Bleak Midwinter

IMG_20121224_100436Rose at 7.10 with a very excited 5 year-old, who immediately set upon excising the final gem from the Advent calendar.

Frank Cooper’s Thick Cut marmalade was soon applied to toast (strong and sticky) and two cuppas downed before steeling myself for the first ride in weeks…

And it was tough, especially so in this present rain; same rain since March 2012.  I put on a good show – to myself! – really mastering Chapel Farm: keep left as you climb up across each of the diagonal (sloping from left to right) gutters.  And as for Devol Road…keep right.

A number of times I stopped and checked each tyre: either the front forks have been really juiced up with the previous application of grease, or my 10st 8lbs frame is merely hovering above – levitating itself above the Hardrock. I had peaked at 11 st 11lbs before October, and since then stress and work have taken their toll…


Plenty of activity today: at least two ‘schools’ (trots?) of riders and others on mountain bikes too.  And cold, atomised drizzle.  No glimpse of sun or sky beyond the bleak grey.

Still, on a normal day, I would be battling to survive Period 1 (an excellent S2 class) in order to focus on planning for the day and week ahead.

Excited? Yes I am.

Having made a considerable dent in the marking I took home and began into Friday evening (yes, teachers – all those holidays), I already have a little bundle here on Christmas Eve: but feeling that I have secured some time for the necessary academic reading that will be required for the MSc in Digital Education that commences in August 2013 – I cannot wait.  Plus time, too, to have some personal reading.

And of course – family.

But I’m pencilling in popping over the old mine railway from Hardridge Farm to Clydemuirshiel HQ; a trip to Misty Law; and a sojourn through Howood.

No doubt I’ll be eager to exorcise what delights will be indulged upon tomorrow: Costco turkey platter and various other treats.  Look out 10 st 8 lbs.

Merry Christmas!


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