Sunday, 24 February 2013

Cold weather and snow

Botley Hill Farmhouse in the snow, Saturday 23rd February 2013.
Saturday was cold, but it wasn't until we had reached Botley Hill and embarked upon the return journey that the cold really hit us. On the outward journey we had snow, which worsened when we reached our totally exposed stopping point outside the pub. Then, after tea and cereal bars and chats about various things – including Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, which I promised to lend to Andy – we headed back.

As always, the problem was the headwind. On the outward journey it had been a tailwind and all seemed well, even in the snow, but now the tailwind had become a headwind – or a sort of headwind as the snow was being blown across the road from our right as we headed north, meaning it was coming from the east. Either way, it was very cold. Not quite ice cream headache cold, but almost.

We said our farewells halfway along the 269 and, as I descended into Warlingham the weather warmed up as I passed Sainsbury's en route to the Green. I was looking forward to Sunday's ride. But I'd forgotten one little detail about the weekend: I was going to spend Saturday night at mum's, which was excellent, but it meant that I'd have to cancel the ride just out of pure logistics, ie it would have meant driving back to Croydon, picking up the bike, doing the ride and then driving back to Sutton. But something else was at play – pure warmth and cosiness, something sorely missing of late due to the mice. So I aborted and then realised that I wouldn't be cycling again until Saturday 16th March.
Here we are again, this time no fog, just snow!

Being round at mum's was excellent, it always is, but this time took the biscuit: a wonderful dinner of roasted salmon followed by home-made apple crumble and then, feeling rested and fed at 9pm I went to bed, in my old room, the one I used to share with brother Bon throughout my entire childhood. Needless to say I slept like a log, no mice in the bed, and awoke around 8am to sound of breakfast being made downstairs. Sleepily I headed to the breakfast room. En route I found my daughter in the living room gazing out at the garden. My wife followed and we all enjoyed a lovely breakfast before heading home around 10am or thereabouts.

The weather on Sunday was cold and I don't know whether or not Andy ventured out. I know that on Saturday he almost aborted until he received my email saying I'd be at the Green at the usual time. He might well have taken the opportunity to lie in, but then again, he might have ventured out.

I'll blog about this separately at some stage in the future, but a book worth reading is Mike Carter's One Man and his Bike, in which Carter documents a 5,000 mile trip around the coast of the UK on a bike. It's absolutely brilliant and something I would love to do, if I had the time and the money; (I'm assuming that as a freelance journalist, Carter must have accumulated some savings or was pretty sure he'd be employable on his return. But no matter, the book is fantastic and well worth a read. I'll post a separate review when I finish it, but go out and get it now, it's in Waterstone's.

All these photos by Andy Smith.

No comments:

Post a Comment