|A cold-looking moon matched the weather.|
Halfway along I called Andy to say I was only a couple of minutes away from the Green, but it seemed that he too had been faffing about as he was roughly the same distance from our meeting point. In fact, he'd already had a bit of a morning. The lock on his garage door had frozen so he rummaged about for a match to heat it and then, having retrieved his bike he closed and locked the garage door only to notice, out of the corner of his eye, that his bike was falling to the ground. In an attempt at rescuing it, he grabbed it by the rear mudguard, which promptly snapped off.
We headed out towards the Tatsfield Bus Stop, it was too cold to go anywhere else, and sat there warming ourselves with hot tea, cereal bars and this week a bag of Cheeselets supplied by Andy. Very nice. Along the way we briefly discussed possible destinations with cafés, but could think of none within seven miles from the Green. There was the farm shop at Godstone, but that meant a steep climb on the return journey and neither of us fancied it; then there was Westerham, a bridge too far in this cold; and we figured the caff at the reptile centre would be closed – when was it ever open, I wondered?
|A cold sky and bare bushes. Winter has settled in.|
"You'd die of hypothermia," said Andy, matter of factly.
"I wonder if you'd get to Botley?"
"Yes, but you wouldn't feel too good."
"Imagine if you'd been camping out all night. You wouldn't want to get out of your sleeping bag."
"But you'd have to get out to have a piss."
It was soon time to cycle home.
"It's going to be bad cycling back down to 269," I said.
"Yeah," replied Andy, and we mounted our Konas for the return trip.
Once Andy and I had said goodbye halfway along the 269, I took my mind off the cold by making up rhymes and quietly singing them to myself. Silly rhymes that meant nothing. I passed a couple of large groups of cyclists heading in the opposite direction and acknowledged them with a polite wave.
It was cold all day long, even later in London's Portobello Road, and I went to bed early, waking at 6am on Sunday morning to similar-looking weather. I put on seven layers of clothing before heading downstairs to make tea and buttered toast (alright, margarine). The mobile vibrated on the console table in the hall. A message from Andy. "Abort. Not feeling too good." Fine by me, I thought, as I typed back 'Ok' and returned to the halogen glow of the computer in my conservatory. There was no point going back to bed.
Images by Andy Smith.