Friday, July 18, 2014

An annoying blockage, dealing with the heat, back on the bike and something for the weekend.

You shall not pass!

A busy second half of the week in London for the Legatus.  Technically, I work from home but in reality I end up going to London quite a bit (always nice to get away from the Old Bat's constant wittering about what colour to paint the extension walls).  However, I'm going to try to avoid it as much as possible for the next seven weeks as they have closed the main road to the station.

Now, the Legatus lives in a quiet cul-de-sac (well it was quiet until the man down the road bought a yellow Ferrari last week - might this be something to do with the much younger woman who now seems to reside there? - he has been growling up and down the road for days now) but we are just off an A road.  They are digging this up to put in a new gas main (oddly the pipes are the same shade of yellow as the man's Ferrari).  Now it's about a mile and a half walk to the station but there are two quite steep hills to negotiate, so usually the Old Bat drops me off and picks me up.  However, now the mile and a half drive has been turned into a seven mile diversion as we have to circumnavigate the area of woods and fields behind our house that has no roads through it.  So we have to drive down the main road for a couple of miles away from the station round past the Chelsea Football Club training ground (watch out - more Ferraris -John Terry's is black, by the way) and all the way back up the road to arrive the other side of the closed section.  "I'm not wasting all that time and petrol,"  says the Old Bat, "you can walk to the station!"

Enviably cool in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday

Unfortunately, the first day I had to do this was Wednesday when it was pushing 28 degrees.  It really is unfair when you have to trek up to London in a wool suit and shirt and tie to find all the women floating around in flimsy clothes (lots of denim shorts around this year, not that I've really noticed).  They should be made to suffer like us!

Having travelled on the Central Line (38 degrees in the summer is not unknown and no air conditioning) on Wednesday I was feeling a bit ennervated.  Time to stop at one of my favourite places for a light lunch - the National Cafe at the National Gallery.  Nice and cool inside, the situation was helped by a very cold bottle of Rueda.  This is also very conveniently sited not far from Orc's Nest, the Cinema Store (one of the few places you can still get Playboy in London -July's Playmate, Emily Agnes, is from Surrey and utterly gorgeous she is too - see our appreciated lady at right) and Charing Cross Station for the short hop back to Waterloo.

A nice plate of crab linguine soon had me feeling much better and I got chatting to a table of three very fine ladies of a certain age on the adjoining table, who helped me out with the Rueda (and, indeed, the next bottle).  There was a depressing piece in the paper last week which said men become sexually invisible to women at the age of thirty nine.  I intend to test this theory and disprove it!  One way to beat it, of course, is to work on older ladies, unlike my friend B who is still chasing after 24 year olds, even though he is the same age as me.  He never gets any, of course, mainly because he is very tight with money (as his mother once memorably said to me) and he wouldn't share his Rueda with anyone unless they were paying their share (he is an actuary).  When I sent this piece to Sophie she just replied "good job I met you when you were thirty four then!"   Anyway, I'm meeting one of the ladies again next week.  A small victory.

Mr Zeffy (left) and Guy half war around the Isle of Wight a couple of years ago

One effect of watching all the Tour de France coverage has been a great desire to get out and do some cycling again.  So far I have resisted this urge and just poured myself another glass of Pinot Gris but yesterday, because of the closed road I actually took my mountain bike, Mr Zeffy, out for a spin (don't ask why it's called Mr Zeffy, it's all too tedious to explain).  Mr Zeffy was a present from the Old Bat in 1994 although there isn't much of the original bike left except the frame.  It's rather like HMS Victory; I've replaced nearly everything on it over the years.  It's done four London to Brighton bike rides (60 miles), one South Downs Way off-road route (100 miles), the Round the Island route of the Isle of Wight (70 miles), and had a week in Haut-Savoie in France, where I cycled it down from my parents in law's house in a ski resort to Cluses to watch the Tour de France arrive.  This was a 30km descent but not so much fun on the way back up, so I was very grateful to the ONCE cycling team car which stuck Mr Zeffy on their rack next to Alex Zülle's bike and gave me a lift back up to Flaine.  Mr Zeffy went a lot faster after that, I am sure!

The road through the village in 2012

So yesterday I whizzed up and down the now very quiet A road for a bit before setting off into the woods.  I had intended to do about ten minutes but was out for an hour and surprised myself how well I went.  My legs are really stiff today (I haven't been on the bike for nearly a year) but will get out and do some more on Saturday.  The road that's been closed was part of the Olympic cycle route so that will break up the rhythm of the pelotons of cyclists we have coming through the village at the weekends.  I'm sure that this sudden new found enthusiasm for exercise has nothing to do with having dinner with a lady...

Anyway, talking of ladies, we thought we would pick up on a post from a couple of weeks ago by Mr Edwin King from his excellent Depressive Diplomatist blog.  This featured one of the most famous images in Britain from the last forty years and our post on it can be found on our Wargames Ladies blog.


  1. So you did buy the dress? All the good bikes like famous swords have names so I'm glad hear you have a named bike.

    1. I've always been more interested in the girls themselves, rather than their clothes!

  2. Good for you to pick back up with biking. I am still struggling with a return to normal exercise. Did something to my back again.