horns of wilmington's cow

By anth


A Nissan Sunny GTI-R blipped on my way to the latest dental appointment (3 down, 2 to go, the root canal treatment is complete).

I remember seeing one of these for the first time as a kid of about 14 at a motor show in Aberdeen and being utterly blown away by it. I was at that sort of age when I really really wanted to be able to drive, but happened to be a frustratingly few years off the feat. A friend of mine was a year or two older, and we used to play snooked regularly. When he got his licence, and with it first cars, starting with an Astra GTE and graduating to a Cavalier SRi, he did what young men his age did, and drove round in circles in the centre of our small town.

It became an odd ritual to playing snooker. He'd pick me up an hour earlier than we used to leave when walking, and drive round the town, beeping at girls he liked (but never stopping to chat to them, that would be uncool, obviously) convinced that the girl racers fancied him because they drove behind him for three circuits in a row. I never did get my head around it.

Much preferred the snooker last night with Mel's dad. Wandered over to his house, then down to the snooker hall, and promptly won 4-0, getting a little bit of the groove back after not playing for over a year. Need to start playing semi-regularly again.

This morning, after the dentist, there was an odd cycle commute to work. To begin with I woke up this morning with the songs from the movie Grease in my head. I know not why, but I've had 'Sandy' and 'Grease Lightnin' rattling around, and I wish they'd stop.

Riding in with a numb half a face as well is slightly disconcerting. And then, on my usual cycle path route, with a golf course on one side, and small nature reserve on the other, I heard someone tee off, and a fraction of a second later a tree on the other side collapsed in half. The tree was a little distance from the path, so gave rise to no immediate danger, but did elicit some swearing. I'm certain the golf ball that had just been teed off was not responsible, but it was still the immediate thought that sprung to mind as the tree reduced its height by 50%. At least I can confirm one thing, if a tree falls in a forest and there is someone to hear it, it does make a sound.

Then on Lothian Road I was making my way down the bus lane in the lighter-than-9am traffic, with the lights at the Filmhouse on green for the road. However the car on my right and a little ahead decided to slow to a stop, which made the pedestrians think the traffic had just been signalled to stop, and step out into the road. Ninja bike handling skillz (most definitely with a 'z') and the fact I was actually paying attention to what was going on, meant an impressive fixed-wheel-leg-locked-skid-stop was indulged in, ending in a perfect trackstand. But I know what the pedestrians will have been thinking - "See, that car stopped, but the cyclist was about to ride right through..."

At least I know I can never win, even when in the right in every single sense (i.e obeying traffic signs and signals and paying attention to traffic and pedestrians while riding in such a manner that I can easily avoid an incident if other people are in the wrong).

As you were.

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