Sunday, May 7, 2006

I've got a new bike!

I've had quite a busy few days- Thursday I worked at Ickworth with Julia, doing my usual tricks. I'm on a personal crusade to get everyone on the property to use Excel when they should be using it, rather than creating spreadsheets in Word. Someone who shall remain nameless is rather computer-phobic, but I've offered to teach her Excel. She's taken this to mean that I'll do all her Excel-related work for her. She now turns up at my desk once or twice a week, with a hand-drawn spreadsheet that she wants me to put into a computer spreadsheet. Not exactly what I was aiming for, but it's a start.

On Friday, I helped Caroline & Ian move from a 2-up, 2-down in Bury to a v. large 5 bedroom house in Ipswich. The new house is gorgeous (with plenty of room for John & me to spend the night). We loaded all the stuff into the truck, and then I noticed that there was a purple bicycle still in the back yard.

"Don't you guys want this bike?"

"Nah, you can have it."

"Can I pay you for it?"

"Nope, we found it on the street a few years ago, with a sign saying 'free to a good home.' We took it in and never use it. It's yours."

So I rode my new bike to the Music Sales office and am keeping it there until we figure out how to get it home. I might try to bribe Julia and her Jeep to bring it over when she comes to dinner next week.

The bike has purple splotches all over it (from the factory, it looks like!) and is v. ugly and rather squeaky. I'm going to take it to the bike place in Stowmarket and have the brakes checked out (they weren't so good on my ride to Music Sales), and buy a basket for the front, but other than that, I'm good to go. Yay!!! I also need to find a wrench and raise the seat, but that's easy. It even has gears. And a rack with a clip-y thing on the back that I can put stuff on. And mud guards. And a padded seat (which is the source of most of the squeaking, I think).

Watch out world, here I come.

I helped out at Ickworth yesterday with the Hanging Basket workshop- we had a great group of ladies and the baskets turned out great! Only problem was that once I got home, I realized that I had nowhere to hang the basket- it's wicked heavy and kind of big. So I brought it over to Freda & Travis today, and Travis is going to assemble some kind of thingy to attach it to the side of their house tomorrow morning. I still have visitation rights, though. :)

When I had dinner with my Stowmarket mom last Thursday, her daughter Fiona and I were talking about books (again). We're trying to muster up the energy to start a book club, but so far just keep giving each other recommendations. I've gone a little overboard with my Inter-Library Loan account with the Stowmarket library- when I went in yesterday to pick up my Howl's Moving Castle DVD (1 week for £2...not bad), 4 of my other books had also come in. That's on top of the two I had already and the two Fiona gave me. So I blasted through the end of The Bonesetter's Daughter (Amy Tan), and have started in on the first of the Dark Materials books (Philip Pullman). They're great!! Everyone keeps comparing them to Harry Potter, but I think they're more like a cross between the Enid Blytons that I read when I was a kid and what I was hoping Jonathan Strange would be. Anyway, they're good. I'm also on a Barbara Kingsolver kick- she wrote The Poisonwood Bible (which I loved), and I've just finished The Bean Trees. Pigs In Heaven (Bean Trees sequel) arrived in the pile of books as well...I've got my work cut out for me!


Dad said...

Kate, great to hear about the new bike, but where's the mention of the new helmet to go with it? I'm not sure you remember the awful evening in the emergency room of Peterborough Hospital in 1991 when, in typical fashion, you tried to ride up a dirt mound and ended up going over completely backwards and landing on the back of your head. While you were in the emergency room having the Doctor put in a few stitches, we decided that bike helmets were a good idea. Remember that night?

C said...

Howl's Moving Castle! Eee!! You should read the book too if you haven't yet, it's fantabulous.

I loved the first two His Dark Materials books but got annoyed with The Amber Spyglass when Pullman got on his whole "Christianity is the root of all evil" soapbox. They're certainly well-written, though.