Well while kissycat1000 went to purrthecat's girlie do and got to meet tatsdixon amongst others (*sulks* but I'm nearly a girl! Why couldn't I come?!), I rode down to Brighton to see my step-brother Ollie. He's just moved there from Portsmouth and he's really enjoying the change of scene, plus things seem to be going better for him too.
The route I took to go to see him was A4 to Bath then A36 all the way to the coast and along the M27 then A27. However, there was a diversion in place because the A36 was closed a little way south of Bath. As fate would have it this took me on the route I used to do to get to/from my first girlfriend I lived with. I decided as I rode that if the route did indeed go as far to go past the end of the road that lead up to my ex's house I'd drop in on the offchance she was there.
As it happened, the diversion did and so I did drop in on her and by even more amazing coincidence she was there too! Pix is her nickname, Andrea her real name. I hadn't spoken to her at all since we split up in May 1998 I think. I've been meaning to speak to her on and off for the last 3 years and despite still being able to remember her parents' number never actually got around to it.
She was absolutely shocked and stunned to see me and sounded a bit like a stuck record for the first few minutes when her vocabulary desserted her to leave her with only the words "Oh my god!". We quickly got chatting, I caught her up on events of my life (as best I could in the hour or so we were chatting) and I took her for a ride on the back of my bike. I had heard rumours that she was seeing a motorcycle instructor after we split up and these turned out to be true, but as I soon discovered she'd given up trying to learn to ride when she found she had an unfortunate habit of forgetting to put her feet down when she brought the bike to a stop. Oops.
It was great to see her again; we chatted with almost total ease despite the long silence. I must admit, turning up on my bike in full leathers did give my confidence that all-important boost :). She told me a little about what she'd been up to, including finally making it into the paramedics as she'd always wanted to about three months ago. In addition, she also told me that her fiancee that she was living with leaving her stuff out on the front lawn for her to pick up over an apparent disagreement about their futures about two months ago. We exchanged mobile numbers and agreed that we'd meet up and go out; that she'd have to meet kissycat1000 as she's lovely.
I was just about to set off again just as her brother Rob pulled up in his 'meader' car. I'm sorry Rob if you're reading this (highly doubtful) but there's no other way to describe it. It's a white cavalier with a huge spoiler, alloys, coloured chrome accessories, body kit, an exhaust that was so big it's just obscene, stickers and blacked out windows. Anyway he seemed thoroughly unfazed to see me again. He's got into the RAF finally too, so it was good to see him as well albeit briefly before I continued on my journey.
I must just say that I really enjoyed the riding both there and back. I lost my usual irritation about wanting to be there and just really focussed on enjoying the ride, which saw me increasing my confidence loads. I was so glad I was on my bike, making the journey in nearly half the time it would have taken me by car due to the roads and the traffic and the holdups I was able to slip past. Hurrah for bikes!
Anyway finally, the weekend. I got down there and people decided not to go to Mr. Scruff's as had been the plan due to lethargy on their part (surprisingly). Instead, Amy (delightful girl, 20, looks astonishingly like oscuridad, studying art 20 mins train ride from Brighton) had cooked us food and after a few beers we headed round to a mate of Ollie's, Polly (don't say it :p) and they watched The Fifth Element while I tried not to snore. Difficult given that it was 2am and I'd ridden for hours and drunk beer on top of being awake at a normal hour that day.
The next morning, lots of phone calls and (to nick a term from oscuridad) foo happened which was all sorted out but still left me feeling full of stuff I needed to get out. Poor Amy was stuck doing the washing up and couldn't escape so she got it in the neck. Surprisingly she seemed quite OK with it all and complimented me on my 'mature approach to relationships'. We talked about other things, I apologised for unloading onto her as I'd only just met her.
Later on Ollie and I went shopping. This was an effort, even on the bike, as the roads in Brighton are too narrow to filter (even for me with my [now infamous] skill of fitting large things in tight spaces). It took us about 10 minutes to get somewhere it probably would have taken about the same time to walk. Ah well.
Took Amy out for the ride I promised her (on the BIKE damnit! :p) which she greatly enjoyed. She requested we go to the beach as the sunset was lovely and we sat chatting and she unloaded some of her concerns to me as she told me she just clicked with me, plus she'd only moved away from home for the first time 3 weeks ago, and Ollie and Sam (Ollie's good friend who moved from Portsmouth to Brighton with Ollie) were a bit heavy going for her.
Came back after sharing and introspection to a lively scene in the kitchen where I met Ollie's friend Tom and Tom's friend James. Tom lives across the road from Ollie and owns a Telecoms software company. A good person to know. Apparently he'd been keen to meet me. Which was nice. I did actually like Tom despite the slightly 'assisted' meeting. We ate a wonderful concoction of Ollie's (his dad's so he tells me) - bacon and mushrooms in a pesto and cream sauce on pasta.
After that we ended up going out to a local pub after the house party idea fell through. The pub was good though. It was full and playing good old music. However there were tables and chairs enough and you could actually get served too.
I did lose points quite considerably with Amy because I plucked up the courage with the drinks to tell her that I did actually quite like her. She asked me not to turn it into something sexual, so I hid behind the flimsy excuse that I had just wanted to tell her that anyway (thinking she could possibly buy it as we had talked about her low self-esteem earlier).
The night progressed and we ended up back at Tom's house, listening to music and eating some greasy but tasty late-night home-made food to soak up some of the booze. There was talk of some 'extra' highlights turning up but I ended up deciding to go to bed before this happened.
Woke the next day with a hangover and a text from kissycat1000 in reply to one I had sent last night. I didn't actually know what it was I'd sent her until I asked her on Sunday when I saw her. I'd sent her quite an insecure message as I'd wanted not to always be the one initiating contact, especially as I was feeling insecure. However no text was forthcoming that day or night (kissycat1000 was at
Eventually rose and ate porridge for the second time in my life (the first was the Saturday morning) and got my stuff together for the ride home. Didn't spend much time with Ollie himself but then we have a sort of comfortable existence where that's not always necessary when we see each other, despite having known each other since we were toddlers.
Went straight back to Cheltenham to talk to kissycat1000 about recent events and the weekend. I was and still am very grateful to stuartl that he could see why I needed to do that and graciously postponing his visit for a day to enable me to do that. kissycat1000 and I had a relaxing time and sorted a lot of stuff out.
I went into work for some training on Monday morning, not before giving stuartl a hug as he arrived though, which was good.
Ended up going right into the centre of Bristol when actually the training was in Aztec West - the place I'd ridden right past to get the the centre of town! Thankful once again for my bike I made the 10 mile journey in about 10 minutes (it would have taken more like 25 in a car) and then proceeded to fall asleep due to boredom and tiredness. Tomorrow I have just a half day of training in the afternoon so I think I'll 'work from home' *ahem* in the morning :)
Sorry folks this has been a bit of a long one. I'm not really in the mood to play my game despite having the perfect opportunity to. You never want to do something when you've got the best excuse to do it! Ah well.