Tag Archives: cyclist

Cyclists and Sentient Kebabs

The morning started off in an interesting fashion when I rose early and did some reading/replying on WordPress. That got rid of over an hour and I suddenly realised I was going to be late for work.

The journey was made memorable by an idiot on a bicycle. As the lights changed to let us turn onto the ring road a cyclist whizzed across the front of the queue, ignoring the lights that told him to stop. He was nearly hit by the car in front of me as it started to move forward, wobbled, nearly hit a pedestrian and ran into a wall.

Starting off again he cycled straight across at the next junction, again defying the lights and not even pausing to check for traffic. Again, another car driver had to brake to avoid him.

I’m not sure whether he was an idiot, a potential suicide or a man with insurance fraud in mind.

Note that I say ‘idiot on a bicycle, because I am trying to avoid dehumanising him by use of the word ‘cyclist’. Have a look at this research for the reason why. And after reading it, ask yourself why you didn’t go into the world of academia where jobs and reputations are built from talking rubbish. Seems a lot easier than actually working for a living.

If you ever see the headline Scientist says Bloggers are Great  you will know my academic career has started. Not quite as easy as being a ‘reality TV star’, as they call themselves.

Another plot for a novel has just come to me – a man, down on his luck, is sifting through the bins at the back of a kebab shop when he is struck by lightening. The meaty remnants in his hand are transmogrified into a person (of sorts) which goes on to find fame and fortune as a reality TV star. I’ll never get round to writing it so if anyone else wants to use it, feel free. You can fill in the rest of the details.

It lends itself to a cutting satire on modern celebrity culture, or a cookery book. Your choice.

At work I took photographs of more Edward VIII medallions and at home I found my spices have arrived via Amazon – Ras-el-Hanout and Harissa. For a  moment, when I walked into the living room I thought I’d been transported to an oriental bazaar, but I soon came back to reality of drizzly Nottingham.


Ras-el-hanout and Harissa – it’s cheaper in plastic bags than little jars, but it means I’m going to be eating much more spicy food for some time to come


Time, Travel and Temporal Trickery

A few days ago I noted that the time on my computer was wrong. This seems to have corrected itself.

I reset the clock at work last week because it seemed to have slowed down during lockdown. We though the battery might be running down but it has now been keeping good time for over a week.

Then, last night, when I tried to set the alarm, using my phone as I do these days (look at me being all 21st Century), I realised that the time was wrong. All the world time was wrong. And the calendar was reading 17th June 2017. To be honest, I could do with going back in time three years and sorting a few bits out, so I wasn’t too upset.

It would be just far enough back in time to make a few improvements, but not far enough back to involve reliving the bad bits, like adolescence.

Obviously it was too good to be true, and as nothing else seemed to have changed, I checked the time on Julia’s phone, set a timer instead of the alarm, and went to sleep.

In the morning, with daylight and glasses, I reset the time and all seems back to normal.

black and yellow analog clock

Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I have no idea why this happened, or why any of the previous incidents happened. May be clocks are joining in with the rest of the world in a widespread campaign to hate me.

It was my day off yesterday. Julia allowed me to drive her to the laundrette. It is the first time since lockdown. We have nice clean laundry and it smells good because it dried on the line. She has done some things by hand, so standards have been preserved, though I have mainly just aired, rotated and relied on my large stock of shirts and underwear which almost fit. There’s been a certain amount of breathing in as I got to the older stuff, but no disasters so far.

After lunch she allowed me to drive her to the gardens so she could check they were still OK. The grass is growing. We saw a greenfinch.

On the way back we saw two rows of traffic stop as they allowed a lady cyclist to retrieve her hat, which had been blown off. It was a comfort to see that manners still exist, though there was a bit of me that wondered why she didn’t have a string to hold it on.

Tomorrow I have a blood test, followed by dropping Julia off at work and then going to work myself. In the afternoon I will reverse the process (apart from the blood test).

If it wasn’t for the time travel I would lead a very dull life.

brass pocket watches

Photo by abdullah . on Pexels.com



What I Saw on my Way to Work

This morning’s journey was like a scene from a sci-fi film. It’s the second time it’s happened, but last Monday we put it down to school holidays.

Image result for post apocalypse movies

We found ourselves in the middle of an eerie situation where there were hardly any cars about, and no buses. There weren’t even many cyclists or walkers about, so it isn’t as if everyone has changed from cars to other sorts of transport. It was just like one of those films where everyone has fallen victim to a virus and the streets are empty apart from a little litter (which is the post-apocalyptic version of tumbleweed in a black and white western).

(That’s actually a picture from the web, not an accurate representation of Nottingham this morning. Just in case you were wondering.)

It built up a little as we drove through town but even so it was companionable rather than crowded.

I had the time to observe several strange sights, such as a cyclist dressed in purple and pink. Those seem to be the colours of Nottingham Trent University sports teams these days, but you don’t see many adults wearing it. He’s either an ex-student, a man of low sartorial standards, or an early riser who dressed in the dark.

