November 24th, 2008


Swings and Roundabouts

Had all the family visiting at the weekend (except John, who was off in Berlin getting very drunk any staying up til 10am with his mates). Takeaway curry and birthday/housewarming presents on Friday night. Then a nice chilled Saturday with the farmer's market in the village, pub lunch, a walk on the Magog Downs (while Mum, Dave and Emily went shopping in town), and a party in the evening with a rather *fabulous* buffet and cocktails. Steph and Dave made us breakfast on Sunday and Mike and I cooked a proper Sunday lunch while everyone had a go on wii music. It was a lovely weekend, even if we are now completely knackered. The house is now quite throughly warmed (we turned the heating up quite high all weekend give how cold it was outside) and contains many more vases and cushions and wine glasses then it used to.

Then an adventure on the way to work this morning: I parked up outside the Co-op while buying breakfast, and I dropped the bike as I unlocked it, and it landed hard on the derailleur side. The chain had come off the rear sprockets so I put it back on and turned the pedals until it settled back into gear. Poked stuff and it looked vaguely OK so I set off again for work. Then I thought I'd best see if I could change gear OK. There was a large thunk and my rear wheel locked solid and I didn't quite fall off but skidded to a stop. Stopped to look (and a nice chap who was just parking up had a look too). Seems I'd snapped the rear hanger (the bit the derailleur attaches to), and the derailleur had spun round and lodged itself in the wheel, above the sprokets, having bent the mudguard in the process. Here's me thinking "arse, can't weld aluminium, OMG am I going to have to buy a new frame??!?", because the lug had snapped clear through.

Turns out that bit is "fail safe" and replaceable for 15 quid. I presume by fail safe they mean "if you damage me a cheap part breaks off and you can replace it without having to replace the entire frame", since jamming the back wheel and trashing it in the process is not what people would usually call "safe". Actually I think the wheel is surprisingly OK and just needs a bit of trueing. But I may need a new rear mech, and will need a new mudguard, so it may turn out to be fairly expensive. Which is a shame when I've just decided that I *will* sell the bike I won in the raffle, and put the money towards staying in a posh hotel in Oxford for a couple of nights in January (instead of the cheap one we would normally have gone for). But hey, I do have a couple of people interested, and it's not the end of the world, and I didn't even fall off, so it could all be much worse.

I have removed my bike lights from my bike in case they can't fix it today. That way once I've got the bus or train home tonight I can fit them on my spare so I have something to ride in the meantime. It's a shame I didn't have a camera handy to take a picture of the mess though!

Edit: They rescued the mudguard, but £57.95 got me the replacement bit and a new rear mech, new chain by the look of it too, and the labour and re-truing of the wheel. A fair whack but much better than a whole new bike, and on the other hand I've just found a promotion that gets me 60 quid off the hotel room for January if I pay now rather than then, so it's all worked out quite well really.



Dur, forgot to mention that in the meantime I've been and gone and had another birthday last Wednesday. Mike told me to take the day off work, so I got to stay up late on a school night, have a nice lie-in on my birthday itself, followed by breakfast in bed (bacon and egg buttie, pain-au-chocolat, coffee, orange juice) and some reading. Then a gentle afternoon with lots of laughter playing wii music (which was his present to me), out to the chinese in the village for dinner, and home in time to watch next week's Heroes before bed. It was a lovely day, and I even got out of our monthly Infrastructure Group meeting.

I'd decided not to have a big party this year, especially since we were suppose to have a housewarming a couple of weeks back, but I think David's hoping to rope me and Mobbsy into a 100th birthday (33 1/3 each) sometime in March.