Tomorrow we head off for Duns, letting the stove go out fully for the first time in almost three weeks (an act that feels a bit like extinguishing the Olympic flame). And it being Christmas I had a few errands to run today, seeing as it’s the season for nipping out to the shops for the millionth time for the thing you forgot the last time you nipped out to the shops. Naturally, these errands were in diametrically opposite directions to each other which meant that this afternoon I suddenly had a total of 23 miles to cover on the bike (home to Papershop Village, Papershop Village to Bigtown, Bigtown to home). Astoundingly, given that the forecast had been for a mild, dry but overcast, breezy day, the afternoon turned out to be mild, dry but overcast and a bit breezy, so I set off, pedalling as only a cyclist who has been barely able to cycle for weeks and will be unable to cycle for another week can pedal. In truth, it was more of a bike ride with a few errands thrown in than nipping out to run errands on the bike, but who cares. The weather’s been all over the place this year, with May coming in April, March repeating itself throughout the summer, and September turning out like November. If the shortest day of the year wanted to suddenly turn in an impression of early October, I wasn’t going to argue with it. It will be a while before I’m back on the bike, scattering flocks of chaffinches, sending sheep running, and slowing down while squirrel Nutkin makes up his fluffy mind which side of the road he wishes to be on, so I enjoyed it while I could.
Updates may be a little sporadic over the next few days as we will be attempting to beat the world record for the greatest number of family members crammed into a tiny house over at Huttonian‘s. However, I do want to flag up this. The Womens’ Institute, Gawd bless its jam-making, Jerusalem-singing and Tony-Blair-slow-handclapping cotton socks wishes to encourage cycling. Sadly, it’s considering doing so by making cycling helmets compulsory. If that strikes you as a bit daft, or even if it doesn’t, I’d urge you to read this and then go and sign this. Hopefully, once sense has been seen and the might of the WI is brought to bear instead on the real issues of cyclists’ safety, such as decent bike paths, Jerusalem really will be builded here and it really will be a green and pleasant land.