Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Observations of an ex-cyclist

Opinion is divided on what is apparently the hot topic of debate following my return - have I lost a lot of weight or not. 'Skinny' say some, 'broader' say others, 'let's have a look at your legs' say perverts. I don't know, I haven't weighed myself, but I remain perplexed as to why my body shape and size is seen as 'fair game' for discussion and comment, when fatties get left well alone.

Upon return, I found myself immersed in retirement with my Dad. With Mum out at work we fill our days worrying about the time the postman comes, agonising over lunch choices, indulging in a good bit of curtain twitching and neighbourhood gossip and, in the evenings, working our way throug my Dad's stock of Claret. All good fun, as you can imagine, but after two weeks of that, and lots of sleep, I felt the need to get on with things.

I have started writing a book based on the trip. It's in the early stages still, in concept as well as content, as I search for the style I'm after. I don't want to write a 'normal' travel book. I'm aiming for something which reads like a novel but is, of course, true. A 'Trovel' a friend of mine suggested, which I quite like.

I'm fortunate enough to have not spent all my savings over the last nine months, so I don't have to get paid work yet. As I keep having to remind my Mum, I do have a job - I'm a writer - it's just not very well paid at the moment. I still struggle to answer the 'so what do you do?' question from people I meet though. 'I'm a writer' sounds very pretentious in the pub but it is true at the moment, I guess.

I will be renaming this blog and concentrating on things other than the bike ride - a move to Manchester becons in the new year so maybe the scallies up there will provide me with some inspiration.

I started riding my bike again this week, every day, after three weeks off. It's nice. Retirement and Claret haven't taken all my fitness from me.

Finally, a request. When (if) I see you, please don't ask me if I've seen Long Way Down/Round. Everybody - literally - asks me and it's very annoying. I still don't know why or what relation it has to what I did. Engines, support team and a camera crew? No, that's not it.