Friday, 18 July 2014

Björn LCM

Another year, another opportunity to dress up, have a drink, dance like a loon and have more laughs than you can shake a stick at.

Or a set of flares. Of the wearable kind, that is, not the distress ones.

Yes. The advent of that fabulous spoof Abba group, Björn Again.
Too much fun for any blog post to actually do justice to the event.

Suffice to say that even if you are the most die-hard miserable git with zero sense of humour, standing in front of the stage and singing along (loudly, off key), doing the dance moves, and having an absolute whale of a time is guaranteed to lift your spirits, have you toss all semblance of dignity aside and join in the overwhelming sense of fun that everyone is experiencing.

If you are having a crap day, I can highly recommend it.

If you are having a great day, this will be the total icing on the cake.

Fan. Tas. Tic.

So thank you for the music and groove on down baby!



Friday, 11 July 2014

Le Tour de LCM

It's a funny world.

No sooner had I found myself actually drawn to watch a football match on TV (Germany vs Brazil, on mute, whilst doing some late project work on my laptop and talking to my parents on the phone - it made for an interesting email to a client, a flawed conversation with my mother, and a peculiar narrative to anyone else in the vicinity) than another far more deserving sporting event consumed the LCM household.

Yes, Le Tour.

That glorious, mad, painful and indecently Lycra-clad three-week event that even people with absolutely no interest in two wheels can appreciate. Witness the Yorkshire grand départ and subsequent legs with record crowds and franco-fied names of every pub, lane, hill and vale. There's an element of novelty, I'll grant you that, but, by 'eck the populace got stuck in and had a great time.

Now the LCM household is quite partial to cycling. With recent comments about our garage resembling a Halfords depot, it is hardly surprising that the level of competition has now been edged north a few notches with the TdF up and running.

Case in question: OH heads out early one recent Sunday morning to do a couple of laps of Richmond Park. Mr Man accompanies him - on the single speeder - and joins him for one lap, enjoying a muffin and drink while waiting for his father to complete his outing.

All fine and well.

Fast forward to the following weekend. OH heads out again for the same routine. Mr Man, channelling his soon-to-be inner teenager, claims 'tiredness' and opts to stay in bed. Into the fray steps Blossom, aged ten.

She proceeds to complete not one, but two laps of the park with her father. Also on the single speeder. Undaunted, she then comes home and says she "could have done another, I felt really energised".

I look at OH and catch his eye.

"Seriously?" I ask.

"That's nothing," he answers. "I was told off by one of the riders she overtook."

"How so?" I query.

"He wanted to know why I had gears while my daughter had none!"

Probably worried about the dent to his reputation, I reckon, being left in a child's wake.
Heaven forbid when Widget has his turn. The child is already a sprinter-in-the-making, forever out of his seat, making headway and racing to finish lines regardless of conditions. Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel, watch out.

The one saving grace is that he is - for the time being - so laid back he is virtually horizontal.
Unfazed by sibling competition.
No menace.

Anyone interested in placing a bet for 2020?

© Presse Sports/B.Papon


Thursday, 3 July 2014

I had a dream

Not a particularly enlightening one. Nor one that would lead to uprisings, civil rights movements and rectifications of injustices.

No. Mine was much closer to home.

I dreamt about the upcoming triathlon.

I was on site with plenty of time to spare, bike in tow, checklist to hand.
And then I realised I had forgotten my wetsuit.
"Not a problem," I was told. "It's warm enough to go without."

Excellent, I thought, relishing the thought of a PVC-free swim.

Then I realised I had forgotten my tri suit.
"You can wear your swimmers with a t-shirt," they assured me.

I had visions of discomfort, with not much material between my nether regions and the saddle, not to mention the running section which would see me regularly trying to stop my togs from riding up my bum. Not a pleasant sight. I was just grateful to have at least seen to the 'defuzz' issue in the lead up to the event. My race number might have had to be critically placed below my navel otherwise to cover my shame.

The dream continued. I racked my bike, one eye on the clock and the minutes ticking by.
Ohmygawd - where were my cleat in riding shoes? Forgotten.
I locate a spare pair and they fit. Saved.

Time to get ready for the start.
Hang on. Where are my goggles and ear plugs? WTF?
A race to the supply tent and a quick exchange of monies sees me set.

Countdown to the start...

Now you think at this stage I would either wake up or slumber on oblivious, correct?

Not so. I appear to fast forward through the swim and the bike section and am suddenly back in transition for the run.

Where the bloody hell are my trainers? How did I manage to forget those too? What the devil was I wearing on my feet when setting everything up?

I spot a pair of flip flops.

No chance. I opt to complete the race barefoot.

Of course, when I told the Moose this story during our training session this morning, he laughed. "You sound slightly paranoid, are you ready for the race?"

"Yes," I replied. "I am packing my stuff now."

