Phew, what a scorcher.
Since it was bright, blue and sunny, I thought I’d go on an official adventure rather than a shopping trip by bike. That took me down Papanui Road through Merivale and into the centre of the city where, after a brief sojourn in the Square, I continued down Columbo Steet until I reached the foot of the Port Hills. I stopped now and then to take pictures or, with my Dad’s camcorder, panoramas.
I’d turned left at the end of Columbo Street and hadn’t gone very far when I decided to take another panoramic view of the hillside. When I went to resume my journey, I found that the rear tyre of the bike had suffered a puncture, which I duly repaired, and via a roundabout route, I went to the hire shop to see whether they could replace it because it is, in fact, rather worn. To my irritation, I found the place was shut, which seems stupid at the weekend when they might have so many customers. Actually, more irritating is the amount of broken glass on the streets. It’s hard not to ride over it and impossible, I think, to avoid small shards getting embedded in your tyres which will eventually slice their way through the rubber and puncture the inner tube.
I went back into town and passed through the Arts Centre again where some fat guy seemed to be preparing to throw himself onto a pile of broken glass. I did start taping him, but he dithered too much and I moved on. There’s a busker festival on in town at the moment.
I note that you can buy Giant bikes here. The utterly hopeless cycle clips which I bought in Chengdu were Giant ones. (I also note that the metal ones tend to pinch at the back, but unlike the pathetic velcro of the ones I’ve been using, these won’t pop off at an inauspicious moment.)
I went to Northlands for lunch and then to a former residence (“former” meaning 32 years ago). I’d say that it’s no longer possible to navigate your way along the line of poplar trees growing next to it. I used to climb up on the first and, probably because they’d had the tops cut off them at some time in the past, I was able to step from one to the next.
The land next to the house still remains unused. I suppose local kids might play there. The gap between the poplars and the next tree along is now too small for a gate (not that that was a barrier in my day) because of the growth of the trees, and there’s no sign of access to the area being barred. Perhaps local parents tell their children that the wife of the owner murdered her husband, hanged herself from one of the trees, and can now be seen riding around on a headless horse which she spurs on the moment she sees any children encroaching on her land.
Finished off the book on John Hawkwood this afternoon or snoozed in a lazy fashion. It was too hot to do anything energetic.