19 July 2006

Global warming

I returned home mid-afternoon today, cycling from the station in the enhanced heat of the day and encountering a problem that I had never previously thought about. Half a mile or so out of Didcot, there are two right-angle bends where the road presumably follows ancient field boundaries. I attack the first at the sort of exuberant speed that I favour for this sort of manoeuvre, but find on the exit that my bike is not actually turning as much as it should. Instead, it ploughs into the verge and somehow gets out from under me, though at the modest speed resulting from the hard application of the brakes and the wheels rubbing against the high verge that doesn't cause much damage to me (none at all to the bike, except that the chain has to be put back).

In the heat, the tar has melted. Cars are positively splashing past as I re-assemble the drive to the rear wheel. I just skidded off on it.

And tomorrow, the forecasts promise, will be hotter.

A little later a client phones. 'Have I caught you at an inconvenient time?' he asks. I explain that I am cycling up a steep hill, and he expresses concern about causing me to fall off. 'I did that five minutes ago,' I tell him. 'I thought lawyers were cautious people?' he asks. 'Not intellectual property lawyers,' I tell him, and he agrees that it's not an area of law for the risk-averse.

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