what a nice Saturday

we set off yesterday morning for Overburys (don’t look at the web site – there’s nothing there yet). They are a bike shop in what they like to call Montpelier, although I don’t know why – they’re in St Pauls, and there’s no getting away from it. They’ve been trading since 1900, and the woman who runs it must be in her sixties; the place is like Arkwrights – bikes everywhere, and really untidy, but they know their stuff. We spent about an hour and a half there trying different velocipedes, and I choset one of these:

you’re right – it is very blue, but I’m warming to the colour.

perlmonger went for a Claud Butler Urban 100, a rather sleek matt black chap (the bicycle, not perlmonger.

Overburys like a few days to assemble the machines and test them, and as we are heading for geoffcampbell‘s annual Summer Camp on Friday, we will pick them up a week on Wednesday. This has almost certainly blown the budget for now for a) the Mac Mini, and b) the new TomTom, but these will be much better for us, and I wanted to get them before the summer was completely gone. We’ve also ordered [deep breath] lights and mudguards and helmets and locks and chains and god knows what – I think the accoutrements will cost nearly as much as the bikes,

after that unsanctioned expenditure of the best part of 700 quid (I fear – haven’t quite added it up yet), we hurtled home and consumed a hasty bacon and mushroom (and egg for me) sandwich, then hurtled out again

to Pill, to deliver LibDem leaflets for the bye-election next month.
I did 186, mostly on a council estate with very long paths, and lots of steps, and a lot of old folks’ bungalows. I met a exceedingly beautiful burmese cat with a studded collar, some very nice elderly folk in their gardens, and a man doing up a VW camper van, with whom I had a very interesting conversation. It took me about 2.5 hours – I’m not a very fast walker, and has convinced me (were I not already convinced) that I don’t want to be a postperson, Thank You Very Much. An enormous number of people seem not to want to get any post, and thus make it extremely difficult to put things through their letterboxes, if they even *have* a letterbox.

I’ve decided that when I’m in charge, I will ban:

  • vertical letterboxes, whether they open from the side or the top
  • letterboxes that go snap on the unwary deliverer’s fingers
  • being in possession of a letterbox which is at ground level will be grounds for summary execution
  • all dogs must be trained not to nip at fingers through a letterbox

having said all that, I quite enjoyed wandering around – for someone who is just slightly beaky about other people’s houses, it’s a grand excuse to peer through windows.

my feet ached by the time I got back to the meeting place, and when we got home, I collapsed on the sofa with a Nice Cup of Tea. And half an hour later, I could barely *move* – my poor old creaky skeleton had had enough, and my hips and knees were not at all happy. Ghod knows what I shall be like on the bike in the early days.
still, a large Dexter sirloin with chips, a glass of wine, How … Maria? and some I Claudius passed the evening very nicely before I crawled off to bed.

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