After a largely well-behaved weekend, in which I ate nicely, but sensibly, and documented all of it, yesterday was a bit of a slip-up.
For a start, I went to bed far later than I meant to on Saturday night. I got totally absorbed in the book I was reading, and was still up at midnight when Hannah came back from a house-party. We then ended up chatting for a bit, so it was past 1am when I finally got to bed. This meant that I was most reluctant to get out of bed yesterday morning. I took the time to finally recolour my hair (call me vain, but I like it when it's all glossy and shiny and there's no horrible little greys poking through - it just makes me feel good - and it's been long over-due for a couple of weeks now), but that made me late to leave for my epic road-trip across country.
So at 11.45am, I finally shot out the house with arm-fulls of stuff to go and jump in the car. First stop - trying to find a petrol station without a trail of cars waiting, and I end up getting a Double Decker to keep me going til lunchtime, since I'm peckish. Hmmm, probably not the best start.
Lunch about an hour or so later, grabbed at a flying break on the motorway, was a sandwich and crisps - not too bad, as eating whilst driving is difficult and I couldn't be bothered with anything more. I finally got to Colchester at about half 3 - luckily finding the address easily (god bless sat nav!), and finding a very helpful lady at home who was happy for me to have a quick peer at the surfboard in her living room to check the condition, before I sorted out strapping it to the car.
I should have taken a picture of it, as it looked pretty funny - the board's 8ft, and my car's a little Citroen C1 - I think the board was nearly longer than the car!!!! I was using new soft racks to transport the board, so I was literally taking them out of the pack for the first time and figuring it all out as I went along! Luckily, they were pretty straightforward to use, and it all went on quite quickly and easily - a relief since the seller's wife was still chatting away, and I'd have looked pretty silly if I'd looked like I didn't know what I was doing!!
Just 30 mins after I arrived, I was on the road again with my new board. Unfortunately, now came the stressful bit - another 3 hours drive home, but with something large and totally non-aero-dynamic strapped to the top of my little car. I've never driven with a loaded car before, apart from very occasionally with bikes on the back of a previous car (I hated them so much that I took to carrying them in the car very quickly indeed). So it was a shock at a) how much power / petrol consumption I lost, and b) how noisy having the board on the roof was!
Christ, that was a shock. I seriously need to look at muffling the rack somehow - where there are taut lines stretching between the roof and the board, they set up an eerie and incredibly loud moaning as you drive above about 50mph. And because they are directly attached to the roof rather than a rack, the noise translates straight into the car. I'm thinking that something soft wrapped around the front lines might help this as it will stop them vibrating in the same way - any thoughts, anyone?
So, it turned into a very slow drive back, as I couldn't go above 70mph tops, but mostly drove at 60mph. Frustrating and tiring and draining with the constant noise. The only good thing is that I don't actually do that much motorway driving to and from the coast for surfing normally, as we only do a couple of junctions on the motorway and then hit the slower A roads, where I don't think it will make so much difference. Not normally 3+ constant hours of motorway!
That frustration turned to bad eating - a quick break at services saw an entire pack of jelly sweets being hoovered up before I'd even got back on the motorway (thank god I didn't buy a travel sized pack of chocolate instead). Then over-tiredness on the sofa last night saw the siren call of the biscuit tin answered, and about 10 caramel digestives disappeared too. Not too clever. I've been brave and tracked it all - it doesn't put me in a great position for this week, but I did say that I would be honest this month.
And I do have a shiny new surfboard to show for it! I had a proper look when I got back last night, and I can't believe I seem to have got such a bargain! The board is virtually pristine! It was an 8ft custom mini-mal, which the guy ordered last year. According to his wife, he used it on one holiday last summer in Cornwall, and then never got round to using it again, and now their second child is on the way, she gave him an ultimatum to sell one of his toys to pay for all the gear they need for him / her. Even more luckily for me, this guy seriously loved his shiny toys, so as well as what looks to be an excellent board, I've also gained a rather nice board bag too - I reckon I've paid under half price for the cost of the kit new and it's got hardly any wear in it at all.
I love the cartoony style of the graphics on the board - certainly no one else will have one like this at the beach. Chris says it's a boy-board - I told him to bog off ;o) It's my pride and joy for the moment, and it's not like anything else I own (sports-wise at least) is particularly girly - I deliberately went out of my way to avoid buying a pink / baby-blue / white mountain-bike -I reckon you've got to be pretty flipping good to have "girly" gear and retain any kind of respect at the beach / on the hill!!