In a previous life, I worked for a living and was fortunate to have a very good boss. He recently retired after finally achieving the ultimate technical challenge of changing the date on his desktop calendar. I received this from him yesterday and thought you might be amused:
Dear Alan and Mary,
So there I was,about to buy a bike to assist in the fitness/outdoor life campaign,the intention being to cycle the canal trail and the Cwmbran-Blaenafon old railway line (which journey involves going past Trevethin which is replete with German Shepherds,Rottweilers Pit Bulls etc) and then I get into your blog and find myself reading about Mary's accident in gruesome detail.So on both counts ie balance and canines I have now put off the purchase-well at least until the next sale arrives at Halfords.
My sympathies to Mary -it sounded quite unpleasant-but I admire the tenacity in continuing with your European jaunt (which Dean had alerted me to when I saw him and his amazing disintegrating double bass at the Cardiff Garden Show in mid-April).
Your description of the rationale for the cycling mania and the need for the highest-spec bikes on the planet,that is the mental scarring you experienced as a child,perhaps goes some way to explain your increasingly abberant and eccentric behaviour in recent years (only in RECENT years?Ed).Much as I enjoy your account of the planning of the route (as usual,a sideswipe at every mapmaker and journey-planner in Europe 'It was HIM,sir!')and the technicalities of the cycles involved,I do feel that one technical aspect of the planning remains understated.....what about the seats and the devastating effect they will have on the human anatomy on such a long trip?I have referred to this topic in previous correspondence and you had no reluctance on that occasion in describing the technical and anatomical issues involved.So give the world MORE of this,if you will,Sir!!!
My solicitors and my carer have warned me that it might not be in my best interests to continue to ramble on in this vein,but before I finish,I must take issue with a comment made in your email viz 'I can't be rsd (lazy AND sloppy,Wilkinson) to be funny'Well,hold the front page!When did humour play any significant role in your previous missives?Were I still gainfully employed by MCC,I would be beating a path to my colleagues (sorry,colleague) in Trading Standards to ascertain whether such a statement was actionable.I may overlook this misperception on your part on this occasion,since I am sure that the excitement and anticipation involved in your forthcoming opportunity to piss off the populations of most European countries will have affected your judgement.I look forward to the hunt for Bin Laden paling into insignificance compared to the hordes of indignant Europeans who will be pursuing you.I trust that Mary may be a calming influence on the trip,but I wouldn't bet on it.
Finally,may I say that the moral blackmail implied in your blog will cut no ice with me,'Donate to Medecins sans Frontieres or we'll cycle past your house'.Harrumph.
In spite of this,please accept my best wishes for the forthcoming trip,though it seems an extreme way of preventing people coming to visit you during the summer.
Love,best wishes,regards etc,