MJ dies and Ryan Air makes it 1-1

Waking this morning to 4 text messages I knew that something was up after a fairly quiet SMS week in Italy. MJ dying was quite a shock. Thriller was my first ever album on vinyl and The King of Pop is always on high rotation. I went for an early morning swim as planned and spent most of the time listening to some MJ classics ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘Human Nature’, and ‘Heal the World’ and ‘Earth Song’ and thinking about the Dangerous Tour concert that Stace, Corrie and me went to in 1996 in Brisbane. So good. I was planning on seeing him again in London until the gigs were cancelled.

So not a great start to the morning but a nice chance to reflect on yourself, and your own friends and family and how they are all doing.

So it was off to Nivelles, Belgium and another chance to work on my French and for the guys the first chance to race after an easy week with not much walking around so prospects for fast times look good. Checkin was not as smooth as we wanted as Ryan Air was determined to make us pay for defeating them in Berlin (post still to come). BJ and Lauren were over (on the dodgy scales), Lara was OK this time and as always I was clean at 15.7kg. It wasn’t too bad as the guys loaded up their cabin baggage (Lara seriously loading up hers to about 15kg!) and we were through. A race against BJ to the departure lounge ended in my demise seconds after the start as Lara was caught pre-xray for too many bags (ie more than one) since I loaded up my bag to get her through.

A bumpy train ride to Brussels which resulted in cheering on landing from the mostly Italian flyers was a little unnerving. The ride from the airport was great as I had the chance to work on my French with our driver Jean-Jacques. The hotel is great and we went to the track for a jog and dinner after.

All the Boyds are here and had a great chat to Denise and Ray who I had met only once before. They are very down to earth people and know heaps about competing and travelling through Europe. It was also good to hear a familiar accent – a little touch of home all the way over here in Belgium.

So, the meet tomorrow and hopefully a chance to get some souvenirs from the home of smurfs!

The last week in Italy coming soon…

Author: patbirgan

Australian living in Italy and managing the AIS European Training Centre. In my spare time I like to watch, write, tweet, commentate, manage, immerse in all things athletics.

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