Sunday, 19 April 2009


Finally! After all these months and months and months of waiting for work to finally finish, it has! And I'm so happy and relieved and excited and cheerful and stress free and I'm really looking forward to my Summer now.

It's been an odd few days though, both before and after the leaving do (obviously, things never go smoothly around here). It started with a shopping trip on Thursday morning with Jodie to get new outfits for the leaving do Friday night. We both hate shopping, I really hate shopping in London, and to top it off it was raining. We were both doing surprisingly well until what will now and forever more be known at 'the Diesel incident'. I was trying on a pair of jeans in Diesel that turned out to be far too tight. Peeling the ridiculous tight pair of trousers back down my legs to my ankles I stumbled... out of the cubicle into the shop, banging my thigh on the handle. The young, male shop assistant looked stunned to say the least - and Jodie burst out laughing. I left in haste. I didn't really want a pair of jeans anyway.

Friday was the last day. I have to wonder how many P45s have been handed out amongst cheers, hugs, rounds of applause and popping champagne corks? Ours were. It was brilliant. Champagne. Lunch. Champagne. Lunch, again(?!) Champagne reception. Pub. Champagne. Champagne. More Champagne. (And I really have to say thanks to the guys at Green Media for a considerable amount of the champagne - there are some true gents out there ;-) I also have to say a really massive thank you to Nick Blackham, one of my managers, for being an absolutely top bloke over the last couple of months, and for some of the champagne on Friday. I couldn't have done it without him.

Not surprisingly, Saturday started with a hangover, and in fact ended with a hangover. (Note to self: don't drink that much champagne again in one day, it's just not worth it.)

Sunday should have been race day but I had a rather niggly shopping injury (see above) which meant my thigh went 'twang' on the first hill of the first practice lap at the first round of the Midlands XC series. So I spent the day soaking up the sun, with the odd bit of roving marshalling and course work.

Tomorrow I start my new life as an unemployed person, or should that be full time event organiser/consultant? Or maybe full time cyclists? Maybe I should call it a sabbatical? I'll have to have a think over the next couple of weeks whilst I'm finishing doing up my first house. It all feels really weird. I've been waiting for this for ages but now I can't get my head around it. Not that I'm going to have too much time to think about with the sheer amount of work I have to do over the next few weeks. I'm sure the time will fly by though. But, that time starts first thing tomorrow morning. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here!

What a lovely weekend: relaxing mornings; fresh coffee; some tidying up; some DIY; tasty lunches; productive afternoons on the computer; freshly cooked, homemade dinners; stress free evenings listening to music answering emails and tidying up the desktop; early nights. This is a life I could get used to, and I so easily slipped into it. I even managed to get an Easter ride in and treat myself to a Cadbury's Buttons Easter Egg.

Just three more days of work left and then I can take it easy for the Summer. I should even have time to work through my things to do list whilst finishing off the house and taking long rides in the sunshine. I'm so excited to finally be finishing this chapter of my life and starting the next one - and I've only got a few days to wait!

Life is already better and care free. There was industrial action on the trains today and though I'd made a special effort to get to the station early, I still had to wait half an hour. I didn't care. The train was packed with Easter day trippers, I couldn't sit down. I didn't care. The exit barriers were too busy and I kept getting rammed in my ankles by pushchairs. But I just didn't care. Traffic in central London was chaos. Oh well, I didn't care. I sat at one set of traffic lights on Shaftsbury Avenue for almost 15 minutes - traffic wasn't moving and an ambulance was trying to get through, even though his lights were flashing and his siren was on, there was one female driver who would rather sit at the front of the queue doing her makeup instead of pulling forward out of the way and lose her hard fought place in traffic. At this point I did care. I wanted to find a large blunt object and throw it through the window, hitting her on the head and scarring her just above the beautifully mascara'ed eyes, so that she would never do her makeup in traffic again, and would pay more attention to the emergency services around her. (Not that I spent every second of the 15 minutes thinking about this you understand, I seem to have a gift for instantaneous creation of mythical scenarios - particularly if they're on the slightly evil side.) The rest of the day was delightful and care free.

Roll on next weekend!
(And yes, I did spend an afternoon on the sofa watching Annie. Admittedly it only just makes it into my Top Ten favourite musicals, mainly because of the annoying little ginger kid, but it has its good points and there are worse things than snuggling up on the sofa with a steaming hot cup of tea, an Easter Egg and a feel good musical.)

Monday, 6 April 2009

11 Bloody Days

11 eventful days. One evening I'm in London trying not to get drunk at what was the official closing down of ITV transmission at the London Studios. It was also the day I got served my redundancy which means I'll officially finish on the 17th of April. Thank God! Finally! I could feel the weight physically lifting from my shoulders and the stress draining from my body. It was fantastic.

Early the following morning I was on a train to Carlisle for a few days pottering about on soon-to-be mountain bike courses in the north. Kielder 100 is coming along nicely. The new Wild Boar 24 course has huge potential and then it was over to Whinlatter to help out at the Whinlatter MTB Challenge. This is where things took an unexpected turn for the worse. I had an accident involving a large, 25kg+ speaker crashing down onto the back of my head. Thinking there must be a bump forming I removed my hat and put my hand to the back of my head. It came back red. That's when the others noticed the blood running down the back of my neck. I've never had a serious head injury before and I have to say there's nothing more unnerving than seeing blood dripping from your own head - it's just not natural and all your instincts seem to be telling you to panic because there's something very wrong. Still, the week of rest probably did me some good.

Then it was off to Sherwood for the first round of the British Mountain Bike Race Series working with Martyn Salt for the first time. (He plays squash ya know.) I raced in the Masters category. I was rubbish. Maybe riding my bike over the winter would have helped. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Full race report coming soon on the race page.

So, 11 days, hundreds of miles, 4 forests, 3 hotels, 2 mtb events and one very large scar on the back of my head. At least life isn't dull. And the Summer is shaping up rather nicely now I finally have my redundancy.