Thursday, 28 October 2010

24 October 2010 – to Tatsfield Village

There are various ways of working out that it's winter – or there would be in a world devoid of people and the media. If the nightmare world depicted in Cormac McCarthy's The Road ever became reality, then, apart from no leaves on the trees and frost on car windscreens, there's always the fact that Andy stops wearing his shorts. On the morning of Sunday 24 October, Andy stood on the green minus his shorts – but fortunately not minus his trousers.

The green at Tatsfield Village as seen through the frame of my Kona.
We hadn't been cycling on the Saturday and I can't for the life of me remember why. It was probably raining and we just thought, no, not a soaking, not today. But Sunday was different. In fact, it was very pleasant and one of those days that somehow characterise our cycling.

I've started wearing my gloves and a jumper. Andy and I stood on the green wondering where to go. To be honest, this week I thought Jon would be going as we spoke on the phone and I was awaiting his familiar ring tone on the iphone, but it never came. Had it done so, we'd have probably 'done a short one' to Woodmansterne Green, a journey Andy and I are never that keen on because it's so suburban and, quite frankly, boring – until you reach the green, which is a pleasant enough sort of place and for me holds pleasant memories of chewing the fat with Jon in the cold weather leading up to the last Christmas. If you check back on this blog you'll notice that we, Andy and I, went there on Boxing Day.

Andy and I reached Tatsfield only to find two blokes drinking from cans of Stella – at 8 o'clock in the morning! Now, we've all done it, I know, but there comes a time when drinking strong lager for breakfast just isn't cricket and I found myself inwardly looking at them with disgust while thinking 'how could they do that?' Mind you, not that long ago I was in Munich, or just south of it, and I visited a fantastic hotel where the traditional breakfast is white sausage, sweet mustard and, wait for it, a huge, trumpet-shaped glass full of really decent German lager – fantastic! Did it 'set me up for the day'? Probably, but drinking a can of Stella, without the white sausage and the mustard while standing up in a pub car park – well, it doesn't have that ring to it.

The Pope – he's Catholic, you know!
We were in a jovial mood as Andy reminded me that he'd be going to Jamaica over Christmas – meaning that on Boxing Day I'd be cycling alone this year, freezing cold, no doubt, as Andy basks in the Caribbean heat. For some reason we got to talking about the Pope. Why, I don't know as neither of us are Catholic, but it revolved around that phrase, "Is the Pope Catholic?" It's used to emphasise the obvious. "Apples? Green? Is the Pope a Catholic?" "Karl Marx? Left wing? Is the Pope a Catholic?" And so on, but Andy suggested a scenario whereby he finds himself exclaiming, "Is the Pope a Catholic?" only to notice that his retort has been met with an awkward silence, prompting Andy to say, "He's behind me, isn't he?" Meaning the Pope. For some reason it became the theme of the morning chat.

We talked about IVF treatment and people who can't have kids and Andy says it shouldn't be available on the NHS – and nor should boob jobs, he added. I agreed with boob jobs, but I'm not sure about IVF, but its a debate that could run and run.

Tea drank, cereal bars eaten, conversation over there was nothing for it – we'd have to cycle home.

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