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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake

Crab Shack

August 27th, 2007 by sunflowers

Crab ShackCrab ShackOn Monday I headed off on my bike for another 150 mile ride to the south coast of England to Chisel Beach near Waymouth to do a days shore diving to test my resealed dry suit before the boat dive the following weekend. Unfortunately my dive buddy had the seals go on his dive suit so he couldn’t dive at all so I ended up playing around in the water making sure I could sink (I was using enough weights for salt water) and that my dry suit wasn’t leaking.

Afterwards we headed to the Crab Shack for a late lunch where I had a lovely plate of skate with chorizo sausage. On the way home I stopped off in Bracknell to stay with my friend and ended up trying out that Wee thing and was shite at it. They have a training session where they calculate your Wee age and mine was 80. Then the next day at yoga even though I have been doing it for years I felt like I also had a yoga age of 80, but an 80 year old that had never done it before.

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Crackington Cliffs

August 26th, 2007 by sunflowers

Crackington HavenCrackington HavenCrackington HavenCrackington Haven
Crackington HavenSunday we had lovely weather and spent most of the day body boarding in the waves and going for a cliff walk in the early evening before heading to see the band at the pub were we had a beautiful view of the sunset.

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Crackington Haven

August 25th, 2007 by sunflowers

Crackington HavenCrackington HavenOn Saturday I had lovely weather for my ride to Crackington Haven in north Cornwell near Bude. I was staying with a friend in his family chalet (in New Zealand it would be called a batch). I got there about two in the afternoon and managed to enjoy half an hour of sun before the clouds rolled out and it became too cold to swim or lie around on the beach (rocks). Crackington HavenCrackington HavenIn the evening we had a bbq with my friend’s cousins and their partners and kids. They are either actors or musicians so it was interesting and relaxed chatting. Afterwards we headed to the local waterfront pub where we saw Tom Yorke (lead singer from Radiohead) as he has a place on the beach).

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Some Velvet Morning

August 21st, 2007 by sunflowers

There is a band that I have been following for a few years and occasionally I get emails from the drummer asking me when I am going to come along to a gig. So I went to their Tribute to Lee Hazelwood night and it was pretty cool as we ended up talking to the band and they gave us their rider. Their website is www.somevelvetmorning.com.

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Failing in France

August 19th, 2007 by sunflowers

FolembrayFolembrayIf my riding ability around France for the rest of the weekend was any indication of whether I learnt how to ride better on the track day then I failed. On Saturday morning I headed off towards the coast from St. Quentin where we were staying. All I wanted was a summer swim. But I think due to having next to no sleep the night before the track day celebrating my track excitement the night before I was too tired to ride very well. I got my swim and it was lovely riding around the coast but on Sunday I decided to head back to London in the afternoon and managed to make the early evening screening of Harry Potter at the Imax. Twenty minutes of the movie was in 3D but it didn’t really add to it. It was nice to see the movie on the huge screen though.

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Folembray, France, Track Day

August 17th, 2007 by sunflowers

FolembrayI am not into speed. Occasionally it is nice to unwind it on the motorway but mostly I am pretty happy just tootling along at the speed limit. But I do want to be able to ride my bike well and safely and that includes being able to go around corners. It can be difficult to judge how fast you should ride a bike around a bend and braking can be dangerous. In order to learn something you need to practise and the safest place to practise the bends is going around and around a track with lots of them and no cars coming the other way.

FolembrayThe Folembray track in France with ELAM (East London Advanced Motorists), was the perfect place to practise with the perfect set of people, for my first track day. In the morning we broke into two groups (beginners and advanced) and covered road lines in the morning sessions starting by following an experienced ELAM track leader around the track. The first circuit was a bit daunting as I was trying to keep up with the others in my group.

FolembrayAfter a couple initial sessions around the track we then took turns leading the group. In the afternoon it was an open circuit. Set on my own I spent a while cruising around the track before deciding that I wasn’t pushing myself enough and asked one of the Euro Trax instructor to take me around. He said that he was going to start slowly and I struggled to keep up with him. I then took the led and after a couple of circuits he told me to follow him and I was trying to keep up around the hair bend and promptly went onto the grass but managed to stay up right and came back onto the track.

FolembrayThe track was roughly 1.4 miles around and in the afternoon I realised that I was 30 miles away from hitting 3000 miles on my new bike so I decided to keep on going around until I clocked it and finished the day right on 3000.

That evening after quite a few drinks I decided to skip the dinner and missed out receiving my award of most improved beginner.

I decided to take the later ferry I didn’t realise that we wouldn’t arrive in at the hotel until 1:30 am and after dropping my brand new helmet on the concert at Dover and then riding in the rain and dark and on the other side of the road when we got off the ferry in France getting to the track was the scariest part of my track day experience 😉

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Knee Guards

August 16th, 2007 by sunflowers

I am setting off this afternoon for my bike group’s track day in Folembray, France. Trying to sell my V Festival Ticket has been a right palaver as it has gone missing in the post. Then it turned out it was in a different campground than the one I was told, so the bloke I sold it to doesn’t want it so I have lost £170. The helmet I ordered hasn’t turned up even though they promised it would be here yesterday. I can’t find any insurance for my bike to be on the track and not one of the three sets of leathers I ordered off of ebay fit. Which is ok as it turns out I can wear my textiles but leaving this morning I realised that they have no knee guards so I am taking my rollerblading knee guards to wear instead. Oh, and I am totally packing myself. No, I mean really.

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Sandown Park

August 15th, 2007 by sunflowers

Sandown ParkSandown ParkYou just can’t get away from your roots. One of the vendors took us to the horse racing tonight at Sandown Park and they were having a down under night with a group doing the haka. We only got there for the last two races so I didn’t loose too much money.

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Climbing Class

August 10th, 2007 by sunflowers

Climbing WallI had my last of my four weeks of climbing lessons tonight because I am off on the club track day next week (so I am only doing three lessons). I was a bit disappointed as it seemed that I was going to miss the last session where they abseil from the top wall but I was lucky enough to get a voucher to do it another time. Which is just as well as the last session includes a 100 foot abseil.

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Si Señor

August 9th, 2007 by sunflowers

Another fun filled night at my Socially Speaking (www.sociallyspeaking.com) Spanish class. Learning conversational languages in a bar is a brilliant idea. The embarrassment of being so bad is a real motivator to learn. I have even found a couple of websites that help you practice. www.spaleon.com/index.php and http://iteslj.org/v/s/. Though it was great last night as someone turned up who knew less than me.

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