Saturday, 13 November 2010

Tales from the Isle of Ely Rowing Club

ROWERS OF BRITAIN. The 'Peter Lee Seasonal Barometer' has changed to winter!

Peter Lee, complete with coaching advice. Oh my god! We could make Peter Lee action figures! In summer and winter versions! With a string pull thing for coaching wisdom snipets!

I thought you should be informed. There were a few intermediate days where he wore a hat + shorts, but now the change is complete. Winter is offically here.

Anyway, here are few unrelated snipets from the great IoERC.

Why you should not take the piss when I'm carrying a long object

The piss-taking, in good humour obviously (like the poking), was probably either about (a) how short my arms are (standard - one of my nicknames is "Stumpy" FFS) or (b) about how much I swear. Which reminds me - I'll put up a photo of the swear chart we've got going for Movember when I rememebr to take my camera to the gym. I am proud to say that I WIN AT SWEARING. My tally box is essentially just shaded in now. (And before you accuse me of coach-abuse, it was very light, ironic poking. I'll have you know that Peter loves coaching me.  I don't piss him off at all. Honest.)

What happens when you live in a room that's colder than outside

You have to wear a hoody in bed (as well as a duvet + woolen blanket + quilt + bloody flannel pyjamas). As a result, I wake up with my hair doing flipping weird things, like all the strands facing forwards.
All hair problems can be sorted with a really excellent hat. I mean, even hat-hair is >> Justin Bieber hair.
Oooo ooooo! Do you remember that hat I went on about in the PLSB post? The one that my mum gave me after my siblings laughed at her when she wore it? Well, the other day, my mum (who reads this blog* - hi mum!) bloody well text me and ASKED FOR IT BACK. I mean, just because that hat is now FAMOUS.

*She said of it: "I like it, apart from all the swearing". But it's all swearing! I don't get it!

Blunt and to the point, I thought.

She's definitely never getting it back.


Waiting for trains at Ely station. 

 Because I randomly had my camera on me. No other reason.
Sarah was cold. Or more accurately, 'really fucking cold'. Note the hat that is much better than mine.

THE HAT and THE LEGGINGS in beautiful synergy, modelled by my good self.  I had also been to Tesco and impulse bought a 'Shaun the Sheep' shower thingy. Because I am badass like that.

Yeah, don't mess with me. I have sheep-related shower items.

*Not shown*: My completely soaking wet leg from where I stepped inbetween my boat and the landing stage. There was a lot of swearing.
Shopping in Cambridge on a Saturday, or "Xtreme Slow Pedestrian Rage"

OK, so this has nothing to do with the IoERC. But then nor does my hair.

So, some background. By some small large miracle, I managed to get someone to go on a date with me.

*Pause to let this sink in*

I KNOW! They weren't even drunk! (They also don't know this blog exists, which probably helped.)
 But anyway, this lead to me looking in my wardrobe and realising I have absolutely nothing to wear. Nothing. As in nothing at all.
 This is mainly due to my giving away of all of my smart clothes to my little sister at the end of the summer because my arms don't fit in them anymore :-( She did really well. And now I have no clothes apart from slighty nerdy rowing t shirts and hoodies. And lycra.

But not even I would wear those leggings to a posh restaurant. I have standards* me.

*For certain values of "standards"

ANYWAY, so I found myself in the position that I had to go into town on a Saturday and I had buy something or I was going to have to turn up in a bloody Pembroke longsleeve or something.

This was bad. Very bad. The world and his wife apparently go shopping in Cambridge on a saturday afternoon, and they don't like walking quickly.

How. Can. People. Walk. So. Fucking. Slowly? Any slower and they'd be growing roots. I mean, I need to get something now. WHY ARE YOU IN MY WAY??? I resorted to putting some really aggressive music on my mp3 and just going for it.
Yes, apparently clothes shops don't sell good clothes anymore. I mean, you'd have thought it would have been piss easy to find a nice shirt wouldn't you? But noooooooooo. Let's make life as difficult as possible for Anna by only stocking stupid cardigans. I DON'T WANT A CARDIGAN. I WANT A SHIRT. WHY DO YOU HAVE NO SHIRTS? Sort it out clothes shops. Sell stuff other than cardigans please, for fucksake.

