Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Trouble with Eastern Europe

After being only one degree yesterday, it's a stifling ten degrees this morning. What is up with the weather? I scale down my kit for the cycle in.

Another L free day at work, her internet is still AOL-ed.

At lunchtime I go down and join the mass queues for Derby's next cup match on Saturday. After dishing out a right good thrashing to Sheffield last night next up for the treatment is another struggling Championship team in Preston. Ok, so perhaps not everyone is being gripped by cup fever, I had to queue for about five minutes but people ought to be gripped, I mean we have nothing else to play for this season.

After an uneventful ride in, the ride home is again, like yesterdays, a lot more interesting. Firstly I have to pull off an 'interesting' overtaking move and go round a tractor and trailer that's chugging up the hill to Risley.

Then, and I can hardly believe it, I get another puncture, in my front this time, as I'm going through Stapleford. I think I must have run over some glass, there's an awful lot about at the moment. As I'm changing my tube a group of teenagers stop by and offer help and advice. Well I think that's what they were offering. They seem very polite but also totally illiterate and I have trouble understanding them. I smile politely and hope they take the hint and go away. They do eventually. As they walk away, I do manage to make out one of their mutterings about giving me a push. Well yes that would be ok if you fancy pushing me all the way to Nottingham.

Then I'm off again but not for long as I realise my tyre isn't rotating correctly. I stop again, realise the tyre isn't on properly, deflate the tube, adjust the tyre, pump it up again and then off I go again.

Eventually I make it to the pool but now I’m running a tad late. The changing room is almost full, which isn’t promising and so it proves. The pool is packed, five and six to a lane in places. The bikini zone is standing room only. Lane one has only two swimmers in but I see that one of them is Mr Stop-Start, which is why everyone is avoiding it. The one person, who's been foolhardy enough to share with him, looks at the end of her tether. Yep, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, so I'm off into lane two.

There are already three others in lane two and the pace is quite quick, which is good. A couple of guys are setting a good pace, so I match their pace and keep a good distance from them. Not so this girl, who in her East European accent, keeps instructing me to go in front of her but then insists on swimming right behind me. After a few lengths I stop and let her pass but every time I do that, a few lengths later, she'll stop and make me go back in front.

All of this fighting with Eastern Europe is very tiring and after doing what feels like a hundred lengths I stop for breather. She pulls up next to me and, despite the fact I've taken my goggles off, says 'after you'. Not a chance, I've had enough. I make my apologies and get out.

I get home exhausted but there's one more task today, dog class. Our trainer sets a pretty tough course and we are brilliant at it. It all bodes well for the new season, when of course it'll all go pear shaped.

We get home to L, who's done good old Cumberland sausage (imported by ourselves from Cumbria) and all the trimming. After which I crawl to bed, as does Doggo, although he's only done the agility, not the bike, nor the swim, part-timer. L's a treasure and soothes my aches for me.

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