Saturday, February 23, 2008


The new bike is finished. It went together like a dream. Each part was installed without problem - the new bottom bracket, transmission, chain, shifters, handlebars, seat post (caused a few size concerns but largely resolved).

Then TSK pointed out the drop on the brakes wasn't long enough (the brake pads would've touched the tyre, not the rim of the wheel). Sadly I realised the brakes were the only brand new part of Green which hadn't been broken. I would need to go out and buy new brakes.

While waiting for the brakes, the name of the bike came to me. I was thinking of calling her Easy, since she went together so well, so well behaved. Then TSK suggested he would call her "Lovely" and it has stuck.

On Friday lunchtime Bristows texted me (because they're efficient like that) to say my brakes were in... and I couldn't work for the rest of the day.

Finally the last parts of the bike slotted together on Friday night.

Today we had chores to do in town - like visiting the local photographic society's display at the Fenland museum. There were many many beautiful pictures of Rannoch Moor, Buchaille Etive Mhor and Stac Pollaidh, Old Man of Stoer and the 3 Sisters as well as deer, pine martins, wildcats and Falcons to make me lust for Northern Shores. Thank goodness, since I told them I'd go on Friday.

As well as the photographics, we needed to go to the capital of Fenland to find Rainbow Conversions so that we could poke and play and discuss the layout and installation of a Campervan within the confines of the Vanu. That we did. Meaning to leave with an appointment to get windows installed in the vanu we were slightly disapointed to find there was no chance until August when we plan to be living somewhere else. We did, however, leave with a roll of upholstery fabric and insulation foam in the back of the Vanu and a very ambitious plan.

Silver Lining is not going to be the only one playing with bits of wood in the garden this summer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back once again with the renegade master

I was on a flier tonight on my way home from work - sprinting up the hill, my knobly tyres rasping on the road as I dashed towards the comfort of a cuppa tea.

A group of hoodies were crossing the road right by my turning onto the bike lane around the dog-fields.

"Scoose me guys, can I squeeze through the middle?" I bellowed, confident as the cold, foggy air would allow.

"Sorry!" they crowed, and herded to the edges, watching my every move. In the Ortons I half expected them to jump me for my 50p and sweaty underwear but instead they yelled, "Cheers mate!" after me as I rode off shouting my "thanks" back.

I wonder if my rebellious underdog biker sides me with the yoof pack or if they were still just trying to suss if I was a big bloke in disguise.

I is down with the hood' I is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ski Holiday

Last week I went skiing with my best friend TSK. The plane was 2 hours late so we sat around lots in Stanstead and I did puzzles which my brane is usually too tired for and TSK read lots of his book.

By the time we got to the France it was late and we were too tired to care that we had a two hour transfer ahead cos we were just glad there wasn't a bus full of people that had been waiting two hours for us. We also didn't mind about being late because we knew it was because of lots of snow falling.

When we got to our hotel the lasagne had been in the oven for two hours too long and we thought the food was going to be yuck for the rest of the week but it was OK cos the pasta was just leathery because it was in the oven for two hours. The rest of the food was really good.

On the first day we went out on the green run at the bottom of the hill but we soon got bored of that so we went and did some easy blues and practised some tricks. TSK learnt some new things. At the end of the day it snowed a bit. We had wine with dinner and felt a bit funny.

On the second day it was already snowing lots and just kept on snowing and snowing. We went up high but then it got really windy on top and the snow was still coming down so we went low down on the hill to stay safe and went in early so we could rest before our snowboard lesson. The snowboard lesson was great lots of fun. When we fell over we just laughed and laughed cos we just went fumph into the deep snow.

On Tuesday my little cousin came up the mountain to meet us. We did some blues and had lunch then went and played on a Red run called Voute. It was ded steep with a bit where TSK could go round the edge. Keith loved it cos he went in upto his knees in deep snow and found a jump off the edge of the track onto the steep red. He landed it then caught his edge and did a back flip and the people on the lift went "weyyheyy" really loud and I laughed. We did it again. I had fun skiing up to my thighs in deep snow. On the way down we did the black run into the resort whilst TSK went round the green. I was tempted by the trees but they were way too uniformly planted and my skis were all over the place being crappy legged. I got to the bottom okay though and then realised my boots had been undone all the way down which I textd to Keith later and made him laugh on his way home.

On Wednesday we went to Serre Chevalier and played on their insane pomma lifts which go all the way up to the top of the mountain and some of the slopes are 1:1 (50%) and bounce about a lot. The boys call them nut-crushers. I thought they were funny and tried to lift my feet up. We had nice lunch at Serre Chevalier and didn't queue much. We might go there again. We came down at 3:30 and had crepes with chocolate on and beer and went for a last run before the bus and TSK did another red with a big bump in it that made his crepe wriggle about.

We laughed at the rep for repeating the name of the meeting point over and over and pondered the idea of calling him a week later to say, "where's the bus". He stuck a sticker on me with his phone number on it. I think he fancied me.

On Thursday Keith came over on his skis. He looked like a big girl on skis with his dreds till he went down hill much faster than me. I said I couldn't help him with his ski position because he goes in a straight line really nicely. I made him work by doing some turns and was happy cos the black run was easier for me even if I didn't make it look that way. We went over to the other side of the mountain which was a bit icy so after a bit of bum sliding we went to the bar and drank beer and hot wine before sending my cuz back to Alpe d'Huez.

On Friday it was our last day so we skied the entire resort with TSK doing blues or reds and me doing the blacks and reds and we took lifts we hadn't done yet and went over some little jumps.

It was a brilliant holiday and I was totally pampered and my new goggles did what they say on the tin and stayed fog-free and the new poles did their trick and were really light.

It is nice to be home so I can do my washing and my room doesn't smell like ass anymore.

Ski Fest 2008 - 1