Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I have a mouse in my office

Finding mouse poo in the morning is pretty gross really but the mouse keeps me company in between everyone else going home and me finishing for the day. It feeds off the crumbs that Dave and I leave on the office floor. It's a well conditioned mouse, all shiny fur and stuff. I tried to take its picture but it ran away. I am trying to tempt it out with a nature valley granola bar.

By the time I get home tonight, I am hoping that our home will be OUR home. To have and to hold until we sell it for vast ammounts of money to the builder's distaste. He still has 6 things to finish on it but they are things we could do for ourselves and we just want to pay him off and get rid of him.

I might not be in work tomorrow. I might be suffering from a champagne hangover.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Terms of Endearment

Today's big question at work: The origins of the word "chuck" after I called one of the ladies in the office "chuck" as in "Thanks chuck". Which got me a "?"

I did a google on "Chuck definition origins Yorkshire" and came up with nothing.

I had to get it with "Chuck endearment".

Turns out it all started with Shakespeare and is a derivitave of "chick". Hummm.

Now you know not to call your male friends "chuck", unless of course, that's their name...

Monday, August 29, 2005

You like me you really do!

Thanks to my blogmates who've emailed me, commented me and guestbooked me to keep me going... I will. Anything to keep people happy and vent my exitement about the world...

but it wasn't you I was pointing at. Your commenting is wonderful and I wouldn't dream of knocking it.

It was all the quiet people out there.

I know. They're all busy leading their hectic lives without me. I did up and leave them after-all. Some of them HAVE dabbled though so good on them.

Mainly though... I need to get some work done before I go visit them all in October and I need to blog less to do that. Erk!@ At it again.


The calm before the storm

Walking the walk. A sight many people will be relieved to see later in the day.

Before (three sad bikes - their swimmers didn't finish in time) and After

A rider coming into transition

Volunteers fighting with big ballon archways. One kept blowing away in the wind.

And the compressor just stopped on the other one. Two guys had to hold it up so the athletes could get through underneath whilst someone restarted the compressor.

Finish line melée.

Ironman day.

This morning there are 2300 exhausted people in Penticton. No doubt they are still sleeping as I write this. I am not one of them but after digging the garden Saturday then being out in the sun from 11:00-6:00 on Sunday, running around with bikes, I am pretty tired.

It was the kind of day dreams are made of and dreams were broken. This year, I didn’t go to watch the start of the race, for nowadays I have but two days in the week that I can lie in past 6 o’clock and I wasn’t ready to give one of them up for anyone. Besides, I re-planted my herbs into bigger pots instead.

I went to the Ironman transition site at 11:30 to meet with the others and get our instructions. There was a wonderful calm-before-the-storm feeling in the air. All of the athletes were out of town on the bike section, many of their relatives and supporters taking the time to do some sight-seeing or swim in the lake.

We met under a big tree for our meeting. Many of the people get psyched out by the intro talk. When they’re told to hold on real tight to the bike so they don’t drop anyone. When they’re told that a lot of people will want to lean on you. When they’re told that many of the riders pee in the saddle so they don’t have to stop. Heather chose 20 people – all of last years catchers and some big male rookies to start the day with the pros. Though when I joined the line, I didn’t realise I’d joined the front of it (!) and ended up catching the first pro in. At least I did it with grace and enthusiasm and didn’t drop him. In fact, I gave him an early nod to tell him which way he was going so we did better than the others – so I say. Possibly I will be on national TV so if you’re reading this from Canada, check it out!

He had an excellent lead and it was a good 10 minutes before “the man called Clare” caught the second rider and then a good two hours before we were really in-business with riders coming in first in groups of 5 and 6, later in groups of 10-15.

The photos of the day have caught just a snippet of the fun.

Photos which I can't get to post right now..... BLOGGGGERRRR!

There were countless athletes who kept clinging to their bike as we tried to take it from them. With a reassuring tug (not so hard as to pull them over), and a gentle “I can take this from here”, their expression turned to a smile as they realised they didn’t have to pick their way through the lot to rack their own bike between 267 others sharing the rack. Tim sorted out this problem by welcoming every athlete with, “Valet parking service, I’ll take this sir/madam”.

The man who struggled through his fatigue to remove his pink squeaky dinosaur from his handle bars.

The man who leaned on me whilst I held his bike up and I removed his shoe (still clipped to the bike) because he hurt to much to do it alone.

The nice big thigh I had to rub to get the man going again.

The lady who said, “Thankgodfuck”, then apologised for her language at the end of the ride.

The man who recognised I was English by the fact that I said, “Well done” instead of “way-to-go” and said, “I thought you had to be Canadian to do this job?”

Managing to persuade a rookie that the power-bar melted to the top tube of the bike was actully vomit. Hahahahahaha. (sorry.)

