Thursday, August 16, 2007

Home for a day

Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. An utterly amazing experience.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Cycling down the Danube

The bike is in about six pieces. My belongings are scattered in little piles across the sitting room floor waiting to be crammed into two pannier bags. And I'm thinking why did this seem like a good idea at the time.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I have very little patience with shopping. I know what I want and I buy it as quickly as possible.

On occasions I think I know what I want and I buy it as quickly as possible.

This is where the Internet becomes a dangerous place.

I could tell from the tone of his voice the delivery man was pissed off. (I couldn't tell much else as I can never understand a word anyone says over the Intercom. "I've come to murder you in your own home". "Ok!" I'd reply merrily before buzzing them up). Watching him to try to manoeuvre the half-landing I could see why.

My feeble "Oooh, I wasn't expecting something that big" followed by a burst of uncontrollable, hysterical, nervous laughter did not go down well.

After signing for the box, same height as me and wider, I dragged it inside in bewilderment (surely they'd sent me the wrong thing) before attacking the tape with a kitchen knife. Lo! The Rolls Royce of bike bags.

Will it ensure BA doesn't bend my bike to buggery? Yes.

Can I strap it to the back of my bike for a tour of the Danube? Can I f**k!

Return to bike company by courier. Small fortune.

Leave at left luggage in Vienna airport. Small fortune.

I needed to speak to someone. I almost called my dad but couldn't bear the 'didn't you read what you were buying' lecture; my friend G, is indisposed and C is going to kill me.

All Change

I'm a skilled practitioner of overdoing it on the first day out after an illness.

A morning jaunt to Marylebone for the most beautiful bookshop in London - Daunt Books - and while I was there a couple of tarts from Patisserie Valérie.

Having been unable to do any training for my cycling trip we thought it best I get back on the bike. The afternoon saw us follow our familiar route down the A13 and up the Greenway and Lee Navigation. Except once you hit Stratford it's becoming less and less familiar faced with the march of progress - also known as the preparations for the 2012 Olympics.

I took this photo last year - you can just see the car yard on the right.

The cars have now gone. And the tell-tale blue hoarding has been erected.

Marshgate Lane would have vans, car and lorries moving about at all hours. Now it lies eerily empty but strangely so - there is a sense of purpose rather than decay.

The Summer Holidays - Week One

Two thirds of the way into Joanna Blythman's Bad Food Britain I was feeling a little smug. I try to buy independently when I can – no small feat as I live in a working-class food desert – I cook from scratch almost every day and I rarely eat processed food. My body rebelled anyway. It refused to take anything on board and violently expelled any left overs from both ends. Fabulous. I'm not entirely sure what I'd planned for the first week of the holidays but five days in bed with sickness and diarrhoea hadn't been mooted as an option.