I felt a need to do a quick review of 2009 because it hasn’t been a bad year. It’s mainly going to be pictures and links I think, but we’ll see what happens! So, the year started rather quietly as always and (I think) I decorated our bedroom using some of my left over holiday days!
As we moved in to February, we were hit by some major snow days which pretty much brought the country to a stand still! Hardly anyone could get to work on the Monday morning – Sam couldn’t drive and all of my trains were cancelled. We, like many people, worked from home. Although I feel we might have been the only ones to actually work since everyone else has lots of nice pictures from snow walks whilst we have none! During all of this, I continued training for the Womens Head of the River Race in March and, after reaching a new 5k PB time of 20:22.9, I made it in to our single racing eight!
After Eights Head, we were definitely in to Spring and the first major event of Spring 2009 was Clare and Matt’s wedding up near Manchester. Sam was the DJ so we drove all the equipment up there the Friday before ready for the big day on Saturday!
In May, regatta racing started with Peterborough Spring where I lost my novices, finally! We then went to Bedford Spring, where we made the final but were not victorious sadly!
Towards the end of May we had a weeks holiday and went up to the Lake District, via Chester, for a few days of walking. When we came back, the weather was really getting nice and the garden was really starting to take off. The ‘first’ flower bed was in full bloom:
The decking and new flower bed:
The veg patch:
In July, Sam took his DJ-ing to a whole new level at the Broxbourne Captains BBQ by applying the pirate theme to all his equipment (with my help):
July was also another good rowing month. A trip to St Neots regatta was once again made and my crew (WIM3.4+ with Ruth Moody, Lou Morris, Me, Claire Haylock and Sarah Gilliver (cox)) had possibly the worst draw. Not only were we in the branch of the race tree which resulted in the max number of possible races to get to the final, but our opposition in both heats and the semi would be fresh to the race! However, we saw them all off, including Barnes Bridge Ladies in the semis who thought they would have us because we had just gone from one race straight to theirs! Over a length lead showed them otherwise. We then had a 7 hours wait until the final, but we won! A seconds point and the victory was all the sweeter because we truely earned it this time.
At the start of August, Helen came back from Australia for Katherine’s wedding in Geneva. She had a few free days in her itinerary so she booked a little house in Bath and Carol, Jenny, Helen and I had a couple of days down there to catch-up and relax!
The weekend after Bath was the final regatta of the summer, the big one – Peterborough Summer. After our success at St Neots and Ruth and I winning a third point at Sudbury, the Ruth/Lou/Angela/Claire/Sarah crew had to race WIM2.4+. We came second in our first heat so had to race in the repacharge. We won the repacharge easily. Lou, Claire and I then came in a very close second in the WIM1.8+ final before dashing straight over to our four, arriving to the start in the nick of time and going on to win WIM2.4+!
At the end of August it was Mum and Dad’s thirtieth wedding anniversary. To celebrate we went to Paris for a long weekend. Everyone was in a good mood the whole time, lots of good food was eaten, good weather was enjoyed and Sam and I managed to go and visit Carol in her trendy Paris pad!
At the end of September, Sam and I had another week off work. We didn’t go away this time but had a break at home chilling around the house and going on some day trips, one of which included Hever Castle in Kent.
During October, the weather started to turn and the garden started to move in to winter mode. I was in training for Fours Head of the River crew selection and managed another PB 5k. I can’t remember the exact time but I think it was 20:21.9. As a result of that and some seat racing, I made the WIM1.4+ crew for Fours Head (with Amy, Michelle T and Lou). The day after I made the crew we raced at Bedford SBH (13.10.09) and we won our category – my first head race win and it got me a glass tankard! Feeling very positive, we continued training in earnest despite many ailments trying to disrupt us as much as possible! October also heralded the arrival of the BRC annual Dinner Dance which was an excellent evening as always! Lou and Gigi organised a brilliant event and Sam and I helped by picking out raffle prizes.
