Wednesday, 26 March 2008

It's not just sport, sport

I have been doing other things than playing sport. I managed to track down a copy of Phoenix, an ABC drama from the early 90s. I remember watching and enjoying Janus, its successor show, for its season-long story arcs and depth of character development, and Phoenix exhibits the same characteristics. It paints a really good picture of the "boy's club" vibe in the police team, and although Phoenix doesn't develop the criminals as much as Janus did, the character development is admirable.

I also finished off a book for the first time in a while, Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim. I wouldn't say it was an easy book to read, as testified to by the 2-3 months that it took me to complete it. Nonetheless, the prose is very beautiful, and I thought the story was well-developed, albeit if a little artificial feeling, probably a consequence of the changing view of concepts like personal honour between the time of writing and now. One of the reasons I picked Lord Jim (besides our shared nomenclature), was the reputation of it and other Conrad works in lists of great novels. This book has not necessarily made me a fan of Conrad (the way Grapes of Wrath made me a fan of Steinbeck), but nor has it dissuaded me from my intentions of reading his other works.

My next book is one I had already started, Possession: A Romance, by A.S. Byatt. I started when I was in France, before I started writing up my PhD, but got distracted by other things and didn't finish it. Emily took it across to England with her, and returned it when she arrived back for a holiday last week. I expect it will present a stark contrast in style to Lord Jim.

when too much sport...

Its becoming apparent that every post here is about sport. That's probably a reasonably fair gauge of my priorities thus far this year.

Volleyball continues to get better. Individually and as a team, we seem to get better each time we play, and we're on top of the table in our (admittedly lowly) division. My initial qualms have been completely assuaged.

Tennis fixtures started last week. To my surprise, I discovered upon receipt of the team lists that I was a captain. The first game went OK - I played well, although I lost my singles 6-4. As a team, though, we were routed 3 sets to zip and 18 games to just 5, as my teammate struggled mightily. I'm sitting out this week (tonight), so I'll see how the others go.

In terms of cycling, next week is Bike Week, including a couple of race-type events on Saturday. I'm still tossing up whether to enter the 70km Coot-tha ride or the 35km ride, but I'm leaning towards the latter, since I haven't been up Coot-tha yet and thus don't know how I'd go.

The weekend was also pretty sport-laden. For the first time since 2004, all 5 Steels (lots of blogs between us these days) were assembled, and we were joined by Steven, Andrew and Granny down at Mullum. In between home brew, Australian red and German desert wine, we managed to squeeze tennis, golf, and swimming both in the pool and at Brunswick Heads. I shot a slightly disappointing 49 on the front 9 at Mullum, but beat Dad by a shot.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


I went along to the ODI cricket final last night at the Gabba with Gav, Adam and Nicole. the game was OK, although Australia again played poorly. The top order collapsed yet again (all but one game this season, pretty much), and although James Hopes almost dragged us across the line with the tail, we probably deserved to lose. Nonetheless, it was an entertaining game.

The sideshow of being in the crowd was also fun. We were in a reasonably boisterous section, with plenty of guys getting plenty drunk. We also got a really good view of Roy's hit on the first streaker.

Monday, 3 March 2008

tennis by bike

I went out to UQ this evening after work and put in an application for tennis fixtures on Wednesday nights. I skimmed the wayback machine, and I've gone 5 full years since I last played fixtures. I was playing two comps per week back then (2002), and my distinct memories of it include solid improvement in my game, and excruciating pain in my hip and back after matches. Hopefully I can refind the former, and stay well away from the latter.

I got out to UQ and back by bike this evening. It really is a lovely ride along the river from Toowong right around to Sydney Street, and something I'd recommend to anyone in Brisbane, either permanently or temporarily. It makes for some good exercise, too; the swing out to UQ and back added about 18km to my trip home, making for a 31km day, and bringing my yearly total over 300km. 1000km is now looking very conservative.