Being up on Orkney for a week (Monday – Friday), thankfully back in time for the curry night, I thought I’d better make an effort at doing a bit during the week to offset the overeating and over drinking these weeks usually involve. Being the home of Highland Park distillery and the “Pattie supper”, the Kirkwall Hotel roast dinner and the Dil Se Indian Restaurant (this was the one where the local policeman’s son shot the waiter dead in the 80’s) there are way too many temptations on this island for one so easily tempted. So I packed the padded shorts.
By Wednesday there had been a cooked breakfast every day, 2 Pattie suppers had been scoffed for lunch, Chicken Fajitas and the Orkney roast had provided dinner, all washed down with lashings of Stella, Highland Park and Ardbeg and the Dil Se was on the horizon for our Wednesday night’s evening meal. I had to get the shorts out, my only worry being would they still fit me!! N.B. A “pattie” is a mixture of potato, mince and spices which is battered and deep fried. Not very healthy but very tasty.
I headed up to the local gym in Kirkwall, the Pickaquoy Centre, to be informed that I would need to go through an induction to be able to use an exercise bike but there was a spin fit class starting in 2 mins which I could join?!
Thankfully the shorts still fitted me, or I fitted into them and I joined the class of around 30 people, only 3 of which were male. Being almost late, with everyone warming up, I found a bike at the rear of the class, not a bad position, and started spinning the legs. Around 10 mins in memories of the last class I attended in Blackpool during our Conference came flooding back to me, not in a nice way and I decided not to look at the wall clock which was “tock ticking” away (see Stu’s Spice Blog) very slowly. The female instructor put us through our paces of hill climb simulation, flat roads and sprints and I found a myself a couple of distractions, or a couple of pairs of distractions to take my mind off my painful legs.
It was a good session and helped me to enjoy a guilt free South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken and naan bread in the Dil Se that night. The combination of spin class and curry was too much for me though and I found myself tucked up in the shawl and sleeping for the unprecedented time of 10.40!
After a lovely flight back to Edinburgh with great views over the snow topped hills and the approach up the Forth, it was time to get ready for our curry night.
Chris and I picked up Shaun and Corinne dropped us off at the Monty. Chris was looking forward to signing up for the Warriors for the 2013 season and even more to the curry which he was hoping big Stu was going to pay for as Chris’ signing on fee. Big Stu was already in the Monty and we had a healthy 13 in situ by about 8pm. Unfortunately David Mullin was still recovering from the Noro virus and Stevie Haining was busy trying to fit far too many things into a 24 hour day. It was good to meet Willie, Stevie Potter’s brother-in-law who will also be joining us for a few pedals / events.
A couple of pints later we made our way to our sponsors restaurant, Spice in the village in East Kilbride. Abby met us and led us through a very busy restaurant to our table. Seated and Cobras in place we put in orders and got started on the popadoms and dips. Abby had informed the staff to look after us and they duly obliged. We were treated to vegetable, chicken and fish pakora, haggis samosas, chicken chaats, garlic mushrooms and keema kebabs. So starters finished!!! we awaited our main courses. My thoughts at this point were that I may witness a first, where Willie Rosling could leave some food on his plate, unable to finish it. I still live in hope. Having had more starters than a gym in January we awaited the mains.
Bert and I had decided to share a Garlic Chilli Chicken (if it’s not broke don’t fix it) and a Lamb Biryani. They duly arrived and tasted every bit as good as the many starters we had already demolished. The staff ensured that our mouths didn’t spontaneously ignite from all the chillies by making sure we had plenty of cobra on hand but I did think that our waiter was having a laugh when he produced the sweet menus. Where exactly did he think we were going to put them?
With one sponsors wares finished it was time for another of our sponsors to produce their wares. Ian Hockey obliged by opening a rather large box containing about 20 Big Bobble Hats, which he distributed to all in attendance. Looking rightfully proud to receive the first of their official team kit, the Warriors posed for a photograph with a Spice / Jaegerbomb courtesy of Abby. Thanks to Ian and his wife Tamara, who owns the Big Bobble Hat company for their support. Tamara has recently treated herself to a new road bike and intends to join us for a few pedals and also for the Sportif (I think).
Abby then informed us that one of his customers would also like to sponsor us. Stu and I went over to be introduced to Stewart Brown of All Secure Limited who pledged to donate £250 towards sponsoring our jerseys. I took a picture of Stu and Stewart and we thanked him for his very generous donation. Within the next 15 mins or so we also received another 2 cash donations of £40 and £20. We were being inundated with cash coming from all directions.
We headed for the door but decided to have another pint before moving on and were press ganged into performing the gangnam style dance whilst still wearing our new team issue Big Bobble Hats. Jesus, those hats are warm and I wouldn’t recommend dancing in them!
Si, Bertie and Andy had made a bolt for the door and managed to miss the dancing. The majority of the customers left over the next hour or so and Abby got the Curryoke mikes out. Having all successfully murdered a couple of songs each, with Do They Know It’s Xmas battered to death by Shaun and Chris with a couple of particularly blunt mikes and some of these songs performed wearing decidedly dodgy headgear (sailors hats and leather caps) we wandered out into the cold evening air in search of a taxi several whiskies later.
Shaun, Chris and I got into a cab and Stu and Ally put their new headgear to good use on their stagger back to Stu’s hoose. Looking out the taxi window I thought they should be renamed big wobble hats. Apparently old habits do die hard and they had another couple of Stella’s each when they got in (greedy bar stewards).
I couldn’t believe it when we got in the taxi to find that our driver had also been sponsored by Big Bobble Hats and even had the same colours as us!! And I thought we were special!! I know that I’m special anyway because lot’s of people have told me over the years that I have my needs and that I’m special. Dafty, Mr Special, then proceded to leave his phones in the taxi after taking a picture of the driver and Mrs Dafty was not best pleased when, having been woken up at 3.45am when I put the light on to read my Bradley Wiggins book, (except the words wouldn’t stay still enough on the pages, and there were several pages) the taxi company phoned at 6.40am to confirm that the driver had handed them into the office.
Saturday proved to be a rather quieter affair, with the exception of Mrs Dafty’s “I’m tired. I didn’t sleep well” comments, and little constructive work done. Speaking of which big Stu has been doing some sterling work with the kit design, collecting the various sponsors logos and changing them into vector format, so well done big man.
Stu and I will be heading down to Spice to see Abby and Stewart on Thursday night. A thoroughly enjoyable night and great to get such a healthy turnout. I heard from Willie Roslin today that Scott Hammill has signed up for the Scottish Bike Show Sportif and will be joining us in preparation for it. Another welcome addition to an ever increasing band of Warriors. I managed to sign up for the Etape today but missed the “freebie” entry and have to raise £300 for their charity. Every day’s a schoolday.
Hope to see you all for a pedal soon. Cheers Gilly.