Monday, 12 September 2011

A tyring weekend

Oh oh oh. Can you imagine it? 19 middle-aged Essex women on a Greek Island for an extended (four day) Mama Mia themed party.

Yes, this is what The Cat's Mother abandoned me home alone with the teenagers for last week. I feel I got the better end of the bargain. Hopefully she feels that she got the better deal. Sometimes it's good to disagree.

I haven't posted my usual selection of photos this month. Not on First Friday, not Second Saturday, nor even Second Sunday. It wasn't that I forgot, it wasn't even that I couldn't be arsed. It's just that in August my ability abandoned me. I have a fine fine collection of snapshots which hold brilliant memories, but frankly and bluntly nothing worth posting up. Not even the man playing sax on the banks of the Seine, not even night time at Somerset House, nor the dozens of pieces of street art, or a boat trip on the River Lee. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed in September, although we're half way through and it's not looking good.

Saturday I had to get new tyres for the motorbike and at the same time watch The Boy play his debut match for the First team this season. I dropped him off at the ground at 8.45, drove home, picked up The Cat, dropped her for kick off at 10.00 ( how loyal, she volunteered to come and watch and cheer...I explained some of the rules) and watched the opening minutes of the game before rushing off to the garage. It may have been a wise move as the Firsts didn't manage a crushing victory, so came away deflated. The tyres on the bike were inflated, unlike my wallet which was some £316 lighter! I think these are more expensive than the car tyres which are four times the size. I came away a little flat.

After a four and a half hour long cycle ride street-art spotting on Saturday afternoon, it was perhaps a little rash of me to commit to cycling in with the The Muffin Dad on Monday morning. But I did. He's a decade younger than me, fitter and of a more sporting bent. Plus he leaves at between 6.30 and 7, and I leave at 8. So whilst he was pootling along admiring the scenery, I was huffing and puffing, wiping the sweat from my sleepy eyes as we battled the hurricane force headwind. He comes in on a route that I need to know as the canals are not a good idea during the mid winter. I'm amazed he's still alive as the route is a treacherous one on a very, very busy main road into London, and he does it every day. Even the new blue cycle highway is designed to kill you...peppered with bus stops as it is, so you have to swing out into the traffic which largely seems to consist of white van drivers....some of them actually driving white vans. Still we managed to avoid getting splattered...although every traffic light was against us. Anyway, he was very gracious (and sporting) about it all.

After we parted ways, I continued to hit a red light at every much so that the guy cycling next to me felt the need to pass comment in a heavy South African accent (or was it New Zealand?) "You're just bad luck mate". And indeed it was the case as a little way later, my back tyre went flat, still some 5 km shot of my destination. As I didn't have a repair kit and wasn't allowed on the tube or the bus, there was no choice to throw it on my back and walk the remaining distance. Nothing like a brisk walk in the morning is there? A Chinese tourist (actually he may have been Korean) felt the need to video me as I crossed Tower Bridge. That may well be my fifteen minutes of fame.