Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Granny bike...

I recently posted a picture on Facebook of the bicycle that Martin is restoring for me. It's a vintage bike, made in Barton. Probably manufactured in the very building I work in, where I am typing this now. How very locally minded of me, huh?

We found this bike at the Walton Street market in Hull, a twice weekly market and car boot sale. The first time I saw the bike, I fell in love with it. The man wanted £35 for it, and we decided not to get it that day. A few weeks later we went back, and I got the bike for £25. We bought some painting and sanding supplies and a few other bits and pieces, then my very clever husband went to work on it.

This bike was a hideous mixture of pastel purple, violet, and rust. The brakes, gears, and wheels were covered in decades of greasy dirt. The cable covers were cracked and splitting. It looked a mess. But it looks beautiful now, and is (almost) ready to hit the road. The bolts need some serious tightening, and Martin needs to finish painting and fitting the chain guard and both mud guards to the tyres. Oh, and the mechanism that allows me to shift gears (all three of them).

I took the bike for a short ride on Sunday, and it is a joy to ride! Which comes as a massive relief, and I'll tell you why:

A few weeks ago I was running late for work and when I went to grab the car keys I found that Martin had taken them with him on the school run. So I grabbed his bike and started cycling to work. NIGHTMARE! It was so hard for me to ride it. I had to lower the seat so I could get on, and then the seat was so low that I couldn't extend my legs fully to pedal. I was shaky and nervous the whole time I was on that bike. I thought it was just me, that I couldn't properly ride a bike any more. I worried that my fitness wasn't good enough to ride (which is weird, because I ride a stationary bike at the gym all the time). I felt kind of crappy after I got to work, because I was sweaty and winded, and my legs were on fire. So imagine my relief when, after riding my "new" bike for about the same amount of time, I was nothing but jazzed!

So Martin has borrowed a socket set (the one he needed for my bike was missing!) and will be sorting out the bolts tonight. Hooray! The kids and I might go for a bike ride down to Butts Road park tomorrow--with a picnic. If only I had the basket for the bike. But I won't get that until next week!

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the bike has cream leatherette handlebar grips? That I will be getting a matching saddle for it? That it came with a basket hook and I will be buying a locally made willow basket for the front? And I have my eye on some beautiful leather panniers?

Yes, my dream bicycle is a granny bike. I will be riding it in my skirt with pride!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I miss it...

I never thought I'd feel thus way, but I miss being a mother of young children. Don't get be wrong, I much prefer older ones. But parenting was simpler when the kids were small. Basically, if they were putting on weight at a steady rate, clean, and hitting their developmental milestones,you knew you were doing it right. I like knowing I'm doing it right! I don't know that any more.

Dylan has been caught stealing again. What can I do to make him see how wrong this is?

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Holy smarts, Batman!

The kids have moved up to their new classes. They always spend the last few weeks of the school year with their new teachers here. Don't really know why. I guess so that the teachers can mentally prepare themselves for the new school year before they go on their six week break.

Anyway, Dylan has moved up two classes. Again. I'm kind of getting to the stage where I expect it. He's wicked smart. His teacher, Mrs. Coultas, pulled us to the side and told us that Dylan is probably the brightest pupil she's ever had. No surprise there. Seriously, his intelligence is formidable. I'm worried that he might be so smart he ends up being a sociopath, albeit a high functioning one. Think Sherlock Holmes (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch, of course).

Edith was the real dark horse though. She is very clever, but much more socially inclined than Dylan. I knew she would definitely be going up to the year one class, not the Reception/year one split. But she went up two classes as well. Go Edith! Bless her heart, Dylan is always so far ahead of her so I forget how bright she is for her age. But I'm not worried about her being a sociopath, either.

I am so blessed as a mother. My kids are naughty sometimes, of course. And they drive me up the wall sometimes, too. But they're kids. Isn't that what they are supposed to do? They are also warm, caring, affectionate, intelligent, loving, and helpful. Not every parent is so lucky. And the fact that they're also beautiful? Icing on the cake!

It's been a tough week. I've had this slowly building feeling of complete paranoia. Everyone hates me. Everyone is mad at me. I've done horrible things to people that I don't know about, and they can't forgive me. Something terrible is about to happen. I've felt this way for days, and have kept quiet about it. Mostly because I knew it was irrational. It all hit me really hard on Tuesday night, when the dumbest thing sent me over the edge. I was curled up in the fetal position, crying like a baby and trying to get in touch with someone to talk to. Martin called me back, and he came home from work to just hold me and let me cry. He smelled like chips and pizza, but the hug was wonderful and I seem to be feeling a bit better.

Scary though, because I haven't felt that way since I went on antidepressants. I'm going to give it another week, then if things aren't any better I am going to have my IUD removed and send Martin in for the big "V." He's already cringing and hoping my body adjusts!

Other than that, things are going well. Still no joy on the house, but that's ok. I am enjoying getting on with projects. I finished the throw pillows for the sofa reupholstering job on Sunday, and that looks great. I also redid the living room rug and painted some frames that were hanging on the wall in there. The living room is looking very serene and lovely. Nearly where I want it to be. My bedroom is looking very nice as well. I need to get the kids moved up to the top bedroom soon, so I'll be decorating up there as my next project. It's going to be a bit of a nuisance, but it'll be nice to have a reading/guest room upstairs, with easier access to the upstairs bathroom. And the kids will love being in the top bedroom.

Martin is doing well at work. They are having a month of American food at Stables. I'm itching to try it. I consulted on the menu, and I am really craving a corn dog and some country fried steak. Yum. They aren't as busy as they've been in the past, but a new place recently opened up so that's to be expected. People love novelty, don't they? He's golfing as I type this. And he's got his birthday tomorrow off work. Hooray!

Still in the process of transferring funds to our UK bank account, so haven't bought tickets for our Utah trip yet. It's looking like it'll be late August though, since the kids don't finish school until late July and in early August it's just too expensive to fly! More news as soon as I've got an update for you.

Happy fourth of July, all my American peeps!