Thursday, February 12, 2009


Last week in the snow was amazing. I had the bike out every day - dusted down the mtb and ploughed my way to work every day through the angry and scared motorists and stood side-by-side with the more die-hard graduates who walked to work from town. None of the support staff got to work leaving the carpark 12 inches or more deep in snow and one unfortunate gardener not knowing how fast to shovel snow. The boss ordered pizza delivery for lunch

Little Wendy, our secretarial support had never seen snow like this - being only 20 so we took her out to play snowball fights and we built a snow-woman with boobs and all. Ironic since she was constructed by 4 female engineers. Ed just had to add more snow to accentuate her physique. Wendy has never looked so alive, so fresh, so rosy - she spent the rest of the day complaining how it hurt when she breathed. I suppose crisp air and smoking don't mix so well.

On Sunday, TSK set out for some optimistic winter walking. With plans to do about 10 miles, we trudged up the hill to Outlying Village to the Grand pub. We found THE place to go sledging, with many little footprints to one side and a pure strip of shiny, icey thrilling ribbon winding down the gully path. I could hear the screams of children and adults still ringing through the trees in my imagination yet it was eerily quiet as we walked on up the slope, the rocks and tree roots now showing through the slithery temporary bob-sled run.

The top of the slope was a different matter. Gradually the bravery of the sled-riders petered out leaving one lonely line of footprints stretching out across the moorland. Much to our dismay, the lonely footprints didn't even have a dog and worse than that, the man's stride was longer than ours' - longer than mine, longer than TSK's. We started taking it in turns to follow the man's footsteps - 4 paces in his shoes was all I could manage, then 8 smaller steps of my own, hauling my boots out of theholes I had made and placing them forward - crashing through the windslab, making new holes for TSK to follow. Then it was his turn - out across the field, up the slope, onto a surprisingly rocky field, falling into tractor tracks upto the knee, down the lane, alongside the trees. Every hundred metres we stopped for a rest, a stretch. We arrived at the pub.

"I think it's impossible" she said when we asked for a table to dine. "We'll sit on a barstool", I pleaded. We got the table by the fire. No-one else in their wiltshire wellies and their black cardies and tweed skirts wanted to sit in a big leather arm chair and eat their dinner off a table that was too tall for the chair - except us. Happy to dry rucksacs and gaiters by the roaring flames and listen to tales of ponies and stables and children winning rosettes.

We managed about 4 miles in 4 hours. We drank alcohol and walked home down the road. This week I ache. I have heat pads slapped on the backs of my calfs and I'm hobbling around on my toes. I can't believe I used to do walks like this in Scotland up mountains for 8 hours or more. Oh well, what an awesome start to the walking season.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Snowy work place

With 15 cars waiting to park in a car park that was 12 inches under snow this morning, I felt decidedly smug to be on Dauntless.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Worst winter in 18 years

Today I renewed my love for Dauntless. What is a day today for, if not for mountain biking to work?

Much as I was tempted to ride all the bridlepaths to work, we slogged through the slush and the ice with the motorists. Much to my delight, one of the main throughfares to my workplace was half-blocked by temporary traffic lights meaning I could ride the whole length almost traffic-free on one side of the road or the other.

Brimble Hill was a less of a challenge than I thought as I span up the slushy tarmac in wheel ruts trying to ignore the motorists squeezing past next to me.

When I pulled into the office driveway, the sweet pristine white snow just begged me to turn right around and head out for a ride along the Ridgeway path. Sadly, though, I'm a grown up and off I go to work. Still, slightly tempted to head out for a half hour at lunchtime.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Two trips to the gym on Thursday after I blogplained about being sick. 51 lengths of the pool (possibly a made-up number because I lost count) in the early afternoon, circuit training in the evening. It was my first attendance at circuit training. One minute of activity at each station before a lap of the room and onto the next bit of kit. As ever, I found push-ups difficult but that was nothing compared to skipping. Bloddy hell! When did I grow up and lose the ability to skip?

On Friday morning I was wasted but figured I better haul my ass into work since I went to the gym twice on Thursday. I lasted the day and completed the one very important activity. I wrote a letter to personnel who hastled me to sign-up to a job it took them a month to offer me and three months to confirm the payrise on (it was measly). I'm now annoyed I accepted the job and anxious about writing the letter.

Half of me wants to start job hunting. The other half wants to kick ass at the new job and show 'em all. But that would be so much effort...

Saturday - now Saturday saw the house turned upside down and reassembled as a haven of laundry-free, DIY-free, ski-ing-paraphenalia-free, I-can-open-the-door-to-every-room tranquility and this morning I finally finished tiling the last of the kitchen floor (just the bits around the edge to finish).

There is room to breathe.