Hop Along Bond
Unlike the motorway services back in blighty, places like Bruchsal actually have some halfway decent food on offer. We all selected our food and then commandeered a corner of the restaurant.
“How's the ankle Drew.” Josh enquired as we tucked into our food.
I held my leg out to show everyone, “quite swollen and a bit painful.”
“So what happened to Hans?” Gret asked.
“Apart from losing second place?” Tali added.
“Dad? Any idea?”
“The Braubecker lad?” Dad confirmed and at my nod went on, “well they gave him a time penalty for today that effectively put him in last place.”
“Is that all like,“ Josh opined, “he coulda killed Drew man!”
“They've given him a censure on his licence and a €500 fine.”
“So he'll be riding the rest of the series?” Roni enquired.
“There's nothing to stop him,” Dad advised, “mind you after Josh had a ‘chat' he might be less likely to try anything dirty with you guys in a hurry.”
“You spoke to him Josh?” Roni pushed.
“Well like we had a bit of a discussion about things that we didn't agree on like.”
“Anyway,” Dad interrupted that line of discussion, “ I just want to say a few words.”
“Bleh!” I groaned.
“I won't be long, we need to get back on the road after all. Firstly, well done, Tali, I'm going to leave you as captain for the next round, I'm sure Drew in particular would have taken different decisions but I'm proud of you girl, you kept everyone in there which for today was the right way to go.
Clearly both Bremen and today you got results which most team managers could only dream of – enjoy it while you can, the other teams won't let it happen again, you can be sure of that. I'll talk to everyone during the week, you still have weaknesses, Drew's impetuousness, Gret, you need to believe in yourself a bit more and remember that across the summer Drew won't be with you. So give yourselves a round of applause, then we need to get back on the road.”
We did as instructed, the adults joining in, our noise drawing attention to us from the other diners.
The drive home was at least reasonably comfortable, well as comfortable as it gets when every movement gives an instant spike of pain from your swollen ankle. Not that I was awake for that much of it.
“So what's with the ankle?” Con enquired as the pair of us made our way to catch the Express, the others having set off by bike.
“Bit of an accident at the finish.” I allowed with a wince.
“I don't know why you do it, it's so dangerous.”
“What's life without risks?”
“Well the biggest risk I want to take is picking the wrong colour lipstick.”
“Race you to the Bahnhof then.” I challenged.
“No fair, I'd win, what with your ankle.”
“See, no killer instinct.” I laughed.
“Why you, Gaby Bond, you!”
At school, after the initial interest in my limp and how I got it I was eclipsed by the latest sport, find the Deb. Apparently Stern has put up a reward to find the mystery blonde, I wonder if I should try to claim it? Of course my friends know who it is but its amazing that no one else who knows me has put the bits together – especially after last weeks school trip.
With my still swollen ankle I was let off training, not that I generally do much on a Monday anyway. I booted up the PC and pulled up my word processor:
What a week I've had, I hope yours has been less eventful! Did I mention the race at Stuttgart? Dunno can't remember, anyway, last weekend.
The race on Sunday was quite hard and I have to admit I was a bit of a t$@t towards Roni as she beat me, I got second. Then Mum was racing afterwards and she came second too – bit of a bummer.
So anyway, on Monday we had the school trip to Bonn, Anna had this harebrained idea for us all to go in like suits and heels – we had to go shopping in Mainz on Saturday as no one else had any heels more than 8cm. The museum was pretty good; they have one room with like this army made up of those little plastic Playmobil people.
Mum left for Switzerland on Thursday, which was a bummer, but the good news is that Dad said I could go to this con in Köln next month plus we're going to see the Tour in the Pyrenees.
This weekend we've been to Stuttgart, I mentioned that right, well anyway on Saturday night we ended up having dinner with a Duke and Duchess! I told you about Sophia from the wedding? Well anyway her parents have a house in Stuttgart so they invited us for dinner. Guess who had to borrow stuff to wear!
So yesterday was the big race and guess who won? Yay! Me. Not only that but we got all five top places – it wouldn't have been a clean sweep but the lad who finished second got disqualified for pushing me into the barriers. I had a bit of a ding but I'm alright ‘cept for a badly bruised ankle, which is a bummer as I can't wear heels – not!
Oh btw, got your letter, glad you're making some friends there,
I read through it, yeah quite a full week indeed.
