How Far? How Long?


If I ask “how far is it to Manchester?” I expect an answer in terms of distance. 50 miles, 100 kilometres or  even 40 leagues. What I don’t want is an answer given in units of time – an hour or two and a half hours.

Responses like this irritate because they don’t give me the information I’ve requested. It is as though I asked someone “How old are you?” and got a reply “Five foot three.” . Accurate probably,  but the wrong information in the wrong units

I suppose I can see why some people use this method. They tell me how long they think it will take me to get to Manchester, or wherever. Or rather, they tell me how long it takes them to get there. Not the same thing at all.  I may be travelling on foot, by bike, by train or bus; the person I ask is likely to be a car-driver who never considers any other form of transport.  Even if both of us are talking about car travel there will be variations, not just how fast or slow the person drives, but the weather, the traffic and other variables. Why can’t people simply give distances in miles and leave you to work out how long a journey will take?





The End of Zero to Hero – 30 days to a better blog

Good Resolutions that I’ll try to stick to:

1 At least 1 poem/verse per week – if not one of my own then a quote from somethong that has struck me. (I suppose the usual copyright rules will apply – fair usage and no claiming as mine something the poet laureate wrote! I’ll try to make Wednesday my poetry day. See if it works.CG16D

2 Weekly rant or comment on something in the news, the sort of thing that I might write to the papers about,  Monday? Monday moan? I’ll see how it goes.

As for the rest…well the mini comps that appear on elizabethfrattaroli’s blog – try to enter each month plus at least 1 DP prompt per month.

That’s all, folks.

See how it works out…


“Seeking the Bubble Reputation Even in the Cannon’s Mouth”

Recognise the title?

Shakespeare’s description of the soldier in the seven ages of man. There now, that’s probably earned my a totally unjustified reputation as a expert on The Bard and all his works. You might even want me on your team for the next pub quiz!

Only joking. But reputation is a funny thing. It all depends on your standards of comparison. To many of my friends and acquaintances in the village where I live I am considered as a keen cyclist. But most of them don’t ride a bike at all.  Some of my friends in the local cycling club hardly count me as a “proper” cyclist at all. I don’t go for 25-mile training rides just for the hell of it. They do. I also ride a trike, and not only a trike but a recumbent trike – how weird can you get?

People I meet outside the supermarket – the bike park outside our local supermarket is a great place for striking up conversatioms about cycling – often say “You must be fit.” But it depends on your standard of comparison. Compared to Bradley Wiggins or Victoria Pendleton I am not fit; even compared to some of my cycling friends of a similar age I am not a strong rider. But I don’t care. I ride to get where I want to go at the pace I want to go. I enjoy riding and use my trike to get around.

Many people regard a bike as either a toy – something you get out on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon  to go for a quick five mile ride to a nearby picnic site. To others it is a piece of sports equipment, taken out to do long training runs and carefully maintained and cleaned, My trike is neither of these: it is a “means of transportation” as they used to say many years ago on the radio programme Twenty Questions. I use my trike to get from A to B. Keeping fit, saving money by not driving a car, being ecologically friendly and not polluting the atmosphere – are all only side effects, though admirable ones.