Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Doug and Dinsdag

It's Tuesday so it must be snowing, and I think I can ditch my plans for a 150 km ride today. A bit of a contrast to yesterday, when it was calm, blue skies and sunny, although temperatures were several degrees below zero in the morning. Oh well, might get out in a little while, but there ain't much in the way of sunshine predicted for today.

I have been beavering away for the last two weeks with as much riding as I can bear in the cold without going too hard yet. I've been finding that either a) I'm really unfit or b) riding in zero degrees knocks about 3 km/h off my average speed for the same heartrate. I suppose it's just my body trying to keep itself warm, and raising my metabolism to do so. I've been laying waste to the fridge/cupboard/secret hiding places too. While I was away over Christmas etc., there appear to have been shocking depredations in the beer cellar, so I have been slowly restocking and not drinking any.

At least the snow didn't get in the way of Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne this year, and we saw two pretty tough races. Nick Nuyens' solo in the last 15 km of Het Volk was very fine to watch, especially as the peloton was doing its utmost to get him back. And George's win on Sunday was nice too - he's as strong as an ox, that guy, and finally got in the right move.

To other matters of worldly import. I've had a blocked ear since I got here, which appears to be a minor nasal infection. So the good doctor (the same one that sent me to hospital last year) set me up with some sofrasolone and sinutabs and it's already improving. Better than a lung embolism, we chuckled. The other matter of worldly import is that my sink drain is fairly blocked. But I have the technology and rubber gloves to unblock it.

My Surround_Sound system has been so good that I've only turned on the TV twice since I got here, and that was only to watch Het Volk and KBK. Yes, it's that good. No more TMF/JIM/MTV for me (I hope). It's such an incredible waste of time too, and I want to try to stick with my new work schedule of getting up at around 6, doing a couple of hours, going for a ride, coming back to finish off news, then having the afternoon free. This means going to bed by 10pm, which has not been too difficult thus far. We shall see how long it lasts...

I went to the bank yesterday to pay me rent for the first time since October, and the bank teller actually recognised me and said "fantastisch" when I told him I wanted to pay it in Flemish. I then realised I didn't have any Flemish on me, so I had to be content with €euros. Nevertheless, it was a small victory and I'm gradually learning to string more than two words together at a time in the local lingo. But I managed to write about 15,000 words of gibberish cycling copy in English over the weekend, so there's still a way to go.

I had thought of many more interesting things to write but my brain is now empty and I need to unblock the drain.

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