November 2006

1000 miles on the odometer

Today I reached the 1000 mile mark on my bike. From slob to daily cycle commuter in 7 months is nothing short of miraculous ! I’m utterly hooked – why else would I have spent the evening drying out sodden clothes and cycling shoes after cycling home in the wind and torrential rain just so that I can get up at 5.45 tomorrow morning and do it all over again ?

To some I may seem mad. To me I just seem to have found myself a way to get to work that gives me a workout and which is a damn site more enjoyable that being stuck on the bus with some of the Burberry-clad amoeba that travel that way.
I’m chuffed for me. I’m giving myself a BIG pat on the back and another celebratory cup of tea.

This is just brilliant. Why no-one got this proof-read and checked by a native speaker prior to printing, I’ll never know. But I bet he feels a right ass now 😉

From the BBC News site:

“Scotland’s fire services have scrapped hundreds of leaflets after a mistake urged members of the public to jump on a donkey when fleeing a house fire.

The leaflet by the Scottish Executive for the eight fire and rescue services was aimed at Urdu readers.

The advice was that anyone leaving a burning building from a window should lower themselves on to cushions.

However, the authors got the Urdu word for cushion mixed up with another very similar Urdu word for donkey.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service said it was grateful that the misspelling had been brought to its attention.

The spokesman said it was clear within the context of the sentence that it was a mistake.

The leaflet has now been withdrawn and will be reprinted.”

I go by Croila’s blog for the first time in a while and what do I see ? She tagged me and I knew nothing about it. After a bit of a game of following links backwards, I’ve worked out what I was supposed to answer.

1. I’m a single man, who will hopefully soon be divorced. It wasn’t my fault; she was the one who did the dirty on me. I’m sooo looking forward to the lawyers’ fees adding to my debts though. I’ve had a few relationships since we split, but I’ve decided that I’m far happier and more content on my own for now, thank you very much.

2. I believe in karma. The soon-to-be-ex suffers from chronic pancreatitis, which flared up after we split and means she no longer works and has gone from a size 10 to a size tent. I’m sure her new partner was delighted with what his tasty bit turned into.

3. I love podcasting. Done it for over a year now and have listeners across the world. Hell, I’ve been visited by a listener who works as a Hollywood costume designer. You meet the nicest people who genuinely enjoy what you do, though I have to admit that ‘fan worship’ makes me feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed. I’m just Mr Ordinary who blethers into a mic and plays music once a week as a hobby !

4. There is nothing more satisfying than a good long pee in the shower. I’ve no idea why I find it so enjoyable, though I worry people who read this will think I’m weird (which I am, but I don’t let on to the fact) !!

5. I am a human wind generator. Much of it smells very unpleasant; it must be the veggie diet and the gallons of tea that Croila forces me to drink at work 😉

6. I have a lovely scar running from the small of my back down into the vertical smile area (between the arse-cheeks, if you want me to spell it out). Caused by a pilonidal sinus when I was 17 – 18, it required a week in hospital whilst they operated and cut out the damn thing (a hair-lined cyst). There are plenty of images on the web you can enjoy at your leisure, but for a small fee I’ll gladly show mine off. After all, the original and the resulting surgical wound was seen by (a) a classmate working as a nurse at the time; (b) dozens of junior doctors (who I recognised from around the campus at Uni) and (c) various doctors and specialists prior to hospital admission. It was bloody painful before and after, especially when I fainted hours after the op and fell onto my backside… oooooooow !

7. I love Slovenia, especially being up in the Julian Alps mid-summer. Clear air, breathtaking views and the only place in the world where I can leave normal life behind and completely empty my head and feel alive again. I’ve not been since 2003 and it’s killing me slowly not to have that release.

8. My daughter means everything in the world to me. She kept me going when my world and marriage fell apart and she’s my wee treasure.

I am mightily hacked off. Today was too windy to cycle safely to work, so I left the bike at home.

Tonight I was all packed and ready for tomorrow and looking forward to it. (I think I’ve become an addict – if I don’t cycle to work now, I feel like something’s missing. There’s a thirst that’s not been sated).

Before getting ready for bed, I like to put the bike in the hall and give the new tyres a once-over to check for any sharp nasties that may be stuck in them. Whilst spinning the back wheel, I noticed two more broken spokes and an even-more pronounced buckle in the wheel itself. Damn ! That’s now five gone since my last big flat; the wheel’s booked in for a spoke repair and a trueing on Friday and they did warn me that after losing one, the unequal redistribution of the tension on the remainder would mean that others might go. I’d hoped they’d hold out a bit longer, but there are now so many gone that it’s too risky to attempt to ride it to work again now before it’s fixed.

I’m gutted. I’m craving a ride in the now-crisp and freezing morning air; hell – I have been preparing for the freezing temperatures I knew would come and I wanted to try out all my new kit tomorrow.

Roll on next Tuesday and the start of the next 4 days of cycle commuting. I can’t wait !