Day 86

I am a Mamil

Well, according to the BBC I am a Mamil anyway!
I’ll admit to being middle-aged and to have discovered a new-found interest in cycling but I can’t say I am a lycra fan. I am not a sprint cyclist and I do not have the most up-to-date super-lightweight and purpose-built bike. I am an ordinary guy who has not been on a bike for 35 years looking to safely cycle for 3,000 miles. If you check the photos, you will see that I almost never wear shorts. In fact I think I have only worn them twice and not once since my accident. All that said, it was an interesting article and as I traverse the country it is evident that cycling is hugely more popular than it was when I left the UK in 2001. Thought you might like to read it.

Anyway, a relatively easy day: Calne to Bristol. As promised, I did a couple of hours of leafleting for Robin of Driveway Cleaning Wiltshire in Chippenham and then it was on to Bristol via the beautiful city of Bath. (beautiful that is apart from some hideous hills!) It has been an amazing tour and I have enjoyed returning to some old happy hunting grounds and seeing some new scenery too. I don’t think I have been to a town I’d not been to before but obviously the view from a bike is much different to that from a car or an “away coach”.

What has surprised me is the number and size of changes I see in everyday life. Change is the only constant in the world but the sheer speed of change in the past 10 years has indeed been amazing.

It is 10 years since I lived in England and nine years since I had been back to stay.
Some changes I have mused over include:

*the death of the English boozer
*the rise and rise of Continental/American style bars
*increase in safety/security measures at football grounds
*(on the same track) the huge improvement in the quality of football grounds
*the increase in cycles on the road and the introduction of cycle paths etc
*bogofs and special offers at supermarkets.
*congestion charges in London
*the huge growth in air traffic
*smoking bans, smoking “cabins” etc
*bus stops with electronic clocks telling you how long it is until the next bus
*the number of buses on the road and the commitment to public transport
* the increase in bouncers in “ordinary” pubs and not just discos etc
* the huge change in business practices and the growth of networking groups, breakfast meetings and the shift from confrontational sales to a more social environment

When my tour is over, I will most definitely be blogging about “New England.” Is it better, worse or simply different? Do these changes make me more or less likely to return to the UK to live? Well, we will have to wait to see. “The grass may well be greener on the other side but it still needs painting” No mozzies but plenty of other irritants!

Robin Robson owner of Wiltshire


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