04 July 2010

Patience is a massively underrated skill

There should probably be an exclusion zone around our house at the moment. The wintery-type cold and flu bugs have bitten, and bitten hard.

It all started last weekend. We were scheduled to go to Sydney for a friend's wedding. As we don't often get to the Big Smoke, we decided to make a weekend of it, taking Friday off work and then flying home early Mon morning in time to get in a full day at our respective offices.

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men, and all that.

After sneaking out of work at 3pm on the Thursday, quickly run the dogs to the vet for vaccinations, and then drop them at 'The Pound' for a weekend of incarceration, race home, pick up Els, race to the airport. Whaddyaknow, flight delayed. What should have had us out of Albury at 5pm, in Sydney by 6pm, and then comfortably at our pre-arranged dinner engagement by 8pm... left Albury at 7pm, missing the dinner engagement, getting us to the pub at least to meet our friends by 11:30, and then stumble into the accomodation by 1am or something stupid.

The Friday was good, I managed to catch up with a few of the Sydney AKFF crew for a pub lunch, then sit in the sun at Manly watching fish under the wharf, and then dinner out with a few other members of the wedding party.

Saturday - wedding day. Unfortunately it involved an extended trip to Warringah Mall - also known as retail hell. I was under instructions to purchase a suit jacket, which incredibly I completed at only the second shop we walked into, and only at about 4 times the cost of what I really wanted to spend. But hey - it's an investment, right?

And then the transport gremlin reared it's ugly head - again. We were staying a little way out of town (Q-Station, if anyone knows it). Thought I would do the friendly and responsible thing, book a mini bus - well in advance, I might add - and pick up the out of town guests in Manly on the way through to the wedding. Be helpful and all of that.

You've probably guessed that said plan didn't come off as well as I would have liked.

We waited, and waited, and waited. 20 minutes after it was supposed to arrive, I spat the dummy, rang the other guests, told them to catch a cab by themselves, and called another cab. At this point, T minus 20 minutes. Yep, no problem, cab will be there in 5, we'll have you there in plenty of time, or so the cab company said.

Then the second gremlin reared up. There was an automatic gate to get in and out of the hotel grounds - about 1km away from our room.(Hotel was inside a National Park). And - you guessed it - the gate was on the blink. No cars were getting in or out. Luckily we managed to jag a lift up to the gate (a lot of UP actually, quite a steep hill to get up to it), where luckily a kind and compassionate taxi driver had waited for us.

T minus 10 minutes.

For the first time in my life, I've had to ask a taxi driver to 'step on it' - it was going to be hit or miss as to whether we made it on time. Driver duly stepped, and we made it with about 30 seconds to spare.

The wedding and reception were great, much food and drink - too much drink - consumed, and we stumbled home drunk and happy at some unearthly hour.

Sunday - Hang. Over. Els didn't surface until about 2:30pm, I'd lined my stomach with various pork products and eggs, and was barely holding it together. We were reduced to drinking ginger ale with dinner, which went down fairly tentatively.

And to Monday. Remember that line about mice, men, et al?

Dragged ourselves out of bed at 5am to make the first Manly ferry and then airport train. Nearly another cab snafu, because - you guessed it - the gate was on the fritz again. Made it to the airport in plenty of time for our 8am flight.

Delayed. Maybe 8:30am.

Delayed again.


And again.

Finally - and I was hoping to be at work by 9am - we took off at 11:45am. Finally back into Albury at 1pm - and I consider ourselves lucky that we even did that! The reason was a fairly heavy and localised fog over the airport in Albury. The writing was nearly on the wall when the pilot announced 'we'll be in a holding pattern for a while, there are 5 planes ahead of us queued up to land, and we're still hoping to be able to land at Albury'. For sure I thought we were about to be turned around and sent back to Sydney.

On the plus side, I was at work by about 1:45pm. Sort of 9am, really.

But the trip hadn't finished with us there. About 10pm Monday night, I felt the tickle in my throat, and I knew the writing was on the wall.

All those hours hanging around in airports, I'd picked up something fairly unsavoury, and it has made my life a misery pretty much all week. Have been living on Codral, and even that hasn't been doing much. I had been so looking forward to the bunch ride yesterday - didn't happen. I had a MTB race lined up for this morning - didn't happen. I promised myself a consolation MTB ride this afternoon - gentle, just roll the legs over - didn't happen.

I know I'm doing the right thing by laying off the riding while I'm crook - ('riding is hard, resting is harder') - but I'm climbing the walls here. Haven't sat on a bike since Wednesday a week and a half ago, and I am going stir crazy!

Patience is certainly massively underrated.

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