Through Stratford to Sale
I might be forgiven for forgetting where I am sometimes……or is this land I’m in just a clone of the old mother country: aka ‘old blighty’?
I asked the girl who served my coffee where I could get tickets for tonight’s Shakespeare performance…..it took her several seconds to appreciate my unsubtle humour, but she then told me they do actually have a Shakespeare festival each year, and on the banks of the River Avon.
When I got to my destination for the day (by 1:30pm), I was reminded that my first cycling club back in the 70s was based in Sale (nr Manchester). Here in the land of billabongs
…life had come full circle. Come on, let’s have a tuneful rendering of Waltzing Matilda….didn’t the swagman camp by a billabong? Now you may think you know what a ‘swagman’ is….? In the UK, most people will probably visualise the cartoon image of a burglar carrying his bag of ‘swag’ (stuff he’s pinched) as he creeps away unobtrusively. Here in Oz, people who go swagging are campers who go with their ‘swag’ (bivvy sack) and usually sleep out in the open, under the stars. So, unless some alert Aussie corrects me on this, now you know what a swagman is? But, hands up, who really knows (without googling it) what a ‘billabong’ is?
Going back to the topic of roadkill, I have three possible explanations for this below:
1. It’s a snake’s slough
2. or it was a snake that didn’t know it’s highway code;
3. or it’s a ‘dead’ bungee (‘hockey strap’ to you Aussies). What do you think? (Footnote: I have been rightly corrected by an alert Aussie, Richard Tulloch, that it should read ‘ocky strap’ as in ‘octopus’…….thank you Richard!)
But joking apart, the highway shoulder is littered with dozens of bungees
…of all colours and lengths, and I began to ask myself why? I can only assume that there must be a lot of insecure luggage, surf boards and bicycles being transported about the country.
Talking of bicycles, the model below could be the ideal design for weaning the car addict from his car to riding a bike.
After all, he would still have a steering wheel in his hands!
Now, I have to say the Victorian transport authorities are really beginning to annoy me. Every few kms there’s some warning about dozing off at the wheel
….well some of us just need a bit of ‘shut-eye’ as we trundle along….can’t they just leave us alone?
And this sign, a universally recognised one, really got me wondering
….the age of steam came to an end several decades ago. Anyone under 40 only knows them as museum pieces, or fun things at the seaside. Isn’t it time the image was updated? Ah, you might ask: but to what?
The route today was fast and flat (I had covered the 100km by lunchtime), but the extreme heat radiated from all directions: from the sun (naturally), from passing trucks and cars, and from the tarmac. It was just like a sauna, except for the breeze created by pedalling at 25-30km per hour. When you stop, and therefore lose that breeze, that’s when heat exhaustion really begins to kick in. Solution? Find some diner that has A/C and wallow in the coolness…….as I’m doing now!
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