Preparation Form

Late last year I finally managed to bumble my way solo through the whole Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method 81-Form Yilu for the first time. In case that doesn’t mean anything to you, Taijiquan (or more simply, tai chi) is a form of Chinese martial art; these Chinese martial arts are sometimes collectively known as Chinese Boxing. I was first introduced to this form in a workshop in 2013. Five years to learn 81 moves! Prior to this I had started learning a different version of Chen Style Taijiquan around 1995, but at the time I started Practical Method, I had still not made it to the end of that one! Now at such a slow learning rate, how can I hope to ever get any better? I pondered.

Anyway, this year I’ve got long service leave. In the Western Australian Public Service, that means I’ve been working for seven years, and I get 60 days’ leave. I’ve been formulating a plan to drive around the interior of Australia, with some ideas for particular places I’d like to visit, e.g. Kata Tjuta in NT, Wilpena Pound in SA, and Peak Charles in WA. I’ve even gone so far as to purchase a Subaru Outback for the purpose – the Boxer diesel variety.

2011 Subaru Outback

However, this trip has to coincide with UWA’s 2019 mid-year vacation – students start holidays on Monday 17 June and go back on Monday 29 July – so my daughter Phoebe can go too. Six weeks.

So what’s the connection? Six weeks, 42 days, approximately half of 81. Of course: an Outback Boxer tour.

23/1/19 – Package arrived in the mail today.


I always seem to put roof racks on vehicles and then the vehicles move on and the replacement vehicle needs new ones. We need these roof racks for this trip to carry the luggage in the pod.


The pod’s been sitting in the shed for some time, last used in earnest for our Monkey Mia trip


in 2005.


The Toyota Camry that sported the pod previously was given to Roy Martinez, the bass player in Tim Minchin’s Come Home (Cardinal Pell) video. So that’s where the old Rola roof racks went.

Rather fiddly installation of these roof racks involving cutting up some plastic “under cover strips”. The manual stipulated a 700mm distance between crossbars. I wondered why not more. After reading lots of unhelpful stuff on the Internet about people with long kayaks complaining that the crossbars are not far enough apart and how much better the older Subarus were I decided to go with the 700mm.


The pod’s back!



3 thoughts on “Preparation Form”

    1. Great that you’re on board for the adventure, Vanessa. It’s 81 moves; I’m budgeting for two per day. How does that sound?


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