Monday, 31 August 2009

August Bank Holiday

As I left behind my somnolence this morning, it struck me that this was a 'Bank Holiday.' I knew this immediately I glanced outside that this was a 'Bank Holiday' because the sky was battleship gray, and a strong wind was waving the tree branches opposite. The term 'Bank Holiday' refers to the time when the banks, and most others, took time of for religious festivals, 'Saints days,' as they were originally, at least in England. Over thirty were known in the early part of the nineteenth century and gradually these have been amended to a handful. No longer concerned with Saints or banks it has become a standing joke that each holiday is greeted with cries of despair as the rain teems down and the wind howls along the streets! However it is not always this way, this is the UK after all, and there is just as much chance of sunshine as rain on such a days. Now for instance, as I glance at the passing girls trees opposite I see the sun is shining and the sky is blue and people are out attempting to make the most of the hot sun.

This admiration for the sun I admit is not always good. A figure has just passed by on the other side, shirtless, with large bare boobs, and wearing my indoor glasses which are not good at that distance, I first thought it to be a female! But no, (and it's a big butt!) the creature was a near naked male taking his kids through the streets! I am just glad there were no whaling boats around just now or there may have been a harpoon flying in his direction! Jings what a sight! I'm glad I was wearing the wrong glasses! This sort of thing might be all right in the privacy of your own home but lease, not in public!

Anyway, early this morning, after stuffing my fat face I cycled off against the westerly wind and headed up the old railway. (Known as the Flitch Way)Because of the Holiday few were around even at that time, just after half past seven, and the empty track encouraged me to travel further afield than usual. In fact I made it to the old rail bridge that once led into Felsted railway station, I say once, as it has long since been removed. The station is now a private dwelling, (how nice is that?) and the occupants probably dislike the idea of people tramping past their window. Getting there and back gave me a run of around twelve miles on the bike, the most I have managed for a while. In the, now distant, past I made it all the way to Bishops Stortford and back, around thirty miles, yet today I struggle to do this little run. However at least I can do this and that pleases me, especially once I get home!

Very few people around, a few dog walkers, most giving a happy, if reluctant, greeting, except the miserable lass with two big gray dogs scowling as she always does. I think she believes herself attractive and expects men are looking at her, hmmm, not with an expression like that dearie! Why do women mistake a grunted greeting as you pass with an attempt on their honour (honour?). Is it arrogance that they think you should be looking at them, or that the girl is herself always on the lookout for a fancy man herself? Hmmm I wonder. One couple were noticed far ahead walking fast in an exercise pattern. Walking quickly, then swinging the arms, and I suspect knee bending every so often, as she put herself, and her man through torments to keep themselves young. They were probably the cheeriest people out there on the 'Flitch Way' today. As I made my way back they were still happily getting fit, although I believe he was already thinking of his bath, a quick rub down and a fine whisky by that time!

There is always one miserable jogger making his way along the old line. Usually someone in his late thirties, early forties, 'iPod' plugged in, doing his best to ignore the world and wishing death on each and everyone who greets his passing. What is it with such men? Are they desperate for fitness because of the needs of their job, or could it be a desperate desire to retain the last vestiges of youth? Sometimes I feel there is a mid life crises there and a fear of a slackening sex life, a loss of desirability to women, and a real fear that life has passed them by. The fact that we all go through this escapes them and their anguish is dealt with alone and unannounced to the world, at least in words. It's the manly way! I sometimes watch these men, often 'successful' in their sphere, big car, good house, good money, wife and kids, yet worried about their image or their place in the rat race. They are not content, that can be seen in their attitude. Now I realise that these attitudes change with each day, however we reveal ourselves more indirectly than directly in many occasions. I sometimes want to grab them and tell them Jesus can make their lives worthwhile, but you know they will pass by, either afraid to consider this or have no thoughts about Gods reality for them at all. What is going on in there?

The biggest problem today was of course the weather and the slopes of the old track. Now as I made my way west I hurtled along at a good speed as much of the line is flat and with the bike well oiled, and the tyres full of air, even on the slopes I made good time and this was indeed a fine healthy exercise for the heart. However the wind was somewhat against me though hidden to some extent by the trees and high bushes at each side. I was however glad the return journey could be taken in a more idle fashion, down hill. Naturally having reached the end, wandered around for a while to denumb my bum, I gratefully headed home. It was several minutes of avoiding the many rabbits that waited till the last minute before scurrying away at my passing before I realised I was still going upwards and now fighting an easterly wind. Where did this come from? Why is it that each and every day the wind and the slope is against you no matter which direction you are headed? I considered a phone call to the meteorological office but suspected that they would fiddle a computer somewhere and turn on the rain and complete my day for me. However I made it home, tired and grateful that I could cycle a bike, managed to smile at most folk I met, discussed the rules of the way with a dog or two and could stuff my fat face and then sit in a hot bath for an hour or two reading books (pictures available for a price!).

Of course my back now aches with stiffness, my knees are telling me this was too far, and I have not lost an ounce in weight. Still, it was worth it and I might try something similar tomorrow, if the weather lets me.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Ah the joys of bank Holidays- I had actually forgotten it was a BH in the "Land of no Smiles."

Here there are no disused rail tracks to follow since the Thais did not have the equivalent of Dr Beeching.

That said there are plenty of dirt roads, unfortunately the wildlife encountered is more likely to slither than hop!