I woke this morning to the sound the radio (that had been playing quietly all night although, having gone to bed beforehand, I have no recollection of hearing Big Ben at midnight). I stared around the room a little whilst at the same time trying to catch the thread of the news stories being discussed – 1,400 cars destroyed in Liverpool? – Jansher Khan? – Red button on someone’s desk? – but eventually stood and stretched. I wandered across the hallway and into the bathroom where I looked in the mirror. My gaze was, however, quickly averted from my own face; through the bathroom window against which the mirror was leaning, across the countryside of green fields, stone walls, bare trees and scattered buildings and towards the distant dam holding back the water of Scammonden reservoir on the far side and holding up the tarmac of the M62. I kept looking. No cars. No lorries. I continued looking, ever more carefully and eventually noticed fast movement from right to left. That’s the effect of New Year’s Day.
I negotiated the stairs in the dark, turned left into the living room and switched on the lights. I ate a banana, made a strong black coffee and decided to read a chapter of the book I am currently reading; How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. These were the first two paragraphs I read:
“Here I am.
I am in the car park. I have finished my second day at Oakfield School and am now in the process of unlocking my bicycle, which is attached to a metal fence next to the staff car park. I ride a bike because I have never trusted cars. I’ve ridden a bike now for a hundred years and I think they are one of the truly great human inventions.”
I don’t believe in omens but for a cyclist, that’s a good way to start 2018.
Happy New Year.