Is it a bird? is it a plane?

No, it’s me actually!

Cyclist hit by car or aarrgghhOnce again I found myself unexpectedly airborne as I was cycling home from work.  This time it was a car pulling out of a school car park just as I was unfortunate enough to be passing the school gates.

However, I think I’m starting to get the hang of being a crash test dummy, I’ve certainly had enough practice over the last few years! My graceful trajectory from bike to car bonnet and ultimately back to Terra Firma certainly seemed to impress the gathered onlookers. From the look of shock and awe in their eyes I feel sure that, if they had been holding score cards, I’d have been hitting at least eights and nines and possibly the odd ten too.

I believe I also showed admirable bounce-back-ability, (one for the football fans there), getting immediately back on my feet, despite the concerns of two passing cyclists, who clearly felt I should have remained writhing on the floor in feigned agony until the paramedics arrived, if only to make the car owner feel much worse than she already did.

I must admit the driver showed great concern for my well-being, flippantly dismissing the large dent I’d left in the bonnet of her car as totally unimportant compared to any damage that may have occurred to me. I expect she may not be so flippant when she takes it to the garage for a repair quote!

I hurriedly brushed a variety of leaf litter from my clothing and, having assured everyone I was perfectly fine, got back on my bike and continued on my way home.

As I carefully weaved my way through the gathered masses one witty onlooker voiced the hypothesis that I’d probably had much worse incidents whilst cycling down mountains…  well there was that time I was attacked by a savage dog whilst cycling in Mongolia, but that’s another story..

 

 

Econo-Myths.

Nope

Say Nope to the ConDems

  • Our Current deficit as a percentage of GDP is around 65%
  • If you subtract the cost of the Bank Bailouts it would be around 57%
  • 65% deficit is currently one of the lowest in the world amongst ‘developed’ countries.
  • In 1945 when the NHS and the Welfare state was created it was 250%
  • The ConDems are using Canada as a financial model. Their deficit is 81% of their GDP
  • It is expected that the banks will take more than 15 years to repay their 995bn debt
  • The public sector has been given only four years to reduce the deficit by 95bn
  • 4 years is a political time-frame not a financial one.
  • Our Deficit could easily be paid off in 12 -15 years.

This is an ideological onslaught on the middle and working class majority by the privileged minority. There is absolutely no need for a period of  ‘targeted austerity’ You really should be getting very angry about this!

The above points have been taken from a presentation called ‘Economyths’

was created by Barry and Saville Kushner who have given their permission for a copy to be made available for download on this site.
(powerpoint 3.1mb)

Thanks for letting me know!!

Digging Hole

We received a letter earlier this week from United Utilities informing us that they had become aware of a mains water leak on our premises. It informed us that the leak must be repaired within eight days from the date the letter was written or they would have to obtain a court order and then carry out the work themselves, at a significantly higher cost than if we got our own plumber in to do the work.

This was extremely annoying on a couple of levels.

Not the fact that we had a leak, or that United Utilities had informed us of the leak, but because a representative of United Utilities had become aware of the leak, whilst checking the stop-tap controlling the supply our property, and then;

DIDN’T call at the door to see if anyone was in that could be informed of the leak straight away;

and

DIDN’T put any form of notice through the door to inform us of the problem in advance,

but instead went away and presumably reported back to head office, who then wrote the letter which took two of the eight days notice given to deal with the problem to get to us..

Fortunately, I completed a City & Guilds Plumbing Course several years ago so was able to carry out the repair myself straight away, however, for your average householder this could have been a costly business as it isn’t easy finding a plumber in an emergency, unless your insured or willing to pay a premium for the call out.

As it happened, we were going away for the weekend, so I had to carry out the work when I got in from my day job and ended up having to remove a square yard of wet soil and mud out of the ground, in the dark, to get at the bloomin leak..

Incidentally the fitting which had sprung the leak had only been installed a couple of months earlier by the builders which have been referred to in some of my previous posts..

Wasn’t bloody happy!!

Enough is Enough!!

Man either slipping on ice or doing incredibly funny danceI’d pretty much gotten back into cycling to work, I really had, and then the big freeze arrived! I tried to continue the regime, in spite of the first flurries of snow, but on my last outing, after parting company with my bike twice before I’d even gotten halfway there, I knew enough was enough! Having passed the point of no return I decided to cautiously complete the journey and, even more cautiously, the return journey later that evening.

Needless to say, the bike has remained in the house ever since, and as I drive to work in my nice warm van, sipping from a Thermos mug of warm coffee, listening to early morning radio, I wonder what the feck I was thinking!!

With no sign of the snow abating I went shopping for a pair of slip-on ice grippers to go over my shoes. The very next day the snow abated!! It was very quickly replaced, however, with a very thin layer of deadly ice which, apparently, is not thick enough to prevent my ice grippers from terminal wear and tear but definitely slippery enough for me to be able to combine three classical dances into one spectacular display of self-destruction!

Aaaaaggghh!

Feck, Feck, Feckity Feck!

Cycling in the rain

Why?

I’ve been a bit of a wimp  over the last few weeks, shunning the exhilarating experience of cycling to work through gale driven rainfall in favour of the warm and dry interior of our camper van. What was I thinking?

However, owing to the usual financial concerns relating to the regular use of the aforementioned van,  the fact that the weather forecast was sunny and dry for the whole day and because I’d recently forked out nigh on a couple of hundred quid for new waterproofs, I decided it was high time I got back on the bike.

It was quite a cold start initially, and I was a little out of condition, so the start of the ride was a bit of a struggle, but the sky was clear, the sun was shining brightly and although it’s heat wasn’t reaching planet earth as well as I would have preferred, I was starting to enjoy the experience more and more.

I can remember the actual moment the thought ‘this is nice’ formulated in my head because in the very same instance my ying was yanged and the forces of nature that monitor the balance sheets of allotted pleasure and pain decided I was having too good a time and decided to rebalance the books….   pssssssssshhhiiittttt.. bump.. bump.. bump..  Feck! Bloody flat tyre!!

I was at least 40 minutes walk away from work with no repair kit and no pump owing to the fact that the tyres were supposed to be very puncture resistant. I immediately felt compelled to utter several words which were as blue, if not bluer, than the beautiful sky which had momentarily made me so happy.

To conclude I walked a couple of miles to the nearest Bicycle Repair shop and, after a 20 minute wait, I left with two new winter tyres and inner tubes (fitted), a realigned rear axle, a new pair of winter gloves and just over £82 less in our bank account….

I’m seriously beginning to wonder just how much I’m actually saving riding through the bloody winter rain!!