“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ride 5 towards the Rapha ride to redemption

The Rapha 500 competition has certainly got me out onto the road more than I would have without the challenge.  I feel sorry for the northern hemisphere cyclists and am amazed at the exploits of some who have managed to ride the 500 in just a couple of days.

December 28th
 this ride was another of the iconic Melbourne rides, the 1 in 20, plus a bit extra to make the total up to greater than 50km.  My grand total so far is 334km and of the 2743 competitors I'm currently sitting in  352nd  place.

Good things happened today:
  • After yesterday's slog against thoughtless motorists who seemed keen on getting more than just a bit too close, I was delighted with their politeness today, waiting until the road widened before passing me and generally giving me a wide berth....when there was any traffic that is.
  • My politically incorrect suntan is getting a working over.  
  • No punctures!

In an amazing bit of forward planning I left some gear at work today, so tomorrow's ride will be part commute, part another heave over Mt Dandenong.

4 rides ..3 punctures

Taking part in the Rapha Redemption 500 (ride 500km between December 23rd and December 31st) has ensured that no matter how reluctant I am, I ride each day.

December 26th
After yesterday's incredible history making storm in Melbourne, I decided not to go out early as I felt certain the roads would be strewn with puncture creating debris and with  a 100% score of 2 rides and 2 punctures was not keen to improve on my stats!  I was also tired from the previous day's ride and celebrations.
Eventually I heaved myself out for a distinctly reluctant 26knm circuit on relatively main roads that were surprisingly uncluttered....apparently the expected Boxing Day sales crowds had not materialised in quite the numbers expected.  Total for the 3 days 177km.  Better rest up for a longer ride tomorrow..weather permitting.

December 27th
Yet another public holiday and anticipating that later would be busier on the roads, I set off early for a planned 102km ride that involved a long hard slog up a road named Skyline...the name says it all.  However, the spirit failed me as tired legs talked to me for the entire hour it took to reach the bottom of the climb and I altered my route, visiting  2 roads I used to race on, but which are now off the list due to increased housing and  local complaints.
turn around spot for skinny road tyres

I had planned to return a different way but  an increase in traffic and especially 4 wheel drives with boats and caravans had me diving for the back roads again.  Since it was only  late morning, I assume there must have been bad weather  further east for such early returns home.

Close to home but with not enough kms to reach the 100km, I rode another loop, finally turning for home and ending up with  106km to add to the total..177+106=283km and well past half way and on track to finish the 500km.

HOWEVER....just before I got home...

this time a front wheel ...so there we are, after not puncturing  for a very long time....4 rides, 3 punctures.  Better visit the bike shop again and stock up on more tubes and gas bottles!

Monday, 26 December 2011

I very rarely gets punctures

but on 2 of the last 2 rides I've had a rear flat.  I hasten to say that the second flat was  126km later than the firs and so I'm 100% certain was not as a result of the same bit of glass.

I'm taking part in the Rapha Festive 500..a self imposed challenge whereby I have to ride 500km between Dec23rd and December 31st.  so far I've managed 44km and 106.9km..would've gone more if I'd realised the .9 bit, but I was riding the last km with the flat tyre and was just glad to get home upright.

December 23rd was a non starter- work and pre Xmas prep took up all my time. Total kms..0

December 24th threatened to be similar and so I started early  but after 10km of what was planned to be 60km but ended up being 44km I was a rear wheel flat .
Poor planning meant I was light on spares and rather than going into rural Victoria without a replacement tube, I diverted to Lilydale and after much searching found a bike shop, wasting much time in the process.   total km...44

December 25th
Family feasting and gift exchanging happened yesterday evening, so today was totally mine..YAY!
The forecast was for late rain, thunderstorms and possible hail, so yet another early start was on the cards.
This is a ride I do often, although more times than not I'll stop at the 70km mark and take the train home.  The roads were mostly quiet although the notoriously dangerous parts of the road south were just as usual.
I visited 2 of the icons of Melbourne cycling....

Beach road  which  was lacking it's usual 100's of cyclists  and the Boulie which was totally deserted. To avoid the increasing traffic  the last part of my ride was on the bike path and since the weather was getting wet and a bit noisy, I had it to myself.  ~1km from home the rear tyre started talking to me and with expletive deleted cries of disbelief I hopped off to discover yet another flat tyre.  My options were to change it, beef it up with a blast from a gas bottle or roll home standing to take the weight off it...I opted for the last choice, which was a bit challenging.
Ride 106.9km  total 150.9km

December 26th
Plan..see if any bike shops are open to buy a new tyre.!  Ride out into the country to avoid the inevitable Boxing Day sales road carnage.  Hopefully 60-70km if the weather holds.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

'tis the season to be indulgent

so finally the weather has come good and I can get out onto the road more days than not  and away from the track and the ergo. 

