Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Boys at 8 Months cont...

How's this pose?

Hey dude get out of my light, I'm going to look so cool in this photo

Sid, pass me a beer will you.

How many more photos are they going to take? Hang on let me see if I can grab the camera.

My turn Seb, I'll have it.

Now these are the sort of babies Mummy and Daddy dreamed of having.

The Boys at 8 Months

A proud Nani with her grandsons in their new chick pulling kit

The boys putting Daddy through his paces

Now tell me again, how exactly does that camera work?

Hey parents, it's time to get down from here isn't it?

Uncle Ranjan getting some practice in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ancestors and Rellies

Now let it be known that this rather cheerful and contented looking couple are my parents. Furthermore, I believe that we should all aspire to be as cheerful and contented as they look when we retire and/or reach their age.

Looking good guys - stay with the programme - it's working

Well knock me over with a feather. This is my baby niece, Kirsty. She was born shortly after I went on my travels around the world in November 1989 (I recall that I was in Las Palmas at the time).

I think you will agree that she has turned into a gorgeous young woman. (Be warned though, there will be 24 hour security when she visits and her cousins Sid and Seb will dribble on you if you get too close).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mummy and the Boys

Just after the boys turned 7 months.

Shilpa and I often take the little chaps to La Bodega for a Full Monty breakfast (the boys just get milk). Usually on a Saturday or Sunday after my run.

On this occasion we discovered that they had high chairs and we decided to see how the little fellas would fair - they did jolly well and seemed to rather enjoy it - for now at least.

Shilpa is now in Thailand with the twins. Visiting their Nany and Nana (Grandma and Grandad). Being spoilt and getting loads of attention no doubt.

Miri Triathlons 2006

Miri started off with great expectations. I had a game of golf on Friday as soon as I arrived followed by a sprint distance triathlon on Saturday (650 metre swim, 20k cycle and 5k run) and the Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday.

I turned up at a magnificent golf course that has been sculptured out of a swamp - gorgeous. I unwrapped my brand new X18 Callaway driver and off we went. I played pretty poorly but enjoyed myself. Or at least I did until the storm blew in. That left me very wet and for only the second time in Asia freezing cold. I had to have a hot bath to warm up again.

Went for dinner with the gang, Mr Chan, Kevin, Eugene, Stephanie, Beverly, Wei, Sheenie to name but a few. A really great atmosphere was in the air, a real holiday spirit, it was great. After dinner the girls decided that they needed a sugar rush so off to find a McDonald's Sundae it was. Unfortunately, we had the issue of a flat tyre to deal with first. It was clear that this was going to be a slow painful process so I went for the easy/quick option and changed it for them myself. A little while later there were 8 people somehow squeezed into a Proton Saga only to find McD's closed - KFC and Coffee Bean provided the sugar content necessary and then it was off to bed.

The next morning the ocean was far too rough and infested with jellyfish, so the race was relocated to the nearby Marina. A great location I have to say. I had a good warm up, Mr Chan then gave us one of his classic briefings (to supplement the one I attended the day before - you'll see the significance later) and then the gun went and the race was underway.

I had what I considered was a good swim for me, on the bike I soon caught Don Khor before the big hill and Kevin Chan at the top. Kevin, myself and later Stephanie all worked together until we hit the hill again on the way back. I think they must have stopped for ice-cream or something though, as that was the last I saw of them.

Out on the run I saw that Iwata San was just a few seconds ahead but rapidly pulling away. I knew I'd have to accept second place at best. Then it all went very wrong; as we came to the exit to the Marina everyone in front of me took a right and disappeared. Mr. Chan had clearly said in his briefings that we were to take a left and stay WITHIN the Marina complex. Not only that but I could clearly see a nearby drinks station. I ran to the drinks station in semi panic asked "Where to go? Where to go?". They shrugged there shoulders and said they didn't know but everyone else had gone out of the complex so I should too (even though they knew there was another drinks station manned just 500 metres up the road).

I simply assumed the course had been shortened at the last minute (such things often happen in Malaysia) but as I turned out of the Marina towards the hotel and finishing line a marshal physically blocked my way and insisted that I run in the opposite direction. Now I knew it was screwed up. But hey what the hell the weather was nice.

I followed the bike course to the nearby turnaround a kilometre or so away and came back as everyone else in front of me had done. In the meantime the slower runners had been directed to run the correct course!!!! Effectively 3 different courses had been run, all more or less the same length. I resigned myself to the fact that an impending disqualification was looming and was accepting that although it would have been harsh under the circumstances it was the most logical and likely outcome. As it happened it turned out that we all ran more or less the same distance and the leaders would have been clearly the leaders regardless of the course so the results stood and I got my second place in the over 40's category (4 races in a row I've been a bridesmaid with a second place).

Dinner was another Chinese restaurant and Wei and I took advantage of Miri's very inexpensive beers and put the world to rights - not too smart considering the 7:30 race start in the morning. As it happens I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and woke up without a hangover (we only had 3 1/2 beers each but it did seem a lot the night before a race).

The gun went at around 7:30 and off we went for the somewhat long swim probably about 1.7k judging by everyone’s times. I felt very strong and in control and had a good swim, this was confirmed when I came out of the water with Fiona Lim and then heard the evergreen Don Khor's name announced AFTER I'd got to my bike - now that's a first.

Started off on the bike, powered up the big hill again and headed out along the same (albeit extended course as the day before). I didn't feel as strong as I should but some days are just like that - perhaps the beer did have an effect. Some guy started drafting me but wasn't really strong enough to do much work. Then a double-decker luxury bus came by, air-conditioning, reclining seats, movies on demand... his name is SHAHROM (a world class duathlete for those of you that don't know). I jumped on his wheel and got towed along at an amazing pace. I did my best to help with the work but my contribution was shameful and embarrassingly small (sorry Shahrom but I promise I did all that I could). The rain and the wind started piling down and it wasn't very pleasant, until that is, we came across Iwata San and Kevin's group. Shahrom put the power down and we steamed past them at 50+kph, before they could jump on our back wheels we were gone.

Back up and over the hill, into transition, a little under 40k in 56:30 (Shahrom even faster of course). Quick transition and out onto the run (I was sure of the course this time, no more mistakes), Shahrom came past me like I was standing still within the first k but thank goodness he's not in my age-group. It was just a case of trying to run down the guys that were in my age-group, who I knew were still in front and keeping Iwata behind. Alas, Iwata caught me at 5k and the other 3 guys ahead of me were never seen again. The result was my fastest ever Olympic Distance triathlon, probably one of my best performances but my worst position in over a year with a 5th place. Ironic but it didn't detract from the enjoyment or the feeling of accomplishment one little bit - I loved the venue, I loved both races, the people in Miri are just so nice and friendly and of course my fellow athletes and friends are just amazing - you'll see me again in Miri next year for sure.

The prize-giving was fun too. Here's Sheenie and Wei looking like the perfect couple if onluy I hadn't been there.
This is me collecting my dosh and medal for second place in the Sprint.

The flight home was all a bit silly. I think they'll make me sit by myself in future.
My word, is my tongue that long, I even surprised myself!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Boys - 7 Months and Already Playing for England

Check out the shirts - Thanks John and Emma.

The little super stars.

Mad little dancers too!

Or just mad!

This ones a bit worrying - they're looking a bit spaced out.

But still cute as anything