Errandonnees 7, 8 & 9: Stafford in the springtime

Date: 25th March 2017, about 11am

Bicycle: 1987 BSA 3-speed, a.k.a. ‘Chrichton’

Categories: Personal business, non-store errand, personal care.

Things learned/observed: 1) I have no money! 2) My hairdresser has a dog 3) a guy painting a mural in the cafe

Miles: 3.80

E17MTD: 30.65

The sun was out today and I’d been up bright and early for the Formula 1 qualifying. This is now my 24th season of following F1, which makes me feel terribly old. Maybe I need my bicycle to feel young again? Since the weather was so nice, before I set off I took a snap of my steed, with the saddle cover finally removed now the weather’s warming up.


My first in a string of Errandonnees this morning was to the cashpoint outside Asda, which is on the way into town next to the river. Here’s what the riverside path looks like when the sun’s out:


Curiously, you can see the lamps were still on in the broadest of broad daylight. I got to the cashpoint and nervously checked my balance. As I feared, I’m a little poor right now. Those shiny rims are probably the culprit. I do like English banknotes, the £10 with Charles Darwin is going to be replaced soon with Jane Austen. (Miles so far 0.99)


I rode along to my hairdresser, Kevin, which is why I needed the cash. He’s charged me £16 a cut for at least the past 5 years, it’s about time someone explained inflation to him but I’ve tried offering more and he just won’t take it. I hadn’t made an appointment, but as it turned out he had a slot free right there and then, so my thick Irish hair was finally reduced to something a little more manageable for the time being. We chatted about this and that, and I became aware of the presence of a ‘thing’ to my left. Between cuts I managed to glance over and saw this little chap:


It’s Kevin’s dog, who apparently has been fighting with his siblings (and losing) so had to be brought in to work today. He did look a bit traumatised poor thing, but he was very quiet. (Miles so far 1.61)

I was by now badly in need of something to eat, so I cycled round to our usual coffee shop (my fiancee’s in Birmingham today) but it was packed to the rafters. It must be the sunshine drawing everyone out. I popped instead to another of my Coffeeneuring destinations last year, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Emporium. I ordered a hot chocolate and a cheese & bacon filled oatcake (a Staffordshire speciality) and browsed today’s Times while I ate. (Miles so far 2.25)


While I was eating I glanced around the place, which has changed a little since my last visit. The was a mural on the wall of the hole Alice fell down, only I thought it didn’t look terribly good. Then I noticed a chap was adding bits to the bottom, painting in the hearts on some playing cards. I’ve read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and it’s one of my favourite books, but it bothers me that it’s a little “Disneyfied”, as the book is better than both the Disney cartoon and either of the recent films. I saw the second film with my housemates a few months ago and it was just terrible.

After that it was a straightforward trip home, 3.80 miles in total, and when I got back I took a few photos of the bike as well as comparing the colour of my chaincase to the paint of the bicycle with the sun on it. It’s not perfect but for a stock part matched with a 30-year-old bike it’s pretty good:



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