Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bleary eyed

I'm feeling knackered. It's been a fraught week, and things, work-wise at least, are going to get fraughter. Yes, I know it should be 'more fraught', but if Lewis bloody Carroll can get away with 'Curiouser and curiouser', then I'll bloody do as I like. The trouble with this season is the exams: I'm responsible for organising the things for my department, and it all gets on top of me somewhat at this time of year. It is not helped by having to do two twelve and a half hour days. And, just to add to that, there is also the small matter of training for a 90-mile cycle ride to Bath at the end of June, hence the reason for the last post.
Last sunday saw me and my cycling partners (Rob Podolski and Julie Shepherd, plus her boyfriend) ride to Guildford via the Thames Path, route 4 and the Wey towpath route, all on the hottest day of the year so far - up to 29c. It started well, going along the Thames to Sonning, then turning off towards Charvil and the Wargrave, followed by a truly spectacular piece of riding through fields of bright yellow rapeseed overlooking where the Thames Valley descends towards Windsor, then a trip through the suburbs of Maidenhead and into Bray, past the Fat Duck and then deep into Becoming Lost. After recourse to a couple of maps, we got under way again, just in time to get lost once more. Finally we got to Windsor and into the Great Park, where we had a lunch of bananas and shortbread, before descending through Bishopsgate towards Egham and Shepperton, where we took an exorbitantly expensive ferry towards Weybridge, and thence onto the Wey Navigation Towpath, which also included an oportunity to get lost one more time, just before what I can only describe as a mostly HELLISH 20-mile ride over rutted, dusty, hard, knurled and knuckled and tree-root-twisted towpath, cycling against the flow of some kind of cross-country run and old people walking unfeasible numbers of small dogs that seemed to be fatally attracted to fast-moving cycle wheels.
 Overall, I covered just about 100 kilometres, so I'm pretty pleased with that.
But the real reason I'm feeling bleary eyed is twofold: being woken up by birdsong at 4.30 and my bloody hayfever, which has reduced me to a red-eyed mess despite medication over the last week. bluh.

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