miércoles, 7 de julio de 2010

Things are hotting up

Figuratively speaking it's the semi-final against Germany tonight and meteorologically it's about 36 degrees. The main problem is that the minimum temperatures at night are still quite high so we can't cool down the flat or sleep too well.
Too hot to go cycling in the afternoon between job 1 and job 2 so I'm going to the gym instead - air-conditioned exercise is preferable to sweating in the flat. Today we're going for a swim before watching the game.
Job is quiet and boring and frustrating so I applied for a job as video games tester and they've sent me an e-mail with a linguistics test (English) to check my accuracy. Unfortunately the salary is too low so I won't take it, as fun it sounds. Applied for a Junior Product Manager role too but was rejected as the role was too junior (but a Videogames tester isn't?!). I'll keep checking their site for that elusive Senior Videogames Tester Manager role.

viernes, 25 de junio de 2010

Spain v Chile

Carlos and Veronica coming round for dinner tonight and to watch the Spain game first. Everyone supremely confident here, but I'm not so sure. I haven't seen Chile play but by all accounts they've been pretty good. Maybe Spain will play better against better opposition!

jueves, 24 de junio de 2010

Not much riding done in the last week but now that we're on jornada reducida (and yesterday's class was postponed) I found time to go for a quick ride round casa de campo yesterday afternoon. Warm! I had to put in a tube before going out (as the tubeless has given up the ghost) so didn't get out until about 5pm but it was still pretty hot, but it meant it was quiet too - only saw 2 other people in the first hour. Lovely ride but went off a bit quick and so struggles for the last 24km (out of 30!).

Spent our birthday weekend in London, saw Marcina and bump on Saturday and then went to Secret Cinema on Sunday - fantastic event. The film was Bladerunner in the end (I had guessed Total Recall). Everyone was dressed up and the site was amazing - an industrial warehoue/container depot but right next to Canary Wharf - photos don't do it justice.

My photography might get a push in July as Sandra has bought me a photography course from Fotocasion. Assuming they get the minimum people required it's 5 days of classes (4 hours a day) about light. One day is in the studio doing still lifes I think which doesn't interest me much but the course as a awhole looks really good and is 5 minutes from home. The day after it finishes we'll head up to Galicia at about 5 in the morning to start our holiday.

miércoles, 2 de junio de 2010

Work, money, holiday

Work = quiet, verging on dull. It does mean though, that I've managed to get quite a lot of work done on organising the routes for the Madroño trip to Scotland. One big route from Nethy Bridge was worked out on Sunday on the floor of the living room with an OS map (wow!), some mountain bike maps and the laptop. Looks awesome - 55km from Nethy Bridge via Ryvoan Bothy (pic), Loch An Eilein and Inverdruie.

This week at work I've been getting suggestions from Singletrack and copying other people's routes from Nokia Sportstracker (if someone else has done the route we know it's rideable at least). Looks like we have someone to guide us on the first route from Innerleithen too.

Money = IRPF (income tax) done for another year. Slight worry last night when we couldn't remember where our appointment was, but Sandra had cunningly saved it somewhere. I have to pay them more but Sandra gets money back and it evens itself out.

Holiday = tomorrow (Thursday) is Corpus Christi so we get a random day off. Ali is coming over today so we we're going out for dinner tonight with her and Katie and probably going for a ride tomorrow. Then only one full week at work left until jornada reducida and we finish at 3 every day! Really can't wait - feeling exhausted.

and a pack of double deckers arrived in the post yesterday - Good Times!!

viernes, 21 de mayo de 2010

Spring into summer

So, my attempt and keeping this updated regularly is going well then.
TBH things have been a bit busy here: the second job (English classes) has increased to 11 hours a week (a class every night as well as a couple of lunchtimes). The classes themselves are quite enjoyable, and certainly better than the deathly dull dayjob (ooh alliteration) but it is tiring and makes the end of the week a bit of a struggle. It also makes the weekend's main objective recovery and sleep which don't help the attempts at getting out on the bike. The weatherhas been taking care of that too, mind. We've had a few summer false starts though now it looks like the good weather is here to stay (but then it's practically the end of May, so I should bloody well think so). Last weekend's route was in La Cabrera and was quite technical in places and bloody cold - both of which possibly combined to make me feel fairly shattered afterwards (only 40km). So I've been punishing myself in the gym this week.
We did take advantage of one of the summer weekends last month to go riding with a club near Sepulveda. The ride finished with lunch of cordero asado in the town hall of the pueblo - awesome!
The trip to Scotland is getting quite frankly ridiculous - there are 25 of us now. We're renting 3 houses in Innerliethen and we have a bunkhouse that sleeps 67 in Nethy Bridge all to ourselves. On top of that there are 2 separate coach companies involved, 2 bike hire places, Tesco deliveries, route preparation, a distillery visit, activities for the non-riders...might start up a business if this works out!

lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Catastrophe averted...

