Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gritty woman

A side effect of a conference by the sea in the bleak mid-autumn is sand everywhere. I've been home two days and I'm still finding it: in my boots, up my nose, in my ears.

I'm not complaining though. If you grow up by the sea there's always something missing if it's not there. At some stage I will need it back in my life, but meantime I take where I find. The Africans and the Asians thought we were bonkers to be fighting into the wind on the way out and staggering helplessly back with tangled hair and sand-blasted faces, but I am sure they have similar rituals, and it went some way to compensating for losing half of Sunday to Heathrow Terminal 4.

And back to crystal clear frosty Novemberness. Could be worse, though I have yet to find my under-the-bike-helmet hat, since I haven't needed it since February. And there's suddenly a whole lot more stuff to carry around... bike lights, scarves, high-vis jacket... plus today add plumbing paraphernalia and the exhaustion that comes with a disrupted week and three hours of wrestling with hacksaws and stilsons.

I hate being a girl at plumbing, but tonight I caved in and asked J the technician if I could leave my steel toecap boots in the workshop till next week, because I just couldn't face hauling the bloody things home.

He laughed and said 'as a fellow cyclist, I understand'. He is a kind person. It was still a long way back, but I could smile through my gritted teeth.

I don't mind the cold and the dark, but you have to make time to adjust. It's the time of year where you need to aim lower, and spend more time eating comfort food while wrapped in fleece.



Anonymous jonathan said...

I'm glad to hear someone else is struggling to adjust, and having to remind themselves to 'aim lower' (very well put!). I have been pedalling home every night this week marvelling at so many of my fellow cycling commuters who seem to have been able to hit this cold snap running.. with a full set of bike lights, and any number of hats aboard their bonces, both under and over the regulation helmets.

Meanwhile I have still not replaced the lights that were nicked last winter (I get my lights nicked every winter, this is inner-city Manchester after all) and a cursory search of the bedroom has unearthed the grand total of one glove. One glove! It's enough to make a man give up the ghost and start driving to work, at least cars have glove 'compartments' (ooh maybe that's where I should be looking...)

12:19 am  
Blogger Jo said...

Bike light technology improves exponentially, I have come to realise, so it's no bad thing to get them nicked every now and again. I have a new front one which cost 20 quid, is the size of a matchbox and as bright as a searchlight. M says when I arrive at the front door with it flashing it's like a police car pulling up outside. Now I just want someone to nick the back one...

11:46 pm  

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