So, Sunday-by-default evening and as usual on a bank holiday, that end-of-the-weekend feeling is in full effect. Especially after a weekend which demonstrated incontrovertibly how insane a 5 day week is and how we should all work slightly harder for 4 days and then actually get to wind down a bit for the final three. Stupid western civilisation. Though I do have some hope that the 4-day week might happen soon, given the ever-shortening length of the working week over the last century or two. I hope my grandchildren appreciate it.

It was a lovely bank holiday weekend, involving as much Doing Stuff as relaxing. I kicked off the weekend, as you do, with an eight-hour cycle to Whitstable with @ceepeebee and 75 other like-minded individuals, some of whom were normal people. I’d not done a night ride before (getting lost in sub-zero temperatures in the pitch-black backcountry of the Isle of Wight doesn’t count, due to being unintentional and a memory I’m trying quite hard to repress) and although I was very skeptical, I can see the charm – sunrise over wheatfields and hedgerows was so gorgeous and life-affirming it was worth every one of the 70 miles we covered.

And there were other pluses – empty roads and a spirit of adventure, an “all in it together” spirit, and a disproportionate sense of achievement, as well as the night sky away from light pollution and the smug feeling of satisfaction at being up and ready to enjoy the new day (passing swiftly over the collapse into extreme tiredness that rendered the rest of Saturday ephemeral at best).

The rest of the weekend was spent doing lovely things with friends, family and loved ones (though coming out a whole 40p down at poker was not part of the plan). I also got to have my first proper day out with Ludo, now that her injections have taken hold and she’s allowed to go to the park and sniff other dogs’ bums.

We got the bus to Notting Hill (yes, on the final day of Carnival, nice timing) and when we found the fancy dog shop we’d been hoping to patronise boarded up (oh COME ON pet people, Townends and Natwest is one thing but you sell sawdust and bull penis, for god’s sake). So we strolled down to Holland Park and gave Ludo her first ever public un-leashing, on the understanding she wouldn’t eat any peacocks. She preferred the pigeons anyway, and I don’t think anyone would have minded.

Everything’s going well for Ludo – she seems to be learning most of the things she needs to (or *we* need her to) even if she’s not likely to get straight As at puppy school. I’m still utterly besotted with the puppy and although I’m bearing a fair few punctures and scratches from her overenthusiastic nipping and biting, I don’t think anything makes me happier than having her stretch out on my lap (or my legs, or stomach, or face). How did I never have a dog before?

    • Stuart
    • August 30th, 2010

    Glad you and CPB enjoyed it, hope we’ve converted you to the (other) dark side! RE the sleep thing- two ways have worked for me. Nodding off on the train, intentionally or not, and even for the odd few minutes, seems to keep me alert for the rest of the day (worked on Saturday for one thing). And riding back (where possible) also seems to do the trick- keeps the adrenalin levels up. Southend next month?

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