Of MasterB, Unicorns, Police Helicopters and Daily Chores

I need to get to bed. MasterB has decided a turn around the garden is necessary, so I shall put up a wee post. Before I saw today’s photo challenge, I had taken myself out for a brief walk with my camera to give myself a break from the list of tasks I was steadily working through: Collect car ✓; get car washed ✓; clean silver ✓; renew library books ✓; buy stamps, potatoes, peas and tissues ✓; call X, Y and Z ✓; post letters ✓. You get the picture; scintillating stuff, the necessary if not inspiring day to day things that build up. I thought I might take some photos of blue things, just in the garden. MasterB has a new blue bell on his collar and that was a bit of a challenge to get him, the collar and the bell in the picture and in focus. He’s a lively lad, MasterB.

Himself With Bells On

Himself With Bells On

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Two Bikes

Seeing this bike outside a shop in Bloomsbury today reminded me that I saw a man riding one of the same type a couple of weeks ago near the South Bank. He serenely rode up a side road towards Stamford Street. It was a slightly surreal moment. A bit like a scene from Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou. Seeing a second one I am starting to wonder if they are coming back into fashion. I was disappointed on my recent visit to Guildford Museum that the one that used to be on display throughout my childhood has been consigned to the storeroom for the moment.

Penny Farthing

Penny Farthing


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Flann O’Brien bikes

It can quite easy to attribute human characteristics to the most unlikely objects. Some houses seem to smile, others glare down on passersby like Victorian beadles judging the undeserving poor.

Bicycles somehow lend themselves to this anthropomorphism quite readily. I haven’t given my bike a name, but Andrew Sykes’ bike is called Reggie, and even has its (his?) own Twitter account.

But I did read Flann O’Brien’s books at a susceptible age, and sometimes there are bikes that seem to confirm his theories. In case your own education has somehow omitted his writing, here’s a taste:

“The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles…when a man lets things go so far that he is more than half a bicycle, you will not see him so much because he spends a lot of his time leaning with one elbow on walls or standing propped by one foot at kerbstones.”
― Flann O’Brien, The Third Policeman

So when I saw this bicycle, apparently loitering on a corner, riderless, I naturally started to wonder. Because of course the bicycles are also half man…

Loitering


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