Two excellent days this week, and it’s not even Friday yet! I am shortly to rejoin the ranks of the gainfully employed (subject to passing some security checks, which makes me nervous even though I have no reason to be. A bit like walking past coppers carrying guns in Oxford Street) so am trying to make the most of my last few days of leisure.
On Tuesday the chance came up to go to the High Court (even typing that makes me nervous!) to see the second day of the appeal brought by No To Bike Parking Tax against Westminster City Council. I’m a latecomer to the campaign, because I worked for a body that didn’t want to get involved, though two of my absolutely favourite people in the lobby back it and that’s good enough for me. The veterans gathering on The Strand in cool hi-viz (a sentence you won’t normally see me type) would have had every right to tell me to sod off. But they didn’t, because they are bikers. They said, hello, and what do you ride, and we like your camera, and told me about freemasonry. And then they gave me stickers, and a seat in the court. I made myself useful by helping add up the length of bike parking provided in the borough, which helped the NTPBT QC point out that Westminster plan on the basis of 8 bikes in a bay, or 0.73m per bike. That’s about one of Ruby’s panniers.
People who think they know like to say that bikers aren’t political. I think Warren and the campaign have soundly disproved that. And they’ve done some incredibly creative stuff – I absolutely loved their V-for-Vendetta themed action.
Peaceful protest at its finest.
Today I have been polishing the Triumph. Those of you who know my previous position on bike cleaning may be wondering what has happened to the real Highwaylass and how to get her back from Guantanamo Bay. Orange really isn’t my colour. But the Triumph is up for its MOT and I’m thinking this year is going to be a bit of a retro riding year, for which shininess is a must. Am I sounding convincing? Actually I just don’t want Caz to tell me off again for having rusty spokes.
And while I was in the garage, cup of tea and headphones to hand, taking life one spoke at a time with rubber gloves and metal polish and wire wool, I thought that I wouldn’t have been able to do either of these things if I’d had to negotiate my time with someone else. There are downsides to being single. I have to make my own cups of tea, for starters. And I do miss having a warm body to fall asleep on on the sofa. But the quid pro quo is that if I fancy spending my evening on my knees in the garage eliminating that last speck of rust from my rims, rather than sitting in domestic bliss on that sofa, that’s absolutely fine. When I am an old woman I shall wear hi-viz, and a jacket that doesn’t go. And I shall spend my pension on petrol and summer gloves and Altberg boots, and say we’ve no money for jam.