This picture was taken by my friend Jay “now in deep Therapy” Tejani who foolishly ventured out on his mountain bike into the Chilterns. Where he spent a happy two hours pushing the bike DOWNHILL and whimpering at the trail conditions.
Petrol in the South East is broken. We appear to have entered monsoon season in the UK and there is nothing on the TV. Time to leave.
The frenzy of packing is over. It began well with forecasted temperatures hitting eighty degrees and rain only happening to other countries. Shorts, T-shirts and suntan cream then? Er no, a little more meteorological investigation indicated that temperatures in the mountains we were cycling over are considerably lower and the weather a tad less consistent.
No problem, just pack everything I own in the bag. Small problem is the bag now exceeds the weight allowance for the entire plane. The poor aircraft would have to taxi all the way there, and the the entire flange of baggage handlers may spontaneously explode if they tried to lift it. Plan C was a headless chicken like “Maybe this top, no, no this one, er hang on if I pack that, then I won’t need this, er, er, oh fuck it, that’ll have to do“. A sophisticated and measured approach I’m sure you’ll agree.
The bike bag had similar treatment until a moment of uncharacteristic honestly exposed the nonsense of packing any tools other than a small mallet. Realistically my only options on bike breakage are to leave it there for the natives to eat or hire a passing goat to portage me and the bike back to Marrakesh.
Having endured this mental anguish without the soothing pumice of a large drink, further irritation was plastered on during an ill fated trip to town. The reasons behind this last minute trolley dash are too painful to recount, and all that needs to be said can be summed in a conversation I had with a small man in a large suit sporting a glossy brochure and a nervous smile.
“Can I interest Sir with a unique opportunity in the exciting area of double glazing?”
Now normally I feel sorry for these people; they too probably wanted to be astronauts or the Prime Minister (considering our current one, I’d give ’em my vote) but vocationally have been tossed the unedifying prospect of tricking idiots to part with their money. Actually, maybe they should be Prime Minister.
I replied evenly “Young Man, I would rather marinate my testicles in aftershave and roast them over an open fire for eternity than spend one minute with your shiny suit and shiny brochures” I looked him deep in the eye “Trust me on this”
He backed away nervously muttering “why do I always get the nutters?“. Frankly he’s lucky, if I hadn’t been busy, I would have killed him there and then and offered up “Services to the Gene Pool” as my cast iron defense.
But I’m saving that for the first SleazyJet staff member who attempts to wrest any more money from my innocent person. First it was£30 for the bikes, then about a thousand pounds for hidden taxes followed by a further£20 because the government are robbing, greedy bastards with a spurious green agenda. That’s kind of how I interpreted their email anyway.
Assuming I do not suffer radishing* from Mountain Bandits, or plunge headlong into a rocky crevasse screaming “I told you that shoulder was no good“, then – come Tuesday – photographs, tales of great daring and other lies shall light up the hedgehog. Until then, have a good one or “How much for your goat and your sister” which is the traditional form of greeting in Marrakesh apparently.
* A lighter form of ravishing for the modern tourist