Friday, January 31, 2003

And too much vodka and red bulls.
When I left the office yesterday evening it was still light and bright and sunny. In the afternoon I went on a drive out past Belmont to Tockholes, I could see the distant 3-Peaks, so yesterday when I went I thought I should have left earlier and gone a drive to 3Peakland. Decided to leave earlier today and do that this today. Went yet another drive out to Darwen, Tockholes, Brinscall and filled up with petrol at Rivington services with the intention of going the drive later. Providing the weather holds out ! It was bright this morning, but now a high thin cloud covers the sky.
Friday, after all the tears and laughter this really is my last day here in Horwich. When I first arrived here Monday morning in March or February 1999 I had no idea how much time I would be spending in the North and just how much it would come to effect me.
Thats all. Feeling strangley upset and sad and hungover after pint of lager, bottle of wine in bar, then onto the Greenwood, then taxi into Ikon in Bolton.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Wednesday, last night we did a ramp test, or maybe its called a sub max test ? After a warm up and a while at 100rpm, it was 100rpm, for 3 mins on 53x15, 2 mins 53x14, 1 min 53x13. Pulse at end, 164, after 1 min, 111, after 3, 91. The ending HR was 10 down on my first effort last October, so for the same amount of power/effort my body has to work much less hard, but my recovery has not greatly improved. Now I suspect this is too many late nights and too much red wine ! Which I will be indulging in yet again this evening, with a visit to Sharston & the Trafford Centre first. Had a drive out at lunchtime and I could see the distant peaks of Ingleborough and Penygent, snow covered and over 40 miles away. Oh, I'll miss these little moments up here in the North. I thought long and hard about my feelings driving back home yesterday afternoon. My feelings for people here tie up with the area, I am just in love with the place too, and I really thought last night that whatever happens with the job, where I go, that I would be better in myself being up here. I feel more at home in the North West than ever in Birmingham. Maybe thats my upbringing and its Scottish flavour ?
There are more things I should add to the highpoints of the past 4 years. Such as the freewheeling attitude, as I am charged out here at a high rate, 1000 Euros a day, and they pay the monthly bills and expenses with no problem then I have pretty well led the life of Riley. I have worked hard at times, here and at all the other sites I have been to, but the pressure has been off here for a while, even though I have at times felt bad about the development, well, the forms development work in particular. I have earned a lot of income for other people, and had nothing in the way of thanks for it. Maybe since the July/Aug period in 2001 when I first prepared the quote for the documents, that when I first felt bad. I didn't know the product well enough to give an accurate figure and my first effort was laughed at, which i felt personally. Which heralded a long period when I felt uneasy because I didn't fully understand the work I was doing. It has come out alright in the end though. But spoilt my mood from Aug 2001 right through to recently.
Oh yes, in mid 1999 I had the pleasure of seeing the site of Pura in Bootle knocked flat. I should go back one day to see what is there now. Houses probably.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

So, my time here has finally come to an end, and I'm pretty sad. I've had mostly good times here, especially with the ability to quickly go to nice areas, the Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Shap ! That was a long drive. I still haven't made the drive I have been thinking of doing to Teeside. I first thought of that in 2000 ? When driving across the Eastern part of the Dales I couuld see the smoke from the steel and chemical works on the skyline, and the faint outline of the North York Moors. Good memories;
1999; Groove Armada, climbing the 3 Peaks, first visits into caves, the road from Kingsdale to Dentdale, the road from Dentdale north, watching the meteor shower in November, watching the partial solar eclipse, Manchester & the Reform Club,
2000; Italy, seeing the Northern Lights, the Swallowfield, Atlanta,
2001; Getting fit again, cycling around Horwich,
2002; Staying fit, cycling around Horwich,
2003; not much.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Monday. This will be definately my last week in Horwich. Probably. The actual contract was to 15th Jan, over two weeks ago so I have done well to be still here. Oh well, all good things must come to an end and boy, has this been a good thing. I first stayed at the Georgian House in July 1998 when I came up on the train, and stayed over until Sunday as they went live. Then back in Feb 1999 for a day, then late Feb at the Jarvis (Georgian House) then my life since then has become intertwined with Manchester, Bolton and Horwich. Imagine that. Even though I am leaving here on Friday I will be returning on the odd evening to see Hazel. That will mean paying out of my own pocket, unless I manage to get work at a North West company, maybe I-R will have me back for testing and re-work. Maybe.
The weekend was fun. Saturday was going flat out up a 1.1 mile hill, 5 times. I could have worked harder. Saturday evening felt low so had a bottle of wine. Didn't alter my mood much.
Sunday was a spin round Bidford, Badsey and almost to Broadway, then up the by-pass doing bit & bit at 25-26 mph, up the hill on the A46, urgh and a lead-out sprint to the sign for Alcester, 4 of us, me , Brian, Pic and Beans. Then a steady plod home, hard up to Weatheroak. 73 miles. Back at 12.50, had to rush a shower and collect Dad for dinner.
Lst night had a disconcerting dream, In house with Hazel in bed, and Jayne next door, had to keep telling her to be quiet, then Jayne came in when she got up and tried to hide Hazel behind me, but she sat up and said hello ! Jayne ran out, then I woke up feeling none too happy. Very worrying. I know where Hazel would like our relationship to go, but me, I'm not sure. Maybe leaving here is good, things might cool down somewhat. Probably see Hazel again this week sometime.