bank holiday

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(or Convincing Murray - part One)

Well it has been a funny old day, but perhaps the Perfect British Bank Holiday. It started late. It has been a long week with Mikol away so I had some lying in to do before I felt at all ready to take on the day. But what a glorious blue skied sunny one it turned out to be once I had got going (coffee on, shower, eventually toast and honey...).

I decided that having proved a faithful companion through much winter comuting and having suffered abuse, foul weather and a terrible lack of real singletrack, that the Inbred deserved a bit of a going over with a greasy rag. At least.

So that was the next four hours happily filled. And a few of you readers will know that there is little more therapeutic than a day spent faffing around with a bike, a bucket and various types of grease, oil, and a large tool box. So from grime encrusted to as clean as can be expected we went. It became obvious on the way that it has been far too long since I have done this kind of thing... removing the chain was a painful experience that went through the destruction of my suposedly bomb-proof Park Tools chain tool before I got the old pin out of the chain. In the end though, the bike looked and felt a lot nicer as confirmed by the obligatory spin round the block. I don't know what it is - certainly purely psychological - but clean a bike and it feels taughter, smoother, more responsive. Like rattle free cable runs, squeaky clean tyres, like an altogether different bike.

That is a thing of beauty.

And meanwhile D & J had been round for coffee. We sat in the sun in the back garden and it wasn't cold. We had cheese and biscuits, we took some more pictures, Tobias showed off and - quite possibly inspired by a message from Kenny - we decided that it was the sort of spring bank holiday that would soon involve drinks at the pub.

So just a little while and a stroll down the road later, that is where we found ourselves. The Gardeners Arms for the second time in a week. But this time in daylight, outside, soaking up the sun (OK, so it did get too cold eventually, but this is Yorkshire in April...).

And after that D was kind enough to take pity on our hunger and offer to share the Barnsley lamb chops that he had waiting in his fridge. So I gladly played sous-chef to him and we had great food as usual. The short walk home at the end of the evening, past trees in blossom, the scent of a new spring, under a clear sharp sky was all that we needed to round a perfect bank holiday. And there are three more days of this weekend to go.

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Weeks and months turn into years and who knows what surprises a new day will bring? As shelves fill with more songs, dust collects, memories accumulate and we pass through the lives of others, sometimes pausing, sometimes pulling up a chair, sometimes moving on. Thinking that tomorrow is going to be like yesterday. What do we know? I just like words and pictures, so why make excuses for collecting those either? But some things will never change, the sad songs will always be the best ones.

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