It’s 1.34am. I’m currently in bed. But not just any bed. This bed is massive. The actual duvet and pillows must consist of the fluffiest clouds bound together by soft threads and carefully crafted by the tiny fingers of bed angels. It’s so soft and comfortable. It also happens to be in 5 star luxury hotel in Tenerife! Result. So why the hell am I still awake? I’ll tell you why. My God damn imagination! Why, at this time of the morning, does it spring to life like a toddler who has eaten all the blue smarties? Give me strength. Now, I’m more than aware that this is not something that is exclusive to my nighttime routine. We’ve all laughed at the memes suggesting that as soon as our head hits the pillow we start to question our very existence. We wonder why the grass is actually green and what can we do to lose 3 stone within the next 48 hours. (Ive truwd everything. Its mot pisdible).Even the conversations we would have with our idols should we ever meet them.”I’m so happy to meet you. Awww you can’t date me I’m afraid. I’m already spoken for.” It all sounds crazy, yet at 1.34am, these thoughts appear to be perfectly normal and scarily rational.
But sometimes the thoughts in our heads aren’t all popstars and how frogs turn into Princes. Sometimes the thoughts get too intense. Let me explain. I’m currently lying here wondering how to kill/beat up/disarm/escape from, you get the jist, someone breaking into our locked hotel room. And I’m seriously concerned about this. I’m not normally as irrational as this. So let me explain the events leading upto this loopy hour (2 and a half so far actually)
It’s our last night on this amazing island. We’ve had the perfect day doing nothing but sit in the sun, drink and eat. What else is there to do? It’s been a very relaxed few days. No partying or late night boozy sessions. Out for some food then back to sit on the balcony, watch a bit of TV and then sleep. Tonight was no different except we were out for tea a little earlier with the intention of packing for our flight home tomorrow. We’d been back at the hotel around 15 mins and I answered a knock at the door. 2 guys dressed in black, were behind the door and had come to look at our faulty bathroom door but they had the wrong room as ours was fine. I then checked all the doors in the room incase the room attendant had reported something but everything seemed fine. The rest of the evening was spent pretty much on Facebook or some kind of social media sites. We watched a few random things on TV. Only so much you can watch on the news channel and BBC 1. Sam would rather stick hot pokers in her eyes than watch Coronation St. So we opted to catch up on a few shows on Netflix. A nice easy evening followed by a good night’s sleep before heading back to the rat race of real life. Or so I thought.
No sooner had I switched the light off, cosied in and gotten comfy, my imagination like a 10 week old puppy being let into a massive ball pool, went mental. The guys at the door earlier… what if they weren’t in fact from the hotel but checking out rooms and who was in them! They might be checking to see if anyone was a threat or if they looked vulnerable. I can’t remember if he looked at me when he was speaking or looking over my shoulder into the room. Why was there 2 of them?! Now I’m playing out every scenario in my head. What can I hit them with when they burst into our room demanding money and whatever else? Got it. There’s 2 litres of vodka at the side of the wardrobe. That’s gonna hurt. But if it breaks and glass punctures a vital artery and they die!? I’ll end up in jail. A Spanish jail. I doubt it’ll be fun like when Bridget Jones was locked up in Thailand, singing Madonna songs into hairbrushes. They prob won’t even like Madonna. I’ll get beat up in prison. No way I would survive that. And I certainly don’t want to be the new girl in prison. I might leave the vodka where it is for now. Plus, if I have to go and get it, I risk the chance of making out that I’m some kind of alcoholic sneaking vodka at 2.10am. OK, so what if they knock at the door and try to push in when I answer. I suppose that’s easy, I can just bang the door shut on them and run out the patio doors and get help. Unless of course their accomplice has the patio doors covered. Suppose I could grab a bottle on the way to the patio. It would be on my way. I’d make sure Sam was armed with one too. Bloody hell, what if they have guns!? Well there’s nothing we can do then. We’re doomed. Seriously, what if they come along and just blast the locks off the doors? (I need to calm down and stop watching CSI/LAW&ORDER/EVERY BLOODY CRIME PROGRAMME ON THE TELE!) This is just the tip of the iceberg. So far we’ve been beaten up, tied to chairs. I’ve heard whimpering of other guests in similar situations. The hotel has been taken over and there’s nothing I, or anyone else can do. When the police question me, I won’t remember what any if them look like as I didn’t have my glasses on or contact lenses in. They’ll get away with it if I can’t identify them in a line up. Sam didn’t see them so the onus is on me. Awww man. I hate this. I do however, remember thinking that the one who did the talking, looked like Eric from CSI Miami. It’s a start I suppose. Albeit a blurred around the edges Eric. Evertime I hear a door close or footsteps along the corridor, I hold my breath, waiting to hear a keycard attempt to open our door. What if these guys do actually work for the hotel? Oh my God, their keys will work. Hold on… I’m just away to double check it is definitely locked…..
