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Packing up and moving on out

I didn’t think this time would come as soon as it has, but yes, the rumours are true. I’m moving back to the US in a few months. So many opinions about this are constantly running through my head – have I been here long enough, did i even accomplish anything over here, do i secretly want to go home or do i want to live here? To be honest, I don’t even know how to answer any of those questions. As suspected, everyone in the US says “oh yeah, come back. you should be here. it’s a good time to do it. blah blah blah.” and then I get the opposite from the folks I know over here. Arghhhh! it’s stressing me out. Since I don’t know how I feel about it I can’t really defend either side of the argument… well, it isn’t really an argument by anyone but the voices in my head. It sucks.

I think I’ve pretty much resigned myself to it though. I really don’t think there’s much that could happen to change my mind at this point, so it’s really going to happen. I’ve talked to the cargo movers and started looking at the flight and transport situation for getting los gatos back to the States. I have not yet given my notice for my apartment – which I think I need to do straight away when I get back from Tenerife (going there on vacation in about a week), but at least I’ve timed everything better this time. I won’t have to eat any broken lease fees since both my apartment and car leases end in June. I paid a king’s ransom getting out of my car and house coming out here and am really happy to avoid that on the return.

The more interesting side to all of this is planning everything for “the big return.” I have decided to move to Los Gatos and the San Francisco Bay Area. There are a few reasons for this – better positioned for what I’m doing at work these days, but also closer to my family, and with my brother about to become a father for the first time, it will be nice to be a little closer to all of that. So there’s that. Then I’ve been checking out Auto Trader for a car – well, a normal sized SUV which i have truly missed! I know what I’m looking for and think I will find what i want for less than what I expected, so I’m very excited about that. I’ve been keeping my eye on Craig’s List for places to live and have located a yoga studio, a couple of gym options, a few cycle shops…. found out there are regular farmer’s markets and music in the park right in town. And I already know there are some great restaurants and access to trails right there.

OK – so when I think about all the “new” stuff, I get a little more motivated to get back. I love my friends and family in both places and just feel lucky that the ones here will miss me, and the ones at home are looking forward to having me back. Thanks guys.🙂

New bike, glasses and an olive harvest

I got a new bicycle today. It is some fancy carbon thing with clippy pedals and smooth gears — and will make me a fabulous athlete i’m sure. Let’s just be clear, I am probably the biggest poser this sport has seen… in Windsor anyway. I bought my very first ever road bike less than a year ago and already I think I’m way too cool for it, so i had to upgrade and get the matte black one. It’s an Eddy Merckx – 5x Tour de France winner, so I have to assume it’s a decent ride. Selected completely on looks (if i’m completely honest) I just brought it home today. The boys at CycleLife took care of me in a fantastic way, and of course Kevin took me through the whole thing, so I feel like i have something good anyway. I may not know, but they do!… I’m afraid to touch it. haha.

Being constantly reminded that i can’t friggin see a lot of things now, I did the right thing and went in to get my eyes checked today. Imagine my shock and dismay when Eye Doc informs me I need glasses. booooo! i should not be surprised, but still. This clearly means my senses are starting to fail me. I pick up my glasses tomorrow. I went for the strict teacher stylings as far as the glasses go. pics later – if i don’t look too stupid.

A massive delay in reporting on the olive harvest of 2010…. we did that over Thanksgiving weekend and while the ice and chilly weather made for a risky haul, the oil turned out great – or so says my dad. We far exceeded the requirements to be able to claim “extra virgin”, so we’re good to go. The olive harvest is a funny thing and can be hard to explain why I like it so much. It is a weekend of manual labour. It’s usually very cold, we have to get up and start at the crack of dawn, we get filthy, and by nighttime, we’re exhausted. It is my favourite event of the entire year though… better than Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving…  friends and family get together to do this every year. I think the first harvest or two my parents hired people to do the olive picking and I told them that I wanted to help the next time (this was three years ago) and that we didn’t need to hire anyone… if we pitched it to our friends the right way, it could end up being a lot of fun. God, I’m always so happy when I’m right.

