Great fun, a little pressure, watching all the races and feeling useful made it an almost perfect week at HRR. Graham was in the top boat for Upper Thames and one of the favourites to win the Thames Challenge Cup. The week went according to plan, until Griffin stole the show in the final. Very sad for all the Upper Thames supporters as the guys had put their all into this season, but it was not to be. I always think you learn more from losses than you do from wins, so hopefully they will take something valuable away from the experience.
I was very happy to have my good friend Mirka Knapkova rowing my boat at Henley Royal Regatta, The London Olympic 2012 1x champion had a great Henley regatta and won the women's singles event! I'm sure my boat was very happy to be rowed so nicely, and fast!
So my week at Henley was followed by my first couple of weeks at work. First. Ever! I must say, I loved it, and still do! I love the challenge, there is so much to learn and so much to do. I've always liked being busy. Of course starting a new job you feel thrown in at the deep end but I came home every day just brimming with enthusiasm so I'm pretty pleased about that. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much, or for the days to pass as quickly as they do. It has certainly left me with no regrets about leaving rowing when I did.
Hasn't it been a beautiful summer? I don't remember having a summer like this since I was a child on the beaches of Guernsey. Getting to spend two and a half weeks in Guernsey was a real treat, and something I fear will not be repeated for another few years.
My parents took some time off work, I was able to spend time seeing friends who I never get to see enough of, and we managed lots of swims!
|Mum and the beautiful bride to be, Lauren Martel|
|Mum, Dad and I walked down to Moulin Huet for many swims over the couple weeks I had at home|
We also took part in the Rocquaine Regatta! Always a great event, and we couldn't resist entering the dingy race, approx. 200m long around some buoys in the bay. Graham got tangled up with a local on the start line, and ended up doing a 360 degree spin before he managed to get going. Despite a heroic attempt to get back on terms with the leaders, the course was simply not long enough and he finished a respectable third place. I fared better, kept out of trouble and managed to bring home a shiny gold medal, which we repeated in the doubles race. I felt very inadequate though as Graham and I both had one oar each and as I am obviously much weaker than he is, so all my calls were just telling him to go light/ease off/stop rowing in an attempt for us to go in a straight line. Lots of laughs though and we made it back to the shore first, so we both went home winners :) funny how you never lose the competitive spirit!
|tired after a day at the Roquaine Regatta|
I was so pleased that a good friend of mine, Sarah, from Jersey, was able to make it over to Guernsey when I told her when I'd be home. We don't manage to see each other very often but it's always like we've never been away when we do! We spent a gorgeous day in Herm with mum and dad. The sea always looks tropical but I assure you, it is more like the arctic when you first step in! After a couple minutes your body goes quite numb, and then it is lovely.
|Dad, Sarah and Mum coming up the beach at Belvoir|
The next day both Alex and I were back on flights to the UK, Alex to Bath to start his final year at Bath Spa studying Sociology and Creative Writing, and me to Henley to do a little more work! Two and a half weeks later though, we were all off again. This time on a family cycling holiday, plus Graham, to Lake Constance (Swiss/German/Austrian).
Four days to cycle the 150miles round the lake meant that we did a fair bit of cycling each day but we were also able to stop in lots of different towns along the way, have swims in the lake and breaks for coffee and ice cream. It was a stunning place and pretty flat so I would definitely recommend it for virgin-cycle-holidayists! There are cycle paths almost the entire way round, well signposted, and the company, Radweg-Reisen, who supplied our bikes and transported our luggage each day from hotel to hotel did a great job.
|Stein am Rhein|
|We passed through the German town of Bodman on our way!|
|Graham showing off his photography skills|
|Drying off our beach towels on an ice cream stop|
|The Rhein falls|
|Last swim in the lake.|
Now that I am back, I have officially started work now! I was fortunate to be able to ease myself into it, get a feel for work whilst still enjoying the holidays we had planned. Next on the agenda is the Frankfurt International Book Fair in October. Lots of work to do before we get there though!