..bread machine fixed. Russel Hobbs were obviously an IT help department in a previous life and basically told me to switch it off and back on again. Despite having done this before (honest) it worked this time. I'm not complaining. Especially as I've found 3 different varieties of cheap tasty bread-machine flour in Lidl to try out - num num bread num num.

Managed to get out on the bike this weekend at last. It's been weeks since we've been out as it's been raining pretty consistently for the past couple of months. Rain was forecast for Sunday morning but it held off until after we'd finished. Started in Casa de Campo and headed out towards TVE and Telemadrid. Not the prettiest route (carparks and sand mostly) but just getting out for 30km was satisfying, especially considering the lack of recent rides and the following...

We're organising a club trip to Scotland in August/September! So far 12 people have confirmed - we've got deposits from them, booked our flights, reserved a big house in Glentress for 3 nights and put together an itinerary that will take us up to Aviemore after Glentress with some riding in the Rothiemurchus Estate, a visit to Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and ideally we'll be able to leave the rest of the group for a day and visit Mum & Dad - but this may depend on transport options (ie I might have to drive the minibus!). To be honest it's going quite smoothly at the moment so I'm waiting for it all to crumble around our ears but should be good fun. Does mean we need to get pretty fit before we go to make the most of it though.

(photo unashamedly stolen from singletrackworld.com - follow the Glentress link for more info)

lunes, 15 de febrero de 2010

bread drought

We're in danger of suffering a severe bread shortage. We were getting to grips with the new bread machine (despite suffering local ingredient supply issues re yeast and strong flour). The slightly different ingredients meant we were having to play around with quantities and settings but we were (im)proving nicely until disaster struck yesterday - broken bread machine.

Russel Hobbs have been contacted but getting it fixed will probably require us sending the thing back to the UK which is going to be a pain (and expensive).

On the plus side it meant I had to make bread by hand yesterday which was satisfying, though didn't turn out too well as the ingredients and quantities were for the machine. I would love to make fresh bread by hand every day but am somewhat lacking in time.

viernes, 12 de febrero de 2010

Bike club

The first rule of bike club is...you do not talk about bike club
The second rule of bike club is...you always wear lycra and ride around fireroads early on a Saturday morning.

It's the second rule that is giving me issues currently. No, not the lycra bit - I've got used to that now. The "getting-up-on-Saturday-morning-at-the-same-time-as-during-the-week-when-I'm-really-tired-and-just-want-to-stay-in-bed-plus-it's-really-cold" bit. Last weekend we managed to get up in time and go on our first club ride in 2010, and obviously it was really good. It always is when I manage to haul my ass out of bed but it doesn't make it any easier the following week. In the back of my head I know that I can go riding in Casa de Campo whenever I want and so I lack the urgency to get up and go out with the club.

The fireroads issue is possibly trickier. The people in the club (and other riders I see round Casa de Campo) love riding on nice wide fireroads so they can have a chat with their mates; they usually go out of their way to avoid enticing sections of singletrack which should be calling them and beckoning them with open branches but they just don't seem to feel it. I say "usually" though because last weekend's ride in El Pardo was a pleasant surprise: Luis took us through a couple of nice sections of singletrack which I must try to remember. I'm not a regular visitor to El Pardo (one of the reasons we made an effort to go to the ride) and I'd like to get to know it more. It's a huge park to the North of Madrid which used to be Franco's private hunting ground (and the hunters are still there and were very close last week!). I went with fontmoss one freezing cold morning last year but not knowing our way round meant we didn't get the best out of it (though we did get lost and chillblains).

Tomorrow's ride is in El Molar (which has some fantastic restaurants built into caves there) and I'm already convincing myself that it's going to be too cold and I shouldn't go. It depends on Sandra too obviously - she's going to have to work at some point this weekend (1st job) and might come into the office tomorrow morning, leaving me with the option of a) staying at home on my own and trying to go back to sleep after Sandra has left or b) going on the ride, in the (predicted) snow. Decisions....

As for the amount of work Sandra is currently doing...that's worth an extra post all to itself.