Or at least that's what I thought until I managed to injure myself on Sunday.

I may never wash the kitchen floor again!    After warning everyone to watch out I managed to skid  while putting my right foot down and since I was in "push off" phase with my left foot I managed to cause  some painful damage to a couple of toes.  Either fractured little terminal phalanges or more likely, the terminal interphalangeal joints dislocated briefly.....whatever, it put a dent in my endurance training for 4 days..off the bike totally on Sunday and Monday and short sessions only on the ergo for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday was s'posed to be a VO2Max session for a research program that I'm  participating in, but I had to cancel.

Today was a 50 km ride and although I was a bit aware of my toes by the end I was really happy to be out and about again.  This ride is really great..no traffic lights at all  until the very last bit...the straight bit at the bottom of the map

I'm taking part in the Rapha Festive 500 between Dec 23 and Dec 31.....you have to ride 500km between those dates..not too hard for those of us where the weather is warm..can't think how I'd do it in UK ...ergo, rollers  and spin classes don't count.

I found out about it  on Strava which is where I download my road ride Garmin details, which I do after I've downloaded my SRM PCVI into the SRM site, WKO+ and finally Training Peaks  ;-)

Other things I  have downloaded (for the ergo) are the Sufferfest training videos which I link in with Trainer road. Trainer Road is a very useful program which tells me exactly what wattage I should be attempting for each phase of the videos....you plug in your HR and power thresholds so it does the transposing for you.  I was somewhat insulted the other day though as I'd failed to complete the full workout and a message flashed up saying I needed to change my power threshold from 175 watts to 0 watts!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Weekend adventures

Working during the afternoon was interesting as the heat took toll on many of the patients and their reluctance factor was at an all time high..and I know that feeling well!  Humid weather and I don't go well together.

So I got home ready to have my second boxing class, this one with my hands also taped up so hopefully more secure and less ouchy, when I heard an unwelcome squeaking coming from the kitchen. Oh shit bugger bum and worse..Flea's caught another @#$%ing rat and brought it indoors....... during the day, no less..will we ever be  safe from the hunter's presents?

There followed a rat chase around the kitchen with the rat yet again finding the only door with a less than perfect fit and yet again ending up behind our ceiling high book shelves here in the computer room.  Long story short..the rat was eventually caught with the inept and very funny help of Pippi (now I'm 100% sure  she has very poor eyesight) and I managed to get to the gym in time.

The sequelae of this event are: the book cases are now in another room, the pantry floor is now clear of all recycle-able bags which have been recycled, the main door is going to have security doors added so we can get fresh air in but keep rat-carrying cats out and Flea has been told he's for the chop if he continues bringing me that sort of Xmas present.

My boxing session was brilliant and I was wasted by the end with my arms feeling as though they were  about to drop off , but it was a really good work out. I also got to actually get into the boxing ring, discovering that the floor was indeed made of canvas.  We only went into it in order to get some space, not to do anything really pugilistic...I'm not sure I could ever contemplate actually hitting anyone. 

My trainer does have a bit of a problem though since I'm a natural  south paw..! (or cackhanded or a mollydooker  although both of these monikers denigrate those  of us lucky to be left handed).  I've learned the jab, cross, hook and uppercut and forget  100% of the time to keep my elbows in and my hands up by my face.

I'm going to have to put my contacts in for the next session as my glasses kept sliding down my nose... giving me an interesting juxtaposition of  the old fashioned looking-over-the-glasses appearance while punching the living daylights out of a heavy bag.   It's quite difficult pushing them back up with taped up  hands inside  boxing gloves.

The taped hands bizzo worked well (mine are red) although my hands a just a bit sore today.

Saturday's ride was to be hilly so I set off to do the 1 in 20 loop. Its a while since I've been  there and rather than just grinding my way up to the top  I decided to assess my hill fitness by doing a 20 minute test..ie from the start line by the cafe in The Basin at the bottom of the climb as far as I could, riding tempo, in 20 minutes.  I rode tempo spinning a low gear and  was short of my all time record by about 200m.

