Thursday, 27 October 2011

Moving On

I woke up in an awful mood - mornings are really hard at the moment which isn't like me.

My car was in for a service and I had to be in the office today so got my bike out. It started raining just as I pushed him out of the garage. I thought I was OK for fuel but his light was on. While putting on my jacket, in my pocket I found some directions to meet a lovely guy from a few weeks ago who things ended up not working out with (does that make sense!). Realised I still haven't replaced my beaten up clear visor. To round things off nicely I almost dropped my bike at the traffic lights (thinking of said guy...grrr!).

I decided I'd better concentrate on the job in hand and made it to the petrol station in one piece. Things improved from there and I had a great ride in to work despite a few gulps and a couple of tears sneaking their way out.

Marco Simoncelli's funeral was this afternoon, I found it hard to concentrate at work but kept my head down and got through the day.

Two lovely work colleagues are leaving tomorrow and I am sad about this - although one is temporary as she is off on maternity leave which is exciting for us all. I will miss them both. Today I have been out for a leaving lunch for one and stayed for leaving drinks for the other.

I had a lovely ride home in the dark. I haven't had a pitch black run up the A12 in a very long time, and it brought back some very strong feelings and memories - happy stuff from better times, and less so. I'm in exactly the same kit, same helmet, gloves, boots, jacket, trousers etc. The bike is almost the same. So much has happened but I feel like so little has really moved on.

Those who know me well know that I hang onto things for a long time, and struggle to let go. I am a great one for dates and anniversaries however minor. But sometimes I think this holds me back. I tried to 'celebrate' what would have been my first wedding anniversary, but it was the wrong thing to do. I tried to make a big deal of my birthday to convince myself how marvellous things were and how well I'd done surviving the last year, but this was also the wrong thing to do and I was just kidding myself.

So time for another line in the sand. I left a lot of things behind in Spain and felt better for it. 

Here's to moving on, and making the most of my life. Ciao Marco.

(more cheerful stuff to come soon honest!)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

bye bye no. 58 :(

One of my favourite MotoGP riders - Marco Simoncelli - was killed in the Malaysia race on Sunday.

I have hardly watched any races all year as I have hardly been at home at the weekends - unfortunately I did watch this one, and saw the awful crash. Everyone knew straight away that it was really bad, and I hoped against hope that somehow the outcome would be better than it looked.

He was a rider who has had a very controversial year - some very hard passes on some other racers, and some big names at that! - but also some brilliant, gutsy riding that has had many people shrieking with sheer joy at some of the moves he has pulled off. Some have ended in a crash shortly afterwards, but some have stuck and he had some fantastic results beating the full factory riders on many an occasion.

At the age of 24, it feels so cruel that we won't get to watch him race again. In a world full of riders who have been drilled for international sports stardom since a very young age, and who seem to have lost all ability to share the joy they surely must feel when they race bikes on the international stage, Marco was someone who stood out as a bit mad, a bit crazy (not least because of his huge hair!), extremely talented, and completely in love with racing.

I have been lucky enough to do some racing, and OK it's never been anywhere near that level. But the thrill of defying gravity as you tip into a bend, and chasing and/or being chased by someone else, and the sensation of not quite knowing if your next move is going to be rewarded with a higher finishing position or a trip to the gravel (possibly even to A&E!). Well I can relate to those.

Many ask the question, is it worth it? Seeing that crash, I have to say I did wonder. But then I reminded myself of how I feel when I'm on my bike in a race, and I know that it is absolutely worth it. It's like concentrating everything down into just a few minutes, but those few minutes are so gloriously intense. They may be intensely bad, or intensely good, but there's no halfway between.

I don't have any children or other dependents. I am lucky that my family support me in what I do, and are happy as long as I am happy. We have had our own tragedies in my family (as all families do) and we know the importance of seizing every moment and not taking the future for granted.

This sometimes means I am unable to plan for the future - for me it just may never come - and this makes me overly hedonistic at times. I would love to find a way to balance a little bit of planning so I am not left short, and can do the things I want to do, without feeling that I am missing out on the present and not living my life to the full.

Marco, I loved watching you race. I loved hearing you stand up for yourself and challenging those you didn't agree with. I will take your passing as a reminder that I definitely need that thrill of racing, and I can't live without it for too much longer.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Project M

Well. At least I started my blog - but sadly I have not kept it very up-to-date!

I am back from a wonderful holiday in Spain, full of ideas, plans, goals and dreams at last. This is a lovely feeling after an extremely difficult year where I am sad to say I lost all of the above and submerged myself in work.... everything came to a head a couple of weeks ago and I am really glad the holiday was already booked as it was all that was keeping me going at times.

So. Lots of old rubbish has been left behind. I will be on a mission for a couple of weeks while the energy levels are still high - hopefully they will last longer than that, but today it has felt very wintry and I am looking forward to the change in seasons.

Project M is something I dreamt up just before I went away - well, really I have been dreaming of it for a lot longer. The M stands for a few different things - but there are a couple of things it definitely does NOT stand for! Like all the best dreams, it's big, it's slightly out of reach but not impossible, I may discover I don't want it as much as I thought I did, but for now, it will do!

In the mean time, here is a holiday photo. I took a very brave step and treated myself to a wonderful Sunday lunch. Alone. I went out with curly hair, a dress that finished above my knees, I had wine in the middle of the day, and I sat in a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon and just had a starter and pudding. I sang along to some of the music, and wrote lots of silly stuff in bright colours. Nothing bad happened (and this is a worry when I go out with curly hair and a frock that shows my legs - I hate both!). Lesson learned!

The food was wonderful, the (2 glasses of) wine was fantastic and wasn't too strong so I could walk back rather than roll/sway.

Definitely one of those defining moments and one I shall frequently cherish, especially in answer to when that question comes up - "think of a time when you were really happy"

More soon....