Thursday, 28 June 2012

I am clearly not very competitive, so the fact that I did not get an official time for my recent sportive doesn't matter at all. After all, it is not a race, just a timed bike ride. However, just for interest, I looked at the times of all the women who did the same distance as me (100km) and noticed, in passing, that IF I had been given an official chipped time ( I am relying on my Garmin plus an estimated ten minutes, five at each cake stop) I would have got the THIRD fastest time out of the 30 women who did the ride. Only 30 women on that one, which is a lower percentage than normal, maybe the name 'The long one' put women off, as R suggested. Even if I am way out on the cake stoppage time, I would still have been third, unless I had spent ten minutes caking, which I never do, I stop, fill up, go. No standing around chatting and letting the lactic acid pool around my knees. If I did that I would never get going again.

Last night I went swimming for the first time in months. I found it tough but loved it, as usual, and had fifteen minutes with the pool to myself - aah the joys of Bitterne. Must swim at least once a week to stand a hope of sustaining my place in the Team GB triathlon reserves.

Did you know, ( I didn't) that 7% of UK population is educated privately, but 50% of Olympians are privately educated?

I am wondering if the car budget would stretch to a BMW Z4. I think that is the one I saw in the car park at Bitterne Leisure Centre. Clearly someone who had got lost, the BLC clientele don't usually rock up in such elaborate machines.

Today R made an amazing curry when we had nothing to eat. He found a squash and onion and three carrots and made a meal. Now we really have no fruit or veg and a desperate need to shop. We have one banana ( brown) some garlic ( in the fruit bowl - why?) and lots of redcurrants ripening in the garden. That would be a vicar of Dibley style dinner.

At school we were coming up with ideas for re using the Olympic venue, known as the Copper Box. This is part of our study of the legacy of the Olympics. Great ideas included an aquarium, an indoor zoo, a B and Q and a child care centre. Maybe all of the above. The children are fascinated by the Olympics and loads of them want to be Olympians, they have been taking up new sports, practising ones they already do and just generally being really fired up by the whole thing. I am really enjoying teaching them. Wahoo!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Triathlon. This week I was asked for advice on it. Managing to compose myself I did not laugh at thought of someone asking my advice on triathlon. Next thing I know, people will ask my advice on how to tie knots. Shallow laugh. Anyhow, disappointed to see that I have not been chosen as a domestique for the Team GB tri team. It is probably because I am not very domestic. Anyhow, it's nice to let someone else have a tri.  Sorry, couldn't resist. I have been thinking about entering another triathlon as my legs seem to be ok running a little, and the cycling is good, and it might give me an incentive to actually go swimming for the first time since about March.

Today I had a great ride, a Wiggle event from the Weald and Downland museum, 65 miles around and about, over to East Meon and back, all more to the east than my usual ramblings, so lovely to see some new territory. West Sussex is picture postcard pretty, all roses round the doors kinda thing. My Garmin tells me I did it in an average speed of 15.5mph, and was cycling for 4 hours and 4 minutes. I will look up my official time later, tried to do it at the event but it kept printing out the time of Len Someone despite me typing in my number, not Len's. I managed to hitch some rides on some groups and got pulled along for about a quarter of the ride, which is always a big blessing. I enjoyed the time on my own too, but the last 5 miles were steep and windy ( that is the wind was blowing) in the wrong ways. There were some truely awesome descents, which were steep and windy ( as in curvy) in the right ways.

Reminded me to tell you all here that I would like  to die on skis or a bike, if I get to some ancient age and am about to be put in a home for old and crazy women, save the money and stick me on a bike and push me down a steep hill. Or better still put me on skis and push me down a steeper hill. Not that I think about it all the time, just on the odd occasion when I am hurtling down a hill and LOVING IT and also having that tincy feeling that I am almost out of control. I should have been a cowboy. Or a domestique on the tour.

Thankfully, I know a great bike mechanic and my bike was serviced yesterday, so the brakes work, and he put new tyres on too, so I was gripping the dodgy potholed roads perfectly. The gears had been a bit clunky lately, but not anymore - awesome changes from small to big ring, hardly noticed it. Although obviously I did the whole thing on the big ring. I just checked my top speed on the Garmin and am a bit disappointed that it was only 36.3mph. If I had kept that up for the duration I would have been back at the start before I left.