 Of all the people I walked into as they suddenly stopped to point at some bloody shiny phone or something, the woman who stopped to stroke a pair of boots was my particular favourite. And by favourite, I mean  the one I wanted to kill the most.
FFS. They're made of leather. Get over it.
The next time I have to go shopping on a Saturday afternoon you'll hear about it on the national news, because I will have gone postal on the entire population of the Grand Arcade. 

But anyway, I did eventually get something. It took years off my life, but I got something. So now at least I don't have to turn up in my "I survived Peter Lee's Week of Death" t-shirt.

I'm sorry, but how awesome is this?  (The week of death is mentioned here and here). I even made one for Peter, but he refuses to wear it "Because it's not true" :-(  In the background - my homemade quilt my grandma made me :-D Grandmothers FTW!

Anyway, I'll let you know how much I screw up said date through social ineptitude/swearing too much.

Finally, and this is important.

 If you own a boat and blades, make sure you remember to insure your blades too.

Seriously, go and update your insurance policy now. NOW.

I've basically had a little crash which resulted with my blade hitting the other boat's rigger and completely fucking it up. (Photo to follow). I now need to find a strokeside, big blade + vortex edge Concept 2 scull from somewhere or I need to buy two new blades. OH CRAP. (If anyone out there knows of spares then please, for the love of god email me).  Because I am a twat I only insured my boat and speedcoach, completely forgetting about the blades thing. BECAUSE I AM A TWAT.

EDIT: Here you go:
Hmm. Would you race with these? It's pretty deep...

Here is a photo of a misty Ely. WITH CATHEDRAL.And loads of nettles :-(

Please don't make the same mistake! Blades are expensive!


  1. One set of blades are insured as part of my policy. Who are you with?

    Think I'm with noblemarine, if that helps.

    can't help with odd Strokeside blades though

  2. @ Alison: I'm with NobleMarine too! Will try and find my insurance policy...

    *hoping hoping hoping*

  3. Several observations...

    Waiting for trains at Ely station. All the cool kids have spent a lot of time going on trains (and indeed rowing boats all the way) between Cambridge and Ely. You forget how cold it was eventually and just remember the good bits :-)

    Not turning up to posh restaurant in BB leggings: I have been to several posh (for some value of posh) restaurants in my slippers. Including on what technically was probably a date. (It involved kissing a boy and drinking champagne so I guess it was a date.) Oh and I was also wearing a full-on minty green Cambridge splash top. But then so was he. Moving swiftly on...

    As for shopping in Cambridge on a Saturday... you have my sympathy. Not as bad as rowing on the Tideway on a Saturday, mind :-p

    All this blathering. You'd think I was trying to take my mind off an impending sculling assessment day or something. Are you coming to join the fun? (Do you have blades...? I hope you got it sorted!)

  4. Unlucky.

    I managed to crash my single into an oncomming quad (not really my fault, it was dark, they didn't have any decent lights and they were too far over), but somehow my boat, blades and me all survived perfectly intact while they broke some blades on my strokeside gate.

    Also, Vortex edges? I presume this is just to stop the tips of the blades getting damaged on the landing stage? ;)

  5. I have the standard rowing shell insurance and the small print said includes set of blades, so I guess you might well have insurance after all :)

  6. @ Alison: There seems to be zero small print on my policy - will be phoning tomorrow...

    @Tom: That's one very good reason for vortex edges :-) I think they were banned on the Cam for a bit so I took great pleasure in being very illegal when I raced there.

  7. Anna
    Rowperfect will help you out with new sculls. As long as you are prepared to try some Drehers instead of Concept2s.
    Get in touch.

  8. Sorry about the nettles, but they were there first. Feel free to use any of the crap gardening tools in the containers. It won't make much difference to the nettles but you might feel better.

  9. Hahaha! OK, one day I'll have a fit of rage against them. I mean, it'll make no difference but it will make me feel better :-)

  10. Sutton Winson brokers offer some pretty good insurance packages and they're very comprehensive. I think their website is

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