All entries for Monday 02 May 2005

May 02, 2005

Cycling to… Meriden 28/04/05

This is the monument on the village green in Meriden. Take a look at it. What do you reckon this? Left over firewood from the Bonfire Night? The remants of the village pub that became infested with termites? Perhaps it's from some ship that was sailed by someone from Meriden?

No, this "cross" in fact marks the geographical centre of England. I don't know what's in the centre of America, but I'm prepared to bet it involves lots of neon lights. Mind you, according to the plaque on the cross it was re-erected before Christopher Columbus, that master of navigation, had set sail looking for India. Nevertheless "cross" seems a slightly optimistic description. Whilst standing there I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong with it as a cross. It's made out of wood, which seems reasonable, it's not a draincover so that rules that possiblity out, wait… I think I have it… shouldn't a cross have, well, a _cross_beam?

It's a little disconcerting. On my way into the village I saw a banner saying "No Mast Meriden". Well this is a blatant lie as on the afore mentioned village green there is a rather obvious ship's mast. It makes you question the honesty of the people of Meriden. Perhaps the real cross is hidden in the village hall and is made of solid gold and is encrusted with diamonds. Perhaps the cross on the green really is left over firewood. Though you'd have thought for a convincing scam they'd have put more effort into making it look cross like.

Leaving slightly overegged cynicism aside, Meriden is very much what you'd expect the centre of England to be. Within spitting distance of the cross is a fish and chip shop. And it's all rather quaint if you like that sort of thing. It certainly looked very pretty on a sunny evening.

And it's not at all far from university, 7 or 8 miles perhaps. Now, you'd expect 7 or 8 miles on a bike to be nothing too difficult, but you have to take into account the fact that as far as bikes go I am cursed. Sure I got there easy enough, I didn't even get lost which is quite a novelty! However the journey back was less succesful.

A few miles from campus and suddenly my foot lurches forward on the pedal, "hmm this isn't right," I think. I try pedaling but its no use, the back wheel doesn't turn. "Damn, the chain must have come off." But oh no I look down and the chain rather than being a nice continuous loop has become a line on the floor. Theres two responses to this: To shout and swear and kick the bike or to simply let out a deep sigh.


I've read Lance Armstrong's autobiographies and if in a spot of mechanical trouble he would either ring his wife to pick him up or one of his friends to ride a bike out to so that he could ride back and leave his friend stranded. Seeing as I have neither a wife nor unbelievably stupid friends I reisgn myself to walking and pushing. Lucky for me it didn't happen too far from home, I don't think a walk back from Meriden would have much agreed with me.

I get back just as the sun's going down, and people are milling about campus. I'm just glad I was coming the way I was as if I'd pushed the bike up Gibbet Hill from Kenilworth I would have been thinking "It's broken, don't look at me like that" everytime someone drove past.

Reinventing Humankind

I like God. As deities go I think She (and God is a She. If God were a man he wouldn't have worked for the first six days and rested on the seventh. He'd have pissed about for the first six and done the job at the last minute) is okay. However I think She made some mistakes when creating people. Here are my suggestions for improvement:

Eyes on Fingers: For appearance purposes I'd say God got eyes about right. If someone asked me about how I'd want the eyes on my perfect woman, I'd probably go for two, between nose and forehead, one on each side. But I've always though an eye on the end of a finger would be neat, you could see so much more, looking round corners would be much easier and it would be mightily handy for seeing over things. Perhaps the finger next to the eye finger could glow in the dark for looking in holes.

Closable Ears: Well, if we can close our eyes, why not our ears too?

Titanium Bones: We're so brittle! So many maladies could be avoided if only our bones were a bit tougher. Titannium would add extra weight, but God could just make gravity a bit weaker and it wouldn't be a problem.

Longer Tongues: Who wouldn't want a longer tongue? (You at the back sniggering, ssshhh!). I'm talking about eating desserts here. My personal favourite is Angel Delight – I'd like to eat every last bit, but a spoon just isn't good enough, there's a limit on how much you can scrape. If you try putting your head in the bowl thats just asking for trouble. Not that I've tried it you understand, that'd be ridiculous. So the solution is a more extendable tonuge – easy.

Springy Feet: So you could bounce everywhere. Boing!

Less messy reproduction: Sex? Ewww... We'll have none of that horrible stuff thank you. It should be replaced with some kind of electromagnetic... thing, like on that TV show My Parents are Aliens (How the hell did they get away with that?), nothing that involves any physical contact at any rate – yuck.

May 2005

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