It's a pretty dry Christmas for me so far. In the alcohol department that is. On Thursday we had our departmental "lunch" at the Hotel du Vin in Bristol, and for tortuous logistical reasons, involving a morning trip to the smoke, and the need for a car to take me to the 6AM train, I elected not to partake.
Funny watching everyone else have a few though, one of my colleagues is pregnant, and she and I had a snigger at all the hangovers on Friday AM, as well as reflecting on all the BS, that people earnestly spout when they have had, maybe, 3 drinks. I'm sure that's me too, I think it sounds erudite and profound, but really, it's bollocks.
Then yesterday, no wait, Saturday, it was the ACG Christmas party at the Lamb in Axbridge. For the first time the Leisure Group have their party, so numbers were a bit depleted, and JT was also feeling the after effects of giraffe-fighting. I'm sure that will be the next self-defensive technique they teach the NHS. I turned down a lift and decided to be sober again, partly because I planned to ride on Sunday, partly because I just don't feel like boozing I guess.
I'd rather spend my energy on manically finding things to do. I'm a bit worried about what is going to happen when all the domestic tasks run out. At work it's fine, I'll never be not busy, it's like a never-ending tunnel of tasks on a conveyor belt that you can never get to the end of. But in the house, well, there may come a time when I have done all my filing (oops, done) tidied the shed (yes), sorted my old clothes for the charity shop, balanced by bank account (sad but tick that one off too.
Our downstairs dumping-room looks a big project, and I'm sure Mrs Mendip Rouleur will always find me some cognitive displacement activity. I'm in trouble otherwise.
Still, there is always the bike, and today, in the company of Martyn and Paul I managed to tip over last year's mileage figure to set a new record for a calendar year. More on all that later in the month.
It was a glorious sunny Sunday morning of a ride, well until I decided to peel off on my own for an hour at the end to hit the 55 miles that I needed to do. Then it absolutely poured down on me, heavily for 40-45 minutes. At least it rinsed some of the mud off, carefully collected as the three of us had ambled across the levels via Wedmore, Shapwick, and Lower Weare, in a pleasing figure of eight pattern.
We stopped for coffee at Sweets, where it became very apparent that Martyn is in fact a steam engine, as copious amounts of the stuff evaporated from his shoulders and turned the new conservatory cum atrium cum cyclists area into a tropical sauna. You will have to trust me on this one, but it was quite marked, obviously these camera phones are not as good as the moody Cartier-Bresson shots of yore.
The ride felt like an incredibly flat one, but Laurens has recorded nearly 2000 feet of climbing. I suppose that could have been from popping up over by the windmill, the Webbington drag, and then my last 15 miles or so at Loxton, Banwell and back home up Winscombe Hill.
The roads across the levels are still pretty damp and mucky, and it was nice to have Paul with us for his mudguards. His bike was also considerably cleaner than ours, re-igniting the whole winter-bike train of thought. Especially after the discussion of Dawes steel tourers and audax trips, which got plenty of airplay last night. I have kept my old Ultegra goupset from my Di2 upgrade, and I think I have some old brakes knocking about. Could be the genesis of a bike project for 2013-14 winter.
I'm not at work tomorrow or for the next 2, possibly 3 Mondays, so all that manic-ness will have to be confined to the rest of the week. Time to start the e-bay search I reckon for all those secondhand components. And some knowledge to put it all together, I mean, how hard can it be?