Today’s guest picture was very kindly sent to me by my brother Andrew. He quite rightly felt that we all needed cheering up on account of the political situation, and thought that there could be no more cheerful sight than the riverside gardens at Tamworth.
After yesterday’s miserable day of wind and rain, we got a duplicate wet and windy day today. As a result, I was more than happy to let breakfast and the crossword drift gently into coffee and a biscuit. At this point, I was rescued from gloomy torpor by first, the arrival of Sandy looking to borrow the Archive Group projector, and then by Dropscone, who turned up with great expectations, having read in yesterday’s post that there was a chance of biscuits as well as coffee.
We did indeed enjoy the recorder group’s biscuits with some Guatemalan coffee. The rain fell steadily outside.
When the coffee klatch disbanded, I thought about cycling down to Longtown on my borrowed bike in order to hand it back and collect my own bike from the bike shop and ride it home.
I thought about it and I looked at the rain and then I thought again.
But then I remembered the Rules of the Velominati, the invisible hand that guides the cyclists of the world along the truth path of enlightenment.
Their mission statement is this:
The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them all into your life as a Velominatus is a never-ending struggle waged between form and function as we continue along The Path towards transcension.
There are many rules, many of the only apply to more serious cyclists than me but I like Rule 12 which says:
The correct number of bikes to own is n+1 where n is the number of bikes that you already own.
Today I particularly thought of rule 9 which states:
If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period. Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work.
And the best rule of all, Rule 5:
I cannot reprint what Rule 5 says in this blog for reasons of taste, but suffice it say that the general tenor of the rule is:
So I stopped crying and put my waterproof gear on and cycled the 15 miles down to Longtown by back and sometimes bumpy roads on my borrowed bike (which has a very upright riding position) into a stiff wind and with rain battering into my face for most of the way.
I enjoyed it.
Once you are wet, you can’t get any wetter and it was reasonably warm so there was nothing to complain about.
I enjoyed coming back by a straighter route on my own much more comfortable bike, with the wind behind me and the rain reduced to a drizzle even more for some reason.
My bike was in the repair shop because of a persistent and annoying noisy vibration, probably coming from the belt drive. I say probably because the best brains at the bike shop are baffled and although their efforts have led to an amelioration, they have not led to a complete cure. Further trial and research is in order. Meanwhile the bike is riding pretty well so I am fairly happy.
When I got back, I had a look round the garden in the drizzle to enjoy what colour I could find.
The bad weather had not put a small insect off visiting the zinnia.
And a cosmos smiled shyly at me through the gloom.
Lilian Austin keeps producing more late flowers…
…and most surprising of all is this clematis at the front door, as this is the third time is has produced flowers this year.
I had time for a shower and a late lunch and then I set off to Carlisle (in the rain) but this time by car. I was heading for the station to pick Mrs Tootlepedal up from the London train.
Quite by chance, I saw this fine steam locomotive, 45699 Galatea, waiting at platform 3 to haul a steam excursion down the line.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s train was punctual to the very minute, indeed it might even have been a fraction early, so I had to leave the steam engine and go to meet her.
It wasn’t raining in Carlisle but it was raining in Langholm when we got back. There are disadvantages in living among the hills on the edge of the Solway plain. After several sunny days in London, Mrs Tootlepedal remarked on them.
There is no flying bird of the day, but I did take a short and wobbly video on my phone of Galatea pulling out of the station. I have turned the sound down considerably as it was a noisy affair.
I don’t need to say it but I will anyway, it is surpassingly good to have Mrs Tootlepedal home again.
You can find the very extensive list of the Velominati rules here if your interest has been roused. They are for a specialised taste though and probably not very funny if you are not a cyclist. My tan lines are very disappointing.