Monday, 20 February 2012


This was my speed on my return trip from Edinburgh today! Shocking. In my defence the relentless headwind was 15/20 mph, as well as being wet and generally pretty miserable. I usually enjoy cycling whatever the weather, but not today - it was very arduous - and I'm just glad I didn't give in and take the train, as well as relieved to now have my feet up in the warm, dry confines of my bijou flat. I had no fight in me whatsoever. The wind was master and I let it be. You sometimes see hardened cyclists battling the elements, red-faced, with an expression straight out of a Samurai warrior painting, who wore the nastiest, contorted grimace imaginable to frighten their opponents in battle. Not me; I give in, keep my head down and go into a zombie state. On dreich days like this I think about all kinds of stuff (often food-related) and make trivial plans, especially relating to simple sums and calendar dates. Anything to take my mind off it. Today I tried to work out how one could ride a bicycle from A to B in adverse wind conditions and somehow negate the wind, or use it to their advantage. Water and oxygen-starved my brain seemed to think it a possible puzzle to solve, like the wind or the Earth could be shifted on its axis using maths. As you can imagine, apart from cycling the other way around the globe I didn't get very far.

As I'm not very well off, I thought I might as well advertise for a temporary tenant for my bedroom while I'm away. In a city the size of Glasgow there's always someone who is looking for a short term let. As is the case with Glen, who is moving in the day I leave. He's new to the city, so while he finds his feet, this situation suits him perfectly. And get this - Glen is from Melbourne! He's got dual citizenship due to having a Scottish mother and is trying out living in the Old Country to see if it suits him. He picked me up over the way I said his home town which is pronounced Melb'n. He also bitched about people from the north and called them rednecks. Personally I'm happy to meet such individuals, as I want to experience as much diversity as possible; city slickers, Crocodile Dundees, naturists...

As she has extensively backpacked all over the country, Laura gave me advice on the Australian animal kingdom this weekend. What do you do when you see a cassowary (pictured)? Make yourself tall apparently. What do you do when you see a spider? Don't touch it. What do you do if you see a snake? Run. Can you swim anywhere in the sea? Not if you see a sign warning about jelly fish or shark-infested waters. She's worried that I'll want to touch things and keep beasties as pets.

Only ten days to go.