Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Real time flight

I've been researching the facts, and will report that I'm writing this in real time and it's 2:35am at KL International Airport, which indicates that I am approximately a third of the way towards my final destination of Koningin Astridlaan, Gent, Belgiƫ. All facts, all the time. I'll have to write this in sorta reverse chrono order because that's a) the way I feel at the moment and b) easier to remember. I haven't fractured anything, by the way, and did start riding again last week.

Thus far it has been a good flight, and it promises to continue en route to Vienna, ah Vienna. Reason being is that the plane is nowhere near booked out and in my row of 10, there are only four people! So I can stretch a bit, which is nice. On the other hand, the very grumpy lady at the check-in counter in Sydney frowned at my 5 kg overweight baggage and charged me and extra $150 for the privilege of taking my very valuable backpack and bike bag (sans bike). I wasn't very gruntled about that, especially as there were no people in the queue and the flight was nowhere near booked out (she woulda known that too). She then asked to see my cabin baggage and frowned again because, in addition to my laptop and stuff, I had this rather hefty subwoofer + speaker system that John got me today. I was in two minds about taking this with me, but I want my computer to be a fully sick slum-clearing ghetto-blaster. About bloody time, 'cos I don't have a proper stereo at my place.

Even though you're only allowed one piece of cabin baggage at 8 kg, the nice lady said that she would overlook my subwoofer, which I reckon was fair enough in the circumstances. Anyway, the extra seats aren't too bad so I shouldn't complain.

Working backwards, Sunday night was the famous Cyclingnews 10th Anniversary Party, which in true Cyclingnews style was full on and very efficient, in that most of us were in and out in about four hours. It was a seafood BBQ at GK's place and we had about 20 people all up, including nearly all the CN and IDM hangers on in Sydney, plus a few of Gerard's friends who have lived through the process. He has only been doing it for five and a bit years, but the site has effectively been going since February '95. Pity the founder, Bill Mitchell, couldn't make it. He was recovering from a holiday business trip in the Caribbean.

Also on Sunday, I managed to see Josh and Anita and clan, which has recently been Enhanced with the addition of Samantha. Very cute and very quiet, unlike Daniel who is full of go juice. So it was a jolly nice afternoon with them and I wasn't totally wasted like last time. And wait, there's more...The weekend before we all saw Justine and Nick's inaugural production, who goes by the name of Zoe. Also very cute and quiet at five weeks old, so that's all good.

There were many other last minute catchups this week, and I'll certainly miss everyone in Australia over the next nine months or so. It has been a most excellent three and a bit months with much merriment and whatnot. And there will be more in Belgium with my new subwoofer system. I should have a visitation from Lucy in London sometime in March, so that'll be fun.

As for the hip bone/thigh bone connection. Thank you (plural) for your concern, but once I got the x-rays back the doc said it was all fine, even though I doubted his capacities. He seriously looked worse off than me! Once I started riding again, the pain gradually went away although riding my titanium machine after the luscious carbon fibre job was a bit jarring.

Film review: A Very Long Engagement. French. 132 minutes (a very long film). Also a very well made film, even though you have to be concentrating fairly hard to pick up all the nuances. We (especially Stu and I) were somewhat distracted at the Moonlight Cinema because it started raining at various intervals. All very atmospheric, especially with the WWI mud. Brief plot: Mathilde a.k.a. Amelie a.k.a. Audrey Tautou is looking for her fiancee, believed killed in the middle of WWI, by either the French or the Germans. Four others were also thought to be killed at the same time, but weren't. With the help of a couple of private detectives, Mathilde tracks 'em down. Well, the ones who were alive. Includes fiancee, who doesn't remember her. The end.

I am being summonsed by Austrian Airlines.

Postscript: I made it, everything intact and more or less on time. It's cold here and the subwoofer totally rocks!!

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