The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

You know what it’s like, you carry an umbrella with you all day and the rain forecast for that day never arrives. Would the same work with a cycling cape I wondered? The skies were clear when I set out, but heavy showers were forecast for any time during the day. As protection against any future rain, I stuffed my magic cycling cape in my pannier.

By the time I reached Knock Hill, the dodgy inside crank, was still firmly in its place.

Nice job, tell that engineering chappy.

So the decision was made to carry on, ‘over the top lads’, I plunge down to the River Eden, from here I would follow its tributary, the Ceres Burn into Pitscottie. Today I stopped off at the little woods near Blebo House to take a photograph of the wild Garlic, (mentioned in an earlier blog) now in flower and with a strong pungent smell.

Also along the roadside are wildflowers of every kind but these are by far the most numerous, I have no idea what you called them, they have little yellow bells hanging in clusters from their stems. Whatever they are called they sure are prolific, along this stretch of road.

I stopped at the crossroads in Pitscottie and had a long drink from my bottle, and was about to search out my banana from the pannier bag when I felt the first spots of rain. Black clouds had come in from nowhere at a great rate of knots, time for Hamilton to pull on his magic cycling cape, it did not deter the rain one little bit.

At Pitscottie I thought it might rain,

So as not to disappoint,

Down it came,

It rained and rained and then it rained,

A downpour well maintained,

My road now became a waterlogged bog,

Then it started raining,

Cats, dogs, hail and,

A plague of frogs.

The rain was coming down stair rods as I splashed my way back along the B939 for home. Surprisingly I was enjoying myself, spray arching off the front wheel, rain puddling in my cape until I had to lift it from below, whereupon the water would cascade like a waterfall, mostly onto my lower legs, but I was wet to the point of past caring.

As any mother will tell you, small boys will always arrive home dirty and wet, no matter the weather, it’s in their nature to do so.

“Look at the state o’ yi, you’ve been doon that burn again, what have I telt yi aboot that burn, git them wet things Aff, and under the shower, before you catch yir death.”

“Bit mum, I have had a shower the day already”

Of course the rain immediately stopped as soon as I entered the outskirts of St Andrews, sod’s law.

I have the television on with the sound down and an advertisement has just come on in support of Christian Aid, water for Kenya. You see a woman walking with her plastic drum to fetch water. You see women digging in the fields and planting their crop. You see another woman with a donkey with four plastic drums, tied onto its back – presumably to water the crop. Then finally the crop harvested. I only have one question – what are all the men doing whilst their women work?

Aid to Africa only pushes people deeper into poverty, refuge camps are a disaster for the people forced to live in them, receiving their daily hand out, kept in servitude by wester aid. Like food banks in this country and food stamps in America, they only aggravate the situation. Fix the disease not the symptoms of the disease. Help people to help themselves, out of poverty. Stop the west from interference in other peoples affairs, regime change, and endless wars to sustain an arms manufacturing industry at home.

Daydreaming, well not if the will was there to change. We have seen how here in Scotland the Green Party has grown up almost overnight on the back of some notion that they have an answer to global warming, and the problems of the world. They have as much chance of stopping global warming as I have of doing 20 on a bike again. But they have managed to persuade enough people to dream their dream too.

The audio wallpaper today is Verdi’s Aida and possibly the best of the arias from Aida ‘Celeste Aida’, playing now. Although I use my CD as audio wallpaper when I am typing away – subconsciously they stick, for later in the day I will find one particular arias I have heard earlier floating around in my head. Although we may believe we are doing nothing or thinking nothing, the grey matter is still active in the background.  

2 thoughts on “Walter’s Magic Cycling Cape.

  1. Margaret Lear says:

    Comfrey! Tuberous comfrey, Symphytum tuberosum to be exact. Edible, too, when young and in moderation.
    The autocorrect on my phone named it as Tiberius Godfrey. I do hate autocorrect but it can amuse. Enjoyed your showery ponderings here 🤗

    Like

    1. I have heard of comfrey, was it not used as a herbal medicine for migraine headaches?

      Like

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: