TG Universes & Series:
I don’t usually check my email in the mornings but I needed a reference for my history homework – which I didn’t finish last night. So anyway I clicked on the mail and read through the message.
It’s good to hear from you, sorry I didn’t reply earlier, my Internet was down until yesterday. So the lure of the poms was too much eh? I’ve put some links to BCA coaching information below, hope they prove useful. If you can send me some video I might be able to offer some direct advice.
I watched the big race, everyone here is so proud of you – and you’ve been put up for the junior sports personality as well – is there no end to your talents?
Well I bake a mean biscuit!
If you get over, it would be nice to see you again, maybe exchange coaching notes!
All the best
I can hardly remember most of my teachers back at Warsop College but Fran Cowlishaw was more like a friend than a teacher. It might only be an email but hearing from Fran made me a little homesick, homesick for Warsop that is and everyone there. How are Bern and Drea getting on, I’ve not heard from my cousin for a few weeks, Ally and Helen longer still.
“Are you going this morning, Gaby Bond!” Mum yelled up to the eyrie.
The moment was broken.
“Yes, Mum, coming.”
“Don’t forget I’m picking you up from school this afternoon.”
“How could I,” I mentioned.
“With you anything’s possible,” Mum observed, “clean knickers?”
“You are not showing me up, young lady!”
“No, Mum,” I sighed.
“There’s some of yours on the airer,” she instructed.
The joys of womanhood.
“So we’ll meet you at the rink,” I mentioned.
“Two thirty,” Pia confirmed.
“Remember the glühwein,” Steff added.
“Oh yeah!” I agreed.
We have had glühwein, of course we have, it’s Germany but the stalls on the markets are pretty hot about selling alcohol including glühwein, to minors. We had a try last year but failed miserably, this year we are so going to get some on the markets – well not Ahrweiler, everyone knows us there but at Bonn and we’ll likely get to Koblenz and perhaps Köln. The bell for the end of lunch sounded and students dispersed like ants across the campus.
“Ah, Gaby, how are we?” Doctor Fischer enquired.
“Any pain or discomfort?”
“Only when I’m, you know, doing the thing.”
“Dilating,” she filled in the word I’m embarrassed to say.
“Yeah that, it gets a bit sore sometimes,” I admitted.
“Well it’s still early days; the soreness goes?”
“After an hour or so I guess.”
“Good. Well I guess we’d better take a quick look then hadn’t we?”
Oh joy, time for the flippin’ torture chair.
“Can I ride yet?” I almost pleaded once I was decent again back in Dr Fischer’s office.
“I said six weeks.”
“But everything’s healed isn’t it?”
“Gaby!” Mum warned.
“It’s alright Mrs Bond, if it was me I’d be going stir crazy too. Okay how about we compromise, you can ride but no jumping on and off in what was it, cross biking?”
“Cyclo cross,” I corrected.
“Cyclo cross. If you feel any discomfort you are to stop, the wounds might look to be healed but inside they might take another month. So the watchwords are ‘be careful’ okay?”
“Yes! What about dancing?” I pushed.
“A gentle waltz yes but no jumping about, eh?”
“That includes cheerleading, Doctor?” Mum clarified.
“Especially not all that jumping about,” the Doc confirmed.
Bum, I’ll never get fit again.
“I know she said you can ride,” Mum started as we started the journey home, “but that doesn’t mean going straight out on two hour rides up the Nurburgring, I mean it, Gab.”
“I can ride to school though?”
“Yes you can ride to school.”
“And I can wear trousers again!”
Wearing nothing but skirts and dresses for like a month, well it’s been a nightmare! Cold, draughty and everyone can see your legs – well you know what I mean. Sometimes a dress is appropriate but early December, in the snow, ut uh, just totally wrong.
I thought it best not to press to go to Garde Friday evening so instead I tried the buttering up tack on Dad. It wasn’t my turn for cooking but I volunteered for the job, we haven’t had sausage and mash for a while, one of Dad’s favourites, I went one better and made Toad in the Hole . Of course English style sausages are not easy to come by in Germany but there’s a butcher down the valley who makes a fairly good impersonation of them.
