Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bikes and bad cats

Over the New Year holiday I went for my first bike ride in ages. More of a bike stroll really, as my woeful lack of fitness held the bunch back at a leisurely pace. Most ladylike. Mr C and I have been on daily rides since - not very far and not very fast but enough to make me feel quite proud.

I'm toying with the idea of getting a new bike but have been sidetracked by images of these vintage 40s bikes. Aren't they pretty? My grandad left school when he was 13 to deliver goods for a pharmacy (wish my chemist delivered!) and he probably would have ridden something like this courier's bike. I would love to ride this down to the shops or out on a picnic.

The other bike is a junior version of a bike used by paratroopers during the war. The bikes folded up and soldiers held onto them as they dropped behind enemy lines. I'm sure I read an article in Bicycling Magazine about how bikes are still being used by soldiers in the Middle East - these days they do fancy things like fold out to ferry away the injured. Not something I want to be doing with my bike.

I'm particularly inspired by Foyle's War - sweet Honeysuckle Weeks is always pottering about on her bike, gas mask slung over her shoulder, casually leaving it outside shops - no locks here! Of course, you look much better on these bikes without a helmet and it's messing my hair up no end. I wish that we had a bigger apartment with room for lots and lots of bikes. And I wish that I had pretty English villages to ride them through. More lovely bikes are to be found at

Today there is no riding, it's far too windy and I'm far too stressed. Last night I was woken around 4am by a lady shouting at us through our window. Aparently she was roused from her sleep by a cat killing a bird and came to point the finger at one of our fellows. Cross words were exchanged because, well, because we're not really at our best at 4 o'clock in the morning. While Lyle is undoubtable the Terror of Balaclava he is also the Silent Killer so I'm thinking she heard the possums that were very active last night. We are very aware of Lyle's Jack the Ripper tendencies and he is suitably punished when we catch him - it is terribly upsetting when he makes a kill. We keep him in at night but now and again he eludes us. We've topped up his bells today and he is so loaded down that he looks like a gypsy - a pretty cross gypsy because we've kept him inside all day (I'm quite sure he's put a few curses on us). I'm not sure what else we can do. We've made it pretty clear that he's a Bad Cat. Angry Neighbour left threatening to 'make a phone call' last night. Now I don't know exactly what this means and it's got me very very worried. We're not supposed to have cats in the apartment and letters have been exchanged in the past about this matter. So I'm worrying my head about being evicted. Got a headache.


Anonymous said...

Make a phone call to who? That's what cats do - hunt things! I know it's not very good if they kill native/rare birds but otherwise they'll all in the food chain! It's nice to think that cats might be socially responsible but probably a bit unrealistic. And really - 4am in the morning?

I so want to get a cool retro bike with a basket on the front!

Admin - SBNG said...

Yes, 4 AM... actually, it was more like 4:45AM. She went on and on about how she'd been woken up! Like I care?

Exactly: cats hunt things, it's what they do. I'm sorry that the world doesn't conform to some mushy touchy-feely kind of ideal, but the world of animals is a violent place. We try to keep him away from the nice little birdies but now and then he gets out.

It's not like he's just eaten the last of the great Green Speckle Breasted Crow - normally it's bloody pigeon or an Indian Miner bird... and really, who cares?

As you can tell, I'm still not happy about being accosted at that time of the morning, through our lounge room window - I'd call that a bloody invasion of privacy!

Admin - SBNG said...

But those bikes are nice.

Proud Womon said...

my boy occasionally 'breaks out' and does what comes naturally to him too - after all, cats are the most efficient hunters!!!!

and it looks like the time you posted your comment you were ready should the neighbour come back!!!!