Thursday, 18 March 2010

Spring has sproing...

Four score and some odd number of seconds ago, I had a look at my blog and noticed how small and feeble and neglected it was. Well, mostly I'm not at work at the moment (where I have actually been having to work a lot and haven't been able to screw around on the internet as much!). Days go by and I have these fun, witty and amazing observations (I think, anyway), and I don't get off my butt and write them down, then pfft! Gone! It's the end of the week again - another week gone and not much to show... I used to dream of Friday, as the long... week... dragged... on, but now Fridays seem to come with alarming regularity. Not sure if that's getting older, having things to do, or some combination of the two. My big accomplishment the other day, after work, was heading to the dept store to buy a new wok and frying pan. Living la vida local, it would seem...

So, David and I are going to finally get around to filling in the HUGE application for citizenship, where we get to answer questions like are we terrorists (don't think so), have we committed genocide (hmm) and have we ever done anything immoral (of course not!). I mean really - who thinks up these things? We'll have to start travelling around Europe now with large groups of "lager-louts" - maybe go to a stag do or something, get absolutely shitfaced drunk, pee in the fountain, and get arrested while dressed as nuns (with no knickers). I'm pretty sure that's what one is supposed to do as a Brit abroad...

Oh, one minorly crapalacious thing happened... Two weeks ago I took the day off sick from work. However, there was a meeting I really felt I should go to at City Hall, so I biked my poor little self into town to go to this meeting. Turns out I had confused it with another meeting the next day (I was ill, don't forget!) and the person at the front desk had no idea what I was talking about. So, big old dumbalina had to call his boss and ask about the meeting, which turned out to be the next day. Smooth move.

So, I thought, well, I'm in town anyway, so I thought I'd run some errands, have a cup of tea and a muffin while reading the paper, that sort of thing - very civilized. Civilised even. I come out to get my bike after that and discover, to my absolute astonishment and horror, that someone has removed the brakes. Or, rather, the brakes, the cables and the levers. They left the rotors, as the wheels have locking skewers. Now, David had just gone that very day off to a nice B&B weekend up north, which I bought him as a Christmas present, so poor Robin had to deal with me having a complete meltdown on the phone. I had to push my bike the 2 miles to the bike store I go to, in the middle of evening rush hour, getting funny looks the whole time b/c it was obvious there were large parts missing from the bike. £250 later, my bike has new, very good brakes. To these new, very good brakes, I have added a good dollop of black enamel paint - over all shiny parts and all brand names. I have also filled in the eight mounting screws (allen) with superglue, as well as painted around the edges of them. They won't be coming off without a fairly hefty helping of fingernail polish remover. But I mean, my God - to keep my bike (relatively) safe, I now do the following:

1. I have an enormous magnesium coated chain that weighs about a billion pounds that I bought 12 years ago in New York. It's on its third lock (they keep improving them as the theives get better), and I wear it as a belt when I ride. I've cycled tens of thousands of miles with this stupid chain around my waist (it's actually fine there, though I'm not so sure I'd want to fall over on it).

2. I have a cable lock to lock on my seat and seat post when I leave the bike (having lost 1 seat, 2 seat posts and 1 seat post clamp - not all at the same time).

3. I have locking wheel skewers that require a 5-sided wrench to get them off.

4. I remove all lights, bike computer, water bottle.

5. I never ever ever ever leave it out overnight.

But then, my brakes were taken off on a busy street in broad daylight. Un-flipping-believeable. People will steal absolutely everything - they probably sold it onwards on e-Bay. It's probably not nice to wish death and dismemberment on such people... OK, I'd settle for kneecaps and castration. I'm willing to show mercy.


Anyway, I need to go cut my hair, as it's gotten rather fluffy, and is getting to the length that emphasizes just how white it is. Yucky.

Oh yeah, and the spring bit. Finally, after what was billed as the worst winter since possibly the Pleistocene (it was moderately chilly with a few inches of snow -ooh scary), the crocuses have just finshed and the daffodils are starting up. So are my itchy eyes. Oh spring, my favourite season. Now where did I put the antihistamine...

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