Monday, May 3, 2010

Space and rhythm

I am on holidays.  Three weeks, and several adventures planned, with enough space left for the unplanned too.

This break started with a weekend trip to Wollongong (to see son), then a day and night in Sydney (for a Taiko drumming workshop).

The drumming was great fun.  In two hours we learned the basis of a rhythm that is played continuously at Japanese festivals over several hours, sometimes days.  Arms are held straight, sometimes high above the head before beating into the drum.  Very theatrical.  Once the rhythm starts its important to keep the space between your arms and your body, which is helped by the way you stand.  Always the need for space to support form.

After two days back in Canberra, I headed off again - this time to country Victoria for a five day cycling trip.  There were over fourty people from Canberra there, it being organised through the local cycling club. We stayed in country pubs, and had lovely breakfasts and dinners thrown in.  Overall we did about 270km from Myrtleford to Bright and back, to Beechworth (up a steep hill), then on to Rutherglen for two nights.  The only rain was on our rest day in Rutherglen, when we cycled short distances between wineries, after a ride across the river (and the border) for morning tea in Corowa, NSW.

On the way back I stopped in at Albury and had lunch with my son's grandmother and aunt.  To celebrate the grandmother's 80th birthday I had bought a bonsai plant.  While on the ride I had left in the care of the very kind staff at the Myrtleford visitors centre.

It was a lovely adventure buying the bonsai.  I found a guy who sells them in my suburb, and visited his nursery.  He showed me the big plants ($6000 or more) and they were beautiful.  With the deciduous trees losing their leaves, and pomegranates bearing bright but miniature fruit - it was a delightful place.  And luckily there was a nice cyprus for sale at a very reasonable price.

I was reminded of the bonsai garden when we arrived in Bright, which is on the road to the Victorian ski fields, and which had just celebrated its Autumn festival - the main feature being the beautiful trees turning to shades of red and gold and silver, with their leaves floating onto the ground below them.

The people on the ride were lovely, some friends I know quite well, and others who quickly became new friends.  And on the last day of the ride, after we had all showered and changed out of our cycling gear, a rainbow appeared in the sky.