Friday, 31 July 2009

Tamiflu A-Go-Go and On Yer Bike!

Poor old Dulcie (my eldest girl). She was a real sore throat-y, vomit-y, ear infection-y, conjunctivitis-y mess. Freya (the little one) was just fine, slightly snotty, slightly off her food, but otherwise bouncing off the walls and demanding a kitchen table full of paper, glue, feathers, beads and paint to keep her occupied, whist Dulcie lingered in her room, waiting for me to bring warm drinks and an hours reading (The Lady Grace Mysteries, very good for those who are 11-13 ish). Darn that swine flu, darn it to heck! (This is how I imagine good, Christian, women who post their thoughts on the internet swear. In real life I'm a little less Ned Flanders).

They're better now though (thank God), and Dulcie and the DH are off to the frozen North this weekend to sing a a rather beautiful priory. The little one and I are not going, simply because as soon as we get back we're off to Devon for our annual camping holiday and I just couldn't imagine having the time to pack for a choir trip and packing for a camping trip in just a few days, the logistics of the thing just twisted my melon, man. Poor Freya hasn't quite cottoned on that we're not going this year, I'm being too much of a coward to tell her the bad news because last year she loved it, it was all fairground rides and paddling and fish and chips and hardly ever sleeping. And of course, if you're four, the heady delights of Bridlington are a glamorous zenith.

I shall attempt to make her weekend as fun as possible. After we've aired the tent and packed the rucksacks and shopped for a picnic I'm going to take her to the Coventry Transport Museum. I know, you may think that such a trip is hardly comparable to an old fashioned seaside adventure, but to Freya the Coventry Transport Museum is heaven. When she first started school she did a project on the history of transport and they made a big deal about bicycles. What she doesn't know about Penny Farthings you could write on a postage stamp, but what she really likes, what she really, really, likes are the Safety Bicycles - because, as she says, ladies could ride them and not get their skirts caught in the wheels! For some reason, she finds the idea of ladies in long skirts riding bikes wonderful. So this spot of Youtubery is for her.

A while ago I watched a social history programme which featured many of the bikes in the museum and Paul Atterbury said that the wide use of bicycles at the turn of the last century has been credited with expanding the gene pool! This is a nice thought, bicycles truly are a very convivial technology!

Anyway, my youngest is not the only one who is a little bike crazy ce moment. I do not drive. To get about I either walk, use the bus or wait for the DH to come home so he may chauffeur me about like I'm Lady Muck. However, I used to ride a bike. A man's mountain bike. A man's mountain bike which I can't get on unless I contort myself into impossible positions raising my rear end and lifting my leg in a highly inappropriate way. When I used to ride it to and from work I wouldn't get on it on school premises just in case any of my pupils saw me. Freya would tell me that I need an old-fashioned lady's Safety Bicycle, so that I may ride it in a skirt, indeed so that I may ride it without having to visit the chiropractor. So right now I am hankering after a Pashley Princess.

Freya is, of course, quite right. I hanker after this bike. I hanker after it just like 19 year-old boys called Liam hanker after Subaru Imprezzas with alloy wheels. This bike is handmade in Stratford-Upon-Avon, so it's a local product (and therefore morally good), this bike is the Rolls Royce of the Safety Cycle. I shan't bore you with its particulars, you already know that it's expensive and I can't afford it. But a girl can dream. A girl can visit the Coventry Transport Museum and dream.


monix said...

Well done for getting swine flu out of the way before the autumn/winter version spreads. apparently that will be more severe but then this was predicted to be a barbecue summer!

I hope you have a good time in Devon, if it is the north of the county you are visiting then email me ( for my telephone number and I'll provide cake and drying facilities if the rain continues.

Many of the railway tracks that fell victim to Dr B have been turned into cycle paths so you might find a splendid Lady's Safety Cycle to hire.

Tia said...

Glad you're back. Have you all had it now or just the girls?

Enjoy camping - we too are off but only as far as Shepton Mallet

Niki RuralWritings said...

