I hadn't realised that people get dressed up to go to the supermarket.
My flirt with mainstream society happens usually late on a weekday evening, every couple of weeks. I rent a car and go to a supermarket and minimise exposure to public by choosing the time of day least busy. The rest of my existence is biking to work and picking up small food stuffs and my Cycling Weekly magazine from Raj's place down the road. Occasionally, and somewhat reluctantly, I mix with strangers when I take the train to Edinburgh (the reason for travelling through is worth it though).
A toast to reunions
The Housemartins were my first fascination as far as bands go. I don't think I was overly aware of their socialist / communist opinions when I started listening to them but the lyrics gradually grew on me for their poitical message as much as the music had with the catchy tunes. Record and cassette sleeves were gleaned for information and the NME was fine-tooth-combed for any further reading on their exploits. I followed Beats international (marginally), the Beautiful South and Fat boy slim a bit as well as keeping up with news of ex-members' activity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Whitaker
It is Paul Heaton though, the voice and writer of the Housemartins, where my appreciation lies the most and so it was with immense excitement that I learnt he was doing a tour by bike around local pubs. It was about 15 years ago when I last saw him with the Beautiful south - at the Barrowlands - and I was tipped off by a man I have not seen win as many years. Ali, an old school friend with whom I shared many interests as a teenager, let me know 'Heato' was playing his local in Pitlochry and so we hatched a plan to meet up, catch up and go see the man.
Hitting the Wall
CARLISLE - CORBRIDGE
There was bunting everywhere between Carlisle and Corbridge: my route didn't really take in many towns but the hamlets I rode through were dripping with Union Jacks in stark contrast to the new summer greenery and subdued hues of Cumbrian stone houses. I thought about what tourists must think about these beautiful little places with ancient oak trees on village greens - it's a long way from Glasgow and I was feeling pretty alien myself. Like being in another country....