Wednesday, 17 April 2013


“Nigel, why is Perran wrestling with an anaconda in the kitchen sink?”

“That’s not an anaconda – it’s an inner tube.  He’s trying to fix a puncture.”

For Perran right now, the bike is an essential piece of equipment.  School is about a mile away and so is his double paper round.  Cycling has taught him traffic rules – useful as he learns to drive.

However, as an anxious mother, I have a tendency to follow him about clutching a high-visibility gilet and a helmet, whingeing “Please put these on.  Just for me.  Please.”

What I would really like is a law that demands helmets on bikes just as it does on motorcycles.  No more tedious arguments.

And that fashion for acid-house day-glo stuff that came in at the end of the eighties.  Can we have that back again too please?

When (hopefully) Perran goes to Bristol in the Autumn, much first year accommodation is a long way out and the bike could still be vital.   Carenza’s prospective college at Oxford is also distant from the centre so she too may have to take to her bike – not something she’s ever shown a wish to do, but I’m sure she’ll look gorgeous in acid green.

But I have a nasty feeling that the helmets I intend to force on them are going to end up in their rooms, inverted and used as fruit bowls.