Friday, August 16, 2002

Friday, I'm in our Solihull office, nothing to do, done my monthly expenses. Oh I'm forgetting my tax return. Better do that soon. Then when I go I'm on holiday until Wednesday, 4th September, almost 3 weeks away ! Hurrah !
Wednesday I got up, luckily Tuesday evening wasn't a total session. Went out into Horwich, up the hill to Malkinsonmoor ? over Matchmoor, Belmont, over Hordern Stoops, down past Anglezarke and back to hotel. Cleaned up & left. Back home along A50 through the ugly towns around Stoke. Then A51 past Stone to Lichfield.
Yesterday I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride a '10 TT, so went out in the afternoon, steady hard ride around Burcot, then did 10 15 second sprints at Bittel Lane.
And, got some beer and we had a barbeque !

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

So, today (i thinks it is Wednesday) last night, wnt off and parked at Rivington. Walked up to the tower, turned North, along the track for 200m. then struck off across the bogs for another 1000m uphill, steadily rising moss and peat hags. Nothing like Caithness, just a wee bitty damp underfoot. Thne got up to Winter Hill where all the ariels are. So slogged up a hill to find a road going to various big sheds and ariels. Plonked down to the car. Back to hotel. Washed & stuff. #Had a drink and surprise, call off H, she is in the car park...

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Here is something funny; I get up, drink some mineral water, have fruit and dry toast and coffee for breakfast. A couple of glasses of water and maybe a coffee for 'elevenses. Dinner is usually baked potatoe and salad, a bread roll & glass of water, sometimes some chicken. I have stopped drinking coffee in the afternoon as I hear it can interfere with sleep. Tea is often some low fat cheese spread on crackers, with a couple of tomatoes, yoghurt and water. Mmm, healthy. Then I go to the bar, drink a bottle of wine, eat crisps and then sit late talking and drinking vodka until the early hours. The next morning feeling groggy I will drink some red bull, and often eat a cheeseburger at lunchtime. Well, all that 'healthy' eating, yoga & exercise and I fuck up my body like that. How much damge am I doing to myself ? With a family full of alcoholics I am maybe treading in the well-worn footsteps of Uncles Eddy, Jimmy, Frank (amazingly still alive, in spite of several lengthy spells in hospital and almost having both legs amputated), George. I could go on. An aunt married a Canadian alcoholic that amssed a small fortune by burning his house down, collecting the insurance money, moving to another state and repeating the process. His regime of incendiary-related income ended when he got so drunk on home-made hooch he fell down his cellar stairs and broke his neck. Unless, of course, my aunt pushed him. My grannie ran the illegal whisky production in the NE of Scotland during the 1940s. And with thousands of thirsty troops billeted in the wasteland that was and still is Caithness she had a ready market. Especially as Wick was a dry town, with only one or two hotels selling alcohol. My uncles had a few stills (bothys) dotted about the peat bogs. I don't know how much money these took in, but they lived in a considerable house, with 8 bedrooms, and the downstairs bit divided into the main house on the left with the hall, front room and kitchen. I heard there were 100 people in the front room and kitchen on many New Years celebrations. I have seen a couple of photos and I could well believe it. Then the right hand side was a separate house, with 3 rooms where uncle Rex & Betty & 2 daughters and son lived. I bet that was a squeeze. The house was full of valuable old stuff, arab guns, swords, flintlock guns, shotguns, paintings. All of this (except the clock which hangs in my fathers house and the solid silver teapot on fake silver campfire which uncle Rex got) was sold by uncle Frank for drink. The house just fell apart when he wenty off on his expeditions to work on the West coast and live in a caravan in the hills somewhere, where I think he went to drink himself to death. Hopefully shamed by his treatment of my granny. So sometime in the early 90s the house got rennovated and sold. I don't know how much it sold for, or who got the money but hope it wasn't Frank. I am not keen on a lot of the people up there, as none of them could be arsed to attend Mums' funeral. So I ahave decided to having nothing to do with any of them.
So, the lesson is, don't stay late in the bar. That should really say, don't drink alcohol at all, you stupid fucker. Its not staying late in bars, its knocking back vast quantities of booze that is damaging.
Last night I got to the hotel (Jarvis, fed up with the Swallowfield) Went out and did a steady 28 miles, over Winter Hill to Belmont, through Brinscall, stopped to eat some food and admire the view North, could see the top of Ingleborough peeping over the intervening hills, and the profile of Pen-y-Gent. These are both about 2300' high, 740M. This isn't very big, just a big hill really, but they looked massive and magnificent, they are about 40 miles off.
White Coppice, over the nasty steep hill of Aglezarke. There I stopped to admire the view, I could see the Welsh Mountains (Glyders) which are something like 50 miles off; a terrific view. (No, maybe more than SIXTY miles off !)Very clear air this evening. I went out to buy healthy food from Asda (Oatcakes, Primula cheese/chives spread, green beans, fizzy mineral water & melon slices) then drove over Winter Hill, stopped and looked at the view, dusk with many twinkling lights stretching West to the Fylde Coast, South West to the edge of North Wales. Then early to bed, in spite of an earlier decision to 1. Go and eat a bacon cheeseburger in the bar, 2. drink some beer. Which as good as point 2 wouldn't be some beer, it would be lots of beer, then as I feel bloated with beer I might go and make myself sick and/or continue with Smirnoff Ices or Vodka & red bulls. I sent a mssg to H. then got a reply saying tomorrow (Tue) would be good. So this evening I may be on a bender, yet again.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Monday. Thats; m o n d a y.
Ah ha ha ha, but Monday with a difference. The difference is I am not (currently, watch it) under any pressure here, a 2 day visit with the probability of a wild night at the hotel (not the B&B, the slightly more upmarket Jarvis) on Tuesday. Then a leisurly drive home Wednesday, a ride on the BCC bash on Wed eve, then apart from a couple of hours in the office on Wed aft or Thur morn, I'll be 'working at home'. So I can start doing things like getting the wood for the shed and so on. And get the sodding grass mowed. So this evening its a steady ride at postman pat pace. The weather is mild and not wet !
Raced yesterday. A 62 mile epic; 'The Circuit of Bredon'. Bredon hill is an outlier of the Costwolds, at 294M, just under 1000'. The race was a 16 mile lap around the bottom of the hill, covered 4 times. Through nice Cotswolds villages, Elmley Castle, Upper Broughton, all resplendent in warm sandstone. Narrow streets (bit of a pain that though, having to dodge cars), sequestered churches and so on. Picture postcard stuff, pity I couldn't dawdle and admire these little villages but I was wacking along at 25 mph, pretty fast for a hilly longish race. 62 miles is the longest I've raced since 1988 ? I don't think I rode anything more than 60 miles in 1989.
I entered some, but I either didn't turn up or didn't finish them.