Heat by Rob O’Neill

Epiphany on Circular Quay

This morning I had one of those moments, one of those profound moments when the spirit, poetry and everyday life come into alignment. Unexpectedly, you are transported onto a different plane, away from daily mundanities onto the plane of the highest senses.

The plane of art.

I didn’t have the correct change for the bus this morning so I walked out to the point in Drummoyne and caught the ferry instead. It was one of those beautiful Sydney winter’s days, the harbour flat as glass, the sun pouring down and the arch of the Harbour Bridge refreshed, renewed and once again providing the grandeur and beauty you’d long taken for granted.

The ferry zipped along, picked up another load of passengers at Milson’s Point and then turned for the Quay. We shot under the bridge and then slowed to drift up to the wharves.

That’s when it happened. James Joyce would have called it an epiphany, in his terms a moment of deep artistic insight. On the foreshore at Circular Quay, at 8.30, in the middle of the peak commuting hour, the girls from Aerobics Oz Style were stepping it out, out, out …

It must have been a shoot for their summer series, as the the silver bikinis shined bright in the morning sunlight. There it was: the sun, the harbour, the bridge, the Opera House – and the girls from Aerobics Oz Style. I was not only uplifted, I was transported back, back in time nearly twenty years to my little suburban nest in Avondale.

The Oz girls used to join us almost daily in our little home. The mother of my children, she who must be obeyed no longer, was constantly trying to keep in shape. I’d lounge on the couch and Vick would do whatever it was that people were doing that week to keep fit. Naturally there were always some vital accessories – one week it would be little rubberized weights, the next weighted wristbands, the next something else.

Remember Step?

To do step you had to have these foam rubber steps. We had those as well. You couldn’t possibly step from your back garden onto the verandah, that wouldn’t do at all. You had to have the foam rubber steps. And then there were the endless latest, newest exercise videos. In time, and quite a short time it was, these would all end up unused in the spare room.

But one thing that never changed, never went out of fashion, was Aerobics Oz Style. I never worked out to it of course. But this morning I realized the lasting impact the show has had. I could still remember the girls’ names - well, two of them anyway. There was Effie, the little blonde who never said anything, just jumped around and looked oh so cute. Then there was June. June was the stern, dark-haired leader. Her deep European accent demanded respect. She would have been just like a James Bond Euro-spy, except she was doing aerobics. June …

June ...

Anyway, both Effie and June are still on the job, so to speak. Twenty years on and still stepping it out, out, out on the foreshores of Sydney.

You need those kinds of constants in this tough old nasty old world.

Quite independently, I’ve had my first run for the year and switched to skim-milk lattes. They call them "skinnies" over here. I’ve had to retrain my barristas, who usually have a cup ready for me as soon as I appear around the corner from my office. They tell me this is the week: they’ve had five or six regulars switch to skinnies in the last few days.

You can feel it in the air. Summer’s on the way. It’s shape-up time.

Anyway, the awards are on. The Netguide Awards, that is, and there are all sorts of categories you might want to nominate your favourite website in, best website, best design, best personal blog ...