I am snuggled up in my chair, wrapped in my lovely warm Pas de Valse cardi, red blanket wrapped around my legs, feet in uggies, as gusts of wind shower the roof and windows withraindrops. While the rest of Australia is sweltering in ridiculous temperatures, we have had a cold snap that makes autumn seem all too close to hand.
Thankfully it isn’t all doom and gloom – this morning we managed to get out and take our new (2ndhand-but-new-to-us) kayaks for a spin. We drove up to New Norfolk in search of calmer waters and a safe spot for newbies to start learning how it all works. It was still pretty windy, which made things a little tricky as the kayak blew sideways down the river pretty quickly if we stopped paddling and peddling. And yes you read that correctly- our new kayaks are the kind with pedals too, so you get a full body workout and go faster! (Though I believe that this particular modification was designed with fishing enthusiasts in mind – they need hands-free options to manage the finishing rod, thus pedal-power was introduced).
I got going with our youngest, Violet, first, however I felt a bit unsafe with the wind blowing us so strongly, and went back to swap so that Craig (Man of My Dreams) could take Violet and I could have Sophie as my kayak buddy. Sophie and I went ok, aside from her habit of sitting back and relaxing while I pedalled and paddled frantically into the wind, after which she would be upset about heading to the middle of the river and start paddling back towards shore, thus putting us broadside to the wind again!
Craig and Violet took the other kayak, while Jeremy tried out the little yellow child’s model, however it just wasn’t big enough for him so he came ashore, then Violet wanted off, so eventually it was just Craig pedalling and paddling up the river to meet Sophie and I as we drifted back down. All in all I had the most time on the water, Craig and Jeremy did the most lifting, and Jeremy had the most time in the water, fishing out a pair of sunglasses. Once we were all back on land, dry, dressed, equipment packed up and put away and tied down, we picnicked in the park until we could stand the wind no longer, then hopped in the nice warm car and drove home, passing a variety of people blackberrying on the sides of the road, commenting on the hundreds of cygnets at the swan breeding grounds near Bridgewater, and enjoying the sensation of being homeward bound after our little adventure. Perhaps it was a not a very grand adventure (Tasmania is home to a great many outdoor-loving adventurous types who emulate the Bear Grylls style of wilderness camping, whereas I like having some modern amenities and food which has not been freeze-dried, so I’m always careful to explain my soft-core preferences) but it was fun, and new for us, and I learned how touchy the steering rudder is, and how to adjust the pedals to suit my leg length and foot size, and how to change the rotation of the paddle blades, and how to lower and raise the rudder, so I’m calling it a win!
As an extra bonus there was of course knitting time in the car on the way up and back, so my current cotton cardi gained a centimetre or so. It is now at the point where I need to try it on and work out whether to add some more increases in the centre back for extra swing or not.
And snuggled up in my chair I have been catching up on blog reading, saving recipes for some kitchen adventurousness, guzzling lovely hot tea and enjoying the smell of boeuf bourguinon in the slow-cooker (set going before we left).
All in all a very satisfactory day so far, and the prospect of more enjoyment to come (swatching!!), not least because this is a long weekend and I have one more day to go! I’m glad we went adventuring today.