I think I've mentioned going to the cinema in Koblenz before, it's hardly a modern Cineplex like the one at Meadowhell back in Blighty but they do have the latest releases, which for us in Germany this week means Star Wars Episode III and Madagascar.
“So which are we seeing?” Brid queried.
“Madagascar looks a bit wet.” Steff offered.
“I think it looks cute.” Con noted.
“Claud?” I asked.
“I vote Star Wars.”
“Good by me.” Anna agreed.
“Wars.” Pia voted.
“Looks like it's Space Opera then.” I opined.
There wasn't any dissent at that conclusion so we joined the queue for tickets.
I'm sure a lot of you have seen this particular bit of cinematography so I won't bore you with the plot or anything. I quite enjoyed it, I'm not sure everyone did, I guess you're either a fan or not, I think Claudia mostly enjoyed the cinema experience – the film was secondary. It was gone five when we emerged into the light again.
“If we hurry we should catch the quarter to train.” Anna suggested.
“What time's the one after?” I enquired of our mobile timetable.
“Twelve past, why?”
I looked wistfully at the still open model shop across the road, “I um, I'll follow on.”
“'S'alright Gabs, I'll wait for you.” Con offered.
“You don't have to.”
“See you guys later yeah?” Claud queried.
“We might even make the quarter to.” I mentioned dragging Con across the road.
Once inside the Spielwaren I headed for the car cabinets.
“Gaby Bond, you are so predictable.”
“I can't help it.”
“That one looks nice.” She pointed to a ghastly mauve model with ‘Milka' emblazoned on the side.
“If you say so.” I allowed.
“What are you looking for?”
“There's a new One series Bimmer model.”
You can kinda tell when someone's not really interested.
“A ha!” I spotted the tiny work of art in the cabinet, I made my purchase and we departed for the Bahnhof some ten minutes walk away. There was no way we'd get the same train as the others, it was already twenty to but we hustled along anyhow.
I looked round to see who was calling me.
“On Gleis 2.” Con supplied.
We both waved, “ W hat are you doing there still?” I called over.
“It's running late.” Steff shouted back.
Of course neither Con nor I had looked at the board beyond checking which platform the next train was due out of. At that moment the delayed northbound express arrived.
“Come on , Gab!” Con took the lead almost dragging me off my feet as she took off for the stairs.
We clattered down into the underpass dodging other station users, did one of those cartoon cornering manoeuvres then hit the stairs up to platforms two and three at full tilt. Con stumbled a bit as forward momentum and upward movement had a conflict, luckily no one was trying to descend! I could see the others further along the platform, maybe too far to get there at this pace.
“On here.” I puffed to Con.
My turn to do the dragging, I headed towards the nearest door and slapped the open button. An agonising moment later it shushed open and we dropped into the carriage. We had barely skidded to a halt before it closed and the guard blew his, or I guess her, whistle.
“I wouldn't want to do that too often.” Con mentioned.
“Come on, let's find the others.”
The train was fairly full but not busy if that makes sense. We were about three carriage lengths from where I had seen the others boarding, it's always a weird sensation walking along a moving train, more so if you are looking outside. This is the stopping train so it was already slowing for the next halt at Koblenz Neuendorf when we transferred carriages.
With people getting on and off it was easier to go to the top deck to move forward, by the time we were moving again we were only a single carriage from our destination. We continued along the top then dropped down to where the others could clearly be heard chatting.
“You made it.” Anna grinned.
“We weren't sure you got round.” Claud told us.
“Didn't you see us getting on?” Con asked.
“Nope.” Brid supplied.
“You get whatever it was , Gab?” Steff enquired.
I reached into my tiny backpack and pulled out my prize.
“That it?” Pia pulled a face.
‘Die nächste halt ist Weissenturm.'
“It's only just been released.” I stated defensively.
“Gab collects toy cars Claud.” Nena advised her sister.
“They aren't toys,” I nearly snapped, “they're collectors models.”
“Keep your hair on , Gabs.” Anna soothed.
“I'll be back in a mo, I need a wee.”
“You okay , Gab?” Steff asked.
