Well, I’d been hoping the Weather Gods would follow the lead of the bulk of my increasingly grumpy Twitter timeline and go in for a ‘dry January’ (we, on the other hand, are having a cake-free January, which is worse) but no such luck – in fact they seem to have been competing to see just how much of a soaking they can give me whenever I venture onto a bike. On Friday, even my wellies failed to keep my feet dry after the water just rolled down my trousers and into my socks, a fact I had forgotten until I put them on again the next day and went squelch. The Rayburn has been working overtime drying out my damp cycling gear; the kitchen is always permanently draped with yesterday’s trousers, socks and gloves, waiting for me to return from my latest drenching so I can swap them for today’s.
Today, though, it was neither raining nor icy. The sun was out and all the birds were singing as though spring was just around the corner. I stood around admiringly making helpful comments as the other half switched my ice tyres off the bike, and it was off for the paper with a song of my own in my heart, a song which lasted approximately half a mile until I could no longer ignore the fact that the icy-cold spits of water landing on my face were in fact raindrops and that it was in fact raining, again, stopping only briefly to sleet.
Oh, well that’s not quite true. It did stop for a moment and the sun came out and lit up the silvery underwings of a flock of fieldfares as they flashed away from me and over the hedgerow into the next field, before the soaking resumed. A nice reminder that there are birds that fly south for the winter and end up here as a balmy alternative to wherever it is they are from. Wet and miserable as I was, it’s good to know that somewhere further north there is therefore undoubtedly a cyclist who is enduring conditions which are even worse.
Although they’re probably not having to endure it without cake.