Tag: #slowcyclist

Cake day

The story this week is about work, I am working out of a different location and it’s the first time I have worked in an office environment. I know how to perform office tasks, my position at the bakery has an office and that’s where I manage the bakery from. Just never worked in a big office with so many others.

A baker by trade sees me with a more hands on approach to my vocation. I like to get out on the floor and help with the manual tasks (although not too strenuous), occasionally mix a dough and get my hands working shaping and moulding the loaves.

The different location is our head office, the big boss sits in the corner office, we underlings of middle management have a suite of offices that stretch away from the corner . Then the guys in cubicles; the backbone and engine room of the place, the guys that know how to create a spread sheet, not just pretend read it. They do the work, type up the memos, keep the minutes, make sure the place runs smooth.

The first thing I notice is the language is clean and correct and a welcome change from the usual gutter talk that grown men when working or living together seem to come up with. There is a mix of sexes, cultural backgrounds and ages, this has everyone communicating in a civilised manner.

 

I thought that by working away from the bakery I would be able to really take charge of my appetite and start eating healthy. No fresh bread rolls straight from the oven, no more sausage rolls with the flaky, crumbly, buttery pastry. This is where I was wrong.
In the office environment, there is this thing called “Cake day”
I’m sure some of you may be familiar with cake day, when it’s someone’s birthday, or if left over cake is brought in to clear a home fridge, even a charity; this week it was jeans for genes day. A worthy cause, but just eating a cake isn’t going to help the cause. So here is me, trying to be healthy and true to my clean-living pledge (well this weeks pleadge anyway) and all around me is pavlova and sausage sizzles. It’s enough to drive a man crazy, or at the very least break his latest pledge.
Just glad I didn’t tell them it was my birthday on Thursday as the one of the girls in the engine room would have raced down and fetched another cake.

My Little Girl gets Married

17th February 1989, about 8 pm at Shellharbour hospital, I should have been a nervous wreck, it was my second experience at the attendance of childbirth, and if the first time is anything to go by I should have been extremely nervous.
But I wasn’t, I was calm, the room was calm, there was no fuss or commotion. Britt came into the world in a relaxed and calm manner, there wasn’t even a doctor in the room to oversee, and there was no need. Britt just made her way to us with the quite reserve that she has carried throughout her life.
About an hour later I jumped in my car, turned the engine over and on the radio the song started playing “A little ray of sunshine” the Brian Cadd song, those lyrics stuck in my mind
“A little ray of sunshine has come into my world, a little ray of sunshine in the shape of a girl’


The calmness and composure continued; a few weeks later we had a birthday party for her older brother Matt at our place, can you imagine 10 – little kids running amuck in the house when you’re looking after a newborn baby, but true to her character she remained tranquil and unruffled.
Along with her grace and calm is her infectious laugh. I was lucky enough to be the one to take her to mothers group when she was just a toddler. It was fun and Brits first social venture into the world. A lot of kids have trouble sharing, or even acknowledging the other toddlers in the room. Not Brit, she took on her new social roll with her sense of humour and began giggling her way through play group. She even earned the nick name of “giggle pot’ from the other mum’s, she would always be giggling at something, knowing early that a good sense of humour is essential in life.
I am always affected by her laugh it carries you along for the ride, even if you’re not sure what the joke is, an inclusive laugh that gets everyone in.
She is always and always will be the most beautiful soul ever created, but it’s her smile that melts my heart, the smile of an angel, of an individual who loves life and loves to laugh.


Brits work role sums up her compassion as a person, as a gentle soul, “Child protection Caseworker” there were a few people with raised eyebrows when she landed this position, “Why would you want to work with these people, these people who can’t look after their own children” I knew why she took this role and always have.
Britt has a mission statement and has always lived by this oath. “To look out for the little Guy”
I remember a trip we were lucky enough to have in Northern Thailand; we visited many places and got to meet and talk with many people.
Brit met a single mum who had her kids selling pencils to make ends meet, after a long talk with this girl, she wasn’t much older than Brit at the time, Brit brought some pencils.
Our fellow travellers told her that she may have been ripped off and that she could have brought the pencils cheaper if she haggled a bit more.
Brit replied, “I brought these for me, to remind me of how lucky we have it, and that we must always look out for the little guy” She still has those pencils.
So that trip had a very positive affect on her upbringing; but deep down it was always there, the watching out for the little guy.
There are two things which we as parents try to give our children, one is roots, an identity, a place to call home, the other is wings to fly, Brit, with her approach to life has soared.
She has always made me proud.
Brit our walk down the aisle was very special and means the world to me, be assured that I will always be walking next to you; you will always be my little girl.
I love you

007 on a Bike, finding accommodation can be like a secret mission…

Boris leans in close and in a heavy Eastern European accent whispers “Listen very carefully as I shall only say this once” I raise an eyebrow but kept listening not wanting to upset him. “First you must go straight on this road, at zee church you must go right” he is hard to understand and uses lots of hand gestures. “Then when you get to zee semaphore” we stop him at semaphore and ask for more details. He grunts and says, “Just listen please semaphore like flashing” he is opening his hands in a twinkle little star fashion. “Traffic lights“ I say. “Ya, ya, then you must go left, then straight on, then you will get to where the trains go over the road” “Like a bridge” I say. “Ya, ya” he waves me off uninterested in my understanding. “Then you come to Hotel Costa’s, there will be a white car with a lady, she will flash her lights at you, she is your contact” Now is this a part in an Ian Fleming Bond novel or another story from the Slow Cyclist ?

 

 It was our first night in the mountains of Montenegro and I was looking forward to some authentic local food. We walked into the small town of Centinje and sat for our meal at a street side café.

The menu was not in English and there was nobody there to help us so we just let the waitress order for us. We needed a very big meal after climbing out of Koto; one of the biggest days of the tour climbing and climbing.

Good thing is Beer is pretty easy to translate and if you hold your hands up and apart to indicate a big beer then you usually get a half liter, Turns out the waitress did well and we had pork fillets with chips, basic but very nice.

 

 

We planned to have a relatively easy cycling day to the capital Podgorica, our reasoning being that the last day was a very heavy day and the day before a long day in the saddle. So in the morning we were in no hurry to set out on our 40-km ride to Podgorica.

Ok I shall make my apologies here, I know I am a visitor to this country and I have respect for all her people, but Podgorica is not going to win the tidy town of the year award anytime into the future. The capital is littered with graffiti and rubbish, guessing they don’t get many tourists here and it appears there is only the big hotels with hefty tariffs in the city. No pensions, rooms or even campsites. We were asking every one we could and having trouble finding someone who spoke English, that’s when we met Boris.

 

Ok so my first paragraph may not have expressed how friendly Boris was, he was a real nice guy and when he found out about our plight he was on the phone ringing around looking for somewhere for us to stay. That’s when we got the instructions to meet the woman in the white car, so off we cycled looking for the mysterious woman.

15 minutes later and on the other side of the city we met her, I was amazed as I thought it was some sort of gee up. She had an apartment we could let for 1 night at a very good price, I questioned her occupation, because she looked and I say this without judgment, like a hooker.

Maybe letting us rent the place for one night was more financially beneficial to her than her normal activities. We slept in many strange places on our tour of the Adriatic coast and up into Montenegro, we seem to have a lot of luck when it comes to places to stay, we have literally stumbled across so many bargains and good accommodation that I could write a book on how to tour Europe on the cheap.

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