Sunday, September 06, 2009

Where we last left off, and the Richmond to Windsor bike ride 2009

Sorry for my brief absence there - I was off doing holiday things and generally enjoying myself. It won't happen again, I promise.

So where were we? Ah yes! I'd been to Kingston, had an awesome haircut, bought disgruntled kitteh Snow Leopard for my iMac, and utterly failed in my attempts to purchase an iPhone 3GS. Harumph? Harumph indeed. And so we move on to Wednesday…

I returned to Kingston on Wednesday because I had an appointment with my financial advisor. Unfortunately, as I was to discover, this was not the financial advisor I'd been dealing with for the last few years, who was quite frankly a dude, not only for offering sound financial advise, but also because we spent at least half the time we should've been talking about how my money could be working for me by talking about music, books, and whether I should blow all my cash on a Ferrari just as I'm about to hit retirement age. But we'll come to that in due course.

Soon after I arrived in Kingston I found myself at a crossing. Some workmen have been digging up part of the Kingston one-way system, and so someone in their infinite wisdom had decided to assign three police officers to the crossing (I say three - two of them were those community support officers - y'know, the ones that get the uniform but none of the official powers; a bit like when I sit at home dressed as Superman). As I stepped up to the threshold of the crossing one of the officers turned to face me and said, with a totally straight face I might add: "Good morning, we are here to help you cross the road."

Now, because they've blocked off one of the lanes of the one-way system, that leaves about a three-metre distance to cross. And I'd like to think that of all the things I've learnt in my life, crossing the road is one of the things I've pretty much nailed. I was tempted to say something like "what - do I look like I'm 80 or something!?" but I ended up doing what quite simply came naturally.

I laughed at her.

And then, as a rather considerable gap appeared in the traffic, I strolled across to the other side. I was sorely tempted to whistle and put a jaunty step in my stride, but seeing as the police officer on the other side of the road was actually holding people back from crossing, ever-conscious of the fact that there was a car about 20 seconds away, I thought I might be pushing my luck a bit.

Anyway, the financial advisor. Aside from the fact that he blatantly glazed over if I dared mentioned anything that didn't directly relate to a question he asked (unlike the previous guy who actively encouraged my banal conversational habits), it was all going reasonably well - until he popped a most unexpected question:

"What would you do [i.e. how would you generate an income] if you had a terminal illness?"

My gut answers were "probably cry a bit" and "not really give a shit about where the money's coming from." He didn't like those, though, and instead tried to peddle me an outrageously expensive form of insurance to cover me (I swear, they offer you insurance for everything these days; I'm waiting for someone to offer me insurance to cover my insurance). Countering swifty, I made my excuses and left.

Definitely ain't keen on this guy.

On my way back to the car park, I again tried to buy an iPhone 3GS, and again FAILED.


I got up Thursday morning and immediately started calling around O2 stores to see if I could hunt down an iPhone 3GS. Unfortunately, over the course of an hour and a half, none of them bothered to pick up, which as Marcosy pointed out, is somewhat ironic for a company that's trying to sell you a phone. By midday I was bored and a bit fed-up. I decided to take myself off to the cinema to see an early afternoon showing of (500) Days of Summer.

Half an later I was in Kingston again. Being a bit early, I thought I'd swing by the O2 store in person. I needn't have bothered.

"Have you got any iPh-"



"Is it an upgrade or pay-as-you-go?"

Ah-ha! This sounded promising.

"An upgrade."

"Oh. I was going to say you could try the Apple Store, but they only sell pay-as-you-go."

I harumphed, and walked out. But something niggled … and I decided to try the Apple Store anyway. Upon entering, I helpfully bumped into the chappy who sold me my first iPhone in February last year.

"Have you got any iPhones?"

"Yes, but only the 32gb o-"

I almost grabbed hold of him and started jumping up and down like a special.

"THAT'S WHAT I WANT! Wait a sec, though - it's an upgrade. Do you do upgrades?"

"Yes, why wouldn't we? Get in line behind that guy over there and my colleague will sort you out [editor's note: not like *that* you filthy-minded filthbags]."

I got in line and waited to be sorted out.

A few minutes later I was merrily perched on a stool while a genial genius in a light-blue t-shirt went about his business of sorting me out with a 32gb iPhone 3GS. Amusingly, he was mightily impressed with the condition of my old iPhone, claiming that he'd never seen one in such good condition and that it looked brand new. He even called a colleague over to see how pristine it was. They were rather taken by it. So I offered to sell it to them. They declined, though I could tell they were tempted for a moment.

Anyway, the upshot of it all was that while I missed the movie, I finally got my iPhone 3GS. And it's soooo pretty!

Oh, and I told the Apple guy that O2 were trying to do them out of business - HA!


Friday was spent back in Kingston, albeit this time on one of my traditional all-day shopping extravaganzas with Sparky Ma. It was well cool, as usual. And, unbelievably, the next time we go we'll be Christmas shopping - how mental is that!?

