Spreading The Word
Luckily I have got more than one pair of non bike shorts with me, Mand was right I could hardly turn up for dinner in damp underwear, oversize t shirt and scruffy looking beach shorts. At least it wasn't seawater so another shower wasn't essential, a good sink wash, hairbrush attack and fresh underwear were enough for me to be presentable. Well obviously I had my better shorts and a fresh shirt on too along with my sandals.
“Come on, Drew,” Mand pressed, “I'm starving.”
Maybe not starving but I'm quite hungry myself.
“It's not like we're gonna miss it.” I pointed out.
Sometimes I just don't get female logic. When we got to the dining room it was strangely empty, no one there at all.
“Not gonna miss it, huh?”
“We're only a couple of minutes late,” I observed, “it was seven wasn't it?”
“You know it was.”
A jingling of glassware alerted us to another body in the room.
“Hello?” I offered.
“Er essen? Food?”
A head appeared at the bar, Eve the waitress.
“Trinkt?” she had clearly picked up on my German.
“Er no, we're looking for the other cyclists?”
“Ah, you are eating outside tonight girls, you want drinks?”
“Okay, I'll bring them out ladies.”
“So what was that about?”
“She speaks German.”
“I guessed that,” Mand rolled her eyes.
“We're eating on the front.”
Yeah it is kinda.
“Thought you two had got lost,” Mark mentioned.
“We didn't know you were out here so we were in the dining room.” I explained.
“There was a sign by the door,” Claire told us.
We found seats; the tables out here only seat four so we ended up with Mark and Josh.
“The girl's been round for drinks already like.” Josh stated.
“Yeah we saw her inside.”
“So what do you reckon it'll be tonight?” Mark queried.
“Bound to be pasta today,” I offered.
“It wouldn't be Italy otherwise,” Mand grinned.
Eve came out with the adult's drinks, as she returned inside Claudio and Lidia brought the first supplies of tonight's starter course, not soup tonight but a green salad with a choice of dressings and breadsticks. Claudio plonked the dishes in front of us; Lidia was in charge of the extras.
“Well it's not pasta.” Mark noted poking at his food.
“Unless it's that Verde stuff in disguise,” I teased.
The drinks arrived while we checked out the dressings before making short work of the food. We didn't have to wait long for an exchange of empty dishes for partially laden plates.
“Schnitzel?” Josh queried.
I sniffed at the sauce, “Get it right, Wiener schnitzel.”
“How do you know that?” Mark asked, “They all look the same to me.”
“The schnitzel mostly is but you get different sauces, there's a place back home that claims to do a hundred different ones.”
“I always thought the Germans were weird.”
“Hey, I resemble that remark!”
“Boasting again?” Josh put in.
“I take it they aren't fish fingers.” Mand pointed to the newly arrived dish of croquettes.
“Tater like.” Josh told her, “I'm guessing the other dish is peas and carrots.”
“Yup.” Mark agreed after lifting the lid.
“Still no pasta,” I observed.
It might be spaghetti land but Giovanni's kitchen team have the German staple pretty much cracked, the breadcrumbs were golden, the croquettes creamy inside and the sauce as good as I've had in a restaurant. Of course when I do it it's better – sometimes.
A dessert of two small scoops of ice cream rounded out the meal, coffee followed by which time it was close to nine.
“Before you all disappear, a few words about tomorrow.” Steve started. “Breakfast is from seven, we want to get an early start so out here in your kit for nine. We'll be in two groups, time trial riders will be with Dave and Caroline for the day, rest of you will be hitting the slopes again.”
That news was greeted with a chorus of groans, a day with Dad and Caro doesn't sound so bad though.
“If you haven't dropped today's kit in the laundry can you please do so straight after this.” Caro put in.
“There's no curfew but we do expect you to behave responsibly, not too late to bed eh?”
Some mumbled denials of the thought even crossing our minds along with some less than angelic looks concluded the pep talk.
“Anyone fancy a walk?” Mand asked.
“I've got an appointment.”
“Appointment? At this hour?” Mark enquired.
“Yeah, our luvverly masseuse wants to fondle my pedalling bits.”
“Jemma?” Josh queried.
“One and the same, I had a bit of cramp earlier.” I explained.
“Kill or cure.” Mark grinned.
I'd had the same thought myself.
“Come in.” Jemma allowed.
“Er hi,” I offered once I was inside Room 23.
“Drew, good. I wasn't sure you'd come, not everyone does.”
“I didn't think it was optional.”
“I think some riders get a bit embarrassed but I'm here to help.”
“Sure, so what's the plan?”
“Before we go on I've spoken to Caroline and your Dad, so I know of your little er problem.”
“It's not so little from this side.” I sighed.
“I guess not and I can't imagine for one minute what you're going through. It does however change our relationship a bit.”
“It does? I thought you just rubbed legs.”
“Rubbing legs as you put it is only part of the job, so I double up as laundry maid, general assistant and general grunt. But when I'm rubbing legs I get to play confessor and confidant, bit like a doctor, you say it to me it goes no further.”
“Just to clear the air, until this afternoon, I thought you were a girl; Caroline hinted at something last night but there it is.”
“‘S okay I guess, the German Federation were convinced too, I get it all the time.”
“Your dad said. So, shall we take a look at those famous legs of yours?”
“You okay in your undies?”
“When you're ready then."
I nearly had to crawl up to my room an hour or so later, my legs felt so er relaxed, not just loose but deep down unknotted. Jemma hadn't just done my legs, no sirree; she detensioned my arms and shoulders too. The result was that I could hardly control my legs so the climb up three flights of stairs was – er interesting.
It seems though that at every turn more people are finding out about me becoming, whether I want to or not, Gaby. So far everyone has kept it under their hat although Mand has come close to spilling the beans a time or two. Surely it's just a matter of time though, I'm not looking forward to the fall out when, not if it happens.
I fell quickly asleep – after checking my alarm was set of course, I'm not being late for breakfast again!
“Okay, guys, let's get going.” Caro instructed.
“We not riding?” Sal queried.
“Yes but not from here, the car's around the corner.”
We followed her along the street and around the corner to where Dad was waiting with the car, a car with several thousand euros strapped to the roof.
“Cool!” Sal allowed.
Cool indeed, we borrowed time trial specials at Northampton last week but I didn't think they'd bring them out here.
“You can admire the bikes later, let's get a move on, we've a ferry to catch.” Caroline urged.
“There's a shooting seat in the boot for one of you.” Dad mentioned.
Guess who fell for that? We were soon all aboard, me sharing the boot space with boxes of kit and supplies.
“I've never been in a Mercedes before.” Sal admitted.
“They're just like any other car,” I shrugged.
“I guess, but still.”
“One of my friends, his dad has one of those new Porsche Cayenne's, we went to Bavaria in it.”
“Now that's a car,” Geth enthused.
“More like a tank.” I offered.
By now we were in a queue of cars on the quayside at Bellagio, just in time it seems as a smaller ferry than we've been on before was just arriving at the loading ramp, where are we going?
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 28.06.13