Helen Findlay

My adventures in Middle Europe and The Colonies. This blog contains my own views and opinions and does not represent those of my employers, or any other organisation with which I am involved. Remember, just because it isn't Singletrackworld, doesn't mean it isn't shite !

Friday, September 22, 2006

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Aaaarrrrghhhhh, have heard that far too many times this week. Have moved out of Grove Street flat and got it all ready to be rented (well, as ready as it will ever be, its only for renters after all) and am now spending half the day on the phone to Telewest, Orange, Powergen etc changing my address and cancelling accounts.

Am living down in Leith at my friend Bill’s flat. Bill continues to resolutely remain in India and sends no word. Living in Leith has it moments, last night the Neds in the estate across the road put on a nice fire display in the childrens playground, it was very artistic. I’m also fairly convinced the girls in flat 1 are professionals. But not everyone in Leith is a thieving opportunist. Was driving along to the supermarket yesterday, stopped at traffic lights and the guy behind me gets out of the car and bangs on the window. “crikey, what have I done now, some lane-changing offence no doubt” But no, he hands me the spare key to the van, which had been left swinging in the back door, parked on the street, overnight. Am almost insulted that nobody thought my van was worth stealing !!

Had a good holiday in Wales, in spite of illness. The picture at the top of this entry is me, Fiona and Alison hanging out the windows of the cottage, taken by Martin. Had a grim time at Sleepless in the Saddle, was suffering from a tummy bug that I thought had cleared up, but came back with a vengeance as soon as I tried to ride my bike. Did one lap and came off looking green and feeling nauseous. Toughed out another lap later on (I had to do at least 2 to keep us in the race, which was kind of the plan anyway) and the team were doing well, although I had spent my 3 hour break walking between the campsite and the toilets. And sometimes running. We were doing well and in second in the mixed category, when it started chucking with rain. Bruce broke his bike at the start of a lap, and had to run the entire course. The whole track disintegrated into a bike-eating quagmire, and we had dropped to 8th, so sacked it.

Spent the next couple of weeks trying to recover, riding my bike a bit. Went up to visit James at his uncle’s house in the country near Arbroath, which was nice and relaxing. They even put on a not bad barbecue for Brits. I think that might be the first time I have been woken up by gunshots, as the boys tried (and failed) to kill something for us to eat.

So less said about racing really the better. Terrible race at SXC Drumlanrig, although ironically due to a collapse in will at the front of the field I technically won, nice pair of Zeal Optice sunnies, thanks v much ! Disappointing race at NPS Checkendon, I was feeling fit and started off well and got ahead of a couple of girls, felt I could have held it. Got taken out by some knobber in the mens Sport cat who essentially barged me and took me off my bike. Didn’t even stop to ask if I was OK. By the time I got myself up and re-organised the two girls had passed me and I was in last. Got all demoralised. Maybe I could have tried harder, maybe that was as well as I was going to do, who can tell. As long as the knobber in the Sport cat was secure in his 25th place that’s OK then. Oh well, it was an enjoyable weekend in spite of all that, although I can’t say I want to go back to Reading ever ever ever again. Stopped on the way back to the hotel after the race and ordered a curry. We decided to go for petrol while we were waiting. Took ages to find a petrol station. Then we couldn’t find the curry shop again !! Drove around for what seemed like hours, but probably wasn’t. And of course there was a petrol station every 50 metres after that, which was very amusing. Luckily I hadn’t paid for the curry so we gave that up and headed for the hotel.

Getting stuff sorted out now for the last SXC race up at Aviemore on sunday, I’m quite looking forward actually, have resigned myself to going like a donkey in a wheelchair so will concentrate on having a laugh, it’s a great technical course with some fun descents. And of course looking cool, the second most important part of racing. All the work is kicking in now finishing up the SXC accounts for the year, ordering trophies etc so keeping busy.

Have booked a villa in Murcia on the Costa Calida for 4 months, which was surprisingly cheap and surprisingly painless. Have a couple of potential offers to look after Ramona, so we are all systems go for wintering in sunnier climes. Hoping to get away from Scotland around the 15th October, take a week or so to drive over, visiting folk in Londres and spending some time in France. Might drive down to Biarritz and ride my bike in the Pyrenees for a few days. It’s a long drive to Spain so prolly best to break it up.

Am not wasting my time while I am not working. Have perfected my scone recipe, am just off around to see Fiona and the Reddicks at her flat, where much decorating is going on so she can get it sold. They definitely need a scone break.

Next entry from France….