It is now 2.30am and instead of all these thoughts running around in my head, I decided to print them on this virtual paper. I’m getting tired and my eyes are watering. I think i might have convinced myself that these poor men I’m accusing of being robbing rapists, did actually have the wrong room earlier. But what if in some weird random twist of events, I’m logging this entry as a witness and victim without realising? It’s still early. What time do criminal work when they’re on night shift? Is there a night shift siesta? If so, I’m safe til 4am. Well it would seem that the only thing I’ve convinced myself of is that my imagination is ridiculous and I should stick to Disney films before bed. Writing it down does help though. I wonder what I’ll think of this when I wake up at 3.55am. Hmmmm. Goodnight xx
***UPDATE*** it’s now 8.17am. The door is still in tact. Nobody has been in and we still have 2 full, unbroken litres of vodka. 😀😀😀
This morning, well every Wednesday morning, with no exceptions, (even when I am worse for wear after a few beers) I woke up at 8am, lit up a cigarette and made myself banana on toast and a slice with a scraping of butter for my best friend Smokie. 8.30am, I hooked Smokies spare lead onto his collar and we walked down to the beach. The feeling of the fine grains of sand between my toes feels like silk between my fingertips. A feeling that I have loved ever since I can remember. A feeling that reminds me of Home. Smokie ran like mad into the waves as I threw his favourite ball. He ran fast and free as if nothing can stop him, and obediently he returns his toy to me to throw again. This takes us until 9.45am where we both, wet and sandy, go to see Mrs Young and buy the days papers, fresh milk and a treat for after dinner. The rest of the day is not as systematic as the beginning. Wednesday is the only morning I get to sleep in as it is one of 2 days I don’t have to join the ratrace of commuters heading into the city to work, visit family or go shopping. Wednesday belongs to Smokie and I which would not be changed for all the tea in China.
Let me introduce myself. Back on the 31st January 1990, when I was born, my parents proudly named me William Grant Higgins. William was my father’s name, and also my grandfather’s and great grandfather’s and my great great grandfather’s name. Strangely enough, it was also my mother’s fathers name so it was inevitable I was going to be landed with it. Grant was my mother’s maiden name and the name I preferred to be known by. Both of my parents are still alive and married to each other and I have a younger sister. There’s not much of a story to tell. I neither excelled nor failed at school. I stayed out of trouble and left at 16 to work in the family business. We own and run bookshops that have been passed down through generations and have 5 outlets nationally. We are also one of the few remaining places people can actually buy and read physical books. Caress the covers and smell the pages. Watch as the words jump out at you and tell their own story. They are like time machines, transporting you to any part of the word, any planet and any moment in time with great ease. You can learn the lives and loves of well known people and those who have made a difference and you can also get inside a strangers mind as they hold your imagination with tales of love, murder and more recently, zombies. Stories they have made up purely in their own mind for your entertainment. Even though I’m only 26 and should be embroiled with technology, I will never give up physical books, I would never want to.
