Lazing by the pool

How much do you like lazing by the pool? Can’t get enough of it? Could be a dream come true? Just what you need? A little R&R?

That’s what I thought too! That was until I was fortunate enough to get a chance to do it.

I recall years ago visiting this tropical location on a family camping trip. We camped in the local caravan park on the beautiful beach. We walked along the beach and peeked in at the luxury resort awestruck by the beautiful swimming pools. Never did I dare to imagine that one day I would be lazing by one of those pools.

And yet, there was I just last  week lazing by the pools, swimming in the pools, ordering cool drinks that waiters brought to my lounge chair. It seemed decadent and I felt like a bit of  a fraud. This level of luxury does sit well on my conscience. I can open my own  door thank you. And carry my own bag – I’m not an invalid. I don’t mind getting  up and walking to the bar to order a drink.

How long before the laze by the  pool on the sun lounge gets a little boring? I start to fidget. I go for a  swim. I read another couple of pages of a boring book. I get on Facebook on my  phone and tell my friends that I am bored or lazing by the pool, or whatever.

This resort is aging and in need  of a makeover. There are cheap packages available – one we bought. The food is  quite awful – food for the masses – smorgasbords of food that could be fresher  and authentic. Was that reconstituted egg I tasted in the scrambled eggs for  breakfast? I’m not a fussy eater but at this level of promoted luxury you do  expect the food to be at least real. The banana smoothie I ordered had banana essence as the banana component: not a real banana to be seen. I know bananas are expensive at the moment but this is the tropics and this is a luxury resort!

I’m not good at sitting still. I  need to explore, walk, and look around. The boat trips to the outer barrier  reef were great. We snorkelled and we saw turtles, reef fish, and colourful coral.  We saw whales and dolphins. We walked around the town dreaming about buying a  little piece of tropical paradise.

It was good to get a little bit  of warmth and sunshine, but I am quite happy to be back at home under grey  skies. And now at least I know that lazing by the pool is not all that it  appears.

I love a sunburnt country

Dorothea MacKellar’s famous ode to Australia echoes loudly down through the generations.


The harsh Australian sun has taken its toll on my fair freckled skin after a youth spent outdoors. This week I have had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my forehead.


Bay swim about 1991Spending my childhood and teenage years outdoors without a hat or sunscreen was normal for me and my generation. I spent most of my free daylight hours outside playing tennis, swimming, and water-skiing. Cracked lips, peeling noses, and sun burnt skulls were badges of honour as proof of sun-worship. My skin did tan to a light golden colour and to me this was some kind of validation of my Australian identity, shunning my English, Scottish and French ancestry. I inherited my skin type from my mother and aunt and they both have had many nasty things cut and burnt from their skin. My aunt who will turn 90 years of age this year has had so many cuts made to her face that she looks like she has been in a car accident. She is not the slightest bit vain about it and I admire her common-sense and practical attitude.


I still enjoy an active outdoor life but nowadays I wear a hat and sunscreen. Unfortunately the damage is already done and I fear this little operation may be the first of many.


The recent Web 2.0 conference resulted in some new connections with suggestions and requests for more work. With a couple of days off work I know my workload is piling up. I have lots to do. I need to report on the conference; think about writing an article for an organisation whose representative approached me after my presentation, create more wikis, find some appropriate videos for classroom projects, transfer the library content from our intranet to the new content management system, as well as my usual library work. Not to mention catching up on reading the email, blogs and twitters that will be accumulating.

Just do it!

Just do it! A term coined by a man I’d bet. Many women who are mothers don’t have time to “just do” anything else except be a mother.


Trying not to lose track of the lap count in my head, I thought about my exercise routine as I enjoyed my early morning swim. I have always tried to be active but when women have babies their bodies are not their own, and then when the babies grow into children and teenagers, the mothers time is not their own. Twenty years can disappear in the blink of an eye while all the attention for nurturing is on the children, not oneself.


It feels like a luxury for me to do as I please now without having to first consider the schedules, demands and needs of others. Having said that, I miss the daily conversations and interactions with my children, that I enjoyed for all those years.


So I swim, do pilates, lift weights, practice yoga, cycle and walk; all of these regularly. It feels great and I feel stronger, fitter and healthier than I have for a long time.


Given the choice I would exercise before I went online. A walk outside breathing in the fresh air interests me more that surfing the net. I admire those who have a regular exercise routine and use their web time to try to inspire others to exercise by logging their efforts. Keep it up Leo.