Anyone seen Mr. Mannering?

Because when Corporal Jones shouts “Don’t Panic”, I can add a contemporary suffix along the lines of “Change of plan, PANIC“. Considering the deep shade cast by my mountainous to do list, hedgehog stuffing is vying for April’s “most stupid idea” although considered opinion suggests “Yeah, we’re ready, let’s open Terminal 5” is a shoe in.

Things began to go badly wrong once I bucked everything we’ve learned about the Y chromosome and attempted to start two things at the same time. Obviously I’ve finished neither with packing for the world’s most geographically confused airport properly interfering with desperate maintenance on my London bike.

Before I could unleash sharp tools on the latter, I first had to learn fast a skill of urban archeology to find it. While there was something recognisably bike shaped and broken, it was camouflaged under a year of grimy abuse. After an hour of determined effort – aided by a cleaning products that can only be handled with kevlar mittens* – I had transferred the grease from the bike to my trousers.

And my hands. And every cleaning object I own **. And anything I touched was layered with the shiny sludge of a black compound with its’ own chemical symbol and a half life. I had a chat with my inner woman and she declared my trousers fit only for burning and left shaking her head. Still this put me in the mood to multi task – abandon the still broken commuter and make space to ruin it properly by packing the Cove for our cheeky Pyrenees weekend.

Now I’m sat here with a vague feeling of disquiet. On the last two trips, my disc rotors failed to survive falling off the baggage truck, so planning ahead I carefully removed them. Not quite planning far enough ahead to actually put them in the bike bag though. No I did, I’m sure of it. Of course I must have. I mean, where else could they be? I’ve only turned the barn upside twice already hunting for integral bike parts kidnapped by fridgesuck***

I could unpack the bag but the simple act openage will stud my eyebrows with pointy components packed at a pressure of about a 1000 PSI. Because, although I pulled back from packing every tool, item of clothing and the emergency badger into the straining maw, I have secreted at least two types of chain oil and a spare seat post. And maybe some disc rotors.

No, bugger it. I’m leaving it. Definitely. Well until 2am when staring at the ceiling becomes boring and nothing short of a full and frank investigation of the inner recesses shall finally scratch this mental itch. So my brief education into urban archeology may well come in useful later. I have restored the shabby commuter to a working bicycle that no longer creaks, groans and wobbles erratically on a rusted bearing.

There’s enough of that going on with the owner. Right, off riding in warm rain until Tuesday swapping tales or daring with the truth and trying to stay out of hospital. One thing though, my commuter did have disc brakes when I started all this didn’t it?

* On first glance, I read kittens. Still they brought the frame up to a lovely shine.

** The RSPCA are clearly going to have something to say about that

*** As an advanced student of 4-Dimensional losing things, I don’t even need a fridge for this to occur.

4 thoughts on “Anyone seen Mr. Mannering?

  1. Grahame

    Pedant mode engaged.

    It’s Mainwaring.

    Pedant mode disengaged.

    NBT – I hope you don’t mong yourself before May Bank Holiday when (I understand) we are due for a (Mrs) Baxtering. On second thoughts, perhaps I do hope you mong yourself skiing, then I won’t be the slowest by quite such a large margin.

  2. NBT

    Ahh what an unexpected and unforseen pleasure. I beleive that by the weekend in question the Baxters will be, in the style of Peaches & Herb, reunited. I look forward to both the ride and the eagerly anticipated visit to that bastion of post biking food, Simply Indian in New Mills, perhaps the finest purveyor of sub-continental cuisine in the area.

    Oh and Beer might be involved too. Alex, fancy coming up to further enhance our inevitable attempt to recreate the Great Covent Garden Massacre ™?

  3. Alex

    My liver twitched when I read that. I would appreciate ample bracing time before you mention that again 😉

    Curry you say? With beer? And some riding? Doesn’t sound like my thing at all!

    I shall electronically molest you later to get the details.

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