Thursday, August 09, 2012

Sepia Saturday 138: Keeping on your toes

Riding a bike while wearing high heels? These wonder women are probably wearing girdles too. In the 40's, 50's and even the early 60's an anatomical jiggle anywhere on the body was considered unladylike and in bad taste. A girdle was essential, even on a bicycle! I fondly remember my friend's mother coming home from her job, going straight to the bedroom to remove the offending garment then rubbing her back against the door jamb. She'd moan and say, "Someday you girls will know what this is all about". Fortunately, we never did. Thankfully, my generation burned their underwear. Selling a girdle to a woman in the 70's was like selling a refrigerator to an eskimo? What for? 

I googled "riding a bike in high heels" to see if there was any advice on the matter. Biking is coming back in hip urban areas and cities all over the world are re-figuring their highways to allow for more bicycle traffic and offering incentives to those who choose to ride them. Websites with riding advice abound. The single most important rule of high heel riding seems to be that you pedal with the toe part of your shoe. Do not, as these ladies are doing, let the pedal cradle in the arch of your foot. This is dangerous as is riding without a helmet and doing that tandem thing over the shoulders. What is that anyway? Could anyone really ride a bicycle wearing today's foot fashions?

Ultimately, there are some things you do in high heels and some things you do not. At least that's what I thought until my friend Nancy sent me the story of the legendary Maurice Wilson, who attempted a climb of Mt. Everest in spite of an incredible lack of experience. He didn't make it -  you can read the whole story here.


But Maurice, who owned a woman's clothing store, was even more complicated than your ordinary nut case who crashed a plane into Everest and then without training or experience attempted to climb it. When his body was found, there was women's clothes in his rucksack and some claim "he was decked out in woman's underwear".  But wait, there's more......

In the 60's during a climbing attempt by the Chinese, a woman's shoe was found at 21,000 feet.
Enough said.

For more stories on this photo, cycle over to Sepia Saturday.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Return of the Peacock

We heard a noise this morning and looked out to see the peacock, back again in all his glory, this time right on the patio. 

Last night, I left a few plastic containers containing small irrigation parts on the patio. The bird was very interested in the containers and the parts, pecking experimentally at them a couple of times. The cats were amazed at first and began stalking but they soon realized the bird had the advantage and pulled back to observation mode. 

"Hello! I'm Buster."

Hello! I'm Pink."
The peacock, quite obviously somebody's pet, seemed relaxed in the company of the cats. I walked out and he didn't appear to be upset by my presence either.  The cats, their legendary curiosity satisfied, actually wandered off and left him alone.
"Oh well, another big bird on the patio. Guess I'll go see what else is going on."

Monday, August 06, 2012

Family Reunion 2012

Another great family reunion over the weekend in Nipomo and Paso Robles. Uncle Kelly was the oldest attendee at 92 and Travis, the youngest, is 14 months. We enjoyed seeing everyone again and ate and drank well.
    Saturday night: Tri-tip and chicken barbecue, Nipomo

    ......and beans

    Pretty Penny Vineyard, Paso Robles

    Looking out the kitchen windows

    Jim with his Leica

    Marianne's beautiful flowers

    Everyone waiting for pizza hot from the oven

    Marianne and Bob's delicious pizza

    and we enjoyed a very fine syrah from their vineyard.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Sepia Saturday #137: Don't Run, Walk

I I love watching Olympic racing of any kind. But I particularly like to watch race walking. It's an event you'd be hard pressed to find televised at any other time in the U.S. People (Americans) think its nerdy and laughable. I like it because it looks like something anyone could do. I sit on the couch eating chips and guacamole, watching the event and between mouthfuls and sometimes during mouthfuls I've been known to say, "Oh look, we could do that."
Race walking began 400 years ago when a footman routinely walked alongside the coach of his employer. As is the wont of men, it was inevitable that one coach owner would shout across to others riding nearby, "My footman is better/faster than yours! I bet you 20 quid mine can beat yours to the next pub"....and the races were on. Over the years these race events gained the name, "Pedestrianism" and were a popular venue for wagering.

To make a long story readable, the race events grew in length and became and more formalized. Some events were really endurance contests - like the one in the notice above which was simply the one who "goes farthest in six days" wins 500 pounds.  Footmen clearly disappeared and race walkers dressed in shorts and jerseys took their place. Race walking became an Olympic event in 1906.

I'll be munching my guac and chips while watching the men's 20K this Saturday August 4th (if its televised) and next Saturday August 11th when the men's 50K and the women's 20K will take place. Borscht will likely be on the menu that day in honor of the many Russians who enjoy some dominance in the sport.

Always trying for the last word, my husband observed that women look so much better doing this than men. I have to agree.