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Monday, January 2, 2012

Baah Humbug

In the lead up to Christmas I seemed to Metamorphosis into a new being - a cross between Mr Scrooge and Victor Meldrew.
Impatience, frustration and temperance now hung from me like a well tailored suit.
Usually such characteristics are watered down by my cycling activity, but with a combination of severe 'Man Flu' and Storm force gales my cycling opportunities have been restricted.

As well as being battered by the elements , the country had a bad head. It was still hungover from a prolonged visit to 'The Public sector Arms'.
Mr Cameron may have provided some paracetamol, but everybody knows they don't work.
To make matters worse the saloon bar was still open and 'the hair of the dog' beckoned.

For my part frugality had already changed from a sub conscious notion, to a way of life.
Bike instead of Car, Jumper instead of Central heating, Water instead of Wine.......(Apart from special days) you get the idea.
In the same vein I had tentatively agreed to a Christmas present embargo.
This was not entirely by choice but by necessity - I was flat broke.
My children laughed when I told them to expect no more than a hug and a Clementine.
However their sense of humour diminished somewhat when I placed some spherical shaped presents under my tree substitute.

My weekly visit to the local outdoor market usually a pleasant experience was toilsome.
The stalls I usually visited to buy fresh fruit and vegetables were replaced by ones selling mobile phone covers. The fish stall was replaced by another selling other items that often find themselves on the seabed
RUBBISH !!!!!!
With my evening meal compromised I now contemplated the alternatives.
'I Pod Covers in an Ambre Solaire Sauce' .................... maybe not.

People close by to me smiled and engaged with one another.
'Have you got it all done yet?' seemed to be the most common phrase, where the act of Christmas shopping seemed to be treated with the same gravity as some 12th Century Church restoration.
Although I took no offence at this festive foreplay, I had questions.
Why should it be done in the middle of an over populated market walkway, directly in front of my path, and with the offending persons usually larger than your average Christmas Tree.

When I got home my twin brother Paddy called from Houston and he too was full of Christmas Cheer!!!

I tried to appear interested as he told me about the US Mules taking part in a jingle ride. Apparently they hold an organised ride around parts of Houston where they decorate their bikes. They then ride in an illuminated procession, singing carols, and spreading goodwill. Nice.

Usually I would have embraced such a venture and would have been excited for him, but I was as flat as a deflated tyre on the homeward stretch.
Sensing my ambivalent attitude he asked me how I was? This is not always the smartest question to ask. I grant you that most people say 'I'm fine' or 'Great thank you' even if their world is falling apart. But very occasionally somebody answers truthfully.

I started with the Clementine story and an hour later finished with ................'And the weather has been so rubbish my pedals have not turned once!!!!' I think my long suffering brother was finally pleased to put the phone down.

Later that day I received an E Mail from him. It read 'I loved the Clementine story so much that I want you to be able to buy some more' I have cabled you a surprise.

Although the weather was still rubbish, and my man flu went on and on and on........the Christmas present embargo was called off and the clementines were returned to the fruit bowl.

When I wrote to Santa earlier in the year I asked that the letter be directed to Rapha

with the hope of getting some new cycling apparel.

For those of you who have never heard of Rapha sending my wish list to them is the equivalent of sending a whiskey connoisseur to Scotland.

You can get Scotch anywhere but if you want quality there is only ever one place.

Happy New Year