Sunday, 21 October 2012

Weekend work....

It's been one of those weekends that just disappear without me ever having the chance to relax or unwind. I'm writing this from my office having just completed the second draft of a sixteen page comic book style brochure specifically for school children in Wales and featuring a famous rugby club. However, I don't wish you to think it was a burden - far from it, I've enjoyed doing it, and furthermore the next job for this particular client is a twenty page cycling magazine!! - I'm looking forward to that.

This week I placed a couple of on-line orders for spare parts, replacement bits and various components to enable me to perform a thorough service on my new bike. Two new tyres, new chain, new cassette, new chain rings, new gear and brake cables, new bottom bracket bearings, new brake blocks. Maybe it doesn't sound much - but it cost me £300. That's a lot. You're thinking I could probably buy a bike for that? The trouble with expensive road bikes is, the component parts are made of lightweight alloys - they wear quickly and the replacements are expensive - it's a price we have to pay!

There seems to have been a late summery finale here. Although autumn is most definitely here we've been warmed by some glorious sunny days with little or nil wind and dry as well. The TV weather map has been all smiley-sun. There is something about the countryside at this time of year, on a perfect, still day, when summer and autumn seem to fuse into each other imperceptibly. Autumn comes slowly and goes on slowly, usually until December - it seems harder and harder to make the mark between seasons.

I've been out today and enjoyed every minute. It's long trousers and long gloves now and I for one would rather be a tad too warm than a smidgen too cold - I got it just right and ambling along the country lanes was just a total pleasure. I didn't push hard at all - I was absolutely content to let the bike dictate the speed - I simply wanted to enjoy myself and soak up the views, the smells and the sky and let my mind drift away somewhere. October is a lovely month, a kind of second spring, uncertain but exhilerating, sunny, maybe snowy, hot and frosty, bright and dark by turns - a sort of autumnal April.

I was surprised how many other cyclists were out - sometimes (most) I see very few others, put today it seemed like every few yards I was acknowledging someone or other heading the opposite way. I paused a couple of times to gaze over a farm gate ot through a gap in the trees. The land looks quiet and charming but at the same time brutal and elemental. Trying to describe the landscape is like trying to copy a Constable with an Etch-a-sketch. You shoot a load of exclamatory adjectives almost immediately - and the land, the hills, the trees, the rivers and skies look back as if to say - "Is that the best you've got pal? - Can you not think of a better cluster of similies, metaphors and allusions than that? Because, frankly, we didn't get up this morning and put on all this finery simply for you to stammer, 'wow, awesome" - and it's true - sometimes all you can do is stand and stare.

As I rode around my course I became aware that I was actually moving quite quickly - but it felt okay - my mind was somewhere else totally and I hadn't really given the idea of speed any thought at all. When I got back I almost turned around and set off again - the day was so pure and perfect - had it not been for a pressing deadline and spending time with my rugby comic I probably would have.

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