Monday, 2 November 2015

To the Tatsfield bus stop to scoff cake and biscuits!

Sunday 1st November 2015: The weather has turned. It's much colder out there now and most definitely time to wear gloves. Armed with two slices of mum's fruit cake I headed outside to the garage, hoping that I wouldn't find a puncture. The bike was fine, I unpadlocked it, donned helmet and the aforementioned gloves and wheeled the bike into the fresh air.

"I turn sideways to the sun, keep my thoughts from everyone."*
All was still and there was a mild fog in the air as I rode off in the direction of the green. Having not riden the bike much over the past three weeks, I found Church Hill a bit of a struggle. Andy was waiting at the green and we soon headed off towards the Tatsfield bus stop, vowing to save all our chat until we reached our destination – it helps to simply keep our heads down and get on with the ride.

At the bus stop the cake, the tea and the Belvita biscuits made an appearance and we chatted about various things, such as Mark Beaumont's The Man Who Cycled the World, which has been name-checked a few times over recent posts. It's a great book and I can't wait to read The Man Who Cycled the Americas.
"Who are you fucking looking at?"
We moved on to discuss mobile phones and the fact that I'm now 'out of contract', which is a great position to be in: I no longer feel beholden to a phone company and can pick and choose who I take on. I've decided to go for a SIM-only deal, which means I only have to give 30 days' notice if I want to change to a different phone company. I'm fairly happy with 02 to be honest, but I'm now getting much more for less money. My current deal is 2GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts, all for under twenty pounds. Brilliant! Some people say I should simply upgrade, get a better phone, but what's the point? Why would I want to pay more for less? Because that's what would happen. I could upgrade, get an iphone 5 instead of my trusty iphone 4S, but why bother? My current phone works fine so why change it? And besides, I like unlimited calls and texts.

What really annoys me about technology is the constant upgrading. My computer, on which I am now writing this blogpost, is slowly becoming obselete. Certain things no longer work because I need to upgrade my operating system, which costs money. So eventually the capitalist bastards will catch up with me: my iphone 4S will somehow become useless and I'll be forced into a contract again OR I'll have to buy a new phone – for cash – to continue with a SIM-only deal. All very frustrating, but right now I'm happy with my deal and I still have my iphone, which I've looked after – no scratches, no broken screen.

And then, of course, I had my recent travels (to Chicago and Italy – see previous posts by scrolling down) to discuss.
Andy's racer near Godstone Green, Surrey last weekend
We sat at the bus stop, lobbing our teabags on to the small patch of grass in front of us and watching passing Lycra monkeys in between mouthfuls of fruit cake and Belvita biscuits. Life doesn't get much better. Last week Andy rode to Godstone Green on the racer. He said that coming back up the hill wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. My gears are still shit so I won't be visiting Godstone Green for a while yet. I wouldn't mind a ride to Westerham, though.

We eventually mounted the bikes and headed for home, stopping halfway along the 269 to have a brief chat before parting company. There were some very large, fierce-looking, horned beasts in the fields (see photograph). I took a few snaps and then we parted company.

I rode towards Warlingham Green feeling at peace with the world and looking forward to the rest of my Sunday back home.

* Lyrics from That's the Price of Love, a great New Order track.

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