As you’ll have gathered, today is Wednesday and after our beach stroll, I’m catching up with the news in our local area. The village fete is on this Sunday, the local school is having a good old fashioned cake sale. I say old fashioned but the theme is Famous Cupcakes. I don’t even know what that means. I turned the page and instantly recognise the face staring at me. Matthew Gilhide. Matthew, or Matt as he was called, was a guy I knew from our local pub which is aptly named The Local. He used to be landlord there but his drinking habits put an end to that and it was now run by a lovely couple. Matt was still a heavy drinker but also managed to hold down a full time job working off shore on the oil rigs. 3 weeks away, 2 weeks home and every night of these 2 weeks were spent downing pints of bitter in The Local. In fact, I had only just seen Matt on Sunday evening.
Matt was in no way a fan of mine. He hated the fact I loved books and assumed that as he hadn’t met my girlfriend Millie, I was gay and was shagging my dog. Yes, he was that type of idiot. I tried to avoid The Local if I knew he was there but it had been a good week at work and a lovely evening so Smokie and I went along for a drink. Sunday night was always a sociable night with karaoke and cheap drink promotions. I didn’t partake in either and instead ordered an ice cold pint of lager and sat in the corner with a book to keep Smokie and I company.
“Oi!! Bookworm!” Here we go again. “Get up here and sing us a song.” His voice boomed across the pub. I ignored him. “Bookworm! I’m talking to you! Get up here and sing Puppy Love to your 4 legged boyfriend!” He started laughing hysterically. Nobody else joined him. “Come on, that was funny.” He threw his hands up in surrender. “OK ok. I forgot you were a bunch of dog lovers. Not as much as Bookworm tho!” Again the hysterical laughter began. “So you got a boyfriend yet? Oh I forgot, you have an invisible girlfriend.” The more I ignored him the more he spoke. Until he eventually came over to my table and grabbed my book from the table. I don’t know if people were actually scared of him or fed up with him but I did hear a few seats shuffling. He looked at the book and threw it. “Pretending you can read little boy? You don’t fool me or any of us with your little bookshop and this ugly mutt. You’re a queer and we don’t like your type here.” With that, the landlord came over and asked him to leave. “You’ve been told before to stop harassing people. Especially Grant. Go and sober up.” Matt was not happy. “You’re taking a queers side over me!? Are you one of them are ya? You’re all sick in the head. Get me out of this queer pub. Sickos” With these parting words, he stumbled out of the doors and the lively atmosphere in the pub resumed. This was the reason I avoided him. Every single time, without a shadow of a doubt, I’d be the butt of his jokes. There was no let up, no break and absolutely no reason for him to treat me this way. But he did. Continuously.
By closing time around 11.30pm, I had polished off 4 or 5 pints and we set off for home. It was an easy 15 mins walk along the clifftops that led down to the beach. I always had Smokie on his lead as these cliffs were high and care was needed. Especially if I had had a couple. As we were walking, Smokie stopped in his tracks and started snarling a little then continued walking.
Something had struck me in the back of the head. I turned to see Matt stumbling towards me. He threw another stone but it missed, bouncing on the ground beside Smokie and causing him to bark furiously at the drunken shadow staggering over.
“Bookworm’s pulled!! Your 4 legged boyfriend must be up for it. You sick, twisted, weirdo. Go back to your book shop and die. Nobody likes you here.”
As is said before, this was kind of a regular occurance for us so we turned and kept walking. I did not the expect the turn in events that followed.
I had no idea what was happening. Not only was my vision blurred, but the distinctive taste of iron and mud on my tongue informed me that my mouth was bloody and I was possibly lying face down in the dirt or on the beach. As I tried to focus, I could see the soft brown colour of Smokies fur under the artificial light of the streetlight. I tried to call him but no sound came out. I attempted to lift my head but it felt as though there was a ton weight sitting on it. What was going on? What’s happened to Smokie?
“What’s wrong? Did the poor boy fall over? Awww do you need a hand to your feet?” I held my hand up and he grabbed it and dragged me along the hard ground on my stomach for what felt like miles. I could hear Smokie barking furiously. Angrily. “Think you’re smart getting me thrown out the boozer!? Not so smart now are you? Pathetic. You and that bloody dog.” Matt was lying on top of me and I could barely breath under his weight. He was right at the side of my face and his spluttering words were accompanied by sprays of beer filled saliva drops. He was vile. I couldn’t see clearly but could hear the waves crashing on the rocks. He lifted himself up and with a hard, swift kick to my side, he seemed to stagger off. Smokie was still barking and I could hear him growling and then squealing as if he had been hurt. It wasn’t clear, but I could hear that man shouting at him. He must’ve had him tied up against something. His footsteps got nearer to me again. What on earth was happening? I could only think of 1 outcome here… he was going to kill me!! I lifted my head and managed to get to my knees. “Oh no you don’t!” A flash of light and I was gone.
