Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Same as it ever was...

Some things never change. History repeats itself. New becomes old becomes new becomes old again.

I'm never sure whether any of the above is a good thing or a bad thing. People change, little by little, but some factors will always stay the same. It's a great little faculty of life, and it means that if there was something you liked about someone when you first met them, it will probably always be there, ready to make you smile at a moments notice. Unfortunately, the same goes for the things you don't like about someone. It's a bit like Feng Shui, only with people instead of furniture. Get it right, and a jolly time can be had by all. Get it wrong, and the Dragon of Unhappiness might well bite you in the proverbials.

That said, when you've spent the time running up to an event worrying about who will be there, and what they'll do that will make you want to cheerfully slap them, it takes the wind out of your sails (in a thoroughly pleasant, positive manner) when everything is great, the atmosphere's utterly positive and it genuinely is good to see people again.

Sometimes it's nice to be wrong about people.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Rain in Spain...

...has been falling mainly on the Raid Bimbache Extrem 2008.

For those missing the point of this comment, one of Opportunity's little sojourns into my life has been the chance to come over to Segovia to report for Sleepmonsters on the Raid Bimbache. She was definitely smiling at me this time - a huge, wide beautiful ear-to-ear grin, much like I've had for a lot of the week.

I've had a blast this week, taking pics, writing until the early hours of the morning and just enjoying the feeling or being a racer at a race, but not racing. And I've met some more great people: The Spanish press guys; the marshals; Fred from XPD Portugal; Anne-Marie, Angela and the Raid Nature 46 team; Sukhana (I think that's how you spell it) and the Wilsa Helly Hansen team. Just a great bunch of friendly, enthusiastic people. Emotionally it's been fairly intense - at various intervals I've wished I was racing, been glad I wasn't, been happy, sad, confused, elated, frustrated. The typical Englishman abroad, I speak no Spanish whatsoever, so it's all been a great learning experience and often an exercise in polite silence.

So, to Opportunity, I offer my greatest thanks. To the organisation of Bimbache, to Sleepmonsters, and to the kindred spirits I've met, my thanks and respect. And to the whole world at large, a wry smile and a tipped glass.

Adios, amigos.

Pyro, and all the available connotations and mispronunciations thereof.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


They say 'Opportunity knocks'. I agree, kind of.
Opportunity can be a good and a bad thing. Sometimes, Opportunity comes screaming down the garden path in a blazing '69 Chevy, hammers through the door and drags you away kicking and screaming to a semi-inevitable conclusion. More often than not, Opportunity pauses at the threshold, taps timidly on the frame, and carries on peacefully by if you don't see her immediately. Such is the way of the girl.

I've been lucky with a number of Opportunity's short sojourns into my life recently, and I've been unlucky with others. Recently, I've been able to catch Opportunity as she stood on my porch, and she's smiled at me and some things have been very good as a consequence. The key, I think, is to look and listen for her footfalls, to pay attention when she whispers to you, and to speak with people who she holds as friends. They're the ones through whom Opportunity makes herself known, and if you're to have any flirtation with her of your own, you have to know, like, and be, the kind of person she knows will take up her half-formed dreams and ideas, and carry them to their destination.

People have said I'm "jammy", that I'm "flukey", that I've had "all the breaks". No. Wrong. But unlike many, when Opportunity whispered her sweet almost-nothings in my ear, I was listening.

A happy, philosophical Pyro.