The all singing, all dancing blog of Alex Guite

Monday, August 21, 2006

No time, no blog

OK, OK, woah.
It's been almost two months since I last updated. I'd like to claim that I took my customary July blog break, but I've almost missed August as well so that excuse would be bogus.
It's not as if nothing has happened either.

I started July in the London suburb of Harrow. Incidentally I also started life in the London suburb of Harrow, but soon persuaded my parents to move out. I'd call that a good move. Besides enjoying some of Harrow's tourist attractions I was mainly there to attend the Common Purpose Frontrunner course. If you check out the link you can see a picture of me 'graduating' from the programme (I'm the one in yellow looking cool with my eyes closed). I'd been pretty worried that getting 30 young leaders together in one room was a recipe for disaster (too many cooks spoiling the broth and what not), but it was in fact an awesome, and more importantly inspiring, four days. I don't think I'll ever forget the great oratory I witnessed on the night bus at four in the morning on the way back from central London.

On the July Saturday closest to the full moon I decided not to go to sleep and head out in to the countryside at night. However instead of getting involved in some ritualistic chanting ceremony (the invitations were tempting and their proposed chants were excellent), I cycled 195km overnight on the Dunwich Dynamo. It's a completely unsupported turn-up-and-go ride. It is a cycling rite of passage. Although getting drenched at half two in the morning was pretty sweet, the best part of the ride was the collective support. I need to thank the cyclists who helped me when two of my spokes broke somewhere in the middle of rural England, and the other cyclists who later rescued me when my rear tyre ripped. I also took some moral support at one o'clock in the morning from a guy with a crazy-awesome beard. He had a refreshing perspective on the challenge of cycling 200km without sleep. The next day, whenever I closed my eyes, all I could see was the sight of a train of flashing red LEDs stretching into the distance (note: this was subject to me not immediately falling asleep).

Red trail lights

Another significant event which has occurred to me recently is that I got food poisoning of some sort. Unfortunately there is no back story here, I didn't eat any cool foods or try any dangerous fish (I'll have herring thank you very much). I was simply going about my normal business and started asking people "Is it cold in here, or is it just me?". It was just me. So I spent the next five days hanging out with my toilet. You notice a lot of things when you have food poisoning. Had you ever noticed how the number 49 bus doesn't have toilets on board? The five days were quite miserable and pretty shitty. There, I think that sticks it to all those nay-sayers who said I couldn't blog about this subject sensitively.