Tag Archives: atlantic crossing

What – no Top Gear ?

Just settling down for a sunday evening in front of the TV, Sunday 8pm, BBC2 Top Gear – but not tonight.  Seems that Jezza has overstepped the mark.  Poor old fella!  Personally, I think he could be a huge premadonna so I can believe all that I am hearing. I do predict that tomorrow though – the news will be full of stories about Mr Clarkson NOT renewing his contract with the beeb.  To really push the boat out, I reckon Hammond and May will stay on and Top Gear will continue with a similar format.  It does get a bit boring watching them smoking tyres out on dream cars, with the predictable punch lines and especially when they ask the audience if they want to see the lap in the  ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ segment – of course they do………..time for a change I think.  Tonight I am sampling a new program called ‘Off their Rockers’.

More toilet talk – I picked up a pack of Belgium’s finest bog roll the other week, all different designs.  One that took my fancy straight away was a roll with a drawing of a pile of poo on alternate sheets (almost mis-spelled that ), underneath the cartoon pile was the word ‘Happens’.  I kinda liked that – ‘Shit Happens’  quite apt for a toilet roll.  Then I noticed another roll had a cartoon face of a Lion (or Cat – I couldn’t tell which) with the words in Portuguese underneath that translated to ‘ Very Nice to see You’.  I thought that was a bit weird, dragging that across your butt hole but then this week I noticed the best yet.  Pictures of hands making shapes that signified letters of the alphabet – I assumed they were sign language but thankfully, under each drawing of a hand was the letter being signed.  I pulled a few sheets off the roll to reveal the full phrase, I-L-O-V-E-Y-O-U  drag that across ring piece of your nearest and dearest to show how much you care.

So recently I have been to-ing and fro-ing from Brussels a lot – late night drives to avoid traffic congestion. Traffic just does my head in and if you plan badly you get traffic on the M25 and also on the RO (the Brussels M25 equivalent) at the other end. Usually this means a 10pm ferry, arriving in Dunkirk at 1am local time followed by a two-hour spurt into Brussels.  The other night I got into some morbid thinking about death on the long run into the ring from Dunkirk.  To perk myself up I started flicking through my iTunes playlist until I found something I really liked.  I found the mighty Biffy Clyro & 27. Singing my heart out I was fully prepared to play it again if it finished before I made it to the house but there was an ace in the pack, a very big ace.

As I approached Stockel Square, Biffy faded out and was replaced by Robbie feckin Williams with ‘Angels’.  It was 3am and I was definitely going to be at the house before this song had finished so I dropped both front windows on the car, pumped up the volume and started singing at the top of my voice.  I had time in hand, that was clear, so I circled the market square 3 times that morning – singing my bollocks off in the most out of tune manner you have ever heard in your life.  Think about the worst karaoke you ever heard – that was me.  It was like holding both middle fingers up to those boring french speaking fuckers of Belgium. IT FELT GOOD!! I hope I woke all of them up.

Friday saw the final chapter in Belgium close as we handed back the house there. I will miss having such a huge forest right on my doorstep but new chapters beckon, new adventures are always just around the corner.  Tonight I went for a run taking in a little amount of road before heading into the fields, aiming for the canal towpath somewhere between Kilsby and Barby.  I did finally make the towpath as the light was fading fast.  I missed a turn halfway down a field and added a good half kilometer to my distance.  My OS maps app didn’t work so I had no choice but to back track and find where I had gone wrong.  Eventually on the tow path, the inevitable happened – I needed a dump !  Now, the non runners amongst you will never understand the link between running and dumping but please be assured there is a legitimate link – I certainly do not have a fetish for dropping a steaming coiler out in the nature – sometimes it just can’t be avoided.  Thankfully this time, I had a packet of Handy Andy’s with me so my underwear and hat were safe.

Staying with running – I did manage a new personal best at Saturday’s Parkrun in Coventry’s War Memorial Park.  I ran my lungs out to take over 45 seconds out of my best time.  I was more than a little miffed though – on the last half of the second lap, two other runners that I correctly guessed were in my age group overtook me.  This is a problem for two reasons.  Firstly, anyone that is older than me or younger than me that is in front of me, is a target. I just can’t be beaten by anyone close by that is older or younger (yes I know that is everyone) but could I catch and pass them before the finish line ? Could I bollocks !  The second reason for this being a problem for me was that as they overtook me – they were having a conversation FFS!  If that is not adding insult to injury, I don’t know what is.  I do wonder though – if they applied my theory of ‘if you have enough air left to talk, you ain’t running hard enough’ – just how fast a time could they make ?  Anyway – I managed a respectable 77th place out of a field of 504 runners but I did get beaten by two chicks, and when I say beaten – I mean given a jolly good arse kicking !

But I keep trying – remember, there are two Great North Runs on my agenda this year.

Next week I return to St Maarten in the Caribbean before setting sail on yet another transatlantic crossing for Mallorca.  Transatlantic crossings are very boring. 16 days or so with not a great deal to do although I always say it’s better to have a boring 16 days than 16 days of fighting for your life.

 


Ryanair flight of Terror

Ah the romance of sailing the Atlantic soon wears thin.  Still 8 days to go before we reach Mallorca and I am very bored.  To make things worse, there is bugger all wind which means we motor a lot.  The huge downside of motoring is that you loose the stability of having a sail full of wind.  For the last 2 days now we have been rolling rail to rail and it makes even the simple tasks very hard.  Having a shower, taking a dump or even just getting dressed become severe physical challenges.

My right knee is now very sore from where I have been wedging myself in my bunk between the wall and my lee cloth. Gibraltar is still 6 days away, where we get to stop for a few hours and fill the tanks yet again with another 25,000 litres of diesel.

I have also, for the very first time, booked a ticket on Ryanair.  The only airline I could find that fly direct from Palma to Brussels.  The total cost of my ticket just 45€ – I wondered how they could do it so cheaply.  Maybe they water the fuel down, or share critical parts with other aeroplanes or maybe have strangers fly the planes rather than fully qualified pilots?  The 45€ also included a 10€ fee for me choosing a lanky twat seat so it really was a deal.

I just know that when I get to the airport there will be something I have missed, some obscure tick box on the web page that I forgot to tick and the fee for correcting my error will be another 150€.  If you don’t complete your online check in, or take your printed out tickets with you, you get charged an additional 70€ at the desk or you don’t fly.  The web page adds every additional extra you could imagine, it then becomes your responsibility to take it all off or you get charged for it, and some of it is hard to find.

My flight is on 26th April so be sure to check back again then to see how it went.

Now, I need to get back to rolling across the ocean.

 

 


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