Monday, January 31, 2005

A series of excruciating pains

Felt ill. Had lots of days holiday left to take before it hits April. Thus it was only natural that I sacked off Thursday and Friday of last week. Drove away from the office on Wednesday, worried about discs filling up on database servers and all the other interesting things you live for. Got back to the parents', went to bed, didn't get up for 12 hours. So far, so relaxing...

Thursday passed quickly - finished off just about all of Stopadoodledoo 5; layout is done, and there's just a few pictures I need to get - Curtis' Yeti, etc. Thought about washing the car, but this came to nothing. In the evening, scared myself shitless by going climbing with Kim, and being reintroduced to the happy art of belaying after 7 years away. Having bouldered a bit at Mile End and the Castle, I wasn't prepared for the ease of which one can gain height at the Westway, arriving half way up the wall long before my confidence did.

[If you look at XC types, there's generally quite a lot of solidarity and trust between them; I think this feeling is probably both generated and evinced because you don't want to be stuck on the moors twenty miles from nowhere with a broken bike and the rain coming in; in DH, on the other hand, it's all at non-remote tracks (OK, Fort William takes a bit of a drive to get to, but you're never that far from civilisation. Which means there's more time to laugh at people for being incompetent and less opportunity for reinforcing trust between participants. Likewise climbing, perhaps. With bouldering, all you have to worry about is not falling on / being fallen upon - as soon as you're roped, there's a fundamental requirement for confidence in the ability of the person who's belaying you. Not that these come from the same origin, I suppose, but there's probably a point to expand on there in the future]

Had a beer, went home, got in about 1am.

Friday - bit more Stopadoodledoo, then went for a run. Half an hour of running around a park and up a big hill, and then back down again. Not too exciting. Calves hurt. Went shopping (more later when I can wibble about pedometers, etc)

In the evening, went out with Paul, a fellow alumnus, now working elsewhere in the industry, and putting in 12 hour days. Silly sod. Still, gives you an understanding of how the happy people of London work, and exactly why it is that you're not stressed if you happen to find a cushy number in Kent somewhere. On the other hand, he gets to go to Belgo's every time he fancies mussels, whereas I .. oh, I could just go down to the sea if I wanted to. I'm missing Covent Garden though.

Saturday - up early in the morning, and 3 hours later I'm in the Forest of Dean, trying to ride my 222. Couldn't get on with it at all, which seemed to be the result of 6 weeks off it - bars seem too wide, bike too long - in fact, any excuse you like. At least the brakes worked, which is more than could be said of the Missile last week... Met up with some guys from Cheltenham and rode with them for the rest of the day, because Jason and the Pugilist were too apathetic to make it down to Wales. (They went to Aston Hill, and slid down it a few times). FOD seems smaller than once it did, although they've done a lot of work - found another step down (at least a 6 foot vertical drop) in the woods, and there's lots of berms where once there was just boring flat stuff...

Drove back up the M4 to Swindon and caught up with Kersty (more subsequently) and then drove over to Nick's on Sunday morning. Went for another run round Richmond Park, with much the same behaviour as last time: Nick storms off into the distance, and I plod along behind, looking for someone to pace myself against. Can rag it out of people running downhill, but long uphill efforts, combined with not enough sleep, too much driving and no breakfast make for a dull boy / sufficient excuses. Still, about an hour to do 12 k isn't so bad.

Took an hour and a half to drive back from Nick's to Beckenham. Should have taken substantially less time if I hadn't driven to Hammersmith twice, in the rush hour. What a fool. Got up this morning at 6 to drive to Ashford, felt like death.


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