The stream of athletes getting towards the cut off time who ran over the transition line screaming “I made it, I made it”, dancing and hugging their companions as they went.

Watching the winner on the bigscreen walk to the finish line, just lapping it up. If there was a roof, he’d have raised it.

The three people we had to catch after the cut off time who crossed the line then collapsed in tears as the officials told them the bad news. One woman’s husband was bike-catching and it broke our hearts. She walked up to him asking, “Did I make it honey?” “No, sorry”, he replied. Then they just stood there holding eachother until her legs buckled.

Bitching about the camera men filming the drama.

Watching them being taken away on stretchers. They weren’t badly hurt but hey, if they won’t let you finish, at least ride out of there on a stretcher to get your massage.

Watching the last woman who made it heading out on her run, hugging the crowd and taking high-fives from everyone giving them out.

Meeting Jackie, who was there from California, cheering-on her son. We saw him leave for the run on-time and in good shape. When I left to go and make dinner, she was trying to find somewhere to sit and watch him come in. She had 1.5 hours to wait.

Seeing my work colleagues giving it some in the organisation of the finish line volunteers and the announcing tent. I know some good people.

Not wearing sunscreen. I will have a kick-ass tan once the redness has gone.

I was watching a group of cyclists coming towards us. The guy next to me stepped forwards first and started gesturing to the first man to come to him, but he wasn't having any of it. The guy was coming to me and no argument. He was about 64 and said, "Cool, I get the hot woman to take my bike, what more could I ask for?". I got back in line and said to my fellow catcher, "that old guy was coming to me - and no mistake - he said, ;'great I got the hot babe'. He was a bit old for me though". "Yeah", said the other catcher, "but he was in great shape".

Again, looking out to a group of approaching cyclists, one guy was dismounting about 200 yards from us and I could see his innertube was hanging out of the tyre at the back so he started running. Realising this was my expertise area, I came forward to take his bike to carry it through the lot. Good job, because no-one else actually noticed him go running into the transition still with the bike. Undertsandably he was a bit minced up having riden through the city on a flat.

Friday, August 26, 2005

There's a rumble on Lakeshore Drive

It's billowing in the flags, the lift-trucks, the tall light booms, the satelite dishes, tents, scaffolding poles, the grandstand.

It's running through the finishline marker, the bike racks, the bag hooks, the road blocks.

It's in shuffling in the grass, the water, the steaming tarmac, the humming power cables.

It's the bubble of the people, their tanned bodies, taut muscles, excitable children, uncomprehending pets, busy electricians, happy volunteers.

It will only get louder until Sunday morning at 6am when it dies down for the Canadian national anthem then explodes with that first cannon fire and 2000 wetsuit-clad humans take to Okanagan lake for the biggest fish fight of the year.

I have a groupie's arm band and a small tee shirt this year (instead of a dress - like last year) and it's made of wicking material instead of heavy duty cotton. Phew.


You can tell it's Ironweekend. There are cyclists everywhere... and the lunchtime news on the radio was a missing women's cycling shoe - lost somewhere between Skaha beach and Safeway.

That'd be me that would.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


So there's two ads that really bug me on Canadian TV.

There's the car ads that claim they've put race-track technology into your engine. Sorry, I don't want my super-light car engine to do 64 fast laps of a race track then fall appart as it crosses the line. I can't afford it - though that seems to be the philosophy of many manufacturers since it's what ACTUALLY happens to Fords, GMCs, Hondas etc. etc.

Then there's the advert for Chicken Cordon Blue (yes you heard me - "Blue" - not "Bleu")... and in the next line they say...

"Chicken with a French accent"

Excuse me?

I have made the decision to contineu blogging with less personal stuff - that I will reserve for email bulletins.

There you go all.

Blogger disatisfaction

Whingey whiney.

Well, although I have had some fun blogging, it has not turned out to be the two way exchange I had totally hoped for.

I feel a little bit like a soap opera. There are plenty of regular visitors to this blog but very few leave me comments or fill in my guest book. They come, they watch and they go again.

Whether this is because I am boring or because they're scared of being spammed, I don't really mind, but the truth is, I get much more interaction from emails than I ever do from the blog world. OK OK maybe I haven't been trying so hard recently to write anything profound or even good but such is life, when it's hectic.

So as things are a-changin' here in Canada, I will be keeping up to date with all my flesh-friends and family in the old fashioned way - by email and, as ever, by writing letters because "the pen is mightier than the keyboard".

To all of my friends in blogland, I will miss you but I will probably get more work done without you. I will certainly continue to pop by your sites and check out the activities in Conneticut, Vancouver and other random places that you all stumble across. You are welcome to stay connected to my world. Just email me above and I'll update you too with the latest stories of the adventures of us and the cat...

who, last night, curled up in the sink to sleep whilst I was colouring my hair, giving me a wonderful photo to end this blog on. I'd like to call it...


Trepid Explorer. Out.