The End of the Road

Today I took what was probably the last ride on my Norco hybrid bike. Despite the fact it has for the past five months been out of use and cluttering up the hallway of my flat so much it’s nearly made me and my boyfriend come to blows, I must admit I feel a certain sadness now the time to part is nearly upon us.

I’m neither a natural nor particularly keen cyclist, indeed the only reason that I bought the bike in the first place was because I was coerced (or was it me who did the coercing? I forget) into doing a sprint distance triathlon back in 2009. After the first sprint triathlon I did another, and last year I took on the Olympic distance. Throughout it all my trusty bike was on hand, taking me out training no matter what the weather was like outside. We had good times and we had bad times but we never gave up, and we chalked up some surprisingly impressive results over the course of those three races – results I will be proud to share with my children one day, ensuring its legacy lives on.

But since that last race back in September 2012 the bike has been in premature retirement, and spending some of the best years of its life languishing unwanted in a hallway just isn’t fair. We both need to accept that it’s time for us to move on with our lives, separately. I’m pleased to have found a good home for it with a friend who has also now committed to an Olympic triathlon next year – really, neither of us could ask for more.

And so with a heavy heart I bid my bike adieu, and wish it well for its future endeavours, whatever they might be. I’ve given it one final service and am handing it over with love. Bye, Norco, you’ve been great. Ride well and prosper.

Just Be Cool

As important days at work go, today was right up there on the leader board. This morning I presented my PR strategy to the Board of Trustees before jumping in a cab to one of the charity’s projects near Westminster to coordinate a royal visit from HRH The Duke of York. Given the vast amount of stipulations and revisions that I’d had to make to the plan over the past couple of days I was expecting The Duke and his entourage to be a tough crowd, but in actual fact they were lovely. The Duke in particular was warm and friendly, and seemed to take a genuine interest in the project.

Tonight I joined my gorgeous friend Emma in seeing off our beautiful girl Sarah on her Australian adventure from Heathrow airport. We spent several hours drinking Tempranillo in the Three Bells pub and reminiscing about life and love. As ever, my time with her was precious and healing, and it was just so special being able to see Sarah one last time before her flight Down Under.

Before I forget, the following was the (verbatim) announcement on the tube en route to meet my dear friends earlier this evening:

“It’s Friday tomorrow, nearly the weekend. Yeah man.
Word to the driver, there are still some people trying to squeeze onto this ride.
Life is difficult, let’s just keep at peace and be cool.
Yeah man.”

I think Paul would approve.

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Send off

Today is my last day as Communications Manager at the NSPCC. It’s been a rocky sixteen months to say the least, but as I sit here on the verge of saying goodbye I do have fond feelings for the organisation that’s given me the chance to really prove my worth as a communications professional. More than anything I will miss the many lovely people who I’ve met here. It’s funny (or maybe not) how it’s not until the very end that you’re able to see all of the good points shining through the frustrations and problems. But there have been good points as well as the bad, and I have grown stronger as a person as a result of this experience.

I’ve ended on a high with a lovely lunch at the Breakfast Club with some of my colleagues, and am now ready to close this chapter of my life and embrace the challenges ahead. Who knows what the future will bring, it’s exciting and terrifying in equal measure. But if the events of the last few weeks have taught me anything it’s that you only get one shot at life, so you may as well make it your best.

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