, dead.  Too hot for too long.  Climate change is here!

pre heatwave happy possums

pre heatwave happy possums

Last year on the Black Saturday weekend I left Steve and Melbourne for rookie camp with teamTBB.  Fires were literally burning all around him.  But for a wind change fire was approaching Steve’s family home and was less than an hour away at one point.  It took lives as close as the next suburb away from him.

One of our favourite rides in Australia is out through Kinglake and this was one of the worst areas hit.  Riding up into Kinglake after the fire was an eerie experience.  Trees and anything green were gone and blackened charcoal was all that was left as far as the eye could see – and that was now a very long way with no leaves to block out the view.

kinglake before the fires

kinglake before the fires


So today is another day predicted to be 40 degrees plus in Melbourne.  I can’t imagine how some people must be feeling now.  I just really hope today or the next time there is a heat wave, catastrophe isn’t around the corner again for this beautiful country.

Faster than …

Friday, January 8th, 2010
My mum used to read this poem to me, it was one of my favourite bed time stories!!

FASTER than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;

And charging along like troops in a battle,

All through the meadows the horses and cattle:

All of the sights of the hill and the plain

Fly as thick as driving rain;

And ever again, in the wink of an eye,

Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,

All by himself and gathering brambles;

Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;

And there is the green for stringing the daisies!

Here is a cart run away in the road

Lumping along with man and load;

And here is a mill and there is a river:

Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

Thanks mum, still working on the faster than …….


From Singapore to South Yarra

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Well, it’s been a while so where to start? The beginning of the end seems like a good place … the end of Singapore time and trip back down under anyway.

I spent a total of 6 weeks in Singapore, November and half of December.  Steve and I were starting to feel at home and I could actually remember my way to such exotic locations as Kaki Bukit, Eunos Techpark and the Bedok running track!


I turned 32 in Singapore

happy birthday me!

happy birthday me!

And had even mastered some of the finer points of Singaporean, eh! and la! being the most notable additions to my vocabulary – surprisingly useful when trying to describe to a taxi driver where you want to go.

In early december I was lucky enough to get a spot in the Standard Chartered Singapore marathon along with about 20,000 other people.  I however waited until the day before the race before I could confirm my entry.  Not ideal preparation but an experience nevertheless.  Yep 26.2 miles is pretty painful in 90% humidity … duh!



But in the middle of December it was finally time to say goodbye to the Merlion, our lovely 13th storey appartment and my favourite odd shaped hotel pool (note to self – that pool was definitely longer than 25m … perfect secret off season training!!)

steve making a  rare pool appearance!!

steve making a rare pool appearance!!

We celebrated our departure with a trip to our local hawker centre for one last taste of delicious (and very reasonably priced!!) spring rolls.  Steve even forced me to have a Tiger beer!!


An overnight flight later and we arrived back in wonderful Melbourne.  Greeted by the usual crazy Melbournian weather – day one 18 degrees, chilly, day two 39 degrees, hot hot hot!

For our first week back down under we were lucky enough to stay with Steve’s parents out in Panton Hill, a suburb about an hour outside the city.  I was lucky enough (??!?) to get to swim with Steve’s dad Gary every morning at 4.45am.   Incredibly he has done this for the last 30 years, a 4.45 wake up swim every morning before work.  Now that is commitment to routine!

me, gary and steve

me, gary and steve

I also got to do one of my favourite runs – Watery Gully Road.  It has steep hill after hill and an amazing view of the Melbourne CBD skyscrapers in the far distance.  I invariably come across kangaroos, rosellas and the ever present (often squashed) much cursed scurge … the pommy introduced RABBIT!

look closely - kangaroos!

look closely - kangaroos!

Christmas day was spent with Steve’s family.  Steve spent the morning assembling a trampoline which was nanny and pa’s xmas present to his exceptionally cute nieces Holly and Caitlyn.  They spent most of the morning bouncing in their fairy costumes.  Its a tough life being a toddler!


Boxing day saw Steve and I make the move into Melbourne so Steve is closer to work (The all new super duper Bike Boutique Melbourne!).

Very cool!

Very cool!

We have a lovely appartment in South Yarra a suburb where the infamous/legendary aussie running coach Percy Cerutty also lived.

I have a new favourite run – the “Tan”, a tan coloured stone 4k running track around the Botanical Gardens – always full of other runners/walkers and sometimes teams of Aussie Rules footie players.

We are also very close to the Yarra river run/bike paths which twists 40k plus out of the city.

summer in the city!

summer in the city!

Home sweet home for the next 4 weeks at least!!