“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Ah the sweet taste of freedom, it’s Friday night, time to kick back, relax and look forward to two days with the wife and the daughter! Ideally, as its now the Chinese new year, we’d have picked up a takeaway, Chinese obviously, to play our little part in the celebrations. With the wife now on maternity pay however, we have to swap the luxury of a takeaway for the chilli that was hidden at the back of the freezer, from back when Clare was still pregnant and we were cooking meals in advance, preparing for the chaos that we were anticipating when baby Vokes arrived… the chaos that basically just never happened! With such a well behaved baby, we were free to continue cooking normal meals, and the frozen ones just kinda got forgotten about, that is until tonight anyway. We’d eaten the other meals that had been prepared, and for me, Chilli is a Friday night food anyway, so I was good with that.
I took todays photo to remember this time, Olivia is nowhere near standing yet, or even rolling over, but she is taking a lot of weight in her legs and managing to stand for up to five minutes at a time with us just holding onto her hands to balance her, not support her weight! She loves standing and its lovely to see her so happy doing it, as well as the fact that all the while she does its building up the muscles in her legs, ready for when she does start moving about and trying to crawl or stand or whatever babies do first! I was really hoping to be taking her swimming this weekend, but it looks like we may have to postpone again as her poor little tummy still isn’t right, and we’re still having quite a few nasty nappies. We’ve been very relaxed parents and tried not to panic or worry about every little thing or call the doctors at the slightest sniffle, but at the same time we don’t want to overlook anything that may be a cause for concern, and with these nappies not being right for a few days this week, it was time to get the doctors opinion. Clare took Olivia in during the week and the doctor essentially shrugged and said “Meh!”, which was exactly what we predicted would happen. Olivia is drinking her milk, sleeping well, not dehydrated and importantly still a very happy baby, so the nappies are either a) one of those things, or b) potentially related to teething. Either way, we’re not especially concerned and as soon as the nappies are back to normal, off to the swimming pool we go!
In bike news, the new bike is an absolute joy to ride and even the relentless rain on tonights journey home from work struggled to stop me enjoying it. I have decided to go ahead and purchase another rear light again, this one is going to be much brighter, its the Cateye Volt 50 and has some great reviews, plus I was super impressed with the Cateye Volt 300 front light! I know I only have a few weeks left of cycling in the dark, but even when i’m not, on days when its dull, grey and raining these are going to be essential to make myself as visible as possible, as drivers don’t seem to need any excuse to lower their driving standards even further. My theory is that the brighter your back lights, the more seriously cars on the road will take you. I do find myself often thinking, either when I am catching up with a slower cyclist or driving, that if they have a piss poor light on their bike and I can barely see them until I am almost on top of them, well… they kind of have it coming really, don’t they?! If someone hits them because it was dark and their lights were shit, then they kind of have no-one to blame but themselves! I have very little sympathy for poor cyclists, a lot of cycling is common sense. I mean sure, a helmet isn’t a legal requirement in this country, and no, of course it won’t stop a lorry crushing you, but from experience, if you go flying across the front of a car and land head first on the road… well, I hope I don’t need to explain where this is going! As for the cyclists jumping red lights thing, its no wonder car drivers get angry quite frankly, a red light means stop, end of! So yeah, I can see why some motorists get ticked off with cyclists, but then they have to remember that this is genuinely a case of the few ruining it for the many, not all cyclists are the same. I very often pull up to red lights and see other cyclists waiting there, wearing their helmets with their lights on the back of their bike. It would be like me saying, ALL car drivers run red lights, speed, park illegally, don’t have insurance, and drive far too dangerously. Of course its not the truth, and so on that note, why apply the same blanket hatred to all cyclists?? It has become apparent to me in recent months the amount of sheer hatred on the road between cars and cyclists, and I can’t figure out where it has all suddenly come from. We’ve always had cyclists on our roads! In Holland its the done thing, there are actually more cyclists than cars, and nobody falls out! My theory is that a) our roads just aren’t big enough (NOT the cyclists fault!), b) there are more cyclists on the road now as cars become increasingly more expensive to run (also not the cyclists fault) c) there are more cars on the roads with many households now having multiple cars (also surprisingly not the cyclists fault) and d) driving standards have just plummeted (again, not the cyclists fault). If I can just dwell on point d for a minute, as a driver myself, the one thing I have noticed in almost 20 years of driving is how bad the majority of drivers have become. Sure, from time to time i’ve gone a bit faster than I should have done, and yeah I’ve got to an amber light about to turn red and thought “f*ck it, i’m going!” but I also have a clean license and a full no claims, so I think I am fairly qualified to comment. There does seem to be a growing trend of bad driving, especially in the city, the anger behind the wheel of some drivers is insane, and I watch some people and just think to myself “at some point, someone saw fit to pass you on your driving test…. how??”. So while car drivers constantly point out that cyclists are “a bloody nuisance”, maybe its just their petrol fuelled anger talking, people seem to calm down so much when they step out of the car again, and maybe its that the cyclist isn’t being unnecessarily aggressive or angry for no reason whatsoever, just that they can’t believe that your stupid, ignorant, reckless manoeuvre amazingly didn’t actually kill them!
Anyway, enough ranting for this week, I think I’ve made my point and I have a bottle of wine to finish before bed!