Sunday, 23 August 2015

To the churchyard (again)

Things are really getting a little samey. We've kind of locked in to two routes – the bus stop and the churchyard – and we don't seem to be riding anywhere else. It's the usual excuse: time; and let's face it, riding anywhere is better than riding nowhere so perhaps we shouldn't complain, but I can't remember the last time we rode anywhere different, like Westerham or Redhill.

In fact, where Redhill is concerned, I know that on the outskirts of town, near the Watercolour estate, there is a huge lake similar in size and dimensions to another long lost cycling destination, Longford Lake in Chevening, Kent, which used to be an occasional destination (and one of the first rides I embarked upon with Phil back in May 2013 if I recall correctly.

My bike at the churchyard, Sunday 23rd August 2015
The weather was not as pleasant as Saturday (see previous post for details). It was warm but there was a stronger breeze, the trees swayed in the wind and there was more cloud, but no rain until just before noon so we escaped a soaking.

We rode to the churchyard, encountering nothing out of the ordinary en route and when we got there we drank tea and ate BelVita biscuits (three each) as we chatted about the something for nothing culture that has built up over the past 20 years. By that I mean that companies expect far more for nothing these days than in the past. PR companies want photography taken for nothing – "it might give you good exposure to other companies who will pay" – and similarly some publishers expect writers to contribute articles based on the assumption that more work will come out of it. But it rarely does. We both decided that it only works when there is something in it for both parties: a product is reviewed and you get to keep the product; you're sent, say, a top-of-the-range bike to review and obviously you get to ride it. Each party gets something out of the deal. But just to do something unpaid? It's not on and it goes way back to the person who dreamed up the idea of internships on one level and, on another, there's a certain arrogance in trying to get people to work for nothing, not to mention selfishness. The Internet is also to blame (isn't it always?) especially where photographers are concerned. How many times, I wonder, do photographers spy their work being used online without being paid for?

We didn't see anybody else at the churchyard, it was remarkably quiet apart from that motorway hiss I think I mentioned in a previous post. While we used to see people tending graves, or the church staff doing this and that, it's been very desolate the last few times we've been there and that ain't a bad thing.

The ride back was as uneventful as the outward journey. Andy branched off halfway down the 269 and, as usual, I pushed on towards Warlingham and home, getting back some time before 10am.

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