It is definitely a work hard, play hard kind of thing. We do our bit during the day, but we make up for it at night. We drink, eat, chat, laugh, play pool… whatever. this is the part that is so hard to describe. The vibe of the harvest is awesome. the crew is awesome – everyone works super hard and that makes the feast at the end the sweetest reward. There are now a lot of kids involved too. My brother has a couple, his brother-in-law has one, the cousins have two (one of them is pretty much an adult  now though :-)) so there’s loads of energy. Anyway, this is a side of my life that people who don’t really know me would probably never guess I do, but it’s something i love. Now we’re trying to get new labels printed for our “Albero di Oro” 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil…. and it becomes trying again. I like to put the business end of it to the side as long as possible, but once we’re bottled, sealed and labeled, I’ll be proud of what we’ve done another year running.

Kevin and Kilo pics

Why an overnight train can be a bad idea

A few weeks ago a colleague and good friend of mine, Kevin, came over to Europe to do a little SQL Server seminar tour. For those of you who don’t know what “SQL Server” is… pay it no mind. It’s just what I do for a living – it has no real relevance to the rest of the story other than that it is the reason behind how all this happened.🙂

The trip starts of smoothly – first stop is Amsterdam. We get there, settle into the hotel and rest up for dinner. I ask Kevin if he just wants to relax – maybe just eat at the hotel – since he has been flying all night and day but he insists that he’ll be fine (yeah, right. I’m never fine after flying that much so I’m skeptical, but we’ll see). Another colleague joins us and we head into the city centre to this fantastic place called Chang-i. (I have actually already been to this place once before with another friend of mine when I was in town for another conference. I was meant to be taking him out to dinner as a thank you for getting my company set up with the event. We had a really nice dinner, good wine, the whole 9. When the bill came, I learned that Amsterdam is quite fussy with the credit cards. They don’t take visa, mastercard or debit cards. Well, I wasn’t embarrassed at all when James ended up having to pay for dinner. Awesome…) Anyway, dinner was great, but just as I suspected, Kevin was falling asleep at the table by the time the coffee came.🙂

Tip: When travelling to the Netherlands, make sure you either have cash (Euros) or an American Express. They’re pretty limited on what they’ll accept.  

The moon looked way bigger in person.

Next was to go back home, repack and then off to Paris to spend the weekend with Diane, Stan, Carole and Vince. They were closing out a long holiday and I was fortunate enough to be able to meet up with them before they headed back to the States. Let me tell you – right up my alley, hanging with that group. I had such a great time. We ate, drank, drank, shopped, ate, shopped…. everything I love, and in Paris no less. For the record, if I decided to try living somewhere else in Europe, I think that Paris tops the list. The only thing holding me back there is that I don’t know French (my Rosetta Stone is gathering dust on my bookshelf) and I know the move would be nearly as much of a nightmare as the one coming to the UK from California…. anyway, something I think about sometimes.

Stan, Diane, Vince, Carole and me - our night tour on the Seine

Now we’re at the part where the overnight train comes in… Trying to be adventurous, I decided to take the train to Copenhagen (my next stop on my trip) instead of flying. I got my first train in Paris and had to switch in Cologne for my second (overnight) leg. Up until this point the train was great. I saw the countryside and it was just a great perspective since I usually just take planes. So for part 2 of the trip I notice I’m assigned a sleeping car. I have never done anything like this before, so i have to be honest, i was a little excited. The excitement was short-lived though. “sleeping car” means you’re in a tiny cubicle with 6 shelf beds (obviously these are the ‘cheap seats’) and for me, 5 other people. I’m in a cubicle with an asian family who don’t speak any english and also have no sensibilities for western culture whatsoever. You’re supposed to be quiet – “mom” won’t shut her mouth and she’s fawning all over her husband and son (completely annoying them too – i may not understand what they were saying, but the looks on their faces were pretty universal). I was just trying to read my book (I was reading The Help, given to be by Diane in Paris. Great book!) and they were yammering on and getting ready for bed like they were at home. I was on the bottom bunk and mom-who-won’t-shut-up is opposite me. She’s up, she’s down, she’s making son’s bed, rooting around in her luggage for her toothbrush. Then the most horrible thing I could possibly imagine happens…. she starts to get ready for bed – IN THE CUBE!

