I really enjoy Leura, it's kind of touristy but also a bit chi chi and quaint. The main street through town has a fabulous collection of shops, with a heavy emphasis on upscale wine and food, homewares, and the sort of fabulously engaging (but thoroughly non-essential) shops that always win me over. Moontree candle shop and gallery, Elizabeth Rosa fine stationery and Ikou natural products being three that had me before I'd even stepped over their airconditioned thresholds.
After a lovely lunch at the bakehouse cafe, I window shopped like I could do it competitively for Australia, while Judy plonked down some true cash money and was given goods in return! (I love how that works.) It was a little depressing being in Retail Heaven whilst being skint, but helping someone else spend their money is definitely the next best thing.
Safely back in Sydney, I grabbed my swimming gear and headed over to my friend Mike's house for our new weekly swimming regimen. Mike has a very nice, and generally underused, swimming pool in his apartment complex, and a couple of weeks ago started inviting a small group of us over to swim laps. I'm technically a pretty good swimmer if not a strong one, so the pool is a good size for me (about 20m long we estimated). The plan is to get together once a week for lap swimming, with a goal to increase our personal baselines by at least 2 laps each session.
Synchronised naiads! Hot jazz trumpet! Colour coded handmaidens! This bitch knows how to make an entrance...
Not exactly an intensive training regime, but every little bit helps, and it's nice to do it in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. I love the water and have since I was a little nipper, and it's so nice to slip into the pool after a hot day. My natural inclination has always been to slide straight under the water, ever since I was a kid I just about spent more time swimming along the bottom of the pool than anything. However it's nice to break out the old freestyle, side stroke and backstroke. Certainly more taxing physically!
Of course it's then off to the pub for a meal and some beers, but then every elite swimming squad needs a team building exercise now and then.