Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.
My alarm went beep beep at 5.30am Sunday morning and I scrambled out of bed to get into my cycling gear. My better half had already warned me to deactivate the alarm for weekends, but once again I ignored the friendly advice. After some cereal and a cup of tea (I sense some cyclists shaking their heads), I was out of the house, determined to notch up some serious miles.
The long cycle path from my house to the top of the road is about 2 miles long, at which point you cross over the road, up a small hill and head down some country lanes. As I crossed that road and applied a little pressure on the peddle I heard a click, clack and whack. Then came the sound of something slipping away, I peered down to see a dangling bike chain.
Moving onto the pavement, on close inspection I had snapped a link in half. I was barely 10 minutes into my ride. In the time between this unfortunate incident and phoning my wife at 7 am to wake her up, I was overcome by emotion. I realised something about myself, that too much preparation and focus can often lead to serious disappointment and frustration. As I waited by the side of the road, I was exceptionally annoyed with myself, not that I had any control over this situation. I really like cycling and too often I make the mistake of fully mapping my ride, the time and end objective before leaving. If I can pinpoint it, then it was that allotted me time which just escaped from my grasp.
Bravo to my wife who drove to pick me up as opposed to floating out of bed at leisure. I was about to give her a big hug but when she uttered “you always have problems with that bike”, I just slumped into the front seat and remained silent like a little brat!
Last Friday households up and down the UK, and Europe celebrated VE Day. It was a very warm day and so my neighbour decided to sit with his wife on the front lawn. Sensing that we wanted to do the same, I kindly notified them I was going to swiftly mow the lawn and then join them. We then perched two chairs of our own on our lawn (observing social distancing) with a cup of tea and some cheesy crisps. Within 10 minutes two other households across the road brought over their chairs and joined us. One of the neighbours we’d only said the occasional “hello” to over the last 10 years but never really spoke. By the end of the evening they’d given us the low down on when they moved here, how much they brought their house for (that part made me want to throw up) and everything else they could think of. While we did a good job of observing the distancing, I heard that elsewhere around the country massive street parties were taking place! Not ideal seeing we are trying to improve things.
What better way to end this post then to say thanks to our incompetent government. The eccentric Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Sunday night, laying down the next phase of lockdown. While we had a 50 page document from him and a ton of memes and comical posters depicting his most confusing message, this was my pick of the lot.