At the SQLBits conference in York - my friend James and me

she takes of her pants (i mean “pants in the american sense – so “trousers” for any Euro readers) and her shirt. I am huddled in the corner of my bed – my only place of safety. Is this woman crazy? i am NOT OK with a complete stranger dropping trou about 14 inches from my face. Not cool. But it gets worse, way worse…. She’s standing there in her underwear and figures out she doesn’t have something she needs from her suitcase, so she sits on my bed IN HER UNDERWEAR and bends over to rummage through her luggage to find whatever she was looking for. My eyeballs were about popping out of my head. Is she serious? she is almost naked, sitting on my bed – while i’m in it (which is so small that of course she is touching me). No better word than horrifying. I was speechless. I looked at the dad and gave him a dirty look and shook my head trying to let him know that i was not happy with this and he said something to her… i can only gather that she didn’t give a rip because she cackled at him and I am pretty sure she backed up a little more on my bed just to let me know she was going to do whatever the hell she wanted. Needless to say i felt violated and couldn’t sleep the whole night – mom’s snoring didn’t help either. She was a piece of work, that’s for sure.

This is me and my friend Simon at the conference in York


dusk view in stockholm


The rest of the trip was uneventful really (after that train experience anything else would pale in comparison though…). We did our seminar in Copenhagen, went on to Malmo, then Stockholm (I loved Stockholm. I will definitely go there again), then back to England and home for a day, then a little road trip to York for another conference. Whew… Lots of work, but all in all a good trip (minus a few hiccups).

reads pretty funny on first glance.

a tiny road trip to York

Pictures don't really do it justice, but the Norman church ruins we're pretty fantastic

I’ve had my car for a few months now and i can honestly say I’m pretty comfortable driving around now. I swear at the other idiot drivers on the road (obviously I am perfect so it is never my fault) and zoom around… well, i don’t zoom really. My Fiat has a 1.2 engine and the max speed in the brochure is 99mph, so “to zoom” is a bit of a stretch, but i can at least get around. The point is – now I am mobile, so I need some adventures so I can get out on the open road. Last weekend was such an adventure as I went to York to visit my friend Andrian.

I left on Friday afternoon (here’s the route). The plan was to leave in time to arrive in York by 6pm to meet up with Andrian and go to dinner. It’s a little over 200 miles, so I gave myself 4 hours. I did not account for it being Friday and I also did not account for all the weekenders on the roads during rush hour. I did not arrive in York at 6pm. I got there around 7 and had to park about 10,000 miles away from the entrance to my hotel so I may as well have just walked from Windsor. Ha.

That was just a small little hiccup though. I had a great time. Andrian is a sculptor and has a studio a little way outside of central York. I don’t usually write much about other people on here unless it’s in relation to something that is going to ridicule or point back to me – not so miuch that I want to talk about myself all the time, but I guess I want to be sensitive to other’s rights to privacy and everything – and wouldn’t ever want anyone to misread anything I write… but mostly because i don’t want to have to go back and regret writing all kinds of nice things about someone, then change my mind later and have to chide myself for being too nice about them in my blog.😉 But, unless Andrian all of a sudden starts sucking at his job (which i don’t think is likely), I can safely say he is a very talented dude. He sculpts marble and limestone and makes enormous classical looking statues (think Michaelangelo, Bernini), abstract pieces, wall hangings with greek/roman mythical scenes. It’s crazy. I say crazy because there is no chance ever that I could do something like that. I’m out based on lack of patience alone, but even if I were patient, just the skills… anyway, quite impressive. You can see some of his stuff here.

We were in some park in the middle of York town centre on our way to the river.

Anyway, we had a nice dinner at a restaurant that used to be an assembly hall. it was massive. I didn’t take a pic of that becuase I didn’t want to look like a lame tourist taking pictures of a restaurant, so you’ll just have to trust me that it was like being in a big auditorium or something with these massive columns… apparently they used to have big dances and assemblies there. now you can order prawn salad and calzones.🙂

He knew of some friends who were doing some live music in town so we walked… somewhere. I wasn’t paying attention. If I’m not in charge of navigation i tend to just go and not really keep track of what I’m doing. I figured we were going to a pub or something, but we actually ended up at a Community Center where he takes drawing classes. They were having some kind of variety show and the last guy was performing when we arrived. The guy was singing some folky, WWI era war songs, and his US rock song that was about a blue car. I had no idea what to expect – it was pretty fun and the guy singing was a great performer. He was like those guys you see who play a bunch of instruments all at the same time – he had a guitar, harmonica, rattle, tambourine… and probably one or two other things I’m forgetting. Really clever, really funny. Pretty entertaining.