Glad to hear the swine is out of the house! Canada is forecasting doom and gloom for this Autumn's flu season..swine flu but a more virulent strain. Gov't is purchasing more respirators, and putting out preparedness info! Makes me nervous.

LOVE the bike, I want one too, but have absolutely no use for it, since we live to far from anything to pedal there and mostly on dirt and gravel roads. But if I were to buy one it would be that style....where your back is straight and the handlebars come up to meet you, not you to them!

Have a wonderful weekend,

debbie bailey said...

I just bought myself a bike yesterday! It's a retro-looking Schwinn and pretty inexpensive to boot. I'll post about it in a few days on my blog, if you're interested. I can see why you'd like to have one of those on YOUR blog. Pretty sweet ride!

Gumbo Lily said...

You really ought to have the Pashley Princess. It looks like the perfect bike for a lady who doesn't drive. Don't give up your never know what God might unexpectedly do.

I have a leisure bike that I just love -- with a basket. I can drive her to the mailbox (a mile up and back) to fetch the mail among other things.

Hoping the flu is done and gone and that your holiday is just right.


Loved the synchronized lady's biking.

Dulce Domum said...

Hi Monix
I hope they're both immune now...although, yours truly hasn't caught it yet!

Ooh, thanks for the offer of tea and cake. We'll be in East Devon, Beer/Branscombe way, but if we turn up on your doorstep one wet and windy day, don't be surprised.

Hi Tia
Just the girls, and maybe the DH, who was a bit ropey and worked from home for a bit. Have a nice time in Shepton Mallet!

Hi Niki
We haven't gone down the respirators route, France has though. I do know that the government has issued guidelines on how we take communion and do the peace! Other than that they just keep saying wash your hands and if you get ill stay indoors! I'm glad you like the bike, you're dead right, it's a proper sit up and beg. I've just found out it was the bike in the film version of 101 Dalmatians.

Hi Debbie
It is a sweet ride (that's a great American expresion, btw). I'm looking out for a good second hand one...but you never know, I may be able to afford a new one. I definitely do want to pop over and look at your new bike. I've got bike fever atm.

Hi Jody
You're right. You never know, and it would be around forever. They're very well made, they're the bikes our posties ride. I'm looking forward to camping, despite the rain, there's lots to do in Devon even when you're soaked through to the skin!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Dulce,
I'm so glad the girls are better and off to enjoy themselves. I'm a bit bewildered. Did you say Freya is four and has already done a project on transportation! I'm not happy about my grandkids living clear across the country but if they were learning nuggets of history as such, I wouldn't mind if the lived clear across "the pond!"

We're getting constant flu updates here too. I can't help getting nervous when they start saying everyone in time should get vaccinated. And, I especially don't like when they suggest it may be mandatory.

That bike sure does look like "a sweet ride" although, being a child of the suburbs, I can't imagine not driving. However, if the price of fuel keeps going up, I may just revisit by favorite Schwinn dealer.

Have a great holiday with your family. What are you bringing for the picnic?

Angela said...

Dear Friend- can I just refer you to this article in the Times 2 weeks ago re Ladies On Bicycles!!!

I, too, lust after a Pashley!

Dulce Domum said...

Hi Louise
They're talking about everybody being vaccinated over here too. I don't know if you have to be vaccinated if you've already had it, but we'll have to wait and see.

My youngest has very good teachers, and they made the project fun for little learners. It's funny on what things kids pick up on and what they don't, Freya is a girly girl, and I found is funny that she loved a proect on bikes and cars and trains!

About the the picnic. I have very definite ideas about what constitutes a good picnic, I also have a few picnic books I know you'd love. I will try to post today.

Hi Angela
I read the article and I laughed out loud. The fantasy described is just about the same as my own...oh the lure of the cafe and the cheese shop...I need to move back to Winchester...only a Cathedral city would do for a Pashley. Hmm, not sure if anybody would want to glimpse my lime green thong though.

Gumbo Lily said...

One more thing....I remembered I had this cycle chic blog in my favs. Now you're going to want that Pashley even more!


Dulce Domum said...

Thanks for the link Jody. What a great bike blog!