I must’ve been unconscious for hours as when I came around, the very first signs of daylight were beginning to show. It was raining and I was soaked through, as was Smokie who was lying by my side licking my cheek with his soft tongue. What had happened? Why was I lying here face down on the ground? I got up onto my knee but the excruciating pain in my head made the world spin and caused my eyes to flicker rapidly. I could barely breath without the pain in my ribs reminding me of the vicious attack. I looked down at my blood stained clothes and at Smokie. Smokie looked different. I don’t know why or how, but he looked different. Calm. That changed as he realised I was getting myself together, his tail was wagging and I swear he was laughing. He was licking my face and jumping around excitedly, circling me like a little puppy wanting to play. The previous evenings events were beginning to return to me. The Local, the abuse from Matt. Matt? Matt? Hold on, I was here because of Matt. He had done this to me. Beat me up and harmed Smokie. Left us here. How did Smokie get free and where was Matt now!? Probably nursing a hangover and feeling proud of himself. I pulled myself to my feet and looked at my watch. 5.22am. Smokies lead was broken but he walked obediently by my side. Every inch of my body ached. I managed the short walk home, ran a bath and had a soak. The only visible signs of the assault were the burst nose and pudding lip. My eyes were also swollen and I would imagine, would turn a nice shade of black and blue in a couple of days. The bruising on my ribs was already deep purple, and the most painful reminder of all. Once the dried blood was washed away, there was little evidence. After my soak, I took myself to bed, where I stayed until this morning. The only person I spoke to was Lucy at work and of course Millie. Millie was on a hen week away so there was no need to worry her with the incident.
That brings me back to the here and now. The face of Matthew Gilhide staring back at me from page 5. The photo accompanying the story of how a member of our small village found his lifeless body on the beach in the early hours of Monday morning. The body was found at the bottom of the cliffs and for the moment, nobody was being sought in connection with his death. I had no idea that Matt was dead.
Something in my head is not ringing true. The more I look at the photo and read the article, there is a memory in there that I can’t get out. What happened on the cliffs that night? I can’t have killed him. Could I? He knocked me unconscious. I remembered him hitting me. That was my last memory. I looked at Smokie. I had to use an old lead this morning for our walk. If only he could talk. He could tell me what happened. The more I’m thinking, the more I think I’m going mad. Is it possible that Matt was leaving to go home and just slipped over the edge? Did we struggle but I can’t remember it? Smokies lead has been broken. Could he have broken free to save me from this drunken rage that was being taken out on me? I looked over at him. He’s licking his paws. I wonder. I lifted myself over to him and looked at his paws. His pads were raw and he had broken a nail. Has man’s best friend carried out the ultimate act of loyalty? Surely not. I checked his paws again and looked into his eyes, he stared back. His eyes were bright and shining. Was he hiding a secret?
Fans. Supporters. Fanatics. Followers. Believers. Enthusiasts. Obsessives. Weirdos. Crazies. Groupies. Mad people. You get the gist. These are just a few of the adjectives used to describe people who enjoy the entertainment provided by music artistes, actors & actresses, footballers and celebrities in general. I must confess. I AM that person.
