My salad dressing days

Lance, your Tour de France record is safe
October 23, 2007, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I buy a bike.

I buy what’s called a ‘hybrid’ bike because that’s what the market does best: it finds pigeonholes for the seemingly unpigeonholable. Like me. I’m dubious about whether or why I want a bike. It is thought that I will use it to join The Husband and The Children on occasional weekend outings on forest trails. But it is recognised that I am unlikely to be taking to the Black Runs* at Glentress any time soon.

Really, I tell the sales guy, I want a Pashley Princess with a wicker basket and tinkly bell, because I like the idea of the Sit Up And Beg position** and I feel sure hunching over the handlebars can’t be good for one’s innards.

However, says the sales guy, the hybrid’s handlebars can in fact be flipped up into the SUAB position. So everyone’s happy.

When we get home, I immediately pester The Husband to adjust the handlebars.

‘Why? You know you’re much more aerodynamic in the hunched over position.’

‘But I only want to cycle along the road to Waitrose.’

He obliges, tutting as he does so.

* not a hideous medieval illness but a hideous modern day idea of a fun day out

** in all likelihood something practised in S&M parlours by dominatrices or dominatrixes*** (but hey, what would I know?)

*** depending on your memory of Latin ‘O’ Grade – I’m buggered if I can remember which it is, having got it so spectacularly wrong with the plural of referendum


Unlikely killers
October 22, 2007, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We enjoyed a relaxing half term break in a tranquil Highland setting, where our neighbours for the week were a group of Danes.

 ‘Danes? In the Highlands? In October?’ I mused to the landlady.

 ‘Yes, we’ve got quite a few parties of Danes booked in from now up until Christmas. They’re here for the beer.’

Beer? I thought. I cast my eyes over the heather-clad mountains for signs of a brewery and sniffed the air for the scent of hops.

‘Deer!’ murmured my husband. ‘They’re going shooting.’


I don’t know why. It just felt all wrong. I mean, Danes: a phlegmatic, contented, liberal people, not – to my mind – huntin’ and shootin’ types.

‘Why not?’ quizzed my husband.

‘I dunno. It’s just not very…’

‘Not very what?’

‘It’s just not very…Hans Christian Andersen.’