Saturday, February 16, 2008
After freezing my genitalia down to the size of a chipolata blessed with poorly shrivelled raisins for company I looked in despair at the contents of my bag.
Now there’s an opening line for you.
You see the thing was this, She Of The Townhouse had lured me on a promise down for a couple of days in the Cotswolds. While she went off for the day trumping up business for her organ, I am left to my own crude devices.
I am not sure whether fortune or foolish vanity drove my reason but I took my Dawes out of the shed and dusted it off with the intention of exploring a bit of Laurie Lees backyard. The gentle spring that had blessed the early part of the week had rather lulled me in to a false sense of security. Persuading me that all would be well and warm even without the extreme nether garments that I layer on when striding the mountain.
Dear me how wrong I was. As I attempted a hurtle along the A417 from Birdlip towards Cirencester, a very bike unfriendly dual carriageway, I soon regretted my optimism regarding the sun breaking through the chill grey mist. My fingers gradually turned blue and my thumbs stopped aching and went completely numb. The nose I was following likewise. Soon the uphill bits were accompanied by ragged breath and snot. By the time I actually arrived at Phoenix I was like a block of ice, and as I say at the top in danger of the unfortunate emasculation of the proverbial brass monkey.
I was glad then to repair to a coffee shop called Jacks and gird myself for the next stage of my expedition, first having purchased a map that would guide me to a route with a little less heavy traffic.
There I also reflected on how poorly I had stocked my small rucksack, not even a pair of gloves.
I was a sad comparison indeed to the radiant mother with a toddler who sat opposite me. Hanging from the back of a pram she proceeded to unpack an impressive range of puzzles, books, foodstuffs, spare clothes, cleaning materials and all manner of daily essentials until I began to suspect that she must have access to the Tardis space saving technology of ‘Bigger on the Inside”. This she multi tasked with animated and interesting conversation and the consumption of coffee.
It was like watching someone rub their stomach and pat their head at the same time.
I did think about whether she might not have a hot water bottle that I could stuff down the front of my trouser. But then I guess there are some things that are better left unspoken between strangers.
Ten miles later on I found a very nice pub and thawed out by the fire. As well of course as sinking a couple of pints of IPA and floating pie and chips on top of that.
The day seemed to brighten up…..