Mid-November saw the arrival of Fours Head day and the some of worst gales the country has seen for years! After hours of waiting, the race was regrettably cancelled. I shan’t go in to that more after my lengthy blog on the subject around the time of the event 🙂 However, one good thing to come out of November was my decoration of the living room. Sam also did some great work on the fireplace which is now looking quite smart!
December arrived along with all the usual festive tunes, parties and shopping! I didn’t have many events. My team event for work was early in December because a lot of people were out of the office in the store as we approached Christmas. Some unexpected weather hit the week before Christmas which meant my rowing squad Christmas curry had to be cancelled.
Christmas saw Sam and I head north for Christmas Day itself. We then headed down to Surrey on Boxing Day. Back home now, we are just relaxing and enjoying the end of 2009 – just over 8 hours left now!
So, that is my review of 2009. It seems long but it is a very cut down version! I hope that 2010 is as busy and successful, if not more so! Now it’s time for a cup of tea so I shall leave you with two pictures, one of the fruits of my rowing labour for the this year, and the second of my favourite festive friend!
Happy New Year everyone!
We got back home yesterday after our Christmas visits. We had really enjoyable visits this Christmas but I must say, it’s good to be home! Yesterday we went and did a big food shop. I then did my customary cupboard and fridge clean before having a lovely long soak in the evening, accompanied by my January edition of Astronomy Now!
Today has been uber rainy so aside from going and propping up a plant in the garden and going to the post box, I haven’t been out. I did an erg this morning and then cleared my back-log of ironing. Sam us doing a curry for tea and I am attempting a lentil dahl! My new astronomy book also arrived this afternoon so I am going to sit down and have a read before dinner! Can’t believe tomorrow is the end of 2009 🙁
We’ve just got back from a walk around Malden Manor and we saw a woodpecker tapping away in a tree! I love seeing exciting animals! It’s pretty nippy outside though. Not as cold as before Christmas but still nippy. Time for a nice cup of tea now 🙂
We had snow last night. It settled. Today trains were delayed and people couldn’t get to work because of the roads being block. Being the sceptic that I am, I don’t think a lot of people tried. But even so, how is it that only 3-4 inches of snow can cause so much disruption?!
I am not a massive fan of snow when I have to go places and do things. So, I was in a grump last night despite Sam’a beat efforts to passify me. I did, however, deal with it this morning by donning some extra layers and leaving on foot to go and get the train. In actual fact I was quite lucky – the 7:03 which I decided not to aim for (wasn’t ready) was delayed until 21 so I got that instead of having to wait for the 25 😀
We got a bit more festive at work today too. We put up the Christmas decs and had some Christmas pud we won in a hamper earlier this year. It was goooooood! Sadly our team mate Ollie was leaving the company today, so it was quite a sad affair, except that we had some dramas close to leaving so I almost forgot! Oops.
I must say though, I am looking forward to my real starting on Wednesday. I have reached my limit with work and even rowing training. The water based stuff is good fun at the moment. Land training is such a drain though, probably because it needs the focus of mind I am slowly losing!
This week has been a bit of an odd one. Last Saturday was the Fours Head of the River Race. I had been training for that race for over two months and was really looking forward to it. So, what happens, Friday afternoon, strong gales are predicted for Saturday. On Saturdayh morning, Lou and I troop down to Hammersmith with kit bags rammed with kit to keep us warm and dry before, during and after. On arrival the river looked ok, but it was decided to hold boating until the turn of the tide at 12:30. When it turned, all you could see were the white horses under Hammersmith Bridge and the race was, eventually cancelled 🙁
Anyway, after a disappointed weekend, I managed to get some painting and other training done. Then, on Monday night we had a squad chat and decided to re-focus on Eights Head in March. Then on Tuesday night Sam and I went to see Michael McIntyre at the O2 (hilarious!) so the week was looking promising. Unfortunately for the next two days I then had a continual and unrelenting headache which even sleeping didn’t help. Of course, work could have been worse – it was actually a moderate work week. Not least because I am off work today and the headache has gone this afternoon!!!
