I have had my Gazelle Heavy Duty for almost five years (he is called Gregor because I am the kind of dweeb who names my bicycles.) The humble milk crate on the front has carried a lot. Books. Work laptops. Clothes to the charity shop. That one time everyone in the office was given a free electric barbecue out of the blue, and the box fitted into Gregor’s crate with mere centimetres to spare. A bevy of plants and compost. And so many takeaways. I use my bike to get around and carry my things without having to take them on my back, and for this purpose, the crate is wonderful—at least for the first 10kg.
Unfortunately, whenever you leave a receptacle in public, people are going to throw rubbish in there. Back when I was on the extremely terrible Web site now owned by the world’s worst shitposter, I had an irregular feature called Crate Watch: I’d take photographs of things people dumped in my crate that I’d then have to get rid of. Leaflets for an art gallery. A cancelled Oyster card. An empty milkshake bottle. An empty packet of AA batteries. A newspaper. Even a pair of lottery tickets (torn through and voided, so I assume they didn’t win—I didn’t take the liberty of checking.)
But on Thursday, I experienced a first: I went for a swim and after work and, as I was locking up, noticed a new sticker on the front (amongst the many existing ones I put there.) I assume
@iam_seymour is some kind of artist, but that handle doesn’t exist on Instagram or Twitter. I’ll probably keep it on there. Hey, at least it’s not the kind of racist or transphobic garbage you sometimes see stuck on traffic light poles.
On Good Friday, I had my first swim of the year in the Highgate men’s pond. It was a disconcertingly warm day, but the water (at 10.3ºC) was chilly enough that I hyperventilated a bit on stepping in. It was fine once I got moving—I stayed there for something like 15-20 minutes—but I then found that the cold shower didn’t feel all that cold. Around ten minutes later, after I was dressed, I found myself experiencing afterdrop for the first time in my life—not quite shivering, but still feeling a deep chill inside. Something I’ll need to be aware of.
Hampstead Heath was gloriously busy on Friday. On Thursday, something went across my Mastodon feed from three separate people about an apparent Good Friday tradition of walking to the top of the nearest hill. This is something I had never heard of—and I grew up in a Christian household!—and of quite a few people I mentioned it to on Saturday, none of them had heard of it either. In my head, it makes sense, since the story goes that Jesus died on a hill. My dad remembers doing it once in his youth, at Holcombe Hill in Bury—which is apparently still a tradition, as it is at Rivington Pike.
Based on this, I assumed it must be something extremely hyper-local to Lancashire—and yet here it is, too, at El Cerro de Tomé in New Mexico, with thousands of people apparently taking part in a Good Friday pilgrimage. Without wanting to artificially create engagement by saying “let me know in the comments” à la pretty much every YouTuber on the planet—if you’ve heard of this tradition, I’d love to hear about it, and where, because after 30 years I’m amazed I’m only just learning about this.
I didn’t quite go to the top of Parliament Hill, but a swim and taking photographs of the blossom all improved my mood significantly.