Monday, October 16, 2023

new wheels I can't ride

 yes, it happened. I own a motorbike. again. it's a honda. again. it's even a pan european. again.

I still can't explain how it happened. after my accident, it took me over a month and a half before I was in good enough shape to even get back to cycling. and even when I did, it was a struggle. I spent over a month driving to work.

the last weekend before I gave up the courtesy car, I spent half the insurance payout, exchanged my 5 year old full size cycle, and brought myself a full-size ebike.

I told myself, this will be my vehicle of choice for the foreseeable future.

except that... a few weeks later, I fell sick.

and that's when I realized, cycling's great when you're healthy, but simply impossible when you're battling an infection. and my infection was bad.

what started off as an idle thought of getting another bike, now had a note of urgency to it.

truth be told (and this might sound like blasphemy to people who know me well), I'd have been equally happy with a car. but it's just the way things happened. the car thing simply didn't work out, and the bike thing simply did. in fact, I put way more time and effort into car shopping, while pan europeans seemed to be following me around!

anyway. long story short... it's in the driveway. it hasn't left the driveway yet.

I know this isn't the usual me. this wasn't me when I purchased Vicki - that day, I literally rode around the parking lot because I didn't have the tax and insurance to be able to take it out on the road!

which also reminds me, I didn't post a photo of the day I purchased Vicki:

2nd September 2019

Compare that with today (I won't count yesterday as the tax hadn't been paid yet, and doesn't allow you top register the purchase/sale of a vehicle after 7pm!) - I dusted the bike, then sprayed it with muc-off and hosed it down, cleaned the inside of the panniers, even fitted the phone mount.

But I didn't ride it. I didn't even sit on it.

Was it because I'm unwell? I guess to some extent, yes - I am far from fit at the moment. My health keeps going between "I should be good to go back to work tomorrow" and coughing fits that make me half wish for a quick and painless end. But I'm not too unwell to take a spin around the block at least.

No, that's not it. I'm still not ready to face the world on a motorbike.

I'm just too nervous at intersections, inclines, uneven surfaces, around vehicles, and all possible  permutations and combinations of them. And worst of all, while I've spent years riding around on worse combinations, the trauma from the accident has left me extremely nervous about getting back on the world on a motorbike. I'm fine on a cycle - in fact, the day I fell sick, I had cycled some 45km, and literally got home because I was hungry and wanted to eat something home cooked! But there's something about getting back on a motorbike, and riding it out, inevitably passing that junction where the accident happened, that fazes me.

I know I'll have to come to terms with it at some point.

I know I'll have to get back to riding again.

But for now, I'm not sure if I'm ready.

I have a feeling she is, though.

16th October 2023

Introducing: Lisa, my 2002 Honda Pan European ST1300.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

modern medicine

for a long while, I've avoided modern medicine for as much as I could. eating healthy, getting enough activity, being in touch with my body - it actually works as advertised.

until, late last week, I was down with something.

it started off as a sore throat, and i treated it with the usual salt water gargles, warm fluids (finally digging into my enormous fruit/herbal tea stash!), plenty of rest, the drill.

nothing helped. if anything, I was getting progressively worse.

Tuesday night, a friend said it doesn't sound good at all and I should get urgent medical attention.

the online questionnaire of my "virtual doctor" app said it could be one of three things, and I need URGENT medical attention within the next 6 hours!

panic set in, and I set up a call with a real doctor, the first available slot, scheduled for quarter to midnight. can't believe doctors are up taking calls at that hour! (actually, I know why - they're NHS doctors doing overtime for some side money... gotta admire their devotion!)

the call was inconclusive, made worse by the fact that the app failed to work so the doctor called me on a regular call - so she couldn't see my actual state.

it was time for antibiotics.

I hate antibiotics. I've spent most of my life avoiding them. but that night, I slept so badly (or to put it more accurately, I spent the whole night groaning in agony as I couldn't even swallow my own saliva) that I acknowledged there was no alternative.

500mg of penicillin, 4 times a day, for 10 days.

500mg down, and I already felt better. I told myself it's probably the placebo effect, or maybe it's because I got out of the house to collect it and the fresh air helped?

another 500mg down, and it was definitely not a placebo.

that night, my throat was dramatically better. I was able to eat my first meal in days of solid food without agony.

but then, I had a strange pain in my right cheek. my right cheek was swollen.

at 4am, I acknowledged I couldn't take it any more, and I had to resort to another thing I avoided for ages: painkillers.

500mg of paracetamol and a bit of codeine later, I managed 4 hours of sleep (or was it 3?).

it's crazy, how much worse I'd have been if not for the last 100 years of medicine.

I'm still going to avoid antibiotics and painkillers as much as I can, but I have new found respect for how effective they are - when I really need them!

Friday, October 06, 2023


It's strange, my recent dreams are so predictably tied to reality that they've stopped being fantastic!

I wonder what's changed. I miss my dreams.

Thursday, October 05, 2023

The slow Web

I don't remember my blog very often, but I'm sure most people I know who ever had a blog don't think about theirs at all!

By a quirk of my RSS reader, it somehow marked the last 10 posts in every blog I've subscribed to, as unread. And they sent me an email saying that if I didn't login to my RSS reader in the next 50 days, I'd lose my account and subscriptions for good.

It took me a few posts before I realized what happened. The reader messed up the dates as well - all the posts said 4th October 2023 or something.

Either way, it's been fun to read about the world as it appeared to my many friends, from back when before twitter, instagram, youtube, whatsapp, tiktok and snapchat took over everything. The slow web, when people took time to write and to read. When photos were few and far betwen (if at all!) and videos were unheard of.

While 411 unread posts might cause anxiety to the unprepared mind, I'm not in any hurry to exhaust this treasure trove.

ps: Fun idea: write an app that'd scrape all my RSS feeds and then "surprise me" with random posts in random order.

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