Sunday, 24 July 2016

To Botley Hill – twice!

The weather throughout the weekend was fantastic, requiring little more than a tee-shirt and trousers on both rides. We rode to Botley Hill, mainly because of time constraints for both of us. I had to drive to west London for a family event and Andy had to go shopping – Phil gets married on Friday and both Andy and I, plus our respective other halves, are invited.

Andy's Kona Blast at Botley Hill. Pic: Andy Smith.
On a good day, even Botley Hill looks like an inviting destination. We met at the green as usual and enjoyed a short but pleasant ride, the fast way along the 269, stopping outside the pub where there is a strip of grass on the roadside. It was then a simple matter of eating a few biscuits and drinking tea.

After a short while we headed home, parting at the green and vowing to ride again on Sunday, which we did, although this time it was only me with the time constraints. I texted Andy saying let's meet at Botley. I planned to leave around half an hour earlier than usual, get to the green and hang around for Andy, then drink the tea and munch the biscuits and then head home. I needed to be back by 0930hrs, hence the earlier start. It all worked fine. Having made the tea I left the house just before 0645hrs and reached Botley Hill at 0737.

It was such a wonderful day. The sun was out, the skies were blue and everything was still. All I could hear was the birds in the hedgerows and possibly the occasional sheep in a distant field. If it wasn't heaven on earth it was pretty close. You couldn't really get much better and once again I felt as if I should camp somewhere, in an adjoining field. It would have been great, I thought, to wake up here at sunrise with nothing but the cool air, the blue sky and the sound of the wild life waking up to a new day.

Andy arrived just before 0800hrs and, like yesterday, we chatted about stuff while drinking tea and eating those BelVita biscuits. The subject was the pointlessness of social media, a subject we have visited before. Once again I found myself saying how I'd been on Linkedin since early 2009 and have only ever been singled out for a job interview once – back in 2010. Facebook with paperclips is how I would describe Linkedin. Like most social media I could live without it. Likewise Twitter, although the blog, the one you're reading right now, is fine. Fine because I'm not doing it for any reason other than my own entertainment.

We could have spent the rest of the morning there chatting about this and that, although the tea had run out and so had the biscuits. There was, however, the Botley Hill Farmhouse pub and it's so-called Sheep Shed, which sold tea and cakes, so we wouldn't have starved. But it was time to head home.

The day remained warm and sunny and I spent most of it in the back garden mowing lawns and pulling out sycamore trees growing in the flowerbeds.

My next ride will be Sunday and it will probably be similar to this Sunday's ride as I have to take somebody somewhere early in the morning. Botley Hill will beckon again and if the weather holds, all will be fine with the world.

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