Two weeks without a post. That's poor, really, isn't it? Apologies for my absence.
Anna and I went away for a few days in the caravan and had a great time. We stayed just outside Llandovery, in an area I have sped through on many occasions but never stayed to explore. Although it's just an hour from my front door, there were lots of places I had never been or even heard of. It's good to get to know your own neighbourhood every now and then.
Since I have been back, it's been work, work, work -of the paid and unpaid variety. For the last 12 months my workplace has been undergoing 'restructuring', which is a nice word for turmoil. Where we had a team of around 20 a year ago, we ended up with four in March. Funnily enough, the workload didn't diminish - in fact, we had extra work piled on us. Some good people got the message and left for other jobs. Many of the rest (the old, the dim, the grumpy) were made redundant. Suddenly, we were undermanned, and the requests started pouring in -
"Can you work a couple of extra days to help us out? We're short-staffed."
"No shit, Sherlock."
There's no overtime as such, just 'extra hours' paid at the normal rate. But work is work and income is income, so we got on with it. The normal pattern would be four 12-hour shifts in a row, followed by four days off. The four days of work is fairly punishing, especially when it's night work, and especially when you are not as young as you used to be. But we have all been working five and six days in a row, just to keep things afloat. And of course those extra days are taken from your days off, naturally, so the old system doesn't get much time to recover.
At home on my days off, there has been a garden to keep in check, and chores to be chored. All in all, I haven't had much time to get on the computer and write. And if I had, what's to say? The economy seems to be going down the toilet even more rapidly than ever, Cameron and Osbourne never fail to disappoint, the whole country has gone Olympics-mad (if we are to believe the media) or have given them a massive 'meh' (if we are to believe our own eyes and ears). Wars, famine, pestilence, misery - and that's just Nowhere Towers.
I haven't told Anna yet, but the Sprint has gone on eBay. I've decided that it is not for me. Nothing wrong with it, but every outing becomes a blur of passing landscapes and snatched overtakes, and I think I am getting a bit old for the leaning-forward riding position and an engine that only makes sense at illegal speeds. I'm going to change it for something smaller and slower,which can also do a bit of exploration of back roads and trails rather than murdering kilometers on the superslab. I had a great time with D2 in France and Germany, but we agreed afterwards that it would have been even better if we had done half the miles and stopped twice as often.
Oh well, back to work now. Break's over, back on yer heads!
More soon. Thanks for your patience.