Ever since I can remember, I have been a fan of someone. From Madonna to Christian Slater. Pj&Duncan to The Stereophonics. There was always something or someone that I loved. Now, we’re not talking about an appreciation of music. Liking a song and possibly buying the album. Super fans would purchase every new realease on vinyl, cassette, CD and any limited edition items. Every magazine that our celebs appeared in would be bought regardless of whether they had a front cover with feature length article inside or a tiny snippet of ‘ so and so was spotted drinking a latte and eating a muffin at Starbucks on the river’. Saturday morning was spent in front of the TV recording videos and interviews. That pause button was a nightmare! Spare time would also be spent at the aforementioned Starbucks. They’d definitely return at some point right? We would attend every concert in our own city and also any other city within a 500 mile radius. Our hard earned cash saved from working jobs at Tesco, BT etc would be spent on standard hotel rooms in 5 star hotels where the room would be home to 4 of us splitting the cost so we could all get a chance to meet our favourite as we knew they too were staying there. And this was were it would get extremely exciting. Not only would we get that killer photo our heart desired, we would get invited to join them for drinks. Us? Drinks? Our idols? On us? Of course we bit their hands off. Tomorrows lunch money would ensure that Jake from Superboyz got a double JD and coke and we felt amazing for it. We knew exactly where they were performing, sleeping, eating, chilling, shopping. Whatever they were doing, we knew.
Some of the more extreme fans would go that step further and purchase clothes for their idols. Not cheap clothes either. Armani. Versace. Westwood. Whatever the designer brand of choice, these fans were on hand to ensure the were dressed in the latest trends and threads. They would beam with so must pride and happiness when a paparazzi shot was printed wearing the jacket they bought them. Of course they bought one for themselves also as that would make them somehow joined together. Have something in common. A bigger fan than anyone else. To be honest, that type of fan probably just p***** the rest of us off.
Today, when we meet celebrities, the moment is documented by a number of photos and videos which are then uploaded for the world to see within minutes. Everyone will soon be aware that you have breathed the same air as our chosen one. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You kids have got it so easy these days. Could imagine having to wait before knowing if the photo has even turned out? We had to take our camera film to a shop to get the photos developed. For an extra £2.50, we could get them within the hour. An hour?! Not forgetting the actual photographs were taken hours if not days earlier. The anticipation was unreal. The excitement of what the developed photographs would look like. My goodness, I feel sick at the memories. What if I was looking away from the camera? What if they were looking away from the camera? If anyone has simulated bunny ears with 2 fingers above my head I will go mental. Just develop the god damn film! I reckon that around 8 out of 10 photos were spot on. So they should be, the subjects of the photos would stand as still as statues for about 10 mins waiting for the camera shutter to flicker and the flash to indicate the photo had been taken. The moment had been documented forever. (Losing our smartphones with all of our pics was a luxury we gladly didn’t have). I’ll tell you what we did have though, photo albums. Piles upon piles of photo albums. Each Boyband, singer or celebrity would have their own and they would be filled with memories.
So what was next? Oh yes, we still had to show the world our photos. Our prize for being a superfan .We couldn’t upload our pics but we did have the original FB. No,no no. Not Facebook. FB. Friendship Books. Pieces of paper stapled together to make a small booklet. Photos would be photocopied 10 times or so and your pic would make the front cover. Obviously you would draw fancy designs as a makeshift frame and maybe add some glitter to make it interesting. No filters was a reality. You would then send this onto one of your numerous pen pals who would then add their pics with name and address and so on and so forth until the last page was completed and it would be returned to you. These little booklets literally travelled the world. Royal Mail were definitely kept in business due to the massive worldwide pen pal network. Unbelievable. I’d come home to 4 or 5 letters a day!
Back in the day, (was only a matter of time before this phrase appeared), we had to really work hard to meet the object of our affections and it was all done via post, land line telephone and the good old telephone boxes. Today’s super fans will NEVER understand or know the stresses of what was involved and do you want to know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. I have made lifelong friends who I’ve met at 2am outside hotels, have brilliant stories and memories and we weren’t doing anything wrong. The truth be told, the stars of the day probably felt way more famous than they actually were!
Take That. 911. Ant & Dec. Boyzone. 5ive. Deuce. MN8. EYC. Gemini. Sean Maguire. Benz. Peter Andre. Steps. To mention but a few. Also not forgetting the Mizz models and Matt the Builder. We literally met them that much, we were more like friends than fans. In our eyes anyway haha.