At these sporting events full of lycra clad men ( mostly much fitter bunch today, not too many moobs in sight) there is always a massage tent at the end. I do not usually frequent it, as queues too long. However today there was hardly a queue, a very nice man and I handed over a tenner for him to rub my legs. Aaah. As usual I feel guilty for being told I have tight calves and tight quads. Sorry, I know, I don't do my stretches as I should, have not been to Pilates for weeks either, which I know helps but its indoors and the sun and the sky and the sea are outdoors.... He was very nice about it, its my guilt, not his. Breathe it out. And relax.

Yesterday R was asking odd questions like 'if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?' I decided against banoffee pie, and said a rather boring tomato and pasta dish, but now I think of it, my death row dinner, Nachos! Yummy gaucamole and sour cream and salsa and cheese  - mwah! My death row dinner includes banoffee pie for dessert. They are two good but different questions, I like my 'what would your death row dinner be?' question as people look bemused as if I am actually on death row. Which I am not. Although I  understand that how haggard I look after a week with Year 1s could lead you to believe that. You are all too kind, but hair dye is becoming an expensive necessity rather than a luxury, and I need weekly facials, ideally, to avoid 'teacher's frown'.

Now, there is some talk about me buying a small car to make commuting timely rather than a logistical nightmare. Not sure yet, but as I am driving (sorry again!) R mad telling him I like every car I see, he has decided that he will take this matter into his own hands. I have already told him I would like a Rav4 or an Audi TT, however, through this medium I would like to tell him that actually I have always been a big fan of Alfa Romeos. I don't think we have talked budgets yet, which is probably for the best. I suggested a motor bike and was offered a test ride on one to see how I got on, but R said he would rather buy a Rav4 than a motorbike.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Think we've lost them

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I really like this picture from Youth week at Netley. H and R were out there somewhere. I was cosily in the bar. I love the conversation between the beach team along the lines of ' Well they won't be bothering us for a while'. Today was blue sky and wild wind and lots of fun on the Dart, I and R together, concentrated hard and had a good race after a bad start ( on the beach sorting out sail troubles whilst we should have been out getting ready). I did my best to not mess up my part of the deal and we went FAST. Wahoo FAST.  It was fun fast. Sometimes a tincy bit scary fast - just how it should be.  Just had a fierce hour in the garden furiously digging up dandelions, my own uniqe take on 'gardening'.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

WEBEX I have no idea what it is but am delighted to say that I am taking part in one.  I have signed up for a virtual online training course called 'Leading Effective Teams' ( LET). R thinks I already do that ( he should know, being in the Bowen dream team). Whatever, I will learn plenty of things I do not know the names of, if the introductory email is an indicator of what is to come. Maybe LET is all about lots of acronyms.   We have been attempting to synch social calendars for the Bowen whirls, it all gets a bit hazy around mid July. Granny M has been on hand the last couple of days which means the house is clean, and R and I went sailing TOGETHER! Goodness it was not too much of a recipe for disaster. All went well and we are talking.

We have had a crazy couple of days of visitors at school. We had moderators in yesterday, and there was an under fives fun day with a farm attached, plus someone from Hampshire doing an audit of literacy and communication in year R. Would have been easy to mix them up and end up with a turkey assessing our Year 2 writing and a donkey observing Year R. Today I knew we had some job candidates in throughout the day, plus moderators for Year 6, and a swimming pool engineer. It would have been equally comic to have muddled them all up. However I did not know that we had a moderator coming to moderate the moderators. I happened to be in the office when she arrived, and I trailed her around the school asking her comedy questions like whether she knew how to repair swimming pools ( the depth has mysteriously increased by 20cm - not by the bottom getting deeper, in case you wondered) and whether she wanted a job in year 5/6. Anyhow, after school I found out that she was an OFSTED inspector type person, moderating the moderators is higher up than moderators on the food chain! Another teacher asked whether she was moderated and the answer is yes! How comical. They must all keep each other in jobs going round in a huge circle. A bit like our sailing friend Phil, who is a recruitment consultant, recruiting people for the recruitment industry! That sounds like pyramid sales to me.

In reviewing our lifestyle change in September (can't say too much) there is the possibility of me buying a new car. I am not a great fan of two car lives, however I can see that the alternative might not be an alternative, with all the complicated things that R does as a job. So, any ideas on the car of my dreams? Will it be a RAV4 or an Audi? Should I go with the dream car of pre baby days   - my lovely little KA? It needs to be small and economical - hey, a bike would do the job!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I have looked back over my blog and laughed. I like laughing. I am home alone after being wet and cold and sleepless due to Netley Youth Week being awash with wet and windy weather. My weather report on the board for Wed read 'wet windy wild' and today's I changed it to 'wetter windier wilder'. Tomorrow it should be superlative weather.

