Failed milk run turns into hour long country ride and semi-delirious yearning for tea and scones

Reading Rodinsky’s Room and drinking a cup of tea today, I suddenly had the urge to make some scones. This was perhaps because I had been baking bread (in a breadmaker so I hadn’t actually been baking bread, I’d been measuring ingredients into a container then pressing some buttons) but I really fancied mixing and baking some scones to go with my cuppa. Unfortunately the kids had slupped up all the milk. So I gave a cheery wave and saddled up the Brompton to head to the garage. I was slapdash with the gearing but not really caring as I wove out of the village and crossed the A36 to take the old Beckington Road up to the garage. However there was no milk to be had at my local dealer in petroleum spirit. Feeling a bit flabbergasted I remounted the Brompton and turned towards the local farm shop, visions of scones fading rapidly. Pulling into the carpark I thought “Excellent, not too many people here”, however this turned out to be because the place was closed, and only six minutes ago! Seven Damns and a great big side order of BLAST! I headed into Beckington, hoping against all reason that there was a secret village shop that I knew nothing about and not only is it well-stocked and welcoming, but also open at 14:15 on the Sabbath. Pootling through the village quickly disabused me of my fanciful notions and soon I was heading out of Beckington on a road I had not travelled down before. It took me under the A36 and along some very pleasant lanes past old farms and cottages. Now I really was off the beaten track, but there had to be a way back to my village along here somewhere. I phoned in to say everywhere was out of milk and I was out of luck so I was heading back to the house. However I missed my turning somewhere and went through to Rudge. I didn’t much fancy going back up the hill I had just come down so I continued along the road towards Brokerswood. It was very breezy but actually quite sunny. Dust blew across the road in billowing clouds from the dry ground at the field edges. With my upright position on the Brompton I could see over the hedges to the round bales gracing the stubbled fields. Swallows swooped close to the ground, hungrily feasting on tiny insects and preparing for their migration, it seems to me that the end of summer is a pleasingly melancholic time. I am by nature an autumnal person, though I shall miss the light Summer evenings and the opportunities for riding they afford.

I really wasn’t handling the gearing well at all, the bike drifted side to side on the road, moving under me as I made no effort to pedal smoothly, hills were laboured or taken in too low a gear, so much energy wasted. Into Southwick, only to discover that Southwick News closed at the ridiculous hour of one pm! I pictured the news-vendor at home with tea and scones, milk probably lifted from his own store at the end of its sell-by date. I wondered what jam he was dolloping onto the fresh sconnage, what brand of tea was infusing in his teapot. I imagined some Tescos value strawberry jam, all pips and oversugared gloop. PG tips in a cracked mug, stewing nastily, scum on the surface. Has this philistine no sense of service to the community? Can he not see that I’m hurting for tea and scones? I had the feeling that I was tipping over into a type of afternoon tea deprived insanity so I ceased hammering on the glass door and groggily rode the Brompton into a brutal headwind all the way back to the village.

I was saved later by a BBQ provided by my father-in-law and, now sit sated on sausages, steak and blackberry crumble.

I could still do with a scone though.

Published in: on September 2, 2007 at 8:03 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Okay, it’s been a couple of weeks since an update. You didn’t crash and end up in the hospital, did you? Just concerned…Readers Are Concerned.

  2. It’s nice to know I have a reader(s). I’m afcraid to say that I did end up in hospital, not through a crash, but through an abscess! I’ll post later on today with the full story. I can’t cycle for a while now as the abscess was in a Most Unfortunate Place 😦


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