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Ah, the British weather…

So, it’s a bank holiday weekend and, guess what? It’s raining. It’s been raining all day and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. Add to that the fact it’s the Queen’s Jubilee, and you have the perfect setting for a day of absolute tedium. Even ginger biscuits are not helping. What would I rather be doing? Anything.

Actually, I’d rather be looking at new bikes, in preparation for my work’s impending Cycle to Work scheme starting. I have a bike already; The Green Shed is an old Trek mountain bike frame (around 20 years old?) that’s been painted with green Hammerite. It has a Shimano derailler and Schwalbe tyres. It also has a seat post that’s set about 1″ too high, but it’s seized and numerous attempts to loosen it have all failed. It’s not a bad bike – the wheels are round and it goes when I pedal. However, the centre crank is, I think, on the verge of going and I’d like something a bit lighter and a bit speedier.

At the moment, I’m largely just commuting to work and back – just 4 miles a day. But I’d like to cycle more; weekend trips of 20-30 miles would be nice to start with. I managed a lovely 15 mile pootle on the Green Shed (before getting a puncture) the other week, but mountain bike tyres (even slicks) and a steel frame make speedy distance cycling a bit of a chore. When I say ‘speedy’ I do, of course mean ‘speedy for me’ – I average about 12mph, so hardly record-breaking!

I’m looking at a flat bar road bike (no point me getting a bike with drop handlebars – I’ll never be going that fast!) – the Giant Dash (awful name) looks nice. But I need to try a few out before parting with my hard-earned money. Being a ‘fair weather cyclist’ means that trying bikes out in the pissing rain does not appeal…

In an attempt to pass the time, we’ve watched another one of our Coen brothers’ films: Blood Simple. As usual with a Coen brothers’ film, there’s no concluding ending – you’re left to make your own up. I find this equally frustrating and interesting. If you don’t know the plot, it’s a basic premise – man’s wife wants to leave him, hooks up with another guy, husband decides to have her killed, hitman kills him instead and takes the fee money, new guy thinks the wife did it, wife thinks he did it. A tragic non-funny farce ensues, reaches some sort of finale, then ends with the wife being none the wiser.

I quite enjoyed it, though, being nearly 30 years old, it has dated somewhat (particularly the music, which was annoyingly repetitive). There were periods of Pinter-eque nothingness (perhaps too many) and lots of unanswered questions relating to rationale (why drive into the middle of a ploughed field to bury someone, leaving more-than-obvious tyre tracks…?). So, a typical Coen brothers’ film.

Film-watching took up some hours, but has done nothing to improve the weather. So I’ve resorting to tapping away on my netbook keyboard, rambling on about nothing in particular. I’m going to have to add a new category for this post – I think ‘banal’ is appropriate. I’m even boring myself. Maybe my thoughts should turn to what to do for tea – I have a butternut squash and some chickpeas so I’m leaning towards some sort of curry. That should keep me occupied for a while – peeling and chopping a butternut squash is a pain in the arse job but the result is worth it. I can use half the squash for the curry and then maybe do a butternut squash and tahini dip with the other half. Yay! The excitement never ends!