R has been busy sailing cats and H has had her first go at windsurfing. I have been delegating jobs such as onion chopping and buying milk. A has been watching DVDs and reading books and painting things.  Quite taxing during the holidays, thank you!

I did not alert you to the arrangement of our next skiing trip, a tradition entered upon by R as soon as we return from the last one. Somehow he has conned the Whatmores with their stinky puppy to come with us. Please don't bring the dog. We are going back to Grundlsee in Austria, where we have been twice before for a ski holiday and a summer holiday, if you have been following for a while. We are reserving both the apartments for all ten of us, and hoping for great low snow in February so we can ski at Loser, which the girls loved. I think after France they will find it a bit pedestrian, but there was another great resort half an hour in the other direction which would suit the red runners, Tauplitz. The girls did not go there as H broke her arm (suspected)  and A was excited about it being her day to have lunch with her ski group, so I have happy memories of R and I skiing together there. R loves organising holidays, or else feigns excitement about trawling the internet for car hire, either way, it seems I just rock up at Gatwick on the right day ( at an early hour, no doubt) and join in. Thank you Mr B!

I have left my family to sleep in the camper van as they wanted to. I have been waking up before 6am, today it was 4am. Can someone tell my body clock its half term?  Someone pointed out that I was drinking a lot of diet coke but the bar has now run out of it ( are those 2 statements linked - should I have used so instead of and?). Maybe its the diet coke, maybe its that rattling mast sound, but whatever it is I have come home to attempt what I call 'a good night's sleep'. Miranda fans will like that last sentence. Good night Miranda fans everywhere.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Another great weekend in the water. It should be on, however, my desire to swim seems to take over during sailing to such an extent that I spend more time swimming than sailing. I did not report earlier on my interesting day on an X boat, garnered as a result of being overly friendly in the Coop, I spent a Saturday in the sun in the Solent on an antique, with two strange men. They were not strange, just strange to me. I  did not have to do much except jump from side to side and hike out to keep the boat balanced. And now and then pull a rope. It was a lovely old boat, nice company and an interesting experience, seeing how the other half lives, drinking Pimms on the pontoon in Hamble. We came last or near last in each of the three races, due to navigational errors. Glad I was not solely reponsible for navigation then! I was interested to see the differences between dinghy sailing and day boats. You can not capsize a keel boat, which sounds appealing. It was VERY slow though...

After an utterly random day with Tim and Neil, it was back to familiar waters this weekend with my fast track Olympic training with George. We had an awesome sail on Saturday, with me learning so much that it hurt my brain, as well as all other bits of me, to such an extent that I struggled to walk on Sunday. You know the machine at the gym, the leg press? Well, I essentially did about 2.5 hours of leg pressing, without a warm up. My thighs could double up as girders on a building site, so strong are they now. I was trying to reduce my tack time (from 15 minutes down to 5 seconds), trying to get the hang of hanging on to the wire, and trying to get the hang of flying the spinnaker, after hoisting it quickly, and then lowering it even quicker. That is quite a lot of learning for one day. Sunday was spent going for a jog ( thought it would help the legs, but made them worse) and then lying down mostly. Actually A and I had a lovely time together doing errands, as due to her broken arm she is off sailing duties and spending her time mostly painting. She spent Monday learning to windsurf with a broken arm. On shore, I may need to explain that for the panicking grannies among you! H crewed for R in 4 races over the weekend, and they did well in a couple of them. She wisely saw the wind yesterday and stayed asure, so R had a go singlehanded again. He can not walk, but he can sail and cycle, so that's ok. He went to hospital last night and had an X ray and may have broken some small freaky bones by his big toe.

Monday and Tuesday we raced. Team GB have nothing to fear. A combination of hapless amateur crewing and misreading of the course we were sailing, with the addition of too much time spent swimming around rather than in the boat, we managed to finish two of the 3 races, and then found that one of those we were over the start line and therefore it didn't count. Hey ho. The upside was a lot of big smiles and some awesome speed, and me actually getting slightly better at a few things.  The traditional Netley vibe lasted all weekend, with a street party, disco, band and finishing with a raffle and prizegiving in a cosy club house with 25 knots of wind outside and mist which cancelled the Red Arrows. H would not let me dance at the disco ( mum you are embarrassing) so I returned to the old people's table and drowned my sorrows in another drink...

We have done 3 nights in campo, and usually I sleep badly for night one, then fab for the rest of the time. However this trip I have been awake way to early in the morning. We came home last night to get warm and dry and despite sleeping in my own bed I still woke before 5. Aargh. My body is still on term time hours, thinking it needs to get up at 6.30 when it doesn't.