Monday 4 June 2012

In a class of my own

Or so it seems. I think I may be the only one in this first class carriage. Definitely worth the extra £5! On the train from Birmingham back to London, typing on the phone again. Today was a rather different ride from yesterday. For one, it wasn't pissing down great buckets of rain, which made a nice change. Still grey and cold, but that doesn't bother me as long as I don't have to dump out my shoes! I started off in Hereford, after my obligatory full English (minus the tomatoes and mushrooms, of course).
I spent about an hour walking around Hereford, which is actually a really nice town. Think I want to go back there. Today's cycling, 61 miles, was through rolling farmland. Corn, wheat, rapeseed and hops mostly. Nearly all of it was on little pissant country roads. I love those roads. I have to say, the USA really lost something by insisting on sensible roads. They do emphasise though how terrific it is to have a GPS on one's bike, bc omg I would have been hopelessly lost otherwise! This country must have been truly impossible to navigate during the war, when they took all the signs down! Anyway, I ended up in Birmingham, which, even more than London, seems to have really shitty areas right up next to posh ones. Unlike London, however, when the city was obliterated during and after the war, it was redesigned for the car, which means enormous roads, one way systems and roundabouts, not to mention dreary brutalist architecture and no real defined centre. Fortunately, they are doing a lot to gentrify and rebuild the centre and, of course, the gays are moving in! I hung out with Matt for a bit in his new flat with a fantastic view of the city and all the new builds. So, a pretty good way to spend two days. I saw a new part of Tue country, I've gotten to eat huge amounts of carbs, and now I get to sit in my very own first class carriage being a stinky slob and not caring!

Sunday 3 June 2012

Jubilee Bike Ride

Well, ok, so it wasn't exactly a traditional Jubilee activity. Part of me kind of wishes I'd been on the river today to watch all the ships go by. I'm not much of a royalist, but you gotta give Her Maj some credit for sticking with her job for 60 years! Anyway, I took the opportunity to do a 2 day bike ride, my first in over a year, from Cardiff to Birmingham. I'm typing this on my phone, which is extremely slow and tedious. My shoulder aches and is annoying, but I seemed to have made it through the first day ok, about 68 miles. The weather, initially, was ok until I headed north, away from the coastal plain. Not surprisingly, just a little bit of lift was all it took for mile after mile of rain, the last 15 or so torrential. I had purchased these waterproof shoe covers. They were great until those last 15 miles, when the water just ran down my legs (I was wearing shorts) and pooled up in my waterproof shoes. I don't mind riding in the rain as long as I stay dry, but the last 15 miles were just terrible. The scenery was beautiful, but all I could think of was a nice shower. Finally made it to this very nice little hotel in Hereford, absolutely full of Titanic photos. I'm not sure the woman who runs the place was very impressed by this drowned rat that showed up at her door! So I showered, had a yummy pub dinner, and decided I couldn't he bothered to walk around Hereford in the wet and the cold. Maybe tomorrow morning. Ah, I forgot, I was actually rather surprised how many Union Flags were flying in Wales. Maybe not as many as in England, but still a pretty good show for a bunch of grumpy nationalists who speak a silly language! Ok, tired of thumb typing. More tomorrow, as my thumbs allow.