I was about 10 minutes in to my ride when hurtling down towards me at warp speed  and in a really low tuck was what initially I took to be  pro cyclists in  that position they take up on really steep descents. A poompteenth of a second later, as they passed me, I realised they were leathered and helmeted up and  were on skateboards.  WOW!...were they moving!

Later on as I in my turn sped downhill (at less than warp speed but still satisfyingly fast), carefully checking behind me before pulling out to take the correct line on left hand turns, I had the dubious pleasure of  coming nearly face to face with  a motorcyclist  on my side of the road and over double white lines, passing a car on a blind corner...yet another impatient idiot with a death wish.

Not sure yet, but the forecast isn't good so I suspect an ergo session is on the cards along with decorating the Xmas tree.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The program for UCI's 2012 version of the Masters World Champs is out


check out this link for info on the 2012 version.  More chances to enter this year although once again I don't see it as "racing" and I'm not sure the UCI does either  the following quote is from the above link. 

"The UWCT is part of the UCI's 'Cycling for All' project. Anyone can acquire a one day license and take part. Riders with a masters license are also most welcome, unless they are a member of a UCI team or have won UCI points during the season. In practice the UCI targets well-trained amateurs, the type who ride Gran Fondo events."

Some of the events are waaaaay long and tough..alright if you're  young , but for the rest of us?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Crits x 2

Tuesday's crit was not the best for me..I got spat out the back far too early.  After trying to work out why, I realised 2 things ...firstly the pace was  faster than the previous week and with no let up, secondly I need to learn to corner better as I seemed to be for ever catching up to close the gap that appeared in front of me at each of the 3 major corners on the red circuit we raced both days.

Acknowledgment:Eastern Vets CC for the above map

Alex however had a good time in A grade racing his new bike for the first time and  getting 3rd place, allowing him to pay me back some of what he owes me!!!!

So today,  Wednesday, I decided to do another crit, this one at the Boulie loop (Yarra Boulevard).

The published start time was 10:00 and I thought I'd missed it but  when I finally found the group,  I was "just" in time.  This loop, unlike yesterday's 1.2 km is probably about ~ 900m and has only 2 corners, 1 downhill (the northern one), 1 uphill (the more difficult southern one)  which, with about 22 laps during the 40 something minutes race gave me 44 opportunities to analyse my cornering skills..or lack thereof.  

a part of the graph

I felt much better after the race and was pleased to be told I'd been considered a risk for the uphill sprint finish!   ....next time maybe.......

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A temporary change of title and a different sort of training

A temporary  change of title 

while I put in 14 hours/week at the salt mine...ie work...gotta fund the hols OS somehow!   2 half days and 1 day from 0930 to 1600 are doable and only go til the end of January....and it's nice to feel wanted.

I had to turn down 2 other offers...guess there might be a shortage of rehab Physios looking for just a few hours here and there... so maybe,just maybe.... they might be a bit desperate!!!

and  a different sort of training

I'm taking a mini break from doing track work over the holiday season in order to ramp up the amount of endurance road sessions.  My coach doesn't want me to do quite as much top end stuff too soon.  Today's ride was 2 hours over a million undulations to the north  of the Dandenongs.

I've also been doing some rather tedious  general fitness work at a local gym...well to me all gym work is tedious.  2 sessions a week..one for increasing power and strength in my legs and the other one is....boxing!!!  Boxing ...good for cycling??!!  probably not, but it's a bit of fun, it exercises my pathetically weak upper body, is good for core strength, raises a sweat and, as a bonus, if anybody has been annoying me, I can imagine them on the receiving end of my wickedly hard (!!..not) punches.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

I am not a bike rider, I am a "cyclist"


tnx David  of Cycling Inform for alerting me to this via FB 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

First crit for quite a whle

   “Know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong”    
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 Doesn't look very hard, but I was hanging off the back all the time, and was grateful to be there at the end.  I got mini dropped after tangling with another group we were passing and had to first shelter in that slower group going into the wind, then TT  back up to the back of my bunch.

Not a stellar event or performance...but ..since its the longest sustained effort I've made since August, I'll take it as a starting point and will slowly improve.    And as the pix below says.......
they make you get stronger

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Forward planning taken to extremes and other stuff

In order to get onto early bird fares, those of us living in God's own country have to plan waaaaay ahead.