It is only Thursday.
The triathlon is Saturday.
Don't think I will ever be more prepared.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

More things to do during the World Cup 2014

Go to a neighbourhood Saturday night party where the following nationalities are present:
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Brazilian
  • Australian
  • Kiwi
  • Swedish
  • Dutch
  • Arabic
  • French
  • American
  • Welsh (not just OH, in case you were wondering)
  • Italian
  • Colombian
  • Latvian
  • Iranian
  • and many others no doubt...

And do not discuss even ONCE anything to do with the round ball.

Follow up with picnic the next day (to finish off the amazing contributions of multinational food) and we all play....


Fa. Bu. Lous.

all we were missing was the sand!


Friday, 13 June 2014

Things to do during the 2014 World Cup

For those of you who are new to here, some advance notice: this is a football-free zone.

With the LCM tribe being a pretty sound rugby playing/watching/cheering family, the game of the round ball does not genuinely feature in our household.

Example: when Widget (aged 8 1/2) says he "supports Arsenal", and I query why, he answers, "Because [insert name of best friend] does."

That just about sums up our collective enthusiasm.

So, given the fact that for the next two weeks (I think, is that how long it lasts?) all we are likely to hear on the telly and the airwaves is:
a) how poorly England is faring;
b) what England should have/could have done better/instead/earlier/later/never;
c) what the WaGs are wearing/buying/drinking/sniffing/eating;
d) how the heat/rain/humidity/sticky knickers are affecting the players;
e) what a glorious team England had in 1782/1848/1966;
f) loads of other claptrap, etc, etc, etc...

I therefore propose the following:
1. everyone in their right mind switches their telly off for the duration;
2. we all go outside and take advantage of the fair weather (because that is a whole other favourite topic of conversation in Blighty)
3. if it is too dark to engage in point 2 above, we go to bed early, read a good book and get a sound night's sleep.

And if that fails, then you can always resort to watching the matches, but with the sound turned off* and some funky soundtrack playing in the background.

Far more productive use of your time.

You're welcome.

* because some presenter's commentaries are, honestly, just too dire for words


Monday, 2 June 2014

Kevin's contagious case of senility - part 2758 or thereabouts

Gawdomighty - June already? How did that happen?

One minute I'm trying to unstick my frozen fingers from my bike's handlebars, and the next I'm getting sunburnt legs from sitting on the sidelines (whilst keeping my sweater and jacket firmly on) in a stiff wind, watching crazy children swim in the Atlantic over the half-term break.

Okay, I'll admit, I ventured in as well after much cajoling threats splashing persuading from beachside companions.

I warmed up again sometime yesterday afternoon.

Anyhow. Amnesia. 'Twas some time since this made an appearance.
Or possibly I was just unaware of it.

Never mind.

A phone call over a week ago from BB, asking if I had checked the mail delivery.

I hadn't (yet).

A following question as to whether I had entered her in Blenheim triathlon without telling her.

I hadn't (not this year at any rate).

The discovery of a complete race pack addressed to yours truly amidst the day's post, despite no recollection of officially entering.

yes, really - you are not imagining things

Surely my amnesia was not so bad that I had completely forgotten about this?

Some hours later, the mystery was solved.
After digging around email archives and going through past bank statements, I found two rather telling items:
1. confirmation that I had "successfully secured a place in Blenheim 2014", and;
2. payment taken from my account for not one, but TWO places (me and BB) on August 30th, 2013.

Lessons learnt: do not 'register interest' in such events unless you are a) sure to take part, and b) happy to allow others to just 'take payment'.


(note to self: ask for replacement brain for next birthday)

As for those amongst you wondering whether I will be taking part now in Blenheim 2014, the answer is, "Non!"

Kevin is meeting on the same date, hosted by the Wine Writer - far more important.

As the Lovely Radiographer quipped in reply to my faux pas above:
"There are plenty of triathlons, but 'Kevin goes mad in the country' occurs but once a year!"

True. Plus I will be in good amnesiac company.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Return of the random conversations with my training partner

Anyone remember BB?

My erstwhile training partner who succumbed to the lure of a military boot camp style personal trainer (née Elliott, now apparently called James, or Hugo, or Ranulph or something - tsk, so fickle...) and seemingly left my side forever, leaving me to wallow in my tears, drown my sorrows in electrolyte drinks and sample disgusting energy gels all on my own?

Guess what?


Yes. Absolutely true.

A couple of laps of Richmond Park very early before the Sunday cycling mayhem posses descended.

And guess what else?


Best 'aerobic' activity she has had in ages, apparently.

Knew I was still good for something.
She doesn't get that with Elliott James Whatshisface.

Small victories.

*claps hands in happiness*

(c) Scott Adams
* or very chatty training partner to distract you


Yadda yadda yadda...