Then back to my hotel – I stayed at the Marriott. It sucked. I stayed there for the points. My advice to anyone travelling to quaint villages and towns in England… stay in the cute little bed and breakfasts. The chain hotels are generally quite old and blah, they’re full of conventions and families with screaming kids (nothing wrong with either, but not exactly the vibe I was looking for on my fun York road trip weekend). Next morning I’m up and headed out to Andrian’s around 10am. I got lost of course – I do not take blame either. I have a SatNav telling me where to turn, how much further I have, if i’m going to fast… but it *made* me turn left too early and I ended up… well, i don’t know where I ended up, so I turned around and started over. I drove along, ate my banana, drank a red bull… finally got in the general vicinity of his house which of course doesn’t have a NUMBER. It’s something like “The Old Cottage”… are you kidding me? I pulled over and called him and he said he thought he saw me drive by… that’s how sleepy this village is. He spotted me without even knowing what I would be driving or really when I would be there (having gotten lost and all).

We had coffee, played with his new puppy Zeus and jumped in his car and headed for his studio. I was really excited to see it. Again – so far removed from what I know in my own life that it was just fascinating to me. I was not disappointed. It’s a studio like you would imagine any art studio, but it’s full of marble and limestone and plaster statues, molds, heads, wall hangings, drawings… and two motorcycles. Ah, boys and their toys.🙂

Zeus. big name for a tiny dog. (but he's only three months old)

After that we went into the city to just walk around and check everything out. I was in York just a few weeks before this for a work conference, but didn’t have time to really check anything out then, so we did all that this weekend instead. Got to say, seeing a medieval city and getting the commentary from someone who understands the history and design of things definitely makes it much more interesting. I got a great perspective. Some of the Roman columns in the city centre are upside down, little scratches in the stone work on walls and buildings are the masons signature. He has a friend who lives in a tiny house build into the wall of the Minster, another friend does a lot of the preservation work on the actual Minster… what is the Minster you ask? It’s a gothic cathedral that covers a LOT of square footage in the city centre. More on it here – got to love Wikipedia :-))

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Then we walked toward the river and through a park with the ruins of a Norman church. It was pretty amazing. There is a wall pretty much around the city and all these massive buildings and ruins and stones and bricks… Zues couldn’t be bothered with any of that though. He was much too interested in chasing the birds and squirrels. He got so close to one squirrel that for a second I thought i might see an animal duel. Fortunatley that can be saved for another time.

We walked down by the river – it was not unlike Windsor really. Bridges, swans, ducks…. it’s really a beautiful scene and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it, even if I can walk and see it anytime i want just a five minute walk from my house. There was an ice cream truck down by the river edge. I had to laugh at what was written on the side…

Often Licked, Never Beaten... can they really have that on there?!!?


Strangely, it rained about 30 minutes after I took this picture....

When we headed back to the car, we walked up this one street and Andrian pointed out a sculpture he had done that was sitting in the window of a house. This was the house of someone he used to work for (Richard) – who was sitting inside and saw us checking out the statue so came out to say hello. He invited us in for wine – well, wine for me. Tea for Andrian. I got to listen to them reminisce about the days they used to work together.  Richard asked me what I did for a living and I tried to explain it in as simple terms as possible, but as soon as I said “IT” both of them glazed over – haha. Then, as you might suspect, this somehow got onto the topic of iPhones (something I don’t have nor do I know anything about, but because I’m in IT, i might know, right? haha).

Arse of a Norman Church (look closely at the shadow of the blade of grass…. well, it was funny at the time!)

This was getting close to the end of my trip. I had a four hour drive ahead of me so after we got back to his house I had to head out. Driving home was much nicer than the drive up. It took me the four hours I expected, I had burned some CDs from my iPod to listen to, my SatNav didn’t fail me and I was home by 11pm.

The cats were being pissy (they always do that when i go anywhere) but they got over it. I was exhausted and went to bed straight away to make sure I didn’t waste my whole Sunday sleeping.
I really liked my little trip. I wasn’t gone long, but I had a great time. Good company, great town, a puppy…. what more could I ask for? Oh yeah – next time I’ll stay at a cuter hotel.
I’m off to the US again in a few weeks. November is sort of sneaking up on me and time is going by way too fast. it’s stressing me out. Hopefully I’ll be a good blogger and write about that more when it happens, but the little preview is that I’ll be in Seattle for a few days arriving November 8, headed on a brief road trip to San Francisco the following weekend – 49ers game (bleh!), Orange County for a week, then back to San Fran for a couple days, and finally to my parents for Thanksgiving and the annual Olive Harvest. Whew…. long trip. I’m already exhausted just thinking about it!

Fun. Fun. Fun.

