I like riding in the rain. I particularly like when one specifically sets off, properly kitted up, for a wet ride.
I have written about riding in the rain before. In New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia. There are some days of course when one just does not want to do it, and yet on others one simply must. Today was one of the latter. I was out late (for me) last night at a birthday celebration in the Royal Exchange. Dinner and drinks with friends and workmates. I ordered fish, wanting grilled, and somehow ended up with battered. I did not send it back, as I suspect somehow I may have been partly to blame in not having been clear when ordering, so I just picked the fish out of the batter. It seemed odd to be leaving something I would once have liked, but I am not fond of batter any more.
I had made a birthday cake to take along,. It was just enough when cut into 16 pieces, and was well received I am pleased to say. It was a banana cake which came out moist and delicious with a hint of orange zest in the cake, and of lemon in the icing. It was a free adaption of the famous Edmond’s Cookbook recipe with a much higher banana/flour ratio than usual. I made it using very black bananas, as one should, and using a very nice soft flour milled specially for cakes. One of the neat things about being in Australia is that there is a greater selection of flour types and one can get soft low-protein flour for cakes and buns, and stronger flours for breads and pizza. I am beginning to get the hang of it all – just as I have to do some serious restricting of my dietary habits. I weigh thirty percent more than I did in Fiji. That is serious. But I digress.
I took a short ride on Saturday morning out to the airstrip to check out the progress on the runway renewal, then had a session on the treadmill, and a nap. That was all I did all Saturday, except for baking the cake. Napping is what I seem to want to do all the time these days. It is certainly what I do best. I even had to come home from work on Thursday, taking a day’s sick leave, just because I could not stay awake. I slept all day. I always want to sleep all day. Then I sleep all night too, except apparently I don’t actually get any sleep. At least not the sort of sleep that counts, it seems. I am told my frustration dreams are actually a symptom of my struggling to breathe. I may have sleep apnoea. At last I am booked in to a sleep clinic to get checked out. 21st June. I am looking forward to it, because maybe then someone can do something or prescribe something that will get me back to the way I used to be. I feckin hate this feeling of needing a nap all the time. This growing old lark is a crock. Nonetheless I am not giving in. They say that riding keeps one young. I ride.
But I digress once more. I was going to write about riding in the rain. On Sunday the weather broke, and the rain set in. With the housework half done, the kitchen spotless and the aquarium clean and tidy, the laundry had to be postponed due to weather conditions. I was about to lapse into another napping session, but with a minor effort of will, I kitted up in a turtle-neck and warm jumper, thermal leggings and waterproof over-pants, winter gloves and warm socks inside my riding boots. I pulled the Silver Lady out into the rain, tickled her starter button, mounted up and rode. I was snugly dressed, warm and comfortable, with just a little damp getting in at my neck. Out to Woodanilling, up Robinson road to the Dumbleyung road, across and on to the Warren road, and back home. A bit muddy on the unsealed sections, and the Silver Lady needed a hosing down when we returned home. It was a relatively short but exhilarating ride. I often sing when I ride, but somehow it seems much more fun when it is raining.
Riding and singing in the rain is just the thing to beat the Lonesome Sunday Blues…
When Sorrow comes in to your table
You gotta break out your cheapest wine
I said when Sorrow comes in to your table,
You better hand him a glass of cheap wine
Cause when Sorrow’s thirsting at your table
Ain’t no one gonna have a good time!
And I still had time for a nap when I returned.