I must have learned to ride a bike when I was about five, in time to cycle to and from school every day with my brother and sister. So I’ve been cycling – a lot – for the best part of forty-five years but I’ve never left a skid mark like this one before.
Chris and I were doing the evening bike run to collect Rors from Nouzerines, where the school bus deposits him. We met a car coming towards us on our usual little lane. It was driving, shall we say, a little erratically. Anyway, as we closed on each other, it suddenly became clear that, for whatever reason, the elderly driver hadn’t seen us. We were already tucked in as far as we could be on the right hand side of the road. Chris hit the anchors. At first I thought he was just slowing a little to pull in onto the grass, then I realised he was stopping completely. The only place I had to go was to his right, onto the grass verge. So I did an emergency stop on Dave (my 25-year-old handbuilt racer), and a very impressive one, I’m proud to say. I was vaguely aware of thinking “Uh oh, this is going to hurt!” since I was convinced I’d come off, but amazingly Dave and I stayed upright despite skidding a good 10 metres along the road, back wheel slewing round a little, and then bouncing another 10 or so metres along the rough verge. The old guy just kept driving by. If he ever saw us at all, he obviously thought it was completely normal for cyclists to hurl themselves into the hedgerow, grimacing!
We’re temporarily deconstructing our swimming pool. The reason? A large slit in the liner by the bottom drain hole. I’ve been trying for days to locate an offcut of pool liner, contacting the shop we got ours through and various traders on eBay, but to no avail. There is some kind of conspiracy going on, I’m sure of it! All I want is a smallish piece, maybe 25 cm squared, but you’d think I wanted the moon. Everyone is more than happy to sell me a whole new replacement liner for upwards of €600 but not a small square of liner to patch the hole with. Strange, isn’t it? The puncture repair kits you can get for pools are frankly worse than flipping useless but that’s all that’s available for mending holes. But we’ve come up with our own solution. We’ve bought the cheapest inflatable pool we could find and will cut chunks of plastic from that to repair our liner with. If all goes to plan, Rors and I will be swimming again soon. We’ve had a few very brief, very chilly dips with the water at around 17 degrees C. I’m looking forward to it warming up, I have to say!
Finally, how to water a pig. Our pigs love being watered when it’s warm. They squeal delightedly and start getting very silly. Here’s Caiti in action with the watering can.
Pigs also like nibbling welly boots …
So be warned!
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