Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tour de Frank

I had thought that I might find myself a nice fountain pen - I can't work modern things. Ha! I can't work my mobile phone. In fact, I struggle to work a bleedin' biro!  Anyway, as I have said, I thought I might find a decent fountain  pen, so I asked Pat to find a car boot sale for us to go to on my day out. Seeing as we were going to a boot sale, and he likes a good bargain (who doesn't?), Dennis was doing the driving. We had a nice day for it at least.

Not being able to use a mobile very successfully, I gave it to Pat when Andrew phoned up and they decided where to meet - the local football club or, as it is known by visiting supporters, "Where?". There is a large car park and an even larger field where a couple of dozen stalls had been set out, and of course I had to go and buy a couple of little hedgehogs! (Before anyone asks - the answer is, I don't know.)

Andrew found us, and we wandered and meandered - and, needless to say, I'm still looking for a fountain pen.

After that we all went into Boston where we wandered around the shops and I annoyed (or embarrassed) everyone by trying to do a deal by bargaining with a nice old girl in a charity shop. I've no idea what I wanted from her, but it seemed to be worth the negotiation.

Outside again, and everyone looking at me oddly - a fairly normal state of affairs for me really. We decided to wander to the riverside bistro mentioned last week - or was it the week before? - where I have now become a regular. So is everyone else there, I suppose.  Nice food on the terrace overlooking the river, very tasty, and  I had breakfast - not a bad trick at two in the afternoon. It's a sleepy little place on a hot Sunday afternoon, no two ways about it.

"Right!" said Andrew, when Pat and Dennis decided to drive off for greener pastures, "Let's go and get the car," - which he had left parked at the side of the road at the footy club - "and we will see how you get on with the bike!"

Now, at this point, I'd better point out that I was wearing a black go-to-church-on-Sunday suit!

"Just take off the coat, not to mention the shirt and tie, and tuck your socks around yer trews!"

Did that, no problem, and jumped on the mountain bike Andrew had brought down specifically for the purpose of finding out if I could break my neck in several places.

Bit of a shaky start - almost hit a barrier and almost took several layers of paint off Andrew's car - but, once I got the wind in my  hair, we were off! Up the track, through the park, ringing bells wildly at innoffensive perambulating Sunday strollers and along the river bank until we came to a lock thing. Negotiated that okay and drank a pint of ice-cold orange juice to replace lost liquid. Then it was back on the bike and disaster struck - and so did the lock gate. Took the skin off my arm, but I didn't cry and didn't ask to go to A&E. (Actually, I'm going to hospital next week for my umbilical hernia operatlon. This is either the third or fourth attempt, so I'm not expecting too much. I'll go, I'll either get done or I won't - we will see.)

A funny thing about riding a bike - you never forget how to do it really, and in no time I was zooming along at a rate of knots, thoroughly enjoying myself, bobbing and weaving, and didn't hit a single pedestrian, not once.

Finally, let me just say that I am impressed by Bradley Wiggins. Well done! But you ought to do something ahout those sideburns. In my younger days only teddy-boys wore such facial hair. You look like the Victorian Dad out of Viz!

However, be that as it may, Andrew has got me into bike riding now, so here is a message for young Bradley: keep looking over your shoulder because, sooner or later, you will hear the sound of tyres on tarmac - and that'll be me.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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