Ok, so with hindsight, things aren’t as bad as I thought! I’m going to listen to some great tunes and rest up for some doubling and eighting at training tomorrow!
I have Windows 7 – how very exciting! I know many people don’t like Windows these days but I still quite like it. It is said that Windows 7 is supposed to be a significant improvement on Vista too, especially in performance terms. We shall see. I already quite like though – not too different from Vista but the changes I have seen do make it better.
Last night was the Broxbourne Dinner Dance and it was such a good night! I also got a mention for having made a significant improvement in the last 12 months – hooray! Must download my pics and put them online.
That’s it! In times of stress, that’s all I have to remember.
There are too many things I would like to do. åÊNow, I know I harp on about lack of time on many occasion, but I mean it on a much larger scale this time. åÊThe reason I started thinking about this was a colleague was telling me about a his trip to Barcelona this weekend. åÊHaving a long standing love of Spain, I was immediately jealous and wanted to be there. åÊIt made me remember how at one point I had considered moving out there, for a while at least, had I not managed to find a decent job on England. åÊAs it happens I did and as such I find myself where I am today.
Now, don’t assume from that statement that I am in anyway unhappy with my life because I’m most definitely not. åÊThe path I went down has brought so many good things that I åÊcould never think “What if?”. åÊI suppose I am, instead, thinking “If only”; basically I want to be able to do everything. åÊI want to have my house and garden in a quiet place. åÊI also want a nice quirky flat which is close to lots of thinks. åÊI want to row more and be better at it, but I also want to be able to spend more time with friends and family. åÊI want to be better at y job but I also want to learn new things and continually challenge myself like in uni days. åÊI want to live in England but I want to live in Spain. åÊEssentially, I want to do the impossible, or if not impossible, the damn hard to acheive. åÊI guess I’m the same as everyone else though and I just need to focus On the things I want the most and let the rest go. åÊOne thing is for sure, I don’t want a life full of regret, or worse to let my life pass living in dreams. åÊWow, bit philosophical for me. åÊMight get back to my book…
Sometimes I wonder over the purpose of a blog. Not whether I should write one or not, but what I should write. There were times, early on, where I just wrote about what I was upto etc etc. Howeer, I then felt it should be more intellectual than that; an attempt at a profound discussion over something or t’other. Only problem with that was, it easily turned in to a rant and I also never added blog entries becase I was lacking in profoud subject matter…
I don’t really follow anyone’s blog. Perhaps I should. Not only would I get ideas about what to write but also some look and feel tops. Maybe. Of course, I’m not sure I have any readers though so am I merely talking to thin air, or myself?! (I do both in normal life with worrying regularity so this wouldn’t be a shocking discovery). On that note, I might abandon this post and ring Sam to see if he’s on his way home…
I have just started Reading ‘The Amateurs’ by David Halberstam (I’m on page 13!) and he quotes an American single sculler named Tiff Wood.åÊ
“You could be on a championship eight which won all it’s races, but you still might only be the fiftieth-best oarsman in the country. åÊBut the single sculler is the beat, and everyone in the world of rowing knows it.”
Anyway, this immediatey jumped out at me because I’m not sure it’s true. åÊPerhaps that is way they rank / used to rank rowers, but I think rowing in a single and rowing in a crew boat both require special and incomparable skills. åÊJust because someone performs stunningly in a single, does that automatically mean you could drop them in a double or a quad and they would still perform as well as they sis before? åÊI doubt it! åÊSingle sculling is quite a solitary sport and requires a real strength of mind for racing. åÊPut a personality like that in a boat with others and it could easy cause problems. åÊPlus, look at Redgrave, Pinsent and Cracknell, easily some of best rowers in history and they all sat in pairs of fours…