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 !

Monday, November 05, 2007

Spot the Elephant in this picture

Blogging – only really any use if you do lots of exciting things ! So for those of you around the world who have been wondering what I have been up to, here is the last 6 months in 500 words or less.

It all started at and finished for me at SXC Dalbeattie race in April. Came off attempting to pass a guy in the Vets on a gravely uphill corner. Landed quite heavily, noticed my little finger on my right hand was sticking out a bit funny, put it back. Kept going, Lesley had got in front of me when I dropped my bottle earlier and I wasn’t having that. Went fine until I hit the next technical descent, when I realised I couldn’t hold the brakes or the front of the bike for that matter and it was kind of hurting.

Stopped at the First Aid station and got taken off the hill in a 4X4. Cathy Mordaunt drove my to the hospital as Hazel wanted to stay for her podium. X-rays confirmed a spiral fracture to the 4th metacarpal. Sent home to Edinburgh and summoned to the ERI on Thursday for surgery to insert pins. Woke up after the op in a haze of painkillers, Fiona R came and took me home. The next morning was hell, felt like somebody had knocked me out and hammered nails through my hand. Large amounts of pain. By mid-afternoon I had taken 3 days worth of strong codeine tablets, so downed a bottle of red wine and slept it all off. 3 weeks later the butchers at the ERI pulled the pins out with a pair of pliers and no pain-killers, I’d have punched the guy if I had a good hand. At one point he felt like he wasn’t getting enough leverage, and left the room to get an even bigger pair of pliers, somewhat like those things they use for cutting people out of cars. And he kept calling me “Mrs Findlay” ggrrrrrrr.

Recovery has been a nuisance, the main effect of the operation was to create large amounts of scar tissue in my knuckles, that no amount of physio has shifted, so I can’t close my hand or grip properly. 8 months on and I can ride a mountain-bike again, but my hand tires and starts getting bumped off the bars after a couple of hours. And I’m very fat as I haven’t been training properly. But onwards and upwards, have entered for the World Masters Champs in France august 2008, should be able to ride a bike properly by then ! Planning on doing loads of running over winter.

Mother and Winton came over for a couple of months in August, and it was brilliant to have them here. Christine gave me a job as a library assistant at RMJMs 3 half days a week, so I had plenty of time to spend with M & W and still a bit of money coming in. I was lucky enough to be looking after a flat down in Leith as my friend Bill was still away in India. Moved back into my own flat at the start of September. Its good to be back in my own home again. Bought a new fridge-freezer and cooker, and planning to re-do the kitchen over winter.

Whilst M & W were here I was interviewed for a role similar to the one I had back at the Museum of Scotland a couple of years ago, just before I started my adventure in Europe and this blog. Was lucky enough to be offered the job, have been here about 6 weeks and I think its going to be great. Working full-time again has been a big shock to the system mind !! There is a lot of change at the Museum just now, we will be closing the Royal Museum for renovations next year, so there are challenges ahead. Not least of which is how to pack an elephant for removal, and I think they made a fine job.

Spent an awesome week up in Fort Bill for the World Mountainbike champs early september, doing some hill walking and road rides, and watching the proper athletes in action. My next adventure will be a return to my old haunts in El Berro in Murcia for two weeks offroad training camp end of January.

Right, that was the fun stuff, now on to the sad news section. My friend Alistair Lees died on Friday 2nd November of cancer. He was 43. Still doesn’t seem real. We will miss lots of things about him, but I loved his honesty and sense of humour. Will never forget coming back in the van from a race, I changed the CD and Al says “see next time you are out shopping for CDs – try not to spend so much time in the pish section !” Even funnier if you knew Alistair’s taste in music !!