Despite his dress sense he’s clearly a decent cyclist as we passed him within the first 500 yards of the journey and, ten minutes later, he passed us as we sat at traffic lights in the centre of town.

If I was going to breed a race of supercyclists I’d certainly be happy to include him in the programme, though he’d have to be paired up with a woman of highly developed fashion sense in order to breed out his unfortunate tendency to garishness.

We also saw one of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen.

As we approached the Goose Fair roundabout (a term which may mystify those of you who don’t know about the Goose Fair, or about British traffic systems – I was told, years ago, that they don’t have roundabouts in Canada, though this may not be true) I saw a youngish, though bulky woman, on the pavement. She had thighs that were probably twice the size of mine (and mine are ample) and just as white, though I relieve the whiteness of mine with a filigree effect of varicose veins.

I also keep mine decently covered with trousers.

The woman on the footpath didn’t conceal much at all. She may well have been on her way back from a night working as a burlesque dancer, or she may have been on her way to a superhero convention, but her outfit was definitely on the skimpy side.

I don’t remember much about the costume, because I mostly remember the beaming smile.

She may have been deliriously happy, demented or drugged to the eyeballs, but, whatever the cause, she was definitely smiling.

She cheered my day up. By the end of the day she will, I suspect have done more for the cause of normal women than all the female athletes and supermodels combined. She’s certainly advanced the case for plus-sized women more than any dry, thin academic talking on TV.

And so, I will now start work with a smile on my face and a song in my heart…

No photos for this, apart from the one from the web, but I’ll try harder for the rest of the week.

A Tale of Two Cyclists

Second post of the day!

I’ve already written about the Ospreys, in an effort to catch up from last week, and now I’m going to write about bad weather and bicycles because that was the story of the morning.

On the way into town we came to the junction where a bus lane and two lanes of traffic squeeze into two lanes. It’s where I lost my mirror to a badly driven bus a few months ago. It’s also near where the town gallows used to stand and conveniently close to a cemetery. A couple of years ago I was caught on camera there and fined £30 for transferring to a bus lane five car lengths too early. All in all it’s a junction of ill-omen.

On the approach to the junction we had to stop when a cyclist pressed the button to stop traffic at a pedestrian crossing before riding across.

Highway Code Rule 79:  Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing.

Once across the road he proceeded to ride on the pavement, forcing several pedestrians out of his way.

Highway Code Rule 64: You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.  (Their bold capitals, not mine).

Fortunately, just when this was in danger of becoming a discussion about the lawless ways of two-wheeled reprobates, we spotted a second cyclist.

He was struggling in the rain and traffic and just missed being clipped by a bus mirror as he pulled out of the bus lane in front of me. After stopping he failed to get his shoe clipped back on the pedal and lurched in front of a second bus. As an encore he then repeated the manoeuvre and lurched the other way. Fortunately I was far enough back for it not to be an issue.

I have seldom seen such fortitude displayed in the face of  adversity. In the old days he would have been leading a bayonet charge or discovering the source of an exotic river. Modern life is short on bayonets and undiscovered rivers, so it’s nice to see an area of everyday life where fortitude can still be displayed.


Fifty minutes

This morning I dropped Julia at work and, fifty minutes later, was back at home.

In the garden I listened to the faulty strimmer and revealed a basic difference between the sexes, before taking some more flower photos.

Julia has many talents. She could probably, if her ambition lay in that direction, do a better job of running the country than Theresa May. I, on the other hand, have to plan in advance just to get my socks on. However, when called upon to diagnose the problem with the strimmer in the Mencap garden, I was able to spot the problem straight away.

I’m not an expert on strimmers but I could spot that the high-pitched grinding sound was a bad sign.

To be fair, Julia, who is completely deaf to the sound of mechanical agony, doesn’t need to know this as she has me for all that technical stuff.

I, in turn, use a mower shop for repairs as my efforts usually end up with a puzzled look and a tin of leftover bits.

Most of the rest of the journey home involved traffic and queues. One hold up was caused by an ambulance parked across the road as the crew treated a man lying on the road. I took some photos as we waited because  I had the camera handy.

I could see his feet moving so I didn’t feel too intrusive. Anyway, there were a lot of people hanging round so I wasn’t the only voyeur. As I drove past, I noted he was wearing a helmet and a bicycle was propped up against a tree. That is the price of reducing traffic and pollution.

I’m happy to report that he seemed quite lively, and hope he wasn’t badly hurt.

There is a question, though, about the ethics of taking pictures of accidents. There’s a long tradition of postcards showing various disasters including train crashes, mining disasters and fires, but does that make it right?

Is the picture journalism, local history or just intrusive?

It took me back 40 years to a Sunday lunchtime (the accident, not the photography) when the driver of a red Austin Maxi overtook me on my Vespa 200 (yes, I had a scooter at one time) and pulled over before passing me properly. Result – me in gutter with the knee injury that still bothers me today.

Accident on Woodborough Road , Nottingham


It’s amazing what you can pack into less than an hour.