The novelty of hobbling around school was wearing decidedly thin by lunchtime Tuesday and the no doubt well intentioned (!) offers of assistance from several of my male classmates didn't help my mood.
“We should decide what we're going to wear to the Con.” Anna suggested.
“Any ideas Gab's?” Steff asked the question it looked like they all wanted an answer to.
“There's not really time for anything too elaborate.” I noted.
“She's right, we should keep it simple.” Nena agreed.
“Simple but what and like we'll need at least three outfits if we're going for the weekend.” Connie observed.
“Well we can use the stuff from the dance for one session.”
“Yeah, good thinking Gabs.” Pia enthused.
“What about some sort of school uniform?” Brid offered.
“They can be quite fussy, how about I speak to Maddy and see what she thinks?”
The afternoon bell sounded halting any further discussion for now at least.
It's been a while since I last spoke to my cousin, not that we don't exchange emails regularly but real live talking might be several months ago. I still don't condone what she did to Bern but she was hardly alone in that was she?
“Peters.” Aunt Carol offered when I made my call.
“Hi Aunty C, is Mad around?”
“Drew? That you?”
“Yeah, you're not still eating or anything?”
“No luv, Maddy's out though, at the time trial.”
“Oh bum, I forgot about that, is she racing? She never said.”
“Occasionally, I think she goes to ogle bums in Lycra.”
My aunt was chuckling at my reaction, “do you want her to ring when she gets back?”
“It'd be good but its nothing too important.
“Important enough for you to ring rather than email.”
“I'll get her to ring when she gets back, so how are you?”
“Thanks, I'm mostly okay, bit bruised after the weekend.”
“Yeah, nothing serious but it still hurts.”
“Say hullo to your Mum and Dad for me and I'll get that daughter of mine to ring. Bye luv.”
“I will, bye.”
Well so much for that idea. I guess I can look to see what I've got in the wardrobe, something might just inspire me.
When did I get all this stuff? Lets see, what's this, oh right that original Chii costume – I am so not wearing that again! Geez how did I let her convince me to put that on – and go out in public. I thought back to the school dance that started all this stuff for me, God it was fun – right up to when I had to sock Clive.
Then of course I wore it again at Dunstable, my first real Con. Now that really was a gas, the fact that me, a boy ended up getting to meet JK dressed as her leading female character. I pulled a book off the shelf, The Goblet of Fire', well thumbed, I mean I've read it several times, and there in the front ‘ To Gaby, the perfect Hermione, Best Wishes, JK Rowling' . Yeah what a blast we had that weekend.
What's next? Hmm pink, I don't remember this, looks like some kind of maid outfit. Oh hang on, I remember now, Manchester well Salford really, Salcon, yeah we got first prize didn't we and met Terry Pratchett. That's right we were the main characters from Tenshi No Koromo; this is the ‘Little Maid' uniform isn't it? – a maybe for Köln.
Hmm, Foresters uniform – not going there tonight, too much baggage but I've sort of half agreed to join the Ahr Alles Stern cheer team. I wonder what Hannah has got in mind for us to wear?
What's that at the back? Oh yeah the school bag, that was from that thing at Phantasialand last year, at least going as Yuna Kurimi meant I got to wear something at least half sensible – why do all the costumes have such short skirts? Well okay, not all of them but a fair number you have to admit.
That just leaves my Anju costume from the Pfingstentanz the other week. Hmm, maybe I can adapt that for something else and do, I dunno, a school uniform perhaps, which should be fairly straightforward.
My phone chirped on the side table.
“Oh hi Mad, how'd the testing * go?”
“I wasn't racing.”
“Nah, I was helping John with the timing. Mum said you fell off again.”
“Not so much fell…” I ended up going over not just Sundays event but everything leading up to it which, with added explanations and so on took over an hour!
“So what did you ring for?” Mad finally asked.
“What did I want? Oh yeah me an the girls are going to this RPG Con in a few weeks, I was wondering if you had any idea what we could do costume wise?”
“If in doubt, bring in the expert.”
“Well another brain cell.” I even ducked on the phone!
Of course with such an open question – well it was knocking on midnight when I finally finished gossiping and discussing options.
“Gonna have to go Mad's.”
“Sugar, eleven already.” Mad observed
“Yeah that as well, you don't know anything about cyclic algorithms by chance?”
* Alternative term used instead of time trial.
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 07.06.11 © 2011
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