Yesterday I was at Delib‘s Practical Democracy project session 8 in Glasgow. I’ll blog about the event later. However, after several months of almost no exercise, I decided to cycle back to Edinburgh.
Usually, there is a tailwind when cycling this way. However, there was a strong headwind. That partly explains why I took over four hours peddling (over 6 hours including stops) to cycle 43 miles, why my phone’s battery went flat after 35 miles, why I took drink and toilet-breaks every 10 miles, and why my leg-muscles turned to cast iron before I got home. However, most of the explanation is I am a fat, unfit git.
I woke around 8am UK time, with a stinking hangover. Not fair! I’d not drunk any alcohol. I finally found the online programme for today’s DemocracyAlive! events. I don’t mean it wasn’t online before, just that I’d not made time to read it before now. I decided on going to these events:
What public services for the future? Digital Transformation and Low-carbon economy
(12 noon to 1pm)
Festival launch (2pm to 3pm)
[Koffiepauze (3pm to 4pm)]
Democracy as a culture (4pm to 6pm)
Talking Europe with Commissioner Vestager (6pm to 7pm)
Talking Europe with Michel Barnier (7pm to 8pm)
Here’s how I got on, mostly recalled from tweets, texts and emails I sent at the time.
It appears I shouldn’t swear online at poor driving, no matter how much it might threaten my life. On my way back from my weekly massage yesterday morning, my left boot accidentally clipped into the pedal, and I couldn’t get it out. I cycled slowly along Comely Bank Avenue and Queensferry avenue, looking for somewhere I could stop and lean against a signpost, fence or wall to extract the boot. No joy, and I eventually came to the traffic lights before Randolph Crescent. They were red.
So I had a choice between trying to lean against a car waiting at the lights, breaking the lights or falling onto the pavement. I chose the latter as the least likely to lead to a strawberry jam episode*. A few people stopped to check whether I was OK, and helped me free my left boot and stand up. I soon felt fine, so I walked home, picked up my kit and cycled on to Napier.
However, I noticed some pain in my ankle after lunch. It got worse over the afternoon, so that I was hobbling very slowly and hardly able to concentrate by 4pm. One of my colleagues saw me limping along the corridor, and offered me a lift home at the end of the day. This involved him going out of his way to deliver me safely to Servants’ Quarters – yet another example of how kind my Napier colleagues are!
My sister’s appeal against not being awarded personal independence payments takes place on next week in Worcester. I have a meeting with the CAB staffer who has been advising us in Tuesday. So my current plans are to go to Worcester on Sunday, returning Saturday 27. While I’m away, a lot of other stuff is going to take a back seat.
On the way to a community council meeting this evening, I was cycling around a roundabout. I wear a hi-viz helmet cover and wrist-bands, and my bike has reflectors on every other spoke. It was about 4:10pm, with no hindrances to visibility. And yet someone still drove onto the roundabout, into the space I would have been in if I hadn’t braked quite hard. To this person, I can only say Fuck you very much, you SMIDSY-sucking arsewipe.
While I was at the meeting, my brother phoned to tell me our mother has been taken into hospital, in a town 30 minutes’ drive from Worcester. This was about 5pm. As of 15 minutes ago, she was still waiting to be seen by an A&E doctor. The A&E sister told me that it’s not likely that there will be any news until 2 hours from now.