Wednesday, October 23, 2013


There may be beauty in rainbows, but they're formed from sunshine and rain.

Kolly Wobble has discovered that this life she has been given (she is a toy octopus newly come to life) is fraught with imperfection and necessary ad-hoc adjustments to reasonable plans. Some might argue that her tentacle-eye co-ordination is a tad sloppy, but she is of the opinion that life is made up of a balance of good and bad luck. And the fact that she is currently regularly stumping a bare tentacle against a chair just moments after taking her shoes off to get into a bath, and that the soap dispenser falls into the water every time, and the towel slips off the rail – at least twice – is symptomatic of how chaos is thrust in everyone's direction on a daily basis at differing frequencies.

Perhaps, given her current run of luck, deciding to re-spray her #3 tandem to use as her wet-weather winter bike was an unwise move.

Kolly had recently given it several coats of white primer and had hoped this would be sufficient to deal with the regular grime accumulated from riding. Not so. This turned out to be the incorrect choice as the dirt became ingrained and difficult to shift, so she buys some gloss spray paint and strips down the bike again to finish the job.

Apparently, the skill and art of spray-painting is down to thin coats, built up over time. This cannot occur if your tentacle twitches and presses the nozzle too hard, or the impulse to give one or two more sweeps is acted upon. Such acts cause the paint to run.

It also doesn't help if it keeps threatening to rain and you hasten your actions to avoid the surface getting wet and get even more impatient.

It also doesn't help if you decide to hang the frame in a shed on an old nail stuck in a joist and it bends just as you are tying the string and the frame falls onto the dirty floor.

It also doesn't help if, after you have rubbed down the scratched areas and re-applied some more spray paint – from a new can that you have especially gone out to buy – you traipse in a line a of mud on the carpet because you forget to remove your boots as you bring in the frame to dry beside a radiator. And find the latest application has also run.

It also doesn't help if the supposedly relaxing bath you take afterwards to soak away the misery only contributes to it.

And so, the frustrating downward spiral of incessant niggling mishaps leads her to believe that the dice are becoming loaded just because she is alive, and she vents some of that anger at solid, and not so robust, objects. She is surprised at her temper. Still, Kolly Wobble now knows her limitations with regards to spray-painting and is doing her best to cope with the variations of luck Fate randomly spits out. And she has Googled anger-management.

Besides, in some ways, she can consider herself lucky. Rex Proctor, the action-figure come to life, who inspired her love of cycling in the first place, was hit by a car a few days ago. He was going down a hill in Ipswich when he noticed a car slowly pulling out from a side road. Rex suspects that the reason that it was travelling unusually slowly was because there was already another cyclist entangled up with it. Rex managed to keep his balance as he was hit, and even succeeded in reaching through the open window to get the attention of the passenger by grabbing his throat, but the car still pulled away.

This, he tells her, is what is known as zombie driving.

When he returned to the first cyclist, the guy was grimly holding up a Smartphone and proclaiming he had a photo of the driver's face and the licence number. It amazes Kolly that the cyclist had the fortitude to achieve this as someone endeavoured to cause him harm.

So, apparently, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.         


Relating this story to friends in a rather pleasant pub, a lorry-driver responds by telling Kolly how he normally gives cyclists lots of room when overtaking, but this week felt obliged to narrow the gap because an elderly cyclist was travelling extremely slowly and was refusing to use the adjoining cycle path. The lorry-driver seemed surprised to hear from Kolly that unless there had been a sign specifically banning the old man from riding that particular section of road, the cyclist had every right to be using it.

Kolly decided not to also point out that the truck driver's judge/jury/possible executioner actions were a mild form of road-rage – she's in touch with the nuances of anger-management – and knows there are times when it's appropriate to know that you've changed someone's outlook and that putting the moral boot in is unnecessary.      

She is still singing Cliff Richard's 'In the Country' whilst riding.


Try not to do the stupid things stupid people do.         

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