Sunday, 25 December 2011

A Kiwi Christmas

Gidday! I’ve been quiet on the blog front, but that’s not to say a lot hasn’t happened in the meantime. I am currently in the south island of New Zealand lapping up the heat of the sunshine capital, Nelson. I have a month off uni over Christmas and thought why not pop down under and get a nice block of warm weather training in the legs... (thank you kindly student loan). So far I have had a pretty cushy off season as the weather was kind to me for the 3 months I spent training in Bath prior to coming here.  I've enjoyed getting in some big miles in and around Wales, Cotswolds, Somerset etc and lots of gym time too; Bath is a great area for training and conveniently only a 4 hour ride away from a home cooked Sunday roast!

The main reason I am writing a blog is to procrastinate from writing a physiology assignment!  During freshers week I made the decision to change degrees to allow me to focus on my cycling. I switched from studying sports science to sports performance, although less academic it is much more flexible and still relevant for where I want to go career wise. I have to put up with stick from my housemates, as a sports performance student it is the norm to rock up to lectures in trackies or compression tights, with a protein shake and pasta salad for half time! I get back to the UK on the 16th Jan, I will then have a couple of weeks in Bath before jetting off to the States to kick start my 2012 season. Exciting times ahead- all to be revealed in the NY. However this means I am pretty much home schooling myself. I have to complete semester 2 via distance learning, skype tutorials etc… will see how that pans out! I will miss uni for sure, although sharing a flat with 16 people can be interesting to say the least, there has been enough flat drama over the past term to inspire a new soap opera!

I had a lovely kiwi Christmas yesterday with my adopted NZ fam! Not going to lie it does not feel like Christmas. We went berry picking the day before which is considered a festive thing to do here, needless to say it didn’t make me feel Christmassy! There is a lot less fuss and general commercialism here; no panic buying because the shops are closing for 1 whole day or camping outside stores to be the first through the doors for the Boxing Day sales. There aren’t even any Christmas lights up in town this year as they blew their budget on the rugby world cup! I managed to postpone opening my stocking until the evening so I could unwrap it with my family on skype when they woke up on Christmas morning; even Bertie our black lab opened his!

The Tour de Vineyards, a 5 day stage race starts tomorrow. Which will be hard going coming out of a big block of base miles, but I don’t expect to be hitting top form for a fair few more months so it’s all good training for now. Loving the simple life again; eat, sleep, train (tan) repeat. The weather has been divine, and I am no longer looking pommy! I was not in the best of moods stepping off the plane last week to news of severe flooding; massive landslides and evacuations! (See the photo's below) Luckily it all cleared up the next day and has been bliss since.

Anyways enough from me…   HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 


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