Bit of a sad day today. News last night that David Bowie had passed away aged 69. All the memories came flooding back. I bought my first car in 1972, my second year at university. A brand-new, 25-year-old, Humber Snipe, with a very loud sound system and a very dodgy gearbox. It cost me the princely sum of $900. The only thing that worked properly with the car was the radio. The songs playing through that radio, when I went to pick up a girl for the first time, were Ben, by Michael Jackson, On the wings of an eagle, by Russell Morris and three songs by a dude, who I thought at the time, was one of the strangest individuals I had ever seen . Hey okay, I had just arrived in Sydney from the country, give me a break. That person was David Bowie and the songs were Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City and Starman.
At the time I thought Bowie was just to show off but I’m still listening to his music all these years later. I’ve never forgotten those songs from those far-off years when everyone was young, the world was wide and the possibilities were endless. I associate David Bowie with being young, with taking out girls and dawn-filled, summer skies as I drove to Bilgola Beach to do Surf patrols
I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day
David Bowie Heroes 1977
Goodbye David Bowie. Like Amy Winehouse you gave so much pleasure to so many people.
Anyway, the living have to go on living and they have to get up and go for a swim. It is Wednesday after all. I rolled out of my apartment at 530 in the pre-dawn greyness. The 6am group, small though it was, were sheltering under the eaves of Manly Surf club. We did a quick belt over to Shelly in the gloom trying not to alert the sleeping sharks. The words and melody of Heroes rattled my brain. Back at the point at 630 the BBC crew were on their way out, heading for North Steyne. They had been driven to Manly once more by the ongoing dirty water at Balmoral caused by heavy rain. I decided to tag along. It’s amazing how much energy I have now that the gut bugs are gone, the pain in my leg has receded and I’m now getting some decent sleep. I did wake up this morning with my left ear stuck to my pillow from blood boozing from the wound caused by the Aldara treatment for the squamous cell carcinoma there. Walking around with a pillow stuck to my ear is nothing really. Doesn’t even register on the pain meter. This morning’s swim was 3.2 km all up. Not bad before work.
It’s Wednesday, so that means Belinda – she who must be obeyed. I fronted up as usual and it immediately became very weird. She had me doing sideways lunges/jumps 20 times across the gym, then back, then back once more. And once more becuase I’m tired. Then I had to stand up on the big box and jump off onto the floor, landing square on both feet, in a squat. I hadn’t done this before from this height and it was with considerable fear and trepidation that I launched the first time. I was just getting used to that and she said,
“Now we’re going to do some Bulgarian split squats.”
“WTF is that,” I thought. It turned out to be the height of weirdness. It’s essentially a one legged squat on your bad leg with one leg stuck up behind you. Only a Bulgarian could think of this! Please don’t try this unless you are under expert supervision or you are Bulgarian or both. We also did some deadlifts with the Kettlebell which I haven’t done for quite a few months. Thse are done with a straight back and are called Russian Deadlift. Hey, it’s all the Europeans. Anyway nothing hurt. She seems to think I’m ready to head to the mountains. I’m not so sure.