Tag Archives: lockdown

Blues for Mama

On the face of it, lockdown is a perfect opportunity to develop new skills. But I am raging too much at the loss of all the things I enjoy doing outside of my house to accept knuckling down and getting on with something.

I worked hard to change from being a shy, retiring “wee Mary” into, frankly, a massive show-off. Riding motorcycles and playing the blues were the two chief means of achieving this, with a side order of pointing and shouting at people at Cadwell Park.

I could go back to the harmonica of mixed memory – like so much in my life, it started well but ended badly. On this occasion White Russians and Pink Floyd were to blame. But I don’t think it’s helpful to backtrack. Forging ahead to find new fields to fuck up in is, after all, the Highwaylass way.

A few years ago I bought a ukulele, and like most people I can thrash out a few skiffle tunes. It doesn’t satisfy my need to show off because the local uke group meets at a dog-unfriendly pub (or did, in the Before Times), and I don’t like the tunes in their songbook. (I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than strum along to Snow Patrol).

Last week I bought a Banjolele. The bastard offspring of a banjo and a ukulele, it has brought great joy into my lockdown purgatory. It has flames, which means I match the Wingman’s doggles. And everything looks better with flames. And more entertainingly, it comes with a Special Tool, for you have to tighten the banjo head every now and again and it reminds me of tightning up spokes.

An instrument that is nearly the same as building a motorcycle wheel – what more could a woman ask for?

I suppose, like Bill and Ted, I’d probably better learn to play.

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Filed under Introspection, Riding

Lockdown diaries

We’re now in the 6th week of coronavirus lockdown. I spent two of those flat out with something that may or may not have been Covid-19 but as the UK wasn’t doing widespread testing then I won’t know unless and until antibody tests become available.

Petrol is still cheap, the roads are still quiet and the sun is still shining.

I chafe against the restrictions but I abide by them.

What do we do when we can’t ride bikes? We can look back at previous rides, and I had a lot of fun at the weekend doing #lockdownlejog on twitter revisiting some memories from the 2008 Six Points Ride, the 2010 Lifeboats Ride and the 2011 Air Ambo ride.

I have always thought I had a bad memory but it turns out that’s not really true, I have moments of absolute clarity. I can remember as if it was yesterday rolling into Devizes camp site in 2011 to be greeted by Biker Paul say showered in cherry blossom and looking like Huey from the Fun Lovin Criminals. Or in 2008, roaming Dingwall looking for a dinner and meeting a tweedy lady weeding a flower display.

“Where’s a good place to eat in Dingwall?”

“At home,” she said.

She may have been right but we went to the National Hotel and had a dinner that couldn’t be beat. So much so that it became tradition and we went there again in 2010 and 2011.

And we can fix bikes. I have installed the TS150 I bought to commute on a week before we were all sent to work from home into the sun room and look forward to getting it into good shape, should we ever be allowed out again.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Garage stuff, MZ