P.s I haven’t even touched on the endless number of times that the redial button was pressed to ensure we got concert tickets. There was no O2 pre sale. The hours spent outside radio and TV stations no matter the weather. Concert venues, houses, management offices, recording studios. The list goes on.
What a horrible thing that has turned out to be.
Inevitable, but horrible.
What’s that saying… there is nothing surer than death and taxes. Something along these lines. Unfortunately, never a truer word said. We have all experienced the deep sorrow of sadness and loss. The mixed feelings of helplessness, regret, fear and of course the unanswered questions. But what happens when we do not personally know the sadly deceased? They are not a friend or family member, yet we still mourn them as though they were close to us. It is more than likely someone in the public eye. A Celebrity. A Superstar. An Icon. How do we grieve for them? Why do we grieve for them? In short, I have no idea, but we do.
Elvis Presley, James Dean, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and of course David Bowie and the recent Prince. Just a minuscule snapshot of the 100’s upon 100’s of local, national and international people who have passed before their time that none of us were actually friends with or knew on a personal level. Yet, we all felt a bit of grief and sadness when we heard of their untimely deaths.
In years gone by, fans would form a vigil at the deceased persons home, recording studio, place of death or any significant location and would leave flowers, poems, photos. They would write letters for them to take to the afterlife with a lit candle to ensure delivery and the fan community would come together and offer support whilst altogether feeling as though this person was a true true friend to them. However, they have never known this person but I can strongly suggest that this ‘star’ has helped them through something in life and influenced thoughts, decisions and actions.
‘Famous people’ are generally portrayed as ‘good people’, hard working and with a strong work ethic to’ better ‘themselves. Maybe that is why we support them. Adore them. Worship them. They remind us of,well, us.
Whilst the candle lit vigils still take place worldwide, the vast majority of mourners grieve vocally on social media sites. Good or bad, this cannot be ignored. there are numerous dedication sites, pages and groups accessible to anyone and everyone. As with the physical vigil, fans share their photos, memories and stories with people with they have never met. However, they all share the same thing. The famous person they love and adore. Complete strangers ‘like’ the song words from that particular song you have posted, the video clips are shared and loved and the conversations flow as if these people had been friends for years. Judging is very rare, but when it happens, it usually comes in the form of online trolls who have nothing better to do.
There are certain people who make it their mission to strongly word their opinions. This is not just specifically aimed at those fans and superfans but anyone who has anything to say. There is literally no subject too sad or happy for them to drop a clanger on. They look for a reaction and an argument. Anything where they can spout their vile remarks and hide behind the whole ‘I just say what others are thinking’ overused cliched remark. Phrases of choice include, Oh surprise surprise, someone has died and all of a sudden all my FB friends are their biggest fans, everyone is their no 1 fan now, who gives a f***, they wouldn’t have cared less if you died, get a grip. That last statement, in effect, is actually 100% true.
But who cares.
Correct, they wouldn’t have an opinion on it as we have not played an important part of their lives. We didn’t write an amazing life changing song. We haven’t given the most heart wrenching performance in their favourite film. God, we haven’t even written a sentence that they would take a second glance at. So what! We may not have known them personally or them us, but they have touched our lives in a way that nobody else has. Their films, poems, songs, art etc have helped through our happiest and hardest times. They have made us smile when we are sad and understood our dilemmas. That song that was playing in the car as we drove home after our first date. That cinema date you had with your dad before he passed away. The poem that was sent to you by an unknown admirer who to this day remains a stranger. Everything is attached to memories. Great, amazing memories. Memories that nobody else will understand as they are personal to you. Nobody else needs to understand. These stories, films and words have lifted you up and possibly changed your views, opinions and ideals. Someone on God’s earth made these thoughtful pieces of work just for you. You are entitled to keep their memories alive. Take my advice, shed a tear or two for them. Raise your next glass in their memory of them.
Until we meet again x
Before I even start, the struggle against saddle bum is real!
