Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The cold weather continues

...and snow still lies on the ground, although it's thawing very slowly. Now, when I say that snow is still lying on the ground, that gives the impression that it's been snowing a lot. It has been snowing a lot further north. In fact, in places like the Isle of Arran in Scotland, they're still without power after nearly a week of heavy snowfall. People have lost their lives and some of the pictures on television show huge snow drifts. In the south I think the phrase 'snow flurries' would sum up the situation adequately. I was still about to reverse the car off the drive and take my daughter to school, put it that way, on the day the snow fell. Last Saturday it snowed all day but the roads were still black – the colour of the tarmac they're made of – and only the front lawns and fields have retained the snow and that's because it's still very cold out there. I find it quite odd that a fortnight ago I was swimming in an outdoor pool in a hotel in Irvine, California, where the temperature was in the mid-80s.
Lingering snow – hardly cause for concern

In an earlier post I'd written about my favourite book of the moment, One Man & His Bike by Mike Carter. Now I've finished it I feel at a loose end and need another book, but what to buy? Carter's Uneasy Rider seems like a plan, but do I really want to read another book by Carter straightaway? I'm sure it's good, I mean Charley Boorman says so on the front cover, but it's about Carter's journey through various countries on a motorcycle so I'm not likely to have any affinity with it as I did with his cycling adventure around the coast of the UK.

I tried looking out for Pedalling to Hawaii, by Steve Smith, the guy that Mike met aboard the Salcombe to East Portlemouth ferry. Smith was, in fact, the ferryman and Carter was told by a fellow passenger to  ask the ferryman about his trip, so Mike did and discovered that Smith had pedalled all the way to Hawaii, telling Mike that 'loads of people had cycled across continents and others had rowed across oceans. But no-one had combined the two into a human-powered journey around the globe'.

So off went Stevie and a pal in what Carter described as 'a glorified pedalo called Moksha', encountering heavy seas and God knows what else. When they reached Miami, Stevie jumped on a bike and headed for San Francisco. His travel buddy Jason had set off on rollerblades but had an accident with a car, both his legs being smashed up in the process. Oddly, while Stevie stopped in Hawaii, Jason continued on the pedallo and reached Australia where, using his feet, a bike and a kayak travelled to India then by Mokhsa again to Africa and, ultimately, reaching the UK (Greenwich) in 2007. What an adventure!

Stevie Smith is another reason to read One Man & His Bike. I won't ruin it, but Smith gets philosophical about life and why being a ferryman is the perfect job for him despite the affluent nature of Salcombe and its initial effect on his self-esteem. Equally, of course, his book, Pedalling to Hawaii is out there somewhere, but I couldn't find in Waterstone's.

No comments:

Post a Comment