Since I'm back to red, this is one for the memory books

If I say “fun. fun. fun.” then i can focus more on that side of things. haha. The past few weeks have been super stressful – work is ridiculous. Ridiculous busy, that is. Lots and lots of admin. It’s doing my head in. At least the CAB (customer advisory board) I’ve been working for the past few months is finally pretty much done – the summit is next week in California so I’m crossing my fingers that it turns out well.

I went to Amsterdam last week. Timing was great. I was there for the World Cup semi-final match. I met up with one of my friends I know through the SQL Server community and we went into the middle of the city for dinner and to watch the game. Holland ended up winning that one (they lost the Cup Final to Spain) and the vibe was amazing. Excellent time.

I got a car finally too. FINALLY! It’s just a little Fiat 500. Very small, doesn’t go very fast. No AC, no sunroof… but it’s a car and I am now mobile and that’s what I care about the most. I’ll worry about getting a car I actually want after this lease is up.

I got my license back in March after months and months of lessons and didn’t drive again until I got the car – just a couple weeks ago. I’m doing all right I guess. I’m getting more comfortable and instinctively making more “UK driving decisions” which is a good thing over here (i.e. driving on the left, stick shift on the left, not turning on red lights…).  I still have to think about it though – not second nature like in the US.

My little clown car

 So, I’m getting ready to pack for my trip to Cali. I’ll be away for two weeks – and that seems so long. Every time I go there I seem to get stuck paying all these baggage fees and everything so I have to make sure to keep things at a minimum so I can do some shopping while I’m there!

The second week I’ll be helping to get ready for my brother’s wedding on July 31. Crazy to think my little brother is getting married! It’s going to be at my parents’ house and they’re doing an astonishing amount of “preparation” in the form of gardening, lights, stairs, remodeled bathrooms, paint, etc. (I didn’t know that was all part of planning for a wedding, but I guess I’m in for my share of the work when I get there). I have no doubt it will be beautiful and a great day, so I’m looking forward to it. The only thing I have left is to find some silver shoes. Why is it that when I need something that sounds so basic like “silver shoes” I can never find anything good. {sigh}…

I get scolded because I never put pictures up here – I do post them on Facebook usually though, so it isn’t like I completely avoid it… anyway, here are a couple of other random pictures that I’ve taken this year.  Sorry for the redundant slide shows and random pic of me at the beginning of this. I can’t figure out how to divide the pics into multiple slide shows so they’re all lumped in together. I’ll have to look into it. Anyway, more when I’m back from the US!

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Changing it up.

that may sound corny – and i suppose it is, but i have definitely made a lot of personal changes this year. One, (and the people i work for/with may not like this) I’ve started to do more for myself instead of always letting everything take a back seat to work. The funny thing about that is that everybody wins – sort of, anyway. I have had to really think about working smarter so I can still be a productive contributor, but i’m not always putting myself at the mercy of the next “emergency.” So far it’s ok. I have been doing a job and a half for a while and I have to admit both of those “jobs” suffer a little bit, but i think that overall i’m handling it ok. So that’s just the first little thing. It is probably the biggest change I’ve made though.

Second, I’ve started to get back into sports. Well, maybe not “sports” literally, but I have been cycling and swimming and just joined a triathlon club. I am not a “triathlon type” – or at least i didn’t think i was (and i can’t do the running because of my knee, so i’m always going to be a leg shy of the full triathlon). This has been a great thing for me to get involved with though. I’ve met a lot of really great people and it is probably the most encouraging and motivating environment I’ve been in – ever. The guy who sort of runs it (Kevin) has been super helpful – in both getting me kitted out, and helping me spend my money on things that are not even remotely flattering on my body… here’s a story for you:

So, I need to get some of the essentials to be able to participate in the club – for the rides you have to have a helmet (which I already had), a puncture repair kit, spare tire tube, air pump, allen wrench thing, water bottle holder — and that’s the required stuff. I also had to get the cushiest booty pants they had and some gloves. Kevin was nice enough to give me about $500 worth of other clothes – jerseys, shorts, stretchy pants, a vest…. all kinds of stuff. Anyway, he went to the cycle shop to help me get what I needed and decided that this would be a good time to figure out what size wetsuit i need for the open water swims. do you know how to do that? you have to try them on. 😦 they are made of rubber, and they don’t just glide on. They make you sweat like a racehorse. And, i wasn’t exactly prepared with appropriate undergarmets to take on this *very embarrassing* endeavor.

