G is off out on another local field trip today and wanted a packed lunch. He didn't remind me of this until late last night, so though I had bread, cheese and tomato for a sandwich, I didn't have any bottles of Coke or a packet of crisps (these being traditional packed lunch ingredients in our house). I did offer a flask of coffee (winter drink option of choice), but obviously the weather is not yet cold enough as he said he wanted Coke.
No problem, it just meant nipping into the little Spar in town when they opened at 8.00 am. I assumed that G would be rushing off at about 9.00 am, so I didn't want to hang about and while I ate breakfast, worked out the fastest and most efficient way of doing the trip, which is a mere 10 minute walk each way.
Choices were: on foot, by bike, by car.
Foot is my usual choice, as long as I'm not planning on buying anything large or heavy. The main grocery shopping is done at the Co-op on the edge of town, which has it's own spacious car park, but using the car for town centre shopping means trying to park in one of the very hard to find free parking spaces. Heavy rain, of course, tips the balance in favour of car, especially early in the morning before most of the shops open and it's easy to find a parking space. But I do want to try to use the bike more as a mode of transport, rather than just a piece of exercise equipment. I also had to consider the fact that the car is, strictly speaking, illegal until the work is done to get it through the MOT.
So I decided that a quick ride in on the bike would kill two birds with one stone[*]. It would be quick and efficient and give me a bit of exercise to start the day off on a good note. I bustled about, found the key to the bike lock, grabbed the little backpack and set off. It was only when I had locked the bike to a lamp post and started to walk the last few yards to the Spar that I realised I had forgotten one vital thing -- money!
There then followed a horrible few moments when I thought the cycle lock wasn't going to undo and the morning was going to descend into a farce involving hacksaws and explanations to passers-by as to why I was apparently stealing a bicycle! But thankfully the lock finally condescended to open and I sped home.
For the next try I admitted defeat and drove in, reasoning that if spotted by the police I could honestly say I was on my way to the garage to get the work done, which was true, because I left the car at the garage on the way back and walked the last few minutes home, finally triumphant.
Ten minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was the son of the garage proprietor asking for the key for the car. "It's in there", I said. "I told your dad it was on the front seat. I didn't think you'd be open yet, so I put it in an envelope in case I had to push it through your letter box. Sorry."
And then after all that, G revealed that he's not going out until 11.00 am. I could have sauntered into town and done all this stuff at my leisure!
[*] I really wish I could think of a non-violent equivalent! Any suggestions will be gratefully received.