Turning Pedals Once More.

On opening the blinds first thing this morning I found that the snow had been given a fright and the weather was looking very favourable, sky clearing and the sun may even ‘come out and play’.

First washing in the machine, then out with the hoover and a quick dicht over the carpets. Time to dust off my bicycle that had been languishing rather too long in the living room and fast becoming a clothes horse. The snow, black ice and generally bad roads had turned me into a couch potato over the last weeks, I really needed to be out on my bike again.

I struck out for Guardbridge, nothing strenuous, and as I pedalled my way towards the cycle track, I was stopped in my wheel tracks by road repairs. Taking to the pavement I reached the cycle path only to find it still under a covering of patchy snow and ice, so it would be the A91 to Guardbridge. The road was surprisingly busy with lorries and vans, and the obligatory empty bus. I wonder if the drivers will take it ill out when they have to stop and pick up passengers once more?

As I whizzed along at 20 kph my mind wandered over the past days of inactivity. Or possibly that was a bad choice of words since I had journeyed twice around the world over that period.

Once with the good Captain Joshua Slocum, a brilliant well-written book that everyone should read at least once in their life. Although I believe the good captain stretched the truth, just a little sometimes, still, it was a great adventure, and you will meet some fascinating people along the way.

Then ‘The long way’, by Bernard Moitessier, much more about a man searching within himself, and possibly finding some inner peace in the solitude of his self imposed little world, his boat Joshua. We travel with him not only around the world but back into his past growing up in Indochina, and the eastern cultures that seemed to have had a profound influence on him as a young lad, even although he had not been back there for some 20 years, it still bubbled to the surface.

Sailing around the world, is that possible? I mean if the world is round, there can be no end, you may reach a destination along the line of travel but there will always be something further ahead, so can you ever really sail around the world? Clearly, I have not made the transformation back into the real world yet.

As I neared Guardbridge I had a look up the road to Strathkinness, the road was black and therefore free of snow and ice, so I headed up the hill for the little village. Dropping down the other side where I saw a crocodile of children in high visibility jackets coming up the hill toward me, it was a long line so the kindergartens are still going strong.

At the B939 I turned left, popped it into my high front ring and pushed hard all the way into St Andrews. It was not a long run today but I was out on the road once more turning pedals and that is all that mattered. Home and sitting with my pot of tea, it felt good to feel the dull pain in my legs once more. The good news the weather will stay mild for the remainder of the week, hip-hip- replacement.

The finishing joiners are in at the old Backpackers building, so the skip had to be raked, I found enough dressed timber, (I think it is obeche, for it had that cat pee smell when I cut into it) still it made good shelves, down each side of the cold frame, and enough 2 inches by 1-inch timber for the frame’s lid. I cut and planed up the wood for the shelves and fitted them, somewhere to put tools or plant pots. all that is needed now is the piece of perspex I ordered on the internet, something you just can’t find in skips.

The disappearance of the snow has the birds once more finding their natural food in the shrubbery and borders, so I have stopped putting out feed for them. If the cold nights return I will continue to feed, for I’m told a small bird can lose up to 10% of its bodyweight simply keeping warm overnight.

There is nothing on the television to interest me these day, if I ever see Dominic Raab again it will be too soon, don’t you just get the boak, every time that man appears to tell you how great Boris is doing with the vaccination programme, all those that died because of their incompetence, oh that’s yesterdays news, move on.

I think I will have a night in with Bogart, what shall I watch first The Maltese Falcon,

(Mary Astor and Peter Lorre).

Or what about The Big Sleep, (Bogart/Bacall).

They would later marry

Then there is Key Largo (again with Bacall and who can forget the great Edward G Robinson).

“Is that a dagger I see before me?”

Or as a special treat, I could watch Casablanca, (with Paul Henreid and the unforgettable Ingrid Bergman). He was to say in an interview that he hated Bergman, and yes he used that word.

“Why did you come to Casablanca?” Rick, was asked by the Principal of Police.

“I came here for my health, to take the waters”.

“But there is no water in Casablanca, this is a desert”,

“I was misinformed”,

They just don’t write them like that any more,

“Here’s looking at you kid”.

Stay safe.

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