So I get wetsuit number 1 and start pulling it on (i’ve never tried on a wetsuit before and had no idea what i was in for). I was making noises and grunts that inspired Kevin and some of the staff at the shop to start making fun of me (though i got lots of offers for help – imagine that :-)). I felt like a sausage getting stuffed and it was quite the workout. I got it about halfway up and couldn’t do any more so one of the guys in the shop and kevin were down on their hands and knees pulling, hiking, hoisting, stuffing me into this thing. about 20 minutes later i’m zipped up, looking like a seal with a red face and wild hair. Then i get inspected for fit (can you see that this is a woman’s worst nightmare – at least THIS woman’s worst nightmare anyway) and more pulling and the dreadful announcement that this one is “too big”. Too BIG? are you joking? things are smashed, squished, and honestly, i think i was stretching the thing out. But no, it’s too big and will fill with water and drag me down. Fine. (at least i’m done, right?).

I peeled off wetsuit #1 and think i lost 5 pounds in sweat with it (sweet! who needs to work out? just try on a couple wetsuits every day and you’ll be good to go…. actually, now that I think about it, I think i’d rather work out). Then he hands me a Medium. “A Medium, Kevin? I don’t wear a “medium” anything and haven’t since i was about 16. this isn’t going to happen.” Then i get the lecture about growing into it (in the reverse though – if I lose weight then it’s better to have one a bit smaller than to end up sloshing around in one that’s already “too big”). I am suspicious at this point that i’m on some kind of TV show where they embarrass innocent people… Right. Wetsuit #2. The Medium. My goodness. My biggest challenge of the year so far is “The Medium”… rightfully so.

Same thing with this one except 1. I’m already sweaty, so it’s even worse than trying to put on unlined leather pants on a hot day 2. I’m exhausted from wetsuit #1 and 3. this is a MEDIUM. it took me a good 5 minutes just to get it to my knees. It was insane. I told myself I just needed to get it up over my important parts so i can come out of the dressing room for round two of mortifying help from my amused audience. I got it mostly there and couldn’t do anymore. I was defeated. Kevin and Dan (the guy who worked at the shop is Dan) each took a leg and started pulling again – much harder this time. Kevin (tallish fellow, so he’s able to do this) gets behind me, grabs two handfuls of wetsuit and picks me up and tries to shake me into it. Are you kidding me? i’m suctioned to this thing. you can’t shake me in! but he kept trying. Again, may i point out that this is hands down the most embarrassing moment of my life – it’s the one i’ll i’ll use in Truth or Dare or any other situation when someone asks me the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. finally they got me in – i had given up trying to be modest. i had no energy and could barely move. Finally i got zipped up and it felt like a corset. I could barely breathe. Kevin says that’s what it should feel like. I think he hates me.🙂 But at least even though I was humiliated, I got what I needed and was ready to go!

I went on my first real bike ride on Saturday. We went 40 miles round trip – other than some things hurting like nothing I can even describe – it was the best day! the weather was really nice which was a huge part of it. But in addition to kevin again, I met 4 other new people and they were all really nice and helpful and it was a lot of fun. We rode on some of the rural roads around Windsor and went to another really sweet little town called Henley on Thames. We stopped for coffee and then headed back. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it. And apparently I did way better than what Kevin expected, so that was a bonus and made me feel pretty good about my effort. When I got home i took a bath, had some tea and was crashed out by 9pm (on a saturday night no less. I am clearly getting old). But then I got up early on Sunday and did it again. Only 26 miles on Sunday – but i’m not too disappointed in myself. I think i could’ve handled more endurance-wise, but my elbow and neck and bum were hurting so bad that i don’t think i could’ve taken it any longer anyway.

Then I swam 80 laps today in less than an hour. That’s 2000 meters – (about 1.25 miles). I’m sooooo slow, but at least i can do it. Now I just need to get faster so I’m at least swimming instead of demonstrating what it looks like to see someone drowning… and this was just in a pool. No open water swimming in my new tiny wetsuit just yet (i’m almost thankful it’s still on order). haha.

So that’s a lot of change for me. I am happy in myself that in my effort to take more time to live (instead of living to work), I’ve chosen to do healthy things – that have turned out to be so fun and so great. I’m really starting to get into some of this stuff. Who thought England could be good for me?🙂 Now I just have to pick a race to do so I have something to work toward. I’ll let you know when i’ve booked an event or a race or something.🙂