“Yeah, be right back.”
The toilet was only at the other end of the carriage and thankfully empty. I dragged my shorts and tights down and was soon sat on the throne staring at the pad in my knickers. My urgent need to visit the convenience was nothing to do with my bladder; no it was a sensation of something slowly running along my skin down below. The red on the pad confirmed my fears; the running about to get on the train has reopened the tear inside. Sugar!
I cleaned up and fitted a new towel before finishing up and returning to the others.
“Everything alright?” Con enquired with some concern when I rejoined the girls.
“Yeah, just a pressing need.”
‘Die nächste halt ist Andernach'
“So you racing tomorrow , Gab?” Brid queried.
“Nah, Dad pulled me, I'm just going to support Roni.”
“Her own cheerleader!” Anna chortled.
“I've had that.”
“Cheerleaders?” Claud raised a brow.
“Yeah, back in England.”
“Tell us more.” Pia pressed.
“Well you know I was on the school cheer squad….”
And so I spent the remainder of the ride to Remagen telling them how Mad and co supported me at some of the races back in my youth.
“You have everything?” Dad asked.
“ Let's get a move on then.”
I grabbed my bags and headed out into the drizzle that has greeted us this morning. My training bike was already in the bus; I lobbed my stuff inside before climbing into the cab. Dad finished locking up and joined me.
“So where are we going?” I asked when we joined the autobahn a short few minutes later.
“Collect Ron first.”
“Duh, after that.”
“Julich, it's out towards Aachen. You okay?”
“Bit tired I guess.”
“You could have stayed at home.”
“I should've come back from the barbeque earlier.”
I didn't tell you about that did I, the Fischer's had a charred food party after we got back from Koblenz, not just our group of course but some of their friends and neighbours too. I managed to stay clear of the punch but I ended up getting a lift home with Con ; Herr Thesing fetched us, at about ten thirty. It was a good party, of course us girls (?) ended up arsing around a bit, we dressed Claudia in the outfit Nena wore at the dance the other week which had everyone in stitches.
“This weather's a bit pants.”
“Yeah, the forecast is better later.” Dad noted.
I hope so; I have a plan, a bit of a gag lined up.
“Everything okay, you know?”
It is kinda embarrassing talking about this stuff.
“Yeah, much better.” At least there wasn't any more blood in my knickers this morning.
“If you want me to pick you up later, call okay, don't slog it out, we want you fixed eh?”
Indeed, I hate being ill at the best of times, this might all be a bit more er, unusual than a cold but still, same rules apply.
“I've got my Handy.”
They were playing The Beatles on the radio, I don't know the name of the track, something about holes in the road, Dad was tapping the steering wheel and I found myself humming along. What is it about The Beatles music? Like everyone sort of knows the tunes if not the words!
Roni was waiting when we got to Mettmann, she was on her own this morning, Angela and her Dad are visiting some relatives in Münster.
“You okay , Drew?” my teammate asked when we had everything stowed.
“I bet! You didn't half have everyone worried.”
“Sorry ‘bout that.”
“What are you sorry for? You couldn't help it. You're not racing today are you?”
“No she's not!” Dad stated from the front.
I'll have to remember that he can hear from the front.
“You've brought a bike though?”
“I'm gonna take a turn round the course, give you a shout maybe.”
And maybe a bit more besides.
It was motorway almost all the way from Roni's place to Julich, down to Dusseldorf, over the river then the forty-four towards Aachen. It only took an hour and the HQ at the high school was easy enough to find, the weather at least was drying up some.
Talk about strange, everyone around is preparing for a couple of hours of graft, and I'm outside of all that today. I helped Dad with Roni's bike while she signed on and stuff, I'm already changed, just need my shoes, helmet and rucky. The rucksack is essential as it has some snap, my camera and er other stuff in there.
“Glück! Give ‘em some from me , ” I gave Ron a hug, “see you on the course.”
“Take care , Drew.”
“I'll be at the top of the circuit , Drew.” Dad informed me.
I pushed off and headed off for the circuit, I know where I want to get to.
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 06.11.2011