“Okay, what are you after?” Dad asked when confronted with my culinary expertise.
“I haven’t lived in a house full of women all this time without learning a thing or two and near the top of the list is being fed ‘special’ meals without reason – there is always a reason.”
“Can’t I just make a nice dinner, there’s onion gravy?”
Mum snorted and Mand chuckled to herself, Dad just gave me a look.
“Mash? Oh alright, you know the doctor said I can start riding again?”
“Yes,” Dad allowed.
“Well can I take a bike when we go to England?”
“You are not riding the Leeds cross.”
“No, no, I didn’t mean for that, the BLCA have a ride on Sunday morning though.”
“And you want to show off your rainbow stripes perhaps?” Dad really can read me like a book.
“Well yes, sort of,” I admitted.
“I guess we might be able to squeeze in some extra bikes, I take it you two will ride too?” Dad queried of Mum and Mand.
“It would be a shame not to,” Mum pointed out.
“Well if everyone else is.”
I didn’t go out with Amanda on Saturday morning but instead I got a gentle ride down to Remagen and back, Dad made sure it was gentle, he rode with me. Yeah I know, he looks after bikes and carts us around all the time but riding – not his thing at all. The fact that he dragged his bike out to ride with me meant, even to me, that I wouldn’t get away with ignoring instructions.
You wouldn’t think you could lose fitness so quickly; Dad was having to wait for me!
“I’ll never get race fit again,” I moaned as I coasted to a stop next to pater when we reached Singen after looping along the river to the Linz ferry before heading back.
“You will, you haven’t ridden for a month remember.”
“Maybe York isn’t such a great idea.”
“You’ll be fine, we just need to ease you back into riding slowly.”
“I don’t think you can ride any slower than this and stay upright.”
“Welcome to the world of mere mortals,” Dad chuckled. “Come on, think you can manage the ride home?”
“It’s a long walk,” I noted.
“Come on then, we’ll pickup some strudel at Thesing’s, we’ll’ve earnt it.”
We must have made a strange sight, me with all the gear struggling to keep up with Dad who, let’s face it, isn’t exactly the build of a racing whippet. In fact I had a chuckle to myself, he looked like, what is it the press call them? Oh yeah a Mamil .
“What are you grinning at?”
“Er nothing, just remembering something I read.”
“Tag,” Dad replied as we were overtaken.
The chap sailed past on his city bike, dyno humming and work boots pointing almost sideways. Yeah, I felt a right plonker.
Whilst trousers were back in my useable wardrobe, after an hour and a half ‘riding’ this morning I was feeling a little er, tender. So reluctantly I went with plan Z, a knee length denim skirt that I teamed with Mum’s knee high black boots – yes I did ask if I could borrow them. Instead of my usual ponytail I used a barrette to put my hair up in a more sophisticated but still everyday style, I reckon I could pass for at least eighteen – which of course was the intention.
“What are you girls up to?” Therese asked as we prepared to set off for Bonn.
“Just going to the markets,” I offered.
“Hmm, why don’t I quite believe that, hardly any makeup, no short skirts.”
“It’s cold outside Mama,” Con supplied, ”and you always complain about how much makeup we wear.”
“We best make tracks if we’re gonna get the next Zug,” I suggested.
“Don’t be too late,” Frau Thesing called after us.
It was true about the cold, since this morning it’s gone from quite cool to damned cold and I’m sure there were a few flakes of snow as we’d walked round to collect Con.
“She suspects something,” I supplied as we waited for the Express to arrive.
“What’s she gonna do? Follow us?”
Mand as usual just listened as we jabbered away in German; we really should try using English a bit more.
“You okay Mand?”
“Cold,” she allowed.
“Yeah,” I agreed, “the train should be warm though.”
“Hope so,” she noted stamping her feet for warmth.
The Express appeared up the line, we watched as it wobbled its way towards us before coming to a halt. There was a small exchange of passengers and we found seats on the, thankfully, warm train. It was definitely snow falling beyond the glass as the train, with a throaty roar, set off for its junction with the mainline thirty or so minutes away.
Maddy Bell 06.02.16
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