But we don’t care about the Young Folks

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Things are hectic. Not because of The Wedding Monster, but just a massive list of stuff to do combined with growing responsibilities at work. This morning, ignoring the list of stuff to do for a bit, I woke early and headed out on Woah Mule. The plan was to do my normal 10K ride to the end of the canal path and back. The light was the sort of pearly grey dawn that can turn fabulous as the morning burns off. As I’d hoped, there were some good autumn/winter shots to take on the path.
A Hazy Shade of Winter
Instead of turning around at the end of the canal path, though, I decided to carry on to Topsham as there are some fabulously big reed beds near there which could have been looking good. I reached the village around 9am: it’s a route I used to take fifteen years back but now there is a cycleway for most of the run. I didn’t get good shots of the reed beds – I think I need to be at the Swan’s Rest or Turf Locks to get that. But it was still pretty.
Topsham Strand I then got the train back, partially because I was feeling leg-tired from the steeper roads near Topsham, and partially because I’d forgotten about the ancient rule about Never Wear Jeans When Cycling and was therefore saddlesore.

Last Saturday, I was footsore instead: we spent several hours looking in every window in Hatton Gardens (London’s diamond market) for the bling ring. It is rather strange to try on a two grand ring and wander out into the street with it because the entire area has its own security. In one stall in a traders market, the chap behind the counter gave me a very effective lesson in gemstones which explains why I think diamond-only rings look like cheap paste on me. He got me to hold out my hand, palm-down, and placed different gems against my fingers. Seeing the coloured gems, the rubies and garnets and sapphires, against my skin tone made it obvious I need the colour. An awful lot of the jewellery in the shops looked, as I put it, “a bit Elizabeth Duke”. I just genuinely don’t get why some of the stuff is seen as attractive: it’s all too shiny and bright and over-eager. So we’re still deciding on a ring.

Sunday, and we went to see Peter, Bjorn and John at the Forum in Kentish Town. You probably know them through the irritatingly catchy Young Folks song. So did the most London yehyehyeh media tartlets in the audience, who buggered off after they played it part way through the set. So for once we weren’t rammed in. Live, PB&J are noodling, rambling, shambling rock muso types with an utterly different vibe to their album. I’d been wondering if the Forum – a vomit-smelling* bear pit of a venue which also hosts School Reunion and the Church – was the right place for the expected fey Swedish pop types, but my fears were totally misplaced. Best gig of the year so far (I liked Lucky Soul more, but the media bores stuck around in that one). Recommended.

*this is the downside of the smoking ban: the smell of gigs has changed.

My Ever Changing Moods

Sunday, 8 July 2007

One of the things getting woah mule! last year meant was getting to grips with modern bike valves and pumps.

I learnt to ride and service bikes in the early 1980s. I wasn’t allowed a racer as they were too dangerous, but still, think of this Jam video for an idea of when I could last strip a bike and rebuild it. (Also, for Talbot’s frankly wussy helmet which wouldn’t have stopped anything.)

But I went down Halfords and bought a stirrup pump because they look soooo cool. Also, a hand pump to stuff in a bag so I could fix tyres in transit. I just couldn’t get the hang of them. No matter what I did it wouldn’t fix on right. The value would just start venting, or the valve wouldn’t open and the pump attachment bit would fly off the valve. So I’d been going down friendly bike hire places and getting a pump up. Today, watching packs of cyclists going through London, I decided I would get to grips with the damn pump. And I have! Hurrah! I am no longer afeared of long rides in case I need to pump the tyres!

What with one thing and another (i.e. the chap, new job etc) I’ve not been on the bike much, and certainly haven’t got around to fixing up faster mule yah yah! as I planned. But the bike holding bay (i.e. an odd bit of the hallway where I can lean them) is now tidied up and I’m ready to whizz around to the supermarket again.

ETA: Alistair, who is a proper bike nut (see his Grande Depart post), will be hosting another Exeter Goes Pop! night this Thursday at the Phoenix in Exeter. If you’re around, pop in. It’s free and laid back.

[For some reason, blogger doesn't like me putting titles in unless I'm in Preview mode - this is very annoying]


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