Week 21/2024: A busy Sunday

Week of 20 May 2024

This was a busy Sunday after a solid week at work.

Walking, connecting and breathing

City to Casino

City to Casino is one of the fun runs that Kramstable, Lil Sis and I do every year.

It’s a 7 km walk and run from Cornelian Bay to Wrest Point Casino or, for the keen runners, a 12 km run from the Derwent Entertainment Centre (aka MyState Bank Arena). In the past, we’ve all done the 7 km event, Kramstable running and Lil Sis and I walking. This year, however, after his 10 km Run the Bridge, Kramstable decided to tackle the 12 km run.

It was a VERY cold wait for the start of the race for Lil Sis and me.

A river at low tide as the sky is starting to lighten early in the morning. There are birds on the shore and boats in the water
Waiting in the cold at Cornelian Bay

Not so for the 12 km runners, who got to wait inside the entertainment centre.

One of my goals for this race was to capture Kramstable running past us.

This happened on Davey Street, a few minutes after my boss had passed us.

A view of runners from behind on an otherwise empty streeet
Kramstable in action

My other goal was to complete the course.

Seven km would be the longest walk I’d attempted since the Point to Pinnacle, and a test to see whether my foot really was feeling better.

We did it!

It was, and I made the distance without any pain at all.

Our time was somewhat slower than Kramstable’s 12 km time of just over an hour, but he’s a young fit human and I’m coming off an injury . . . Checking the results later, we found we were last in our age category and had recorded our slowest time ever in this event.

Woohoo! We’re very pleased with this achievement!

We saw Kramstable right at the end and he joined us in crossing the finish line, which was good fun.

Three people crossing the finish line of a walking race under an arch bearing the words "Raine & Horne" alongside a tall tower building
Making sure we cross the finish line at exactly the same time so we can come last together

Alexander Technique workshop

My friends at Pepperberry Theatre have been offering monthly acting workshops this year. The first one I went to was Choreo in Performance with Michelle Williams in February. May’s workshop was the Alexander Technique with Penny McDonald.

I was grateful to Lil Sis for dropping me in town after our walk so I could get there on time.

I learned about the Alexander Technique just under two years ago when I was looking for some support for my shoulder that was suffering maybe bursitis, maybe frozen shoulder, maybe something else . . .

Seeking an approach that didn’t involve large needles, I contacted Alexander teacher Penny about whether this technique could help me. I’ve been working with Penny since then in combinations of group classes and individual lessons. Here I’ve been exploring not only shoulder issues but also my back and subsequent foot injury, and my adventures in acting and vocal work. Penny has a theatrical background so she’s ideally placed for this.

A blue tile with the photo of a woman with short grey hair and the text "Alexander Technique for Aators - Penny McDonald"
The Alexander Technique workshop promo from Pepperberry Theatre

The workshop blurb says:

Free up your body, mind, senses and voice, to be truly alive in the moment. This workshop will explore the principles of the Alexander Technique, where you will discover a process to release tension from your body and breath. We will explore presence, trust and listening. These skills are not only the foundation for acting they are skills for life.

It was an introductory workshop that included a lot of the principles I’ve been learning about with Penny but with a focus on using them in performance. Being grounded, being present, and breathing. And being connected.


We spoke a lot about the concepts of First, Second and Third Circle, which the voice teacher Patsy Rodenburg developed.

We explored how it feels ourselves and how it feels to observers to take each of these positions.

First circle is being inwardly focused on yourself, third has outward energy with a ‘pay attention to me’ vibe, and second circle comes from being fully present and connected with the people around you. Penny explained that this is where you need to be as an actor so you’re connecting with the audience to tell them the story, as well as being connected with the other people on stage who you’re in relationship with.

It’s really powerful to see the very subtle shifts as people move from an inward focus on themselves, not wanting to connect with anyone, to the ‘it’s all about me’ energy, to the ‘I seek to connect’ feeling of presence.

And it’s mostly in your thinking rather than in actively changing your behaviour that these changes come about.


Thinking is a big part of the Alexander Technique. Its originator, FM Alexander, was an actor who lost his voice. Having been unable to find any medical cause for this, he began observing himself as he spoke, and noted he was using his body in a way that hindered his performance. If he adjusted these things, his breath flowed and his voice came back.

But it’s about changing your thinking and allowing your body to respond that creates the change. Not ‘doing the thing’.

We explored different forms of movement, which was great to play with. Some of this reminded me of the work we did in the Somatic Stagecraft workshop last month. (Jem Nicholas, who ran that workshop, is also an Alexander teacher and has trained under Penny’s instruction.)

It was a fun and inspiring workshop, where four hours went very quickly.

Week 21 summary

Habit tracker

  • 9.30 shutdown: 5/6 days
  • 8,000 steps: 6/7 days

What was the best thing about this week?

The Alexander workshop was fantastic, as was finishing the City to Casino walk.

I also really enjoyed the play Twelve Angry Jurors, which we saw on Saturday night. Presented by Pepperberry Theatre, this is an adaptation of the play and movie Twelve Angry Men. I’d never seen it but remembered my high school drama teacher had been in it in Launceston back in the day.

An ad for the play Twelve Angry Jurors 16-26 May 2024 Peacock Theatre
Twelve Angry Jurors

It’s a great ensemble piece that can be adapted to different time periods and locations and to cater for different gender mixes. I thought it was fantastic and the cast was excellent. The film is now on my ‘must watch’ list.

What did I notice this week?

The weird, eerie empty light on Harrington Street.

A deserted street with mid-20th century red brick buildings on the edge of the street
Harrington Street, Wednesday afternoon

It looked really odd and it only lasted a moment or two. I almost wondered if I’d imagined it.

Also this interesting light and shadow play.

A black & white image of light streaming into a darkened parking garage
Light and shadow

What did I learn this week?

The right lung has three lobes and the left one has two.

What am I reading?

  • All The Birds of the Air by Demelza
  • The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
  • The M Word by Dr Ginni Mansberg
  • The Premonition by Michael Lewis
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