This post is going to come out in one, giant, joyous explosion of wonderful things that I experienced this weekend.
Actually, that would be a little scary. Let's break it up into lots of little, tiny, joyous explosions, in bullet-format. Little popcorn blogasms, like the orgasms you have when you're super-saturated with horniness and you've already had 3 or 4 big, earth-shattering ones but you're still so hyper-sensitive that the slightest touch sends another little aftershock through your pelvis, over and over and over again.
Yeah, this post is going to be like that. (That was a metaphor, by the way. This post will not be about sex. Just in case you were wondering/dreading.)
- Went sculling in a single (Sal is still sick). It was a beautiful, sunny day.
- Saw the heron, fish leaping out of the water, a cormorant diving, said cormorant popping out of the river with aforementioned flappy fish in beak, little twinkly babble stream flowing into river.
- Did an awesome 1k piece. Balance was perfect, rate was high, catches were quick and strong, and my boat sang to me, churning little bubbles along the bow that giggled and whispered to one another.
- Got sunburn.
Cycled up through Ashton Court to watch Pirate's cricket game. There was a mountain bike race going on. I needed to get to where I was going, and there was no good alternate route, so I just slotted in with them on my own (heavy) mountain bike. The trail is a bitch: it's not gravelly but properly rocky, uphill, into a headwind. I didn't get passed by any of the competitors, not even the men. They may have already been at it a while, but I wasn't exactly fresh either, having already cycled 22 miles that morning and sculled 12k. And I was carrying cargo. I crossed the finish line and waved my arms in the air like they do on TV and lots of people clapped and cheered. A marshall shouted at me for not having a number and so I yelled back "I'm not racing! I'm just awesome!" And went to go watch the cricket. (They lost.)
I cycled from Bristol to Pirate's cricket game in Devizes along the National Cycle Route 4. This is the route I take to the boathouse, but I've only ever ridden it as far as Bath. I've wanted to try the bit east of Bath for a long time.
It was the most stunning bike ride I've ever taken. I saw:
- Lovely, cool, shady old-growth hardwood forests dominated by 100-year-old beech trees, with their beautiful silver bark that makes you think you've stumbled into Lothlorian and start looking around for armed and paranoid Elves (which is pointless because you know bloody well that you won't see them until they decide to grant you the priveledge, but you do it all the same).
- Cottages and gardens overflowering with rambling roses in June bloom that were so charming Miss Marple herself would vomit rainbows at the sight
- A black, tuxedo-clad cat wearing white spats and sitting in a dignified manner beside a potted geranium. Like you do.
- Amazing aquaducts! The Kennet-and-Avon Canal, constructed by the Victorians, is a highway for river barges. And is has bridges. Not bridges that go over it, but bridges that it uses to cross gorges and valleys. So you can be on a boat and float along a water-filled bridge hundreds of feet above another river! It's genius! I'd never seen anything like it. Extraordinary. I'm so pissed off I didn't have my camera.
- The 29-lock sequence leading up to Devizes. I had no idea it was there, and certainly didn't expect to come across such an extraordinary sight. Honestly, the victorians kick our ASSES when it comes to daring building projects. It was awe-inspiring and beautiful at the same time.
- By the time I got to the locks I had cyclecdabout 39 miles. Because of the huge lock-sequence the last mile was all uphill. It didn't bother me. I finished the ride as strongly as I started, and never slowed down along the way. No exhaustion, no lactic acid. I wasn't even tired. I impressed myself. (And believe me, given the high opinion/expectations I already have of myself, that actually takes some doing.)
- A pair of neon blue and firey orange kingfishers, darting about in the sunlight over the pools beside the locks, more irridescent than dragonflies and swifter than swallows. It's easy to see why people believed in fairies. They were supernaturally incongruous inhabitants of a normally drab and dreary country.
Sunday afternoon: Pirate's cricket game
One of my favorite things about cricket is listening to the opposition discuss the Pirate while his team is fielding. They sit around and discuss the game and the players, and they have no idea who I am or that every one of their little words will make it back to Pirate's ears. I love being a fly on the wall of the enemy's locker room!
This week Pirate bowled and batted especially well, and the other team spent a good 90 minutes talking about him and him alone. Here are some of the juicier tidbits:
- (about Pirate's bowling) He doesn't need those glasses to see. They must have some kind of digital display or targeting system on the inside of the lenses. Some sort of Batman-esque readout. Or cross-hairs. That's it! The fucker's got cross-hairs on his glasses!
- I thought he'd have begun to slow down by now, but he's on his 10th over and he's as fast as his first. He's not human. It's like facing a bowling machine. That can think.
- I need a lid to face this guy. And a chest-plate. Can I borrow your chest plate? Please, someone must have a chest-plate I can use. I don't want to face this guy without more armor!
- (about his batting, uttered by the bowler who, despite his best efforts, gave away 22 runs in one over to the Pirate, one ball of which was a massive 6 that earned Pirate his half-ton) He made it look so easy! That's just talent, plain old raw talent. He bats as well as he bowls, just one after another, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, as easy as you like. Honestly? I'm glad there are men like that in the world.
- I hear he's a Pirate. I feel safer knowing that he's out on the high seas protecting us. It must suck for the drug runners who cross his path!
- Which member of the Royal Family do you think he should marry? I dunno, none of the women are really good enough for him. I suppose maybe Princess Beatrice. Or Fergie herself even? (Yes, a bunch of 20 to 30-something guys sat around trying to decide which Royal the Pirate should marry. I couldn't make this up if I tried!)
So in the car on the way home I conveyed all of this to the Pirate who, after laughing hysterically for 30 minutes, declared "I'm going to need to get a bigger car! My ego won't fit in this one any more!"