So....my plane tickets for 2012 are already booked and paid for and this week or next, depending on when they are posted, I'll have my lease car booked and the deposit paid.  The first 2 weeks of my time in Europe will be another Italian language learning experience and is already booked..no deposit required for this.

Also, in a race to at least get a bed that won't break the bank, I've also booked accommodation for the following: the Masters track nationals in February (Parramatta), the AVCC Easter carnival at Maryborough, the Hume vets  Queen's Birthday weekend 3 day tour at Benalla in June, and the Masters road Nationals at Goulburn in October.  !

You might think that booking  this early  is a bit of overkill but when you are aiming for the budget end of the scale it's the way to go and in fact I was lucky,  I got the last cabins at both Benalla and Maryborough.  Somewhat amazingly, I didn't have to provide a deposit for any except Parramatta where I had to pay the whole amount upfront.  

Other stuff

For the last 4 days I've been wearing an accelerometer as I am taking part as a healthy subject  in a research project on the amount of exercise people with lung cancer do. The  version of accelerometer that I've been given slips into a pocket or a bum bag however it's turned itself off twice, so I'm not sure it's the best version.

Normally I would be somewhat of an outlier for my 10 year age range   but since 2 of the days were "rest" days for me, the 3rd day it poured all day and so my 3 hour mixed pace road ride morphed into a 1 hour sufferfest on the ergo and the 4th day was a gym day, I wont be.  My body composition was also measured  (def an outlier..more muscle than most 60-70 yr olds) and in a couple of weeks I'll be doing a VO2 max test on a bike.  Muscle testing indicated what I already knew..ie that I'm significantly stronger on my right side  except, somewhat strangely, for grip strength.

Back to regular work
Still as a casual, but I'm doing some clinical work  for at least 2 possibly 3 half days a week until the end of January.  Slow stream rehab..not something I've relished when working regularly, but something I'm happy to go with at this stage of my career.

Gym work
is something I find crashingly boring and it doesn't take much for me NOT to attend, but if I'm to get the improvement in my pursuit and TT it's some thing I just HAVE to do...dammit.  I've found a somewhat different gym+ personal trainer nearby.. part a boxing gym, part not, with  never more than 5 people in the "not" part  at any one time.  So far so good.......

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dramas and non dramas


1. returning from a ride on Beach Road and following a visit to friends in Bon Beach, I couldn't find my SRM PCVI and at $A700 to replace it, I was somewhat upset.  I searched the car 2 or 3 times, checked up that I'd not left it at the friends' place and searched the car/washing machine/driveway and the house AGAIN.  Then the friends went to where I'd parked the car while I was on my ride...still no luck.

The next day after more car searches by me and Alex  I drove via my parking spot (to check again)  to the police station to report it lost prior to putting in an insurance claim.  After I got home I did a final check of the car..with fingers this time rather than eyes and there it was...yet another case of "black on black".  Phew!!!

2. The battery of my HTC Desire smart phone which is part of my Telstra contract and was provided by them has been running down far too quickly since about June. I had tried to get it checked before I went OS at that time but Telstra wants you to make an appointment to see the tech person and with no time for that  I waited and finally started to get it seen to  last week.

Visit 1..went into Telstra Eastland and made an appointment for the next day
Visit 2 tech person said he could do nothing until I had contacted HTC for a test and that HTC could lend me a test battery.

Phone 1 to HTC who had never heard of the test battery thing, but put me onto their tech who got me to do a battery run down test, which I did the next day.  The test showed that after 2 hours with nothing working the battery dropped to 77% of capacity.
Phone 2 to HTC to report the above.  They said..fine...now you have to go back to Telstra and tell them the results and you need to get the tech to do a test..  We'll put it on your data..here's the reference.

Visit 3 to Telstra to make an appointment
Visit 4 tech said there was no ref number but the details were there under my phone number (phew)....he did the test and said ring this Telstra number and they'll provide you with a new battery since this one is clearly faulty..gives me phone number.

Phone 3..ring number...wrong one.   Given another number...phone chick says noooo they dont do that you will have to buy a battery and they can re-imburse me.  Go back to Telstra shop  and they will provide......(I got a bit hot under the collar during this phone call....!)

Visit 5 I refused to get appointment and said something like ....see me now I'm totally pissed off..this is the 5th visit and you are bouncing me around..it's no wonder there are always annoyed people in this shop...etc etc etc. The  tech saw me at once(squeaky wheel syndrome at play here).  Ha!..no batteries in shop...buy online at Telstra accessories and provide the invoice for refund.  He gave me details.  I checked.  No stock until 6/12/2011.

