Wednesday, 29 July 2009


I forgot to mention that we also got Wii Sport Resort last week. Great fun!

Bicycle Race

After last weekend, the one just gone was very quiet and restful by comparison. Good, just what I needed.

Saw the Tour de France on Saturday, climbing Ventoux. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing but in the end the classification remained unchanged. Brad Wiggins had a brilliant ride and finished fourth overall. Plus I've said already how impressive Lance Armstrong has been this year.

Inspired, after the stage was over we headed over to the next village, by bike of course, for a nice cool pint of cider. Somewhere along the line I (helped by next door's boy) managed to mow both front and back lawns, too, so we didn't do that badly as regards catching up with stuff.

Watched the Tour again Sunday, although with it being the last stage there's not really any racing as such. Very memorable though for the finish - Mark Cavendish was led out by George Hincapie and Mark Renshaw, and coming into the Champs Elysees they just got their line so right, that in the end Cavendish won by several lengths, with Renshaw second. It was just an explosive ten seconds and nobody was anywhere near them at the line. This is what Cavendish is so good at.

After the finish Sunday, in complete contrast to Saturday, we went down to Bournemouth for some decidedly less healthy fish and chips! Well......who can argue with a Harry Ramsden's every once in a while?

This week has been just work so far. I went to Lillywhites yesterday to get Alice some beach clothes - she and Jac are headed over to her mum's next weekend - although I'm not sure about shorts and t-shirts, I should probably have got an umbrella and some wellies!

My mum is now out of hospital and seemingly on the road to recovery. I think she's only telling me part of the story about what's going on, but at the end of the day that's her prerogative I suppose. (You can tell we're not a particularly close family!!) I was all set to have to go up there and do the dutiful son routine this coming weekend, but she's said she'd sooner I went next weekend. I suppose it doesn't make much odds to me - whenever I go it is still a thoroughly unpleasant trip. A couple of years ago Alice and I managed to fly up on a Saturday morning from Southampton, which was a little expensive but extremely convenient. But now there are only flights from Monday-Friday, so if I were to fly I'd need to take 2 days off work to do so (i.e. lose 2 days' fees). I could take the train from London I suppose, but the train costs as much as flying and either way, I'd still have the issue of not having a car once I got there. All in all, the only way seems to accept that this journey of just over 200 miles is destined to take 7 or 8 hours every time I do it.

Still, it does mean that I've got this weekend totally free! Oh, er, wait. I need to get a haircut and I need to do some maintenance on Alice's bike. And I need to try to find my bike helmet, which I couldn't find last weekend. (But I did wear my cleated bike shoes, and managed to get my feet on and off the pedals without falling off, so that was good!)

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Long Weekend

Last weekend a mammoth trip up to Liverpool to visit my mum, who's in hospital. Out of the 48 hours, I think something like 16 of them were spent in the car. Not at all my idea of fun. Highlights included my forgetting my mum's front door key, fortunately realised around half an hour into the journey. I turned around to get it, but there was an hour gone. Also, Tomtom routed us right past some air show at RAF Fairford, so we sat hardly moving for 45 minutes trying to get around Swindon. And yes, this is the wizzy Tomtom which is meant to be aware of traffic situations...

Still, at the end of it all my mother is recouperating well after her operation, so much so that she was irritating me by the time we left (which is normal). But arriving back home at 10:30pm Sunday I felt totally drained, even with a couple of pre-10pm bedtimes since I still feel knackered.

I've told my mum I won't be visiting this weekend, and definitely want to get out somewhere walking, hopefully get some Purbeck sea air in my lungs.

Still following the Tour de France every night, Contador looks to have it sewn up but I don't think he's done his reputation any good in the process. In yesterday's climb he dropped Kloden (his team mate), shows he is riding only for himself. Armstrong, on the other hand, may not even get onto the podium but will come out of this tour with his reputation far enhanced. For all his seven wins, I never really warmed to Armstrong until this year, and there must be others like me.

Still travelling up to London every day, Alice just broke up from school a couple of days ago. She won a prize at Sports Day - unbelievable I know but one of the other mums took a photograph to prove it!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


A brief update. Been following the Tour de France, as I do religiously at this time of year. They are climbing Mont Ventoux this year and I always promised myself I'd go, but unfortunately the money isn't there...

Good to see Lance Armstrong back in the mix, fascinating to follow him on Twitter also. I'm still making my mind up about Twitter.

Been active a little myself. Off the back of Wimbledon I bought cheap raquets for Alice and I, and we had a knock-about in the village sports centre last Sunday. It is another experiment, really, it would be great if Alice could take up a sport and become good at it, and become fit with it. But right now....put it like this - I don't remember as a kid ever being unable simply to hit a ball! We'll see.

Also at the weekend, Alice and I visited the Salisbury Show. The weather was drizzly, and the show itself was sufficiently small that it was pretty much a waste of time. Still, lots of father-daughter bonding going on!

Since the last update I've also done a little in the garden, and we had a very pleasant day out in Portsmouth for Jacqueline's birthday. She went to Gunwharf Quays, Alice and I went on one of the harbour tours, which was pretty good. We met up for a nice meal in one of the restaurants there, and ended the day with a short drive over to Southsea and a walk on the beach. As always, parking in Portsmouth was a nightmare, this puts us off going more than once or twice a year.

What else? Nothing much, really. Been working every weekday and have now caught up with my taxes. I just have a smallish bill at the end of this month, plus a big bill in October, I should be there-or-thereabouts with that one. The name of the game will be to pay the January 2010 bill pretty much on time, if I can do this I'm hopeful the worst will be over.