A brief word about mince pies. Once you have started making them there is no convenient time to stop.
Having resorted to a rather mis-spelt Facebook appeal for transport assistance. I received a text – “I can be there at 3:30 but I’m showing my daughter how to make pastry first”.
Three cheers for Colin and his Vauxhall Zafira (or something like that). Once parked (on the footpath of course, we didn’t want any tickets for being on double yellows) we were ready to load Little Project into back of said small but perfectly formed car. Seats down and an old blanket protecting the shiny bits and I’m up for some lifting.
Sadly, Colin isn’t. He is gently rolling with mirth. Seeing Little Project in the flesh (or more accurately, semi-naked and somewhat dishevelled) has obviously broken him. He takes some time to control himself but does manage to splutter something along the lines of “That is never going to run. Ever. It is even worse than you described it when you said it was a bit rough”.
I am not daunted. We push (lift, drag and gently cajole) Little Project to the back of the car, then on realising that the handlebars are wider than the boot, push, lift drag and (not so gently) cajole the bike to have its back-end presented to the boot. Much heaving and lifting gets the rear wheel and engine block mounted and only the front wheel, forks, handlebars and a few random and unidentified (but attached somewhere) cables are hanging out the back. It was, in retrospect like an anti-birth (but without the little machine that tells you when the pain is coming).
The best plan seems to be for me to sit nonchalantly in the back of the car, whistling merrily (the CD is playing a 40 minute drum solo from a 70’s rock band) and hold on to the back wheel of the bike. Colin is going to ever so gently perform a U-turn at Twickenham’s busiest junction and ferry us the mile (1.6km don’t forget) back home.
That was fairly easy. The car re-birthed the bike like a cow firing out a calf. Colin and I being the Twickenham automotive equivalents of James Herriot.
“Erm, Do we have to carry it through the house, across the patio, down all of those steps, and around the trampoline?” said a rather timid voice. There is an easy route, down the alley and across the allotments and in through the back gate. Little Project is still not enamoured with rolling easily so we take it for a drag. When the awards are given out for “surfaces most easily dragged upon”, concrete gets a rather surprising slot at number one. Second is grass. Brambles get a veritable third place (although they do like to scratch) and very definitely last comes mud.
Little Project is now safely ensconced in a new dry home. Both side stands down and no doubt blowing raspberries at the easily rolling bicycles that it shares a bed with.