As with the last few weeks, time remains of the essence - a rare, exotic essence, hard to find and very precious. Tonight's missive will therefore be as short as the last few, but there are a few topics to address.
Hadrian's Wall cycle ride;
First item is that tomorrow morning, myself and Mosside Paul - ie ace guitarist and keyboard wizard comprising the other half of Cheek to Cheek, Paul Skarrat - are off on a journey who's outcome, presently is unknown. Months ago, feeling the need to experience the wind in our hair, the freedom of the road and miles of tramacadam crumbling beneath our wheels, we committed to ride Hadian's Wall cycleway. 174 miles of bridle paths, small roads, cycleways and ramblings meander across the hills of Norhtumbria in Northern England, roughly following the path of the wall constructed by the great Roman. The route, designed to avoid four wheeled vehicular traffic, is unbelievably convoluted. When we discussed the ride, and then booked the hostels and inns whence we would be staying, training rides were planned, a strict diet was to be observed and stamina was to be built. With about twenty four hours till we start riding, a sad tale of a summer bereft of training for the ride has unfolded. I have made furniture, done some work in Leeds,bone hiking in Scotland, gone to a wedding, visited a lighthouse, planted a few bushes, got drunk a few times and spent a total of about four hours a week on the bike. I suspect pain, particularly in the bum region, is on the horizon.
Into the hills with Brad and Amelia.
HAvent yet had time to organise these shots into an album, but we did a bit round Lochnagar a few weeks back. Brad and Amelia were scoping out a new climb here. For those interested this is Creag an Dubh Loch. I took some shots of the scenery on the way in :
AT the last moment, after a very quiet summer, my friends Luke and Tom called me in for some work in Leeds. As usual it was long days and the project is one of the more challenging ones I have been involved in. That occured last week, and so further delayed preparations for the ride. Still the physical nature of the work, and the the three hour per day commute was good stamina training.
After two years of negotiations with the UK National Health Service, I recieved a phone call from my doctor's surgery that a letter awaited at his surgery in respect of an appointment to fix my knees. I hot footed it down to the surgery, picked up the letter, raced home and opened it. To my dismay, contained within was not an appointment date, but a direction along with a password and user name to a website where, it promised, I could choose a date for my appointment. I logged on and flew through the onscreen instructions, anxious to get these knee problems finally resolved. On entering my password and user name, however, the website opened a new window, proudly displaying the name, address and phone number of HUll's muscularskeleto clinic. The onscreen directions told me to call the number. So I telephoned the number and a human voice answered. I explained my quest. The , listener, after checking my details politely congratulated me that I had successfully registered with the clinic and said a letter would be sent to me with the appointment date. Hesitantly I enquired why I could not arrange a date there and then, over the phone. The answerer confirmed that this was possible but not allowed:
"Its the rules, I'm afraid..." she explained. A letter was promised within a few weeks.
It has been three weeks since this conversation. Mentally I am prepared to return to my own doctor when I return from the wall to repeat the whole operation.