Cycling away to join the circus ( I heard they have cake)

Reader, The day started badly, him-indoors is very stressed 
about his MA work and I can't really help him, which makes 
me stressed. The house looks like someone has turned upside
down and given it a good shake, my fat upper arms dont fit 
in my blouse and I'm not ready... For any part of the next
three days.

So I'm up at the crack* upsetting the neighbours with my sewing 
machines, trying frantically to get ready for my printing session 
later, while thinking on how to get my new bike to the repair 
shop at the same time.It's not broken, the gears just need a 
professional touch and I really want it ready to ride it on Sunday.  

Of course super-mum comes to the rescue as per, helping me get Jake 
to the bike shop and then making sure I'm at the Uni in time for my 
printing slot. Mums rock, she even brought him-indoors pork pies, 
which means I can tick off "feed husband" from my weekly list of 

I arrive super-stressed, but as soon as the smell of the print room 
hits me I'm as calm as can be, and after a few small battles with 
the laser printer my days starts to reflect my new found mood. 
Who needs Prozac when you have ink and rollers, oh baby...

By the time I've had a bit of fun with lasers and a very productive 
snow queen** project meeting. I'm in an amazing mood and the 
sunshine after the mornings hail reflects this improvement suitably 

Returning to the boro by train with a small brown leather suitcase 
off of the 40's*** full of samples and an over-sized portfolio of 
card I am looking forward to joint birthday meal with Cuddles 
(that's a person not a activity) dispute the total lack of an 
opportunity to change or draw on my face.


I haven't really had a proper cycle today, just getting Jake to 
the car, but it's starting to look like that's about all I'll 
fit in.

So to the meal I go, it's a great evening, I spend a lot of time 
banging on about how I have to be at the rowing club at 8:30 in 
the morning while  simultaneously descending into an ever growing 
cloud of rum.

Here's a bad idea, take a group of rowers, add lashings of rum, 
what do you have? Pirates, lots of them, with no captain.

The plan was to walk home, him-indoors brought frank, so we could 
try a beer-backie, but that's not going to end well, I think I might 
have missed the boat somewhat on backies****, in the end Chris takes 
pity on us and drops us home, leaving poor frank alone in town, so 
that's tomorrow's rescue mission planned then, free the fixie-one

Is it just me or is the floor moving (holds on the the edge of the 
bed) damn fenland earthquakes 


*when the day cracks, it is now dawn, not to be mistaken for the 
cracken, which is very bad news for water dwellers or shot drinkers 
as it turns out (burp)

** a project for The Scott Polar Museum in Cambridge, yes my job 
rocks, i know right? 

*** which always makes me want to run away and join the circus or 
something equally reckless  

**** a short history of backies and me: I didn't know what one was 
till i met my husband, a couple of times when we have been short 
on bike and long on tired legs we have tried this, but  I scream 
the whole time, which might explain why him-indoors is so deaf, 
ANYWAY i think the reason this gives me the fear is because you 
have to learn to do it while you are still a teenage and thus 
immortal, and why did i not do this as a teen, growing up in 
Cambridge aka the land of the bike? well Where i grew up every 
child had their own bike, so there was no need for such things. 

Thursday is coconuts day or moose day or my day working at 
Cambridge united football club.
todays cycling menu consists of a trip to and from the train 
station on frank-n-fixie.
It's is very muggy and I keep having to stop enroute to the 
train station to remove layers, it's a proper mormon strip 
tease* as I have far more clothes on that today requires, but 
then I'm quite British like that. I nearly always have, a 
selection of cardigans, an umbrella, sunglasses, tissues,
wet wipes etc etc

The bit in the middle between biking involves the normal amounts 
of talking about football, tidying up, making tea, washing up, 
scanning stuff in, numbering stuff sticking stuff back down,
settling arguments watching  other people do the bleep test 
while eating my own body weight in birthday (week) cake, 
getting locked out while photographing scrapbooks on the pitch,
and having to cut through the showers while hoping they are not
in use...just another standard day really**

The cycle home is blissful as the day is really rather perfect 
weather wise and for the first time today I have the right 
amount of clothing on, go me!
The evening is spent in my studio, up to my neck in fabric and 
thread, making samples, which is a surefire way of ensuring 
I am a happy bunny
I should sew more and manage less, I should also cycle more and 
work less

*take off clothes, not revealing any more flesh, normally meaning 
you started with too many layers

** if footballs your thing try my other blog the other football girl is 
really quite funny and can actually write


A belly full of cake and other stories

Surprise! I brought myself a bike for my birthday, oh you shouldn’t have, I know, but I have already unwrapped it.