The noise you can hear is my teeth grinding/gnashing

Non dramas
  • Earlier on following the comment about the TT I emailed   the Torino World Masters Games re the  road race and it will  NOT be as shown on the web site, but will be " a little up and a little down" and of an appropriate distance for all ages.
  • I'm back doing Italian classes, training hard and working 2 days a week max.
  • Ben and Melissa are house hunting and we're sorta in on the act a bit.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Cycling Australia's Cyclist of the Year Awards

As a previous 2 time winner of the Female Masters section award...I'm delighted to congratulate Lise Benjamin on winning this year's version.  She looked the goods in Manchester and did us all proud with her podium places there.

Congrats also to my "old" mate Shirley Amy who deservedly was awarded the Victorian Volunteer of the Year. Shirley's work at club level (along with unnamed others, I've no doubt) has brought Castlemaine CC up to the forefront of all the country clubs.  Well done Shirl!  Not just working at club level, she's also been keeping up the fitness and competitive side of things too with good results at the Aus Masters Games held in South Australia during October.

Me?..well I keep posting that I'm over jet lag, but I'm still taking nanna naps at about 4pm......I've tried to get to the track twice but haven't woken up in time.  BUT, today I'm up, I'm also awake and what's more I'm packed and ready to roll!  And at work I've tramsformed from a very quiet person to my more normal level of chit chat and verbal sparring....and it's been commented on!

Follow up on my World Masters Games 2013 (Aug 2nd to Aug 13th) comment in a previous post...this prompted another friend to email the cycling contact and apparently there WILL  be a Time Trial.

Road info so far: parcours of 117km

Track info so far:

400m outdoor track..hmm 400m that should be interesting for the 500m TT!

and finally MTB...the pix show an extremely benign area...maybe I could think of entering this too(!) and there's Orienteering too hmmm..spoilt for choice.
Now I have to start scouting out good accommodation before other equally overly/stupidly well organised people snap up the best there is.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A week later..random comments and plans for 2012

finally... I've emerged from the dementing fog of jet lag, travel fatigue and  the scrambled digestive system that habitually  haunts me for about 7 days after long haul flights in cattle class.  The only living thing to be sad about my departure from this state is my cat who just loves to have a human being to snuggle down with during the day, ending up as a furry scarf during my frequent day time naps.

And so to planning for the next  season.  One thing is for certain, I'm not going to freight my bikes over or back  again, it'd be cheaper to go business class and pre purchase extra weight allowance.  Getting the bike over to Europe was extra work but wasn't all that expensive...getting it back was a ridiculously expensive money grab.

Since I've had 3 weeks off the bike, I'll not be entering the Women's Omnium or the Metro champs later this month but will aim to peak for the States and Nats champs in February and then will plan to have a solid road season returning to Deutschlandsberg and St Johann during August.

I will not be going to South Africa for the UCI  Masters thing since I continue to consider that format  not to be racing. Also I wonder how it's possible to police the "qualifying " mass participation events so as to prevent women from being paced by their male friends  in order to get a good enough time to qualify.  Of related interest ... in Athletics women's world records in the Marathon can now only be set in Women only races.

Planning well into the future I see that the Torino World Masters Games 2013 has only 1 very hilly parcours of 100+km for the road race (no TT) and given the games habit of allowing age classes up to and including W/M100+ this seems a bit odd.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Always plenty of ruins in Rome

From the top of the tour bus (and before I fell asleep!)

The end of October and the queues were still infinitely long
The one plus about jet lag is that I'm awake at a time when the more interesting
TV programs are on!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Jet lag's a bitch

back home..awake too!

Random thoughts: 

***Rome was a bit of a trial…
  • I was really tired and nearly fell asleep while on the open top tour bus…actually, unless they missed out a part of the tour I think I DID fall asleep since I didn’t get to see what is described as the most famous fountain in the world……!
  • Sadly the Lazzaretti bike shop was a disappointment…I keep forgetting that in general European  and UK bike shops are very small and don’t have much on display to gaze at..we’re lucky in Aus, not only do we have easily found bike shops in many suburbs, but they also have heaps of stock/things to look at  and make browsing worthwhile. 
  • Memo to self ….if you’re going to claim a return of VAT from goods bought in Europe…don’t fly out from Rome.  Here you have to do the following….put tax free stuff in checked in baggage, go and get it checked in, go to customs with checked in baggage, passport and boarding pass, wait in queue for up to an hour, get paper stamped, put luggage on special location, go to a special gate once through security to wait in another queue to get cash refund or a different one again for a credit card refund.  Had I known it was going to be soooo slow I’d not have bothered, but when I went to check  out what to do there was no queue at all.  Still an'all...I got 32 euros back. 
  • On the positive side..... unlike  in Florence, either people living in the part of Rome I was walking in don't have dogs  or the dog owners clear up after the dogs 'cos the pavements were really clean.

