The Bike



This photo reminds me of a Christmas morning. I woke up early and there near the foot of my bed was a bike, I’d been longing for a bike but not that one!  Although it had been painted I knew it was my cousin’s old bike and even with its new paint job it wasn’t pretty. The brush strokes were clearly visible. I’m sure Mum & Dad knew I was disappointed as soon as they saw my face.

I didn’t know how to ride a bike and some time later the son of Mum’s best friend was visiting and promised to help me learn. I insisted that he mustn’t let go of the back as I rode around the lawn but I must have appeared confident because he did let go and I crashed straight into the wall of the house. I told him off and he just said, “I thought you could ride”. Not only hadn’t I really learnt to balance but the brakes worked by pushing back on the pedals and I definitely hadn’t mastered that. He was most apologetic and I guess I was lucky because as far as I remember only my pride and trust were dented.

I rode that bike the 2kms to school every day until I was banned from doing it by the doctor because of “growing pains”. I did get another bike, a reward for doing well in a music exam, that was also second hand but I was thrilled with it. It was English, had a lovely soft seat, 3 gears and even a light that worked by either batteries or dynamo. Dad took the batteries out because he said they would only go flat, I never really understood it, he could have left them until they did but I certainly couldn’t have told him that!


Invasive Roots

My dad had a lovely Crepe Myrtle Tree so when I saw dwarf ones were available I bought one and planted it in a big concrete pot. It died. I dug it out and discovered tree roots had invaded the pot and starved the poor tree of water and nutrients. I decided to have another go with a big metal tub which I placed on weed mat. The new Crepe Myrtle died. Today I dug that out and emptied the tub only to find the central hole completely clogged with roots which have grown up through the weed mat. From now on I’m going to make sure that all my pots sit either off the ground or on some solid base!