As I was still trying to catch up from yesterday I didn’t have much time for opening presents in the morning as I had to be a a meeting at the cottage for ten, ready to discuss my ideas so far for a project I’m working on with Burghley House.

The weather was an unexpected present, a beautiful sunny day, I cycled into town on the pashley, it’s the perfect sunny birthday bike and I’m reminded of past birthdays and other sunny cycles to work.

By the time I leave my meeting at lunchtime it’s a scorcher, I have a couple of jobs to do in town and i take my time, running into a few old faces and enjoying the sun. When I do head back I go via my Cathy’s house for a catch up and to open my first present. Cathy and I mostly eat biscuits and chatter but we have also been known to go out for the odd bike ride.

Carrying the pashley past Cathy’s bins to get to the garden, is much harder than it is with frank, it’s a heavy beast and it can’t resist giving me a big oily birthday kiss all over my top and new jeans, thanks my fat lovely one…

Back home I finally get to open my presents and cards while snaffling my lunch. There is a clearly a theme of dinosaurs and cycling, but no dinosaurs on bikes…

The sun lasts all day and I spend the afternoon trying to be outside as much as possible, I take frank to the rowing club, I leave before him-indoors and he is quite shocked when he is unable to catch me up, I am clearly improving 🙂

The lovely Anna brought me a birthday cake which was very tasty, Dan wants a shout out and the only way I can think of seamlessly shoehorning it in is by pointing out he tried to eat two pieces of my cake…

So now I’m a year older and no wiser but I do have the beginnings of a tan and a belly full of cake, so I’m not complaining


Netural, hills, fast and other gears

Things I have learnt today;

– However often I go food shopping the cupboards are always bare, this may or may not related to the cycling, rowing, running, or we may just be really greedy, this means we end up eating weird food rather than going shopping, example: today him-indoors had salted caramel for lunch.

– I have a lot to learn about cycling, but as lovely as my new bike is, it has proved how little I do know about the basics, after the husband had gone over “the gears” for the one hundredth time, I am still insistent I am in “neutral”. I am struggling with the terms “up” and “down” so instead refer to “hills” and “fast”. There is a lot to be done and somehow I have to shoehorn this into my long term memory, if only to stop the husband going completely insane. My struggle with this may relate to my dyslexia or my dyspraxia, or it may just be because I am an idiot.

– I like my bike enough to work on the above, although my struggle did throw me into a sulk that only cake could help comfort, thankfully cake was the one thing we had to eat in the house. Happy days.

– Cycling with a 40 mile per hour wind is fun, against is soul destroying and the workout to end all workouts. Fenland cyclists don’t need wind tunnels, we live in one, also the Fens dispense with the need for rollers. In other news, the word “hill” means something a little different here from the rest of the UK, think like a hill, but much much smaller…and flatter, also this is no place for people who like fences…

– Cycling helps me think, come up with ideas, solve problems and generally be more creative. I have come up with two amazing ideas while pottering about on wheels this week. I think somehow it helps me make sense of all the stuff going round and round in my head.

– The above does not happen in a head wind, when I am too busy dieing, or downhill, when I am two busy screaming, or uphill, when I am busy dieing some more, but a nice gentle off road ride is perfect to get the brain pedals going.

That is all. Now I have to go and scrap out the crumbs from the corners of the cupboards for tea…

my spirit can’t be broken, even if my legs are…

A new week always starts with me deciding to try and fit more in and be more productive. I have a “studio” day today and as most of my projects are in the early research stage, so this means I  get to spend most of the day reading books, searching the web, making little piles of fabric all over the place and generally pottering about talking to myself.

