All entries for Monday 05 January 2009
January 05, 2009
This year, like last year, we planned to be away from home visiting various relatives between Christmas and New Year. This year, like last, we didn’t try booking a cattery place early enough to actually get one and so had a furry travelling companion for the week. Again as last year, some of us, including Smudge, went to Liverpool and stayed there for the week, while others carried on up to Scotland for part of the time. 2 hours in the car is more than enough for Smudge – taking him up to Scotland is way too far.
The car journey went about the same as last year. He was a bit whingey for the first 20-30 minutes, but then settled down and slept for the rest of the trip. We bought some spray stuff that’s meant to calm them down for long car journeys, but to be honest I’m not sure it made much difference. Might not bother next time.
Last year we we kept him in the house the whole time. This year we decided that wasn’t going to work and that we needed to let him out. He’s definitely an outdoor cat and would not like being stuck inside for a week. That was a bit scary at first. Not only was I worried that he might get lost and not make it back, but I was also worried about the numerous other, bigger, cats in neighbouring gardens, all of whom are used to my parents garden being a cat-free zone. They might not take to its new temporary resident.
I needn’t have worried about any of it. Smudge is a little timid still and didn’t stay out too long at first, but by the end of the week he would go out for 3 or 4 hours at a time and only come back when hungry or tired. His timidity also meant he didn’t try taking on the bigger cats, and so avoided any nasty confrontations. Indoors, Smudge took a day or two to get used to a house with twice as many people, and twice as much noise, but in the end he settled nicely and seemed as happy as he is at home. He even coped with the attentions of an 18-month-old. Apart from the tail-pulling – didn’t like that bit!
I’m glad we took him. It was actually nice to have him around. And it all worked better than I expected. If we do the same travelling again next year we’ll try and book a cattery place for him, but if we get it wrong again I won’t be too worried. Travelling with a cat is possible…
I had 193 miles to fit into December before the 23rd to reach my annual target and managed it by the 18th, which was quite pleasing. Otherwise, December was reasonably uneventful.
I went on to a total of 3034 miles in the year and almost 192 hours of cycling, for an average speed of 15.2mph. That’s a nice improvement on last year’s 14.6mph. Of those 3000-odd miles, 1700 were commuting miles, 1130 were done during my lunchtime excursions, and the remaining almost 170 were just random pottering about. June was my best month this year, with just over 400 miles – my highest monthly total ever.
As well as the mileage target I did aim to fit in a few longer rides this year, specifically at least one 50-mile ride a quarter. I managed that too, with one of those rides being the 68-mile Macride in September. That’s my longest ride so far, and I was quite pleased when I could still walk afterwards! My knees held up pretty well. Makes me think I should aim for something move challenging this year. More on that later. I also raised £500 for Macmillans through that event – thanks to all who sponsored me.
All-in-all my best cycling year yet. Further and faster than previous years. Time to start thinking about what to aim for this year…