Monday, 29 July 2013

Competing in competitions

You can tell it is the holidays, as I have entered a raft of competitions tonight! An old and profitable hobby of mine, which landed me in the past with a garden makeover, a year's sponsorship by Cyling Plus, a weird kaftan, a cleaning cloth, a trip to Exbury gardens, several trips to Paultons Park,  night at the something hotel in Knightsbridge (can't recall which one), Large Family books and CD, and who knows what else I won but can not even remember now. I am sure you will remind me if it was you.

So, after tonight I will be winning a year's supply of washing up liquid (R gets through a lot with bike grease) a romantic break in Yorkshire (with up to 2 dogs allowed per room, they know how to do romance in Yorkshire), a wine tasting class, a trip up the cathedral tower in Winchester and a cream tea, a glamping trip to the Netherlands, £500 of Tesco school wear, a meat barbecue hamper for 20, a jam making session and hotel stay in Winchester, a bee hotel, a flight to Jersey... should keep me busy for the rest of the summer holiday.

Today I heard the bad news that my lovely friend and fellow Dart sailor Rosie has broken her ankle and will be out of action for 12 weeks at least. This was a sailing related injury, do not know the details yet but trust she is in safe hands. We too had a sailing trouble yesterday, we were winning in beautiful style and then our mast fell down, mercifully away from us (which I guess it would as the wind is pushing it that way, the shroud broke and the mast just fell down. After a lot of effort to get the sail rolled up and so on we were towed back to the beach, and now have a little light repairing to do to the rigging and sail has gone to the menders too. I had two glasses of wine, two chocolate biscuits and a twix to recover! No harm done to us, just the boat, so a blessing and we felt that we had bowed out to give someone else a chance to win for once!!!! 

Today we are officially on holiday. Last week I carried on going to work after the children had left, combining short days at work with the dentist and the hair dresser (have pink hair for the holidays) and other such tasks, like taking dry cleaning, picking up prescriptions, things I NEVER get time to do in term time and skip with joy about doing! We went into town today to hunt for rhinos. All over Southampton there are model rhinos, decorated by artists and schools etc, and you can get an app and hunt for them. So we wandered the length of the city and found over half of them. This was an entirely free pastime, as we parked at the Quays, which is free parking for me as I am a member. We are going in for very very low cost holidays this year, our trip away camping is to Netley! We have gone through our finances with a nit comb and tracked down every spare penny ( found one today on the road) and are trying to get into a more solvent position than we have been in the last few months. The other day I cleaned our drawers etc (oh the joy, its the holidays!) and found £3.50, which was wisely reinvested as pocket money arrears. Even H has tidied her bedroom as one of the holiday projects.

The dog is learning not to be scared of the hall floor. R is going for a tough love approach and dragging her across it and she is getting much better - in fact, although she moans and fusses when we want to take her for a walk, and stays in the kitchen at all times, she can mysteriously make her way across the hall to go up the stairs when we are out!  Last week was the Claygate Flower Show, and we proudly brought home a dog with two rosettes - first in the rescue dog category, and fourth in the sausage catching. And that was up against able bodied contestants, no t4 Paralympic amputee catergory to be seen. We were very proud of her, and it was worth the £1 a class to enter her in those two classes and see the rosettes of glory!

The girls were glorious the next day at Andover tri, coming in 6th and 7th places, which is truly awesome in terms of the progress they have made this season. A is really into her fitness programme and is not letting the long break from tri stop her - she swam a set of her own design tonight whilst R did his bit with the Southampton tri club, I spent the time in the gym downstairs and H was at a different pool doing her 2 hour stint!  I forgot how much I like the gym, and am going to make a bit of effort to make most of it this next few weeks.  I have entered another sprint tri in September, and also have a 50 mile sportive on the September diary, and R has entered a half marathon for next spring and is thinking about another half ironman- I guess two halves make a whole...

The bike business does not stop for the holidays, seems a really busy period and R is working every afternoon or evening at least on bikes. He made H a beautiful new cross bike for her birthday, which she tends to leave not locked up, and we try not to nag too much, as will already have spent time nagging for losing her goggles, swim hat, trainers, coat, wetsuit, sailing boots... no wonder we have no cash!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sun sea cycle

The isle of wight is there to be conquered, so last Saturday, with the evil sorceress Emma in tow we took to our steady and pedalled out from the wilds of Brokenhurst, across flat lands to a crossing point, where we hailed a boatman and paid in gold dust to cross. Managing an on pedal average of 12.5 mph, which makes Chris Froome look like a tardy paper boy, we toiled the length and breadth of the isle, no stone left unturned, no beach unpaddled, no rugby club toilet facility unchecked.  Emma seemed to think that a bike ride with thousands of men was an opportunity to seek out a toyboy.  Having been on many of these invasions before I know that all the soldiers are focused on one thing... The finish line.
I even got my medal putting on at the finish ceremony onto the official video!