Its still beautifully sunny and I know that’s going to stop the moment my new bike gets here, so I try to distract myself from the lack of new bike by reading the exhibition book from the fantastic David Bowie is exhibition at the V&A and eating my own body weight in coffee cake accompanied by tea. This also serves as a distraction from the continuing and almost looming presence of the Pashley’s puncture, which I still haven’t fixed and which is now sitting in the lounge just to remind me of my own inability to even try to re-learn bike maintenance.

The book as as fantastic as the exhibition and I am soon lost in the world of Bowie, certain that this is influence everything I make for a long time to come, it is then, when only the arrival of a new bike could distract me, that the arrival of my new bike distracts me from both Bowie and cake.

It arrives in a huge-mungus box, on which the delivery driver can’t help repeatedly commenting, before helping me shoehorn it into my house. Is there anything more exciting them getting large parcels? I am just contemplating the size of the thing when the husband arrives back home from A&E (infections, in his hands, from rowing, again, and yes he cycled there, perhaps one day I’ll do a list of illnesses and aliments we have cycled with, or gained from cycling)


When about a month earlier my new overlocker arrived, him indoors showed no interest at all, in fact I have only recently got it out the box myself and I’m yet to use it, however this time the husband was very keen to help with unpacking and setting up my new toy.


“Jake” model name given by Kona not me, is very light and fast looking, but after set up I only managed a gentle cycle around the street in my slippers to establish the gears needed tuning. Then I had to go back to work, well reading and eating cake (hey its a big book!)


Now Monday night is circuits night, and post race boats also need to be re rigged and put away, so back on frank, while I pondered Jake’s gear situation (yep now feels like a name my bikes, weird!) I headed to the rowing club, I had a tail wind all the way so got up a far bit of speed down the rowing lake, which was fun (damn wheres Strava when you need it.

This evenings circuits class included yet more spin bikes, which only served to remind me I have no natural aptitude for cycling as I am so much more rubbish at this than everyone else even thou I CYCLE EVERY DAY. No matter I have a new toy, so my spirit can’t be broken, even if my legs are. Although perhaps, on reflection a diet of pure cake does not an athlete make? Nah that can’t be it. Boy, is this going to hurt tomorrow…

I did get home however to discover my lovely husband had not only tuned up Jake’s gears but also fixed the Pashley’s puncture, Yah!

Unintentionally disgusting

I made it day ten! A third of the way in to 30 days of cycling! and I’m still alive! Yah!

Day ten also turns out to be a Wednesday, this is half way through a normal persons week, fact fans, but to have a week you need a weekend, what is this weekend? I ask in much the same state of bemusement as the duchess dowager in Downton Abbey did when confronted with the same concept.

My Wednesday was meant to involve me going to Cambridge and messing about on the embroidery machine and laser printer at Anglia Ruskin Uni, where I am aa2a artist and basking in the glory of being artist of the week… But sadly a studio day was needed to try and get back on top of “stuff”. Invoices were chased, quotes were sent, suppliers paid, all that sort of guff, plus I got to sit on my sofa reading a book and eating cake in the sunshine for “research” on the simple excuse that I was being paid to do so.

Thank goodness for rowing, the getting to and from bit has meant cycling has never been too difficult to shoehorn into my days, this evenings pedal took me to a short outing on the lake, and a practice paddle for this weekends head race.

It was an outing much like any other, I was constantly being reminded how far 2 k can feel in the stroke seat, nothing new there…But then (insert own choice of dramatic music here) Max, our cox, managed to brake the steering wire in the middle of a piece, the look of cartoon horror on his face was classic, holding a snapped wire in each hand and looking panicky,we managed not to crash, and finished our piece, in one piece! (sorry)

I then had to dash back home on Frank to make an evening dress fitting, work was all done about 9pm, I know you feel sorry for me, a 12 hour day mostly spend on the sofa, it’s a hard life…

Doing some form of exercise, mostly more than once every day is killer, my poor legs are shattered and swapping sides in the boat has meant my back is playing up, plus I’m eating everything that I find that could be classed as food.

Today I found myself eating crumbs out of the centre binding of my book – that I then realised that I didn’t drop them (gag) I really am unintentionally disgusting.