The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 I awoke at around 7 O’clock in the morning, it was not quite light, the bed was warm and cosy, I thought what’s the point in getting up, there is nothing to get up for?

“Oh no, you don’t, my lad, you are not getting away with that kind of attitude, get yourself up and out of that bed and be thankful for this day that you have been gifted”.

I have days like that when I have to give myself a good talking too.

So it was up and under the shower dressed and an hour later I was out on my bike and onto the quiet roads and then the cycle path for Guardbridge. Contractors were cutting down some saplings near to the cycle path, possibly to stop the roots from growing under the path and breaking up the surface. So I had to stop while the cutting was going on and of course a wee blether.

I only saw one other lad out on a bike, I have seen him around the area a lot so we nodded as we passed each other in opposite directions. As I neared Guardbridge I saw the riding school and stables, maybe they would give us some manure for our garden? I could get a couple of bags in my trailer.

I was greeted by a rather loud barking dog as I propped my bike against the fence, put on my mask and did the hand gel bit, but once inside and he was offered the back of my hand to sniff, he turned into a big softy.

The riding school was very busy, then is that not always the way with animals, mucking out feeding and exercise, down on the farm you don’t work 9 till 5.

I went over to the lad that looked most likely to be in charge, he looked like a farmer John, never out of work clothes. Now the secret of good buying, selling, or scrounging for that matter, is not to broach the subject right away, you do the dance. So I started by asking about the stables and how many horses they had around the place? People are always willing to talk about themselves and their work. Then I did the old soldier act, (I’m Walter and live in sheltered housing). Not surprisingly he knew City Park and he had a friend who also lived in sheltered housing in St. Andrews, this was going well. So by the time I did get around to asking for some manure for our garden, he was relaxed about my presence on his property, no problem. In fact, I was given all sorts of advice about how I should make an area where a trailer load of manure could be dumped and allowed to rot, this would produce really good manure. He then went on to tell me how his friend had used such material when planting his potatoes and he had never seen potatoes so big, (I think the type of seed may have had something to do with that), but I said, “really!”

Somehow the conversation went around and around form apprenticeship days, £3.00 a week then, to playing in a band. I found out, that for 22 years he had been a drummer in a band. I told him that when I lived in Edinburgh a lad Derrick Miller, you may have heard of him? was a drummer, he lived over the landing from me. I reminisced about Derricks and how when they started up their first ban, his dad had stood guarantee for the HP on their van and equipment, and how if the band had failed his dad would have been in the debtors’ prison for life.

We laugh at that for he had known how true it was, and how many dads did likewise for their children at that time. Now it may have only been around 5 miles out to the stables from my home here in St Andrews, but it had taken me the best part of the morning, there and back. Now was that not worth getting out of bed for?     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: