Thursday, February 12, 2004

(Parker’s piece on a snowy morning.)

Ooops … I really have to start writing this before 1 am

A number of people have written on the obvious theme of embarrassment for Blogger Idol.

Most people, I suppose, fear embarrassment of the kind that makes one’s life one hideous montage of shame and humiliation. For my part, I mostly seem to fear administrative inefficiency, or those moments when things just don’t work. The sense that someone might be watching me struggle to do something any chimp should be able to handle.

You know, like being caught pulling like mad on a push door.

Like setting off metal detectors. Or Tuesdays in an office job when nothing works quite right. Begging and whimpering to college porters for a key that will actually let you back into your house. Not reading your supervisor’s book before turning in a chunk of draft dissertation on the exact same topic.

That sort of stuff.

The moment in my day I feel most vulnerable is getting ready to cycle to law school, or organising myself at the other end. It’s a complex ritual containing many little battles to be fought with the tyranny of the inanimate. Before leaving the house I don helmet, cycling clips, gloves jacket and scarf. Simple.

I then remove my jacket and sling my scarf over my shoulder again, and replace my jacket, thus trapping half said scarf under my outer layer of clothes so it doesn’t unwind on the 15 minute trip to the faculty. I go outside to my bike, and wind up removing my gloves - again, so I can actually find my keys and unlock the bike.

I then usually realise I’ve forgotten something and go back indoors.

If I’m wearing too many layers, I’ll get to law school hot and bothered and will remove several while I chain my bike up so I can cool down.

Chain bike up.

Unlock bike again, finally remember to remove helmet, pass bike lock through helmet straps, chain bike and helmet in place.

Put back on jumper and jacket removed while cooling down.

At night, adding or subtracting lights from my bike adds another level of complexity – the number of times I get moving only to emergency brake and turn my rear light on, or move it where it can be seen is staggering. (I’ve a basket in back which, when full, means it can’t be seen at all.)

Also, my clips seem to slip off cord trousers, leaving my cuffs to flap merrily in the breeze and play with the bike chain.

Nice cuffs, you have fun down there, doing your thing.

This is so why I now only wear black pants while cycling.

All up, it probably takes me as long to stop or start moving as the trip itself.

I also need to get my blogging back on track. Unfortunately, my social life at present seems to be curving up in direct proportion to the amount of work to be done – the give in the equation coming out of sleeping hours. Damn.

Oh well, at least Naylor is up for the week. (Yes, the crime novel hasn't stalled completely yet ...)

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