|Boiled egg, fingers, fresh fruit, bread and tea...|
I took the usual route to mum's. This time, when I got there, I opted for the breakfast menu: tea, chopped orange, sliced banana and apple, two small slices of brown bread and, of course, light conversation. We sat in the new room – the room that's not new at all – and outside, while cold and crisp, the sun was shining. It was a nice day.
Breakfast at mum's is always good. We spoke about a wide range of 'stuff': mum's next door neighbour is fixing up his house. He's been knocking down walls, turning the back room into a large living space embracing a kitchen and a play room for the kids and somewhere to sit and lounge about. "But he's still got a front room," said mum.
"That's what I wish I had," I said, explaining how our house is all very 'open plan' – it was built when the 'lounge-diner' was all the rage, but it means that everything takes place in the same space: watching TV, reading, eating, everything. Fortunately we have an extension. We call it the 'conservatory' because it has huge picture windows and a flat roof, but it's not really a conservatory, it's an extension, a room in its own right and it's where you'll find my bookcase and desk and a couple of sofas that have seen better days.
Right now there are hassles at home. No hot water. It could mean a new boiler, but with the central heating still working, it's probably not the boiler – some say that won't stop British Gas from condemning what might be a perfectly decent, albeit old, boiler. It's amazing how we all take so many things for granted and hot water is one of those things. Try living without it for a few days and you'll know what I mean.
The ride back home was uneventful and I arrived at 0908hrs after a decent enough ride. As the day progressed, the rains came, but I reached home dry and that was good news.
Sunday – Andy and I ride to Tatsfield Village
Sunday was an equally pleasant day, possibly a little colder than Saturday, but again there was a crescent moon and a dreamy water-colour sky to greet me when I pulled back the curtain. No sign of Phil, but we all know how much he hates the cold. The truth of the matter, though, was that it wasn't that cold, or at least it didn't seem too bad. I didn't really notice the cold until Andy and I were riding south along the 269 towards Botley Hill. My feet were cold, but other than that I was fine and I didn't have the balaclava either.
|My bike on Warlingham Green|
I'm quite torn on the issue in many ways, but in others it's a clear-cut case; and by that I mean I'll vote to stay in because I like Europe – as a place. I like the people too and I suppose like a lot of people, I buy in to the view that it's best to be a part of Europe than on the outside. Also, I'm not a 'little Englander'. I don't subscribe to the view that by being out of Europe we can make 'Great Britain great again'. We can't. And besides, it seems to me that all the people that want out of Europe are, well, a little bigoted in their leanings. I've always maintained that nationalism is unhealthy and that's what the so-called 'Brexiters' are pedalling. Union Jacks, 'who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler', casual racism in some cases (we've all watched those pre-election UKIP documentaries).
|Sign near Tatsfield Village pond...|
What about 'ever closer union' and that whole sovereignity issue? What about the Euro, what about open borders and immigration? What about 'Operation Fear'? I'm hoping that over the next few weeks we'll all get a clearer view on what it's all about, but I suspect we won't get anywhere near it. Ultimately, it'll come down to our views on migrants and whether we believe the bigoted, nationalistic, Dickensian 'Brexiters' – like IDS – or those who say we'll be better off if we stay in the EU, like the Government...but should we trust the Government?
|Andy with the bikes at Tatsfield|