Saturday, 12 June 2010

Non-stop to Botley then back to the Village Café

The Village Café, Warlingham Green.
The plan was simple: ride to Merstham, the long way, and then sit down to a full English at the Hunger's End café, but, as happens now and then, there was a problem. My wife wanted to check out a bathroom store, but the place closed at noon. Why? Why does a shop have to close at noon? Anyway, being the nice guy that I am, I figured I go cycling most weekends and hit home around 11am so I better get back earlier so we can go look at bathrooms. Yes, I know, very boring, but if you saw our bathroom, you'd have second thoughts; it's the bath that came with the house, so to speak. In other words, it's been there since the mid-60s when JFK was president, when the Beatles were still in the charts and before, long before, Armstrong set foot on the moon. It has to be replaced. Hell, I was only a kid and living at home when our current bathroom was new.

Then Andy was delayed by a possible puncture, which turned out to be just a flat, but that Tioga spells punctures to me (remember, it was my rear tyre when I first bought the Kona, but I had so many punctures back then it was unbelievable and eventually I took them off and replaced them with Holy Rollers from Maxxis). Anyway, you've heard that story so I won't go on anymore.

Andy's Kona Blast with new rear Tioga tyre; it makes the
bike look better but will it mean more punctures?
We decided to ride to Botley, the fast way, turn round at the roundabout and cycle back to the Village Café on Warlingham Green; it's a good caff and I've been there before (normally when soaked after a longer cycle). Today, however, we were dry and we'd only cycled about 10 miles, but that didn't stop us from ordering our tea and toast.

The topic of conversation today revolved mainly around how the media is keen to roll out the stereotypes now that the World Cup is in full swing: the usual rubbish about how all men are football crazy and all women are rolling their eyes affectionately as their footy-mad husbands sit in front of the box with a beer and a pizza shouting things like, "Where's your fucking specs, ref?"

Andy and I both hate football. Try as we might (well, I've tried) to enjoy 'the beautiful game' (a contradiction in terms) it's impossible. Even yesterday, as I sat in a working men's club in Hayes, Middlesex, near Heathrow airport, watching the opening game between South Africa and Mexico (a 1-1 draw) I was bored shitless. Mind you, tonight it's USA versus England and that could be fun, especially if England fans go on the on rampage after the game!

The problem is passion, I guess, and the fact that we don't have any – or I don't. I mean passion for something, like footy or cars. I just don't care about football and I'm not one of those people who pine for a Ferrari either.

As we sat munching on our toast and sipping from our mugs of tea, Andy said that when he was working for a company called Albion (a computer business) he had to service the computers of Jonathan Ross, Stephen Fry and Anna Ford (the former BBC newsreader) – and that got us started on celebrities and how we'd never go mad if we saw one in the street and start asking for their autographs. Back to that lack of passion. Anyway, must sign off; I haven't got the passion to write anymore.

Oh, incidentally, it's 1052hrs and we still haven't gone to the bathroom shop, meaning that I could have gone to Merstham after all. Jon went and had breakfast there alone. Sorry, Bon.

The plan tomorrow is to go to Chipstead lake in Kent, quite a long one.

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