Saturday morning I went to sweaty yoga, where the teacher congratumalated me on my toe stands (which I only started doing because he forced me to a couple of months back), and then went to see District 9 with Big Bro at the cinema. Highly recommended, people, highly recommended (that's the film, although hanging out with Big Bro is always a plus too!), if only because we spent the rest of the day shouting "get away from me, filthy prawn!" in appalling South African accents.

Oh, and I made a new friend in the evening.

I love the iPhone 3GS' video capabilities!


And finally, today I did the annual Richmond to Windsor bike ride! Like last year, I was flying solo, but unlike last year (fortunately) it wasn't bucketing it down the entire day. It was a bit chilly in places, admittedly, but on the whole I can't complain. I won't go into too much detail, because nothing terribly exciting happened, but I accomplished the 39 mile route in 3 hours 38 minutes, arriving at the finish line at 12:58 which is pretty respectable bearing in mind I stopped a few times along the way to give my arse a rest from my saddle. I will admit that I struggled a bit en route, which I put down to only having been out once since last year's ride, but bizarrely I coped with the infamous Callow Hill so much better than I ever have before! Go figure. On the plus side, it was nice to see so many people taking part - last year's event felt like it was on a much smaller scale than previous years, due in part, I expect, to the atrocious weather, so it was nice to see a return to form this year.

Aside from that, I got chatting to a guy who looked remarkably like Tron Man, although his lycra was rather more colourful, albeit equally hauntingly taut, and his bike unfortunately lacked the ability to turn 90 degree corners in the blink of an eye, once more heard the wit and wisdom of the Shatner-esque compare, and for the first time ever on the bike ride I got a medal!

I'm now an award-winning cyclist, runner, and go-kart driver! Multi-talented you say?

I was home by quarter to three, upon which time I soaked in a nice warm bath before plonking myself down in front of the telly. All in all then, it was a rather good day - aside from the fact my arse *really* hurts. Anyone got any ice?


CyberPete said...

Too many innuendos and rude comments in my head..

I suppose it would be kool to go to the cinema with your brother but I just can't help to think it would be a little like hanging out with a celebrity looky likey rather than the real deal?

Congrats on the bike ride and medal. You rock!

*skips off to find pom poms and cheerleading outfit*

Ponita in Real Life said...

Sounds like you've had a rather stupendous week, Tim, what with the iPhone and medal and all. I am sure the tender arse will sort itself out over the next couple of days.

A bag of frozen peas works well, you know... just don't eat them after.

Very cute fox! We have lots of those here as well, along with bunnies and skunks and such.

Dinah said...

I do have ice, but it's in my drink. Sorry!

Hooray for your iPhone!

I have some ridiculous forms of insurance, and I've turned down some even weirder ones!

Nice medal!

Inexplicable DeVice said...


*shocked at Dinah's rudeness - Doesn't she know what 'medal' is Brit-speak for? *

RAWR! Foxy.

Cute fox, too.

Dinah said...

No, but now I have looked it up and I am shocked -SHOCKED!- that such language would be on this blog.

Tim said...

Cyberpete - We don't really look alike at all; I don't think you'd be able to tell we're related, actually.

Found your outfit yet?

Ponita - Yeah, it was a good week, thanks! My bum's feeling a bit better now; that'll teach me not to do any practice rides, eh?

I'm glad we don't have skunks here. I don't think I could cope with skunks.

Dinah - That's alright, it's the thought that counts!

Inexplicable Device - I don't know what medal is Brit-speak for…

Dinah - Do I want to Google it, or is it best ignored?

CyberPete said...

I can't find my outfit. I think IDV must hav stolen it.

How are you liking your new iPhone?

Tim said...

Loving it - the iPhone, that is, not the fact that IDV is out there somewhere wearing a cheerleader's outfit that's several sizes too small for him.

CyberPete said...

You must show us what it can do.

Tim said...

But you've got one too!

CyberPete said...

Not an S. Mine is the plain 3G model

Tara said...

Wow, is that a fox in your yard? I didn't have the sound on, but how cool! Nice vid!

Tim said...

Cyberpete - Really? Poopy!

Tara - Yeah! Well, actually it's Ma and Pa's garden - the fox comes round quite a lot and is pretty chilled out with us now; in fact, there's a whole family - this was one of the cubs. He'll back off if you get really close, but then follow you a bit as you walk off. He walked into the kitchen a while back - Sparky Ma isn't too keen on encouraging that!

CyberPete said...

I know, I'm considering getting a 3GS, my evil brother offered to buy my old one.

Tim said...

Oooo … a nice offer!

Dinah said...

According to what I could find in google, it means something like you're flashing out of your pants. I mean trousers. I think. But it's not in common usage as of 1980.

Tim said...

Really?! Good lord, that's outrageous!!