I was tempted to title this post with “Little Project does Dallas” but on reflection decided that I may attract the wrong sort of audience.
Temperatures have been running in the low 30’s in Twickenham. The heat makes a body porous and a leaves the mind lazy. It gets to man and beast alike. The more energetic bumble bees are hopping languidly from petal to stamen and harvesting their crop with some effort. Cats and dogs have ceased their antagonism and lay quietly at peace in the shade of sadly wilting trees. The sound in the air is of leather on willow, occasionally followed by a beery cheer or derisory jeer, the uniquely British anthem of cricket on the green.
Sunrise brings the clamour of the dawn chorus. Even before the clock hints at 4am the Wood Pigeons are squabbling over some half remembered slight. Local immigration policies have not stopped the influx of Parakeets and squadrons of them assemble in the Spruce trees preparing for another day of bullying the local birds, collecting the avian equivalent of their benefit stamp to help swell their population and aid in their take-over of the local parks.
By zero four thirty sleep is just a forlorn memory. The only option is to dress in loose fitting clothes and follow the stepping stones down to the shed. The early dawn light plays on Little Project and brings to life the paintwork so painstakingly prepared over the last few weeks. The thought occurs that just dropping one of those engines from the engine shelf into the frame and we could be up and running in an hour. Fifty grubby minutes later and it is all done. Syphon some fuel from the lawn mower and with a deep breath and crossed fingers jump onto the kick start.
Four kicks later and there’s some coughing and spluttering. Another kick brings a backfire and smoke from the exhaust. One more crank of the engine and there’s the sound of a motorcycle running in the shed. Hastening out through the door to beat the fumes and Little Project is running up the garden. Weary neighbours, used only to the sound of hammers and swearing peer through windows.
Across the vegetable patch. No heed taken of the Asparagus. Through the bramble-heavy alleyways behind the house and out onto the street. A shock for the milkman and a round of applause from the postie. Little Project is up and running!
Sadly not. I’ve woken up in the shower again. The weekend has been an orgy of parties. I celebrated the Ruby wedding anniversary of Gayle and Ken Perry on Saturday and cheered uncontrollably at the naming ceremony of young and beautiful Natasha on Sunday. This has left me no time at all to work on the bike. I shall try and sneak some extra evenings in this week before (and oh how I can’t wait) I jet off to have some Mediterranean relaxation. When you imagine Italy as a boot. You can find me down by the big toe.
Thank you for having the patience to get to here.