it's summer!

I had a parcel waiting for me at the sorting office, so I planned to go for a ride on the silver machine – collect the parcel, and come home via a scenic route. I dragged it out of the cycle tent, fitted the old lady’s wicker basket on the front, opened the gates, locked the doors (it’s a tedious business), set the GPS … and down came the rain.

It was bloody freezing – cold wind blowing, rain, etc. I pedalled womanfully round to Harpings Road, collected the parcel (Terra Plana shoes of fabulosity!), and came home via the Avenues; 3 miles rather than the 8-10 I had planned. My route was a little longer due to the arse in a big white van who had decided he really couldn’t be bothered to pull into the NHS car park in the tenfoot* by the Westbourne Health Centre, and instead would completely block the way; you could have got past him, carefully, on foot, but a bike wouldn’t fit. Given people use that tenfoot for access to their drives, he was being really quite selfish.

Pete made us some drop scones for breakfast, and then we went off into the city. On the bikes again! Called round to the bike shop and swapped the now redundant mudguards for a pair of fingerless cycling gloves, and went and looked at locks in the locksmiths, but I felt Β£28 was a little steep – I’ll carry the rigid lock for now.

Parked up in Victoria Square, then had a mooch round the shops. Pete wanted to try on some Docs, as they have stopped doing half sizes, and I wanted a couple of bits for the gym. Then we went down to Queens Gardens to see the Gig in the Gardens – sadly a very poor turnout, due to the weather, but we wandered round the stalls, talked to a load of people, got an “End Racism” wristband, and had a really nice lunch from the Anatolian stall at Β£4.50 for the two of us.

It was too cold to hang around for long, so we took ourselves round the Ferens Art Gallery. One floor was enough – I was over arted by the time we got to the maritime pictures, so we’ll do those another day. We treated ourselves to a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the cafe, then rode home again. The blue beast was collected, someone came round to try the purple bike, roast asparagus and pasta was consumed, and Doctor Who was watched.

Today we vaguely plan to take the bikes to the flatlands round the coast, but Pete has a very nasty cough so we’ll have to see how he feels when he surfaces. And I have Stuff to do a big chicken and chickpea tagine in the slow cooker.

*tenfoot is the name given locally to the alleys between the backs of the big terraced houses here – they’re ten feet wide (you could guess this, really), and were used originally for carriages, I think. These houses have huge gardens, and most people have garages at the end, so they use the alley for access. Unless a sodding great van is in the way, of course.