Oxford, UK
While I am back in the UK for a few weeks I’ve been making the most of the opportunity to catch up with some old friends, including some members of the Oxford Lightweights Eight that raced against Cambridge in 1989 (which now sounds a frighteningly long time ago).

On Sunday night I stayed with Penny (bow seat) in Hathersage in the Peak District. We compared aches and pains – me after the West Highland Way, she after the Great North Run half marathon. On Monday (after an interview with the Observer Sports mag – taking the form of a one-hour hike (ow) and lunch) I drove south to Oxford to stay with Briony (number seven seat). Next week I hope to drop in on Natalie on the south coast (number three seat).

We’re all a few pounds heavier than in our lightweight days – I’m still trying to shift the extra pounds I gained in anticipation of major weight loss on the Pacific. It’s a lot harder to lose it on dry land, especially as all this socialising seems to involve eating and drinking, so I’m aiming to work it off through exercise instead. It’s not easy, when I’m staying in a different place every night and running is out of the question for now post-WHW. But I have my portable gym – a skipping rope and a bungee cord – and this morning I indulged at the Esporta Club in Oxford.

Where there’s a will there’s a way, and while there’s wobble there’s a will…

[photo: Oxford Lightweights 1989. I’m in the stroke seat.]

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