The Decline of British Sea Power

Even though I crawled out of the tent into another sopping wet morning, I could tell it would be a hot day. And I wasn’t far wrong. I didn’t even bother to put my cycling top on this morning, and before long I had a thick film of sweat on my chest, dotted with dozens of black specks that were the flies that had stuck to me. Not a pleasant sight.

On largely uneventful days like today, the mind wanders to strange places. Cycling along the bumpy canal path and quiet roads running nearby, there’s only so much attention you need, before your thoughts drift off to other things…. Of my zip-tied shoes, and stitches tearing from clothing. Of my damp tent that has somehow survived the trip, and ripping tyres that just need to make it another 250 miles. Of life, love and ligament damage. And of the chocolate bar I knew was buried at the bottom of my handlebar bag.

As I tried to dry off my tent this morning, I couldn’t help but feel weird at the thought of how few more times I would be using it. With one week’s worth of cycling now until we reach New York City, and the end of the trip, it feels as if everything is sort of gliding by undramatically. Not that riding along a sunlit canal path listening to Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up” with a gentle breeze on your back isn’t an ideal way to spend a Monday, of course.

When we did reach the house of our host that evening, we had a couple of hours to relax and enjoy the sounds of shouting and swearing from the house next door. It was a fun and factual evening- as well as having burritos and weird beer with hot sauce in, we discovered that glandular fever and mono are the same thing, cities in England don’t necessarily have to have a cathedral in, Germ Theory has been around for a couple of hundred years, and American attempts at British accents tend to be awful and just sound like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

And to top it off this evening, we got to use a Whirly-Pop; a type of strange saucepan with a cranking handle and series of cogs to effectively rotate the popcorn kernals so that they cook evenly and don’t burn.

I prefer to just shake them.

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3 Responses

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  1. If your are ever in Peterborough and need a whirly pop which you do need all the time you know where to come. I am reading your blogs now.

  2. Almost there!

  3. Keep your mind focused on your tour just for another week!

    (and don’t worry about D.V.D’s English. I didn’t realize it was that bad until I heard the real thing, which was…well, equally bad.)

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