Finally, it’s that time of year again. The sun is beginning to poke out from behind the clouds separating fresh April showers, trees and flowers are showing the first signs of their gorgeous blooms and the days are now longer. How I’ve waited for the days I don’t go to work in the dark and trudge home in the dark. It’s amazing. Everyone you see is so much happier and friendlier. The one thing that I have noticed is the amount of people out riding bicycles. There is no age range. Absolutely everyone is doing it. With a summer holiday on the horizon, I thought “That’s it! The best, most fun way to get fit is to get on a bike and go go go.”
“cocktail sausage rolls & a bottle of Presecco”
With all the best intentions in the world, we (my partner has to come along to encourage and motivate me of course) log onto the worldwide web and order 2 bikes. Easy. Done. A couple of days before collecting our new keep fit machines, I had ideas of long summer days where we would set off in the morning with a picnic of mini scotch eggs, cocktail sausages and a bottle of Prosecco. We would enjoy the long days, gorgeous countryside views and we would be laughing and joking, as we cycled along, without a care in the world.It suddenly dawned on me. I hadn’t even sat in a saddle for over 25 years. What if I can’t ride? Of course I can, it’s just like riding a bike, right?
By the time our bike’s arrive, I reckon that as long as I don’t stray too far and stay within my own little area, I’ll be fine. Holy moly! I’ve actually forgotten how to ride a bike. How is this possible. My arms moved the handlebars frantically from left to right for absolutely no reason whilst I’m trying to ride in a straight line. Don’t even get me started on turning. Wobbling like a party jelly, I was convinced I was going to fall over to one side and land flat on the ground. it was somewhat of an achievement when I literally rode into a walking neighbour. Don’t worry, neither of us were permanently damaged. I had no control whatsoever over this two wheeled monster. I sneaked a peek over at my bike buddy. What the..? she looks like she’s in training for the Tour De bloody France! How on God’s green earth is she doing that? I watch her gliding along like a figure skating on the brink on winning the world championships and here’s me like a sumo wrestler about to get thrashed in the early stages of qualification. Life is so not fair. It’s safe to say that this is killing me. That whole experience must’ve lasted roughly 8 and a half minutes. I kid you not, I had had enough.My heart felt as though it were about to explode from the deepest cavities of my chest, the burn on my thighs resembled an overweight animated devil (trident an all) cycling up and down them with fire as wheels. Never again.
“training for the Tour De bloody France”
After a few hours, I was over it and was looking forward to going out again. Although, I was seriously sporting saddle bum, the motivation was there the day after. I mounted this not so scary beast and after a wobbly start, I was off. The ridiculous moving of the handlebars was replaced by strong arms in control and even though I was still slightly cautious with turning, I was actually riding with confidence. We left the car park and cycled down the beaten road and onto the canal banking. Even though the possibility was real, I did not fall into the water. We rode back again and I’m loving it. The difference between the 2 days was unbelievable. I was flying. I CAN RIDE A BIKE. I’m 38 years old and I can ride a bike. Hallelujah.
“Oh my God. What is that? A hill? Oh no, just keep going. You can do it.” I could not breathe and my heart was racing. That little devil was back with a vengeance up and down my thighs. “Keep going, keep going. YES. I’ve done it” Technically I got a quarter of the way up and then could physically do no more. I ‘walked’ my bike to around the halfway mark on the hill and free wheeled home to safety. Tomorrow is another day and my aim to get to the top of that blasted hill. baby steps though, at least I’ve not fallen off and I’ve managed something that I was unable to do this time last week. I was so chuffed with my progress today… whats a girl in training to do? go out for a burger of course. Replace the calories I have sweated out. I deserved it. 15 mins of cycling done. I’m almost a pro.
I decided I was going to write a book! Guess what? I’m already 3 chapters in, however, I keep getting side tracked with ideas that have no place in my work in progress. Lots of ideas.
Now, I haven’t written scripture of any description since I tackled my way through college around 20 years ago, and even then I scraped through my HND Media Communication… just. Then life happened. Both good and bad but I didn’t have the time to indulge in any kind of creative writing at all. I am now lucky enough to be in a position where I have the time and support to put pen to paper and record my thoughts, opinions and stories. Some of it will be fact, some fiction. If I’m honest, I have no idea where this will go. I’m doing this for fun and to make some space in my creative mind.