September 11, 2018
Having just finished some work and finding myself with a few days off, today should, technically, have been an unusally leisurely affair, with not much to do other than plant 200 bulbs,* bake a loaf of bread, deal with a backlog of admin, pick up some flyers for the Bigtown Cycle Campaign bike breakfast and distribute them to unsuspecting cyclists, and deliver emergency coffee and cake supplies to the other half’s workplace …
…I may need to work on my definition of leisurely.
I also had to work in a detour for my ford correspondent had told me last night that the freshly laid tarmac has already, as predicted, crumbled into a mess of potholes (or ‘a road’ as we call it in Bigtownshire). Sadly there was too much water to see for myself, but it was nice to revisit an old friend.
Anyway, the upshot was that having looked at my watch and realising it was 12 o’clock and somehow the morning was gone, I found myself timetrialling into Bigtown to fit it all in – made somewhat more bearable by hitting the holy trinity on my way in of smooth tarmac, downhill and an epic tailwind. Indeed, this was, if I’m honest, one of those ‘why I cycle’ moments (but yeah, sure, it’s all about the environment and maintaining a healthy heart).
Tomorrow, though, tomorrow, I’ll get a chance to relax.**
* Damn you Crocus and your two for the price of one offers
** Maybe not
July 24, 2018
My spies report with stunning news: the Tarmac Fairy has got a bit ahead of herself
She’s only gone and tarmacked the ford.
This has incited some local discussion on the advisability of putting tarmac on a piece of road that is, by design, underwater for most of the year. There’s a reason most fords are made of concrete.
Could it be that, like everyone else in the country, the coonsil have been so beguiled by the heatwave that they have forgotten that it will eventually end?
Or do they know something we don’t?
(photos courtesy of Steve Jefkins)
September 29, 2017
One of the things I have been pondering for a while is how campaigners (and indeed writers and other people trying to make the world a better place by whatever means at their disposal) can support each other. There are many facets to this, some philosophical and some practical, but one really simple thing is simply to show up for stuff.
And so, I’ve been making an effort to get out and support other people’s events, even if they don’t feel like a massive priority for me. Sometimes this has felt like a hardship, but on the whole it’s quite nice to be at an event where your only responsibility is to exist.
And when it means cycling to Old Nearest Village on a dewy not-quite-managing-to-rain morning to eat cakes and drink tea and exchange gossip in the name of defeating cancer, I can’t even pretend it was an imposition.
(They don’t seem to be making much progress with the ford though, for some reason. They’d better hurry before that paint wears off altogether)
Tomorrow I will be here, being blissfully no-longer-in-charge, but hopefully supportive of those who are.
I could actually get used to this.
September 14, 2017
I had a prescription to pick up this afternoon, at Nearest Village, and then needed to head to Bigtown to get the paper. As these are in opposite directions to each other, the sensible thing to do would have been to head directly to Nearest Village and then turn around and head to Bigtown, but we’ve already established that that just seems like a waste of time, so I decided to take the back route out of the village, down one of my favourite hills, and swing by the ford, partly for old time’s sake, but mainly because I had received word that the road there was to be closed due to essential ford maintenance works.
This seemed like an exciting opportunity to catch the concrete fairy at work (that being the only other maintenance the ford has ever received in this blog’s lifetime), so off I went pausing only to wonder why it is that you can never take a picture of a road that gives any real sense of how steeply it is either rising or falling (actually, I also paused to take a photo of the impressive looking spider on the bike racks at the doctor’s surgery, but because my phone camera will never focus in on an interesting close object when there’s a fascinating stretch of concrete behind it to focus on instead, you’ll just have to believe me).
One swooping descent later, I reached the ford, to discover that nothing was happening, probably because it was running with 5 inches of water, although why the coonsil (or the concrete fairy) hadn’t thought this might be the case after a month when it has rained most days at least some of the time, I don’t know.
More on this non-story as it develops.
Meanwhile, down in Bigtown, something stirs
May 2, 2017
Cycling back from the Community Council meeting this evening with a song in my heart – for I had finally handed over the secretaryship to not one but two people* – and several insects in my eye – for the warm weather has brought the bugs out in profusion – I passed the turnoff to the ford. And as there was daylight still (and how nice it is to cycle in daylight in the evening), I thought why not.
Dear readers, I bring you for possibly the last time, the ford:
It’s been a dry spring, all in all.
* It’s always very satisfying when it takes more than one person to replace you
February 4, 2017
A visit to my parents this weekend gave us a chance to reunite the Brompton with a comrade in arms.
My parents had gone to visit friends of theirs in the next village along, so we pedalled out to join them for a cup of coffee and to swap tips on gardening (they’ve been using old carpets on their veg bed for 30 years and it’s not done them any harm), sci fi (they were very keen on the Martian, although mainly from the potato growing angle) and linux distributions (no idea – when I want a hobby instead of an operating system, I will put linux on my laptop).
The route there takes you past a ford, although what use a ford is without a measuring gauge, I don’t know.
Still, for those of you getting ford withdrawal symptoms, I post this here for what it’s worth.
July 29, 2016
Well we did it – or at least we’ve translocated ourselves and all our stuff to the new house
Paradoxically, despite moving to what is technically a larger house (but with less shedage) we appear to have no room for half of our stuff. This confirms my suspicions that the stuff does actually breed while you’re not looking.
Blogging has been light because we’ve been fairly busy over the last few days, but we did take the opportunity the other night to play one last round of ‘guess the level of the ford’.
Final ford reading
The other half was delighted to have the winning guess in what will likely be our final bout. Or maybe we will find another ford.