>This Charming Man

>Another week passes, another week less training time.

As I write this, I’ve not long got back from my cultural trip back in time to the land that time forgot – yes, the West country. As I said last time, I promised Jo trip to St James’s Park, so we drove via SW1 in London and passed that park and Hyde Park as well as we headed for the 1950s. Fortunately, I had my sat nav in the car to guide me. It doesn’t express surprise that we pass Swindon and Bath on the M4 going to Bristol to get on the M5. Nor does the sat nav express surprise that the M5 heads to the Midlands as well as to Devon!

The Sat Nav eventually gets us to Exeter in time to check into the hotel, and find a pub or 2 before the game. Its great to find a pub within 50 yards of the turnstiles. It means you can still be drinking at 14:55 and still see kick off. St James’s Park can look like this on a match day.

Alternatively, it can look like this.
or this
Guess which one we were at?

The observant ones will note the double yellow lines on the road in the external picture of the ground. These are there to stop the locals blocking the streets by parking their tractors in the narrow streets round the ground. Sadly Darlington came out second best on the day. however the referee deserves a mention as in the 1st half, he gave nearly every decision Darlington’s way and in the second half he evened it up by giving every decision Exeter’s way. At least Jo was pleased her acquaintance didn’t score for Darlington, which was a shame as it could have livened up the game. I did have a moment of panic just before the game when I realised it was almost exactly 30 years ago to the day when the mighty Newcastle went to then 4th division Exeter for a cup replay and in front of the Sportsnight cameras managed to lose 4-0. [Just a thought, it wasn’t Tr&lf@rd Mills referring that night was it?]

An interesting night out was had in Exeter, lots to drink, including a pub doing buy one pint get one free on a Saturday night in the main high street. Then there was the nice bar that Jo took me into which had an army theme night and lots of couples making out with each other. i did try to point out that it is more common for couples to be of different sexes. Perhaps Jo will one day explain why and how she sought out the gay bar in Exeter.

Women can be strange creatures, and very unreasonable can’t they. I took on board Jo’s comments under my previous post about wanting to go to a Michelin restaurant, but she got most stroppy when I took her to the transport cafe at the Michelin tyre centre in Exeter for lunch on Saturday. I had to pacify her by promising her something romantic for later. Every man knows that women like breakfast in bed, so to try to be romantic after our night out in Exeter, I treated her to a meal in bed. Even then that was apparently the wrong thing to do. She said something about eating Chinese in bed in the early hours of a Sunday morning is not romantic. We men can’t win can we?

Sunday brought a very long trip home thanks to the reluctance of my motor car to start and the embarrassment for the driver of the breakdown truck when his vehicle also refused to start.

Anyway, what is happening on the cycling front I hear you ask? [Ok, its not you I hear asking, its the voices in my head telling me to start fires that I hear]. Well I managed to cycle Tuesday- Friday to work, but not as many miles as I would have liked, but I did eventually get in over 450 miles for the month. I have purchased a saddlebag now and the support bracket for it as well. however on Friday when I tried them out, it turns out the bracket is broken. A replacement bracket is as elusive as a [insert appropriate comment here]. I have had to arrange to get a different type of bracket and hopefully will have that next week. The saddle bag claims to be 23 litres in size. It looks very small. I’m going to have to travel very light! I’m going to need a change of clothes and a good shave etc when I get to the end of the ride!

I’m still trying to learn how to use the GPS device. Anyone know what the difference between a way point and a route point is? What is a track and what is a route? Tom, you are doing IT at school aren’t you? …I’ve got a job for you on the weekend…

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