Monday, 9 January 2017

The slow way to Tatsfield Village...

Sunday 8th January. Radio Four's Something Understood on Sunday morning was all about immortality. The programme, which airs immediately after the 0600hrs news at around 0610hrs, kicked off with the fact that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. All very depressing. I didn't want to get out of bed as the ride was our first early excursion after the traditional later start over the festive season.

I dressed and went downstairs to make tea and breakfast before I headed out, in the dark, to mount the bike and head for the green. It was dark and would remain so until 0800hrs. Fortunately I had front and rear lights having worked out a way of attaching my rear light to my rucksack.

It wasn't cold, but the balaclava always makes life a little more comfortable
At the green we decided to ride the slow way to Tatsfield Village where we noted with joy that the Old Ship pub was not going to be closed down and turned into housing or a convenience store. A man was varnishing a door so I went over for a chat. He invited me in to see a refurbished interior and told me that the place would re-open to the public on 13th January. Food would be on offer in February and, I was told, it will be traditional pub food, all home-made. There's even to be a coffee shop that will open at 0830hrs – a place to chill after a ride, I thought, and later relayed the information to Andy.

The weather was wonderful. It was dry for a start and there were clear skies. In fact, despite a lot of talk about poor weather, there hasn't been any. Over the Christmas period I was expecting plenty of abort texts due to promised storms, but we remained dry and active throughout.

When I reached home, the latest David Bowie documentary (about his last five years) was on the television. I sat and watched it and found myself getting depressed again. I thought back to Something Understood earlier this morning on the radio. Immortality, death and taxes, and poor old David Bowie who died roughly a year ago.

Later I decided to clean the bike (it was looking a bit dirty!). I oiled the chain too.

There's a train strike Monday, Wednesday and Friday and, as always, I consider riding to work. But the reality is something else. While the ride to work is simple and very pleasant, there's all the hassle of taking a spare pair of trousers and a shirt with me and sitting at my desk feeling, well, sweaty. I'll probably get the bus, which is fairly pleasant. It means I can read for a good hour and at the moment I'm reading Dave Eggers' The Circle. I've only just started it, but it seems promising and has received some good reviews from people that matter, like David Baddiel.

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