Tuesday, 20 May 2014

In which I bike to Cambridge with my Mum riding pillion

 6.37am Attleborough Station - Train not due till 6:52. Well "25 minutes early is better than 1 second late" as my old Grandad used to say, which may explain why he lost his job as quality control manager for a digital watch manufacturer. A serious man in a sharp suit has just walked onto the platform carrying a carrier bag full of tennis balls. Most others are casually dressed carrying briefcases.

6:47 Getting busy on platform. Hope my bike is ok to get on. Any problems and I may have to invoke the spirit of my mum who is currently riding pillion. I'm still recovering from the time I took her to Spain on easy jet and we were bumped out of our seats by two executive types. She just kept saying out loud what the rest of us were thinking.

6:54 I am on a train! No channelling of Ma required happily. Just about to flash past our old house which completed last week. Strange to think of new family inhabiting all the space and making it their own. Flash. It's gone.


7:05 We've just arrived in Thetford passing 2 more former residences of mine. The conductor announces a "Station Stop" and I wonder when it ceased to languish as a mere "station". I may be channelling Ed Reardon now.

7:22 I'm still in a big bike compartment on my own (apart from 2 bikes and my mum). I have a big double seat to myself -  Ben Elton would be proud of me. I can see a smartly dressed man who looks like Tim Rice in the next compartment talking animatedly and always smiling at his companion. Probably trying to sell him something.


7:30 We are on the proper fens now - a flat calm sea of rich dark loam as far as the eye can see. Possibly with the aid of glasses. Ely stands out in the distance like Ascension Island in the Atlantic. Tim Rice is still grinning away and beginning to get on my nerves with his early morning bonhommie.


7:32 Ely Station Stop. Strangely no bikes get on. Last time I travelled via Ely about 25 bike riders piled into the train and began to form the largest version of one of those metal puzzles you used to get in crackers.


7:40 I wonder if human ashes contain DNA. Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee I'm able to look it up and they don't. I wouldn't want some mad scientist able to clone hundreds of my mum - Jurassic Park would be a picnic in comparison.

7:52 Arrive at Cambridge station and the commuters all spill onto the platform. I head off to my brother's house.

8:30 We take Mum to rest in peace at the lovely bench my brother has created in the Gog Magog Hills park. She's the "Ma" in Gog Magog now and a nice focus for memories. She'd have been bursting with pride to hear of the birth of little Teddy Peacock last week. Arrivals and departures.



9:30 I set off without my pillion passenger to make the long journey home. A 64 mile bike ride is just what I need today.

16:04 I arrive home and have a lecture about over-doing it from my 80- year old neighbour who is up a ladder trimming his bushes.


12 comments:

Mike and Ann said...

Sorry Rog. As you say - slight confusion - on my part; but I'm of an age to be slightly confused, I suppose. Anyway - lovely blog entry (and, of course, Facebook entry).

Tim said...

It's not often one experiences that wonderful emotional blend of laughter and crying at the same time. (I think it's called empathy.) Thank you for a splendid post.

Liz said...

That is a lovely post and I really like the sort of diary entry way in which it is written.

agentrodsmith said...

Thanks for sharing this, Rog. A heartwarming account told with humour and much love.

Sir Bruin said...

All of the above, Rog. If your post had a "Like" button, I would press it.

Z said...

Dear Rog, you're a wonderful writer, especially when a subject is close to your heart. Thank you.

mig bardsley said...

Thank you Rog. A funny, lovely post.

Pat said...

That's such a lovely thing to do: a last journey with your Mum.
God bless her.

Nota Bene said...

Lovely, lovely post. I'm sure the bike ride home was a good opportunity to reflect..

savannah said...

You have my heart, sugar. Lovely post. xoxoxo

63mago said...

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Rog said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments folks - you're all lovely and wonderful!