***The flight was bearable..
  • The leg from Dubai wasn't direct, it was via Singapore which turned out to be a good thing  since, even although it ended up a couple of hours longer, it broke the journey into bite sized chunks and what's more there's free internet at Changi ;-)
  • Since there is always a queue for the ladies toilets everywhere, but especially in airports…….what should be the  ratio of  toilets provided  to the expected number of females in the building at anyone time!!?...1 each, 1 for every 5,10,15??????  I feel distress for anyone with continence issues.
  • Sitting next to a tall person is the same as sitting next to a fat one…they take over your space..boney elbows and knees.

There's always a group pix on the last day..and as usual 100% multicultural..Dutch, Japanese, Swiss, Spanish, American, Brazilian, Australian with  Lorenzo the Italian teacher at the back.

Many of the Japanese girls stayed a year or so working while learning the language
As one loved by mozzies, this was a sign I  couldn't ignore


Friday, 28 October 2011

Farewell Fabulous Firenze+late extra pix

I guess eventually all good things have to come to an end, and my holiday  is rapidly approaching it's conclusion.  Today is my last day at school and tomorrow I get the 08:40 train to Rome for a day's worth of sight-seeing before reluctantly, resignedly getting on the plane for a 10pm departure.So today I have to ensure my walk during the 2 hour lunch break takes me to the parts of Firenze that I've yet to explore.

Firenze... a city of many parts,  full of tourists, noise, dirt, motor scooters, art, shops full of leather goods, street markets,and beautiful buildings.  I will miss it all, although being a total Philistine who refuses point blank to queue, museums, galleries and churches do not feature high on my list of things I must  do anywhere, even here.

Yet more statues

 Stenciled on a very old building....graffiti Italian style?

Hmm.........what to do while in Rome?.....(memo to self to be very very aware of pickpockets).

First up...visit the famous Lazzarotti bike shop of course!  then I might walk over to the Vatican City to wander in the gardens if it's allowed although with my anti queue policy there'll be no visit to see anything that requires standing in a line. At least I'll have my UK passport with me which is proof positive that I'm not only a citizen of Europe but am also over 65 and so entry to most things will be free. I didn't get to see the Colosseum last time round and of course I'll be keeping my eye out for typos, signs and other quirky  things to take pix of.

yup.......despite the dog poo on the pavements!

thanks all for reading this blog, there have been almost 2000 visits to it.  There'll be only one more post on my adventures in Europe, then back to the usual, written in a somewhat less exotic locale.

Late addition...in 1966 there was an enormous flood...the river Arno broke its banks and the flood water damaged many works of art and beautiful buildings.  The photo below is of a building perhaps 500-600m up from where the river is now and the small white-ish plaque to the right of the  first floor window (English style first floor...not American 1st floor) is the level the water got to at this spot.

 I was lucky to notice this plaque..... I was chugga-lugging a can of lemon tea and so had my head back and eyes up otherwise I'd never have seen it......

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sunday in Firenze Part 3

Weird fact about Firenze:
It is forbidden to put heating on in public buildings until November 1st and it must go off completely at the end if March!
Apparently there is also a similar rule for other parts of the country with different dates, depending on whether it's north and therefore colder sooner or south and not quite such an issue.

Old walls!

More old walls
Old streets

Boar's head outside a shop.....which was selling...?

View from the rose garden

and from the Michelangelo Piazza, high on the south bank of the fiume Arno

and finally 2 signs....
well,  perhaps I wasn't s'posed to take it...whoops!

and this one .......well ..... the shop is in the tourist area and was closed when I took the photo on Tuesday at 1pm

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sunday in Firenze part 2

Transport of all types
Segway I think

Tour group plus guide

The best size car for Firenze..electric too, so quiet and cheaper
Quadrem??..or am I making that up!