I think the following picture sums up my festive holiday:
Oh. My. God. This combined with the fact I'd not been rowing for a while due to stupid ice everywhere now means I have a slightly "was once athletic but has recently put on a load of weight really fast" look about me. It is not a good look.
And I know I should have done and ergo instead. However, between writing this post and Christmas I have been very much library bound, and to be perfectly honest, a bit of a slob. I have consumed a lot of cake. I am not proud.
If there hadn't been so much fucking snow around I would have gone out on t'Bianchi for a blast or headed out to Ely for a date with the boat. But not being able to do either of those things I just though "Fuck it" and returned to the inviting warmth of the department. I think I needed a little time anyway to sort my head out. The important thing though is that I'm over the "being a slob" hump now and want to train again (though with a strict limit of one session a day to prevent degree fail-age...). Including running Monday, Wednesday, Friday in a bid to be less fat (my rather boring New Year's resolution).
The one time I did go out when there was ice out it was minus six (shit that's cold) and there were pieces of broken up ice floating around that were TWO INCHES THICK.
|HOW FUCKING THICK THE ICE WAS, as modelled by Charlotte :-)|
I got to the closest you can get to falling in, without falling in. Now if you've never been out in a single scull, you won't be able to relate to the terror of this.
Seriously, I'd given this dying thing some thought. Some background on rowing in Ely: it's got a 5K long straight (yessssss), with about 1.5K of wiggly river to get to the stretch with the boathouses on (illustrated below).
OK, so let's say, hypothetically, that it's below freezing and I fall in 3K up the straight. I'd have to get back in my boat in the middle of the river (it's got tall corrugated iron banks/banks of reeds on either side so no dragging your boat to the side) which is pretty hard in itself (especially if you've just been winded by how cold the water is). I've then got three options:
- Row the best part of 4.5K back to the IoERC. Only there's no boathouse there, and no source of warmth at all. I do have dry (cold) kit though. I get changed into that then cycle as fast as possible to the station to get a train home. Result = I die on the platform waiting for a train.
- Row 5.5K to the CUW boathouse. Break in (I know the code, it's fine. And it's my old club, so no worries). Perhaps boil a kettle? However, I'd have no warm kit to change into. Still very likely to die.
- Row the 5.5K to CUW, but then walk to the left a little to the CUBC boathouse. They have hot showers in there and a changing room full of Xchanging kit and I can see coffee and a kettle in the kitchen bit! I'm saved! However, being a girl and therefore not hugely eligible for rowing for CUBC, I don't have the means of getting in. (I could smash a window I suppose, if I have the energy...). Result = I die, staring at the means of getting warm and clawing at the door to the boat bay.
EDIT Apologies, I completely missed off the Cambridge Lightweight men. They boat from a car park a few hundred meters down from CUBC and win the prize for having the worst facilities ever. (But they are closer to the train station, Tescos and Costa coffee than all of the rest of us). Only in Cambridge could you get such a huge discrepancy in the facilities between different university boat clubs. But I'm not bitter. Not at all. (I should mention, for the record, that CUBC do let CUW and CUL use Goldie boathouse for ergos.)
Oh oh oh! I did do something active in my six week cake holiday (as it shall henceforth be known). I played squash for the first time AHAHAHAHA.
Now, I have the hand-eye coordination of a quadriplegic, blind elephant. There was a fucking reason I was always "wing defence" when we were forced to play netball at school and that reason is that I am a badgering retard whenever there is a ball around. I was therefore not expecting great things from my first ever game of squash, but I went into it anyway with a sort of cheerful resignation that I was going suck just a little bit.
|I am a fan of honesty. Brutal, brutal honesty.|
|One of the problems with squash is the walls thing. I ran into a few.|
Even when I concentrated really hard on serving and was like "Yeah, going to totally nail it this time". NOPE.
However, when I finally hit the ball, overzealous celebration was required, nay necessary.
I probably won't be invited again to be honest. But anyway. I digress. Christmas. Yes.
Cool presents included a MARMITE TEAPOT
And and and this little firesteel striker thing. For making fires :-)
This is the reason why me and my brother spent a good two hours on Christmas day setting fire to a box of tissues on the hearth.
|The fire-making joy loop.|
There were also awkward conversations with grandparents to be had...
...and AS Level Maths to teach to my brother. I have a rather interesting teaching style, namely aggression.
And you'll never guess what sneaked into my luggage for the return journey to Cambridge :-D
|Ooooo! Look at this! An interesting treatise on stellar structure!|
With that I bid you goodnight.