First, some thoughts on summer cycling, then I promise I’ll get to the point.
1. Have I finally managed to pick all the greenfly out of my hair or are there more lurking? (Where do they all come from?)
2. Why do cycle helmets always leave an unslightly red mark on one’s forehead?
3. How do other people manage to look poised and relaxed during and after cycling, rather than pink, blotchy and covered in greenfly?
And finally, 4. Why is it that, at the very moment when you stop on a tiny, traffic-free lane to pick a particularly persistent insect out of your cleavage, a 4×4 appears from nowhere, giving the driver a close-up view of you furtively rummaging?
Actually, that wasn’t my final question.
5. Why, when I thought I’d run out of greenfly references, do I find yet another insect crawling around inside my clothes???
I said I’d get to the point. The point is this: some days you just have to give up working for a while. Those are the days when you find yourself staring at the screen having not typed anything for what seems like hours. The days when even making your 43rd cup of tea is too much effort. The days when sitting in your chair trying to work is like struggling against a head wind.
Of course, the thing to do on those days is to get out on your bike and fight against a real head wind.
Actually, that wasn’t really my intention. My intention was to get some exercise and hopefully wake my sluggish brain into action, maybe even finding a bit of enthusiasm for the work I was supposed to be doing. I hadn’t reckoned on the summer breeze. What actually happened was that pedalling along felt a lot like sitting at my desk (only sweatier) because I still seemed to be expending a lot of energy going nowhere fast.
Even so, getting outside and expending energy one way or another is generally the solution on days like this. Despite the head wind, today’s bike ride brought all kinds of benefits:
1. The sight of a kestrel hovering overhead.
2. Beautiful pink orchids on the road verge. (No, I can’t tell you what kind. For once I’d got up some speed and wasn’t stopping!)
3. The feeling of being alive that only comes outdoors.
4. A slightly clearer brain that managed to concoct a blog post, if not the charity fundraising strategy I was supposed to be writing.
So, if today the sun is calling you outside, or you can’t stand to keep plugging away at your desk, give in and go outside. If you need permission, I’ll give you mine.