France comes to Fulham

Tour de France comes to Fulham
Well that’s how it seemed on Sunday when the London - Surrey Cycle Classic (an Olympic test event) whirred it’s way down the Fulham Road, bring with it a breath of the Tour de France. I have always been a fan of cycle racing and as a boy dreamt of being a racer, but like a lot of childhood dreams it didn’t happen, nor did getting rich! Anyway being as how the riders were going to pass the end of my road I was up there at the barriers (8.50am) in plenty of time to see them sweep past. It’s a good job it’s largely a free event at the Olympics because my involvement lasted less than five minutes. And that included the team cars, the press and the police outriders! But the experience was worth it. One hundred and forty riders travelling close together at over thirty miles an hour. The only trouble was that nowhere, on my return home, could I find any kind of commentary on how the race was progressing. Surely a missed opportunity by the Olympic Committee and the broadcasters. This will be the first gold medal on offer at the 2012 Games. Anyway I was back up at the barriers at twelve in time to see the leaders flash by and later to learn the Britain’s Mark Cavendish had won.

I don’t know that much poetry has been written about cycling, let alone cycle racing, but there is a wonderful poem by Louis MacNeice called, The Cyclist about the joys of bike riding. Rather appropriate with more and more people taking to two wheels. Google it. One other little gem, a poem by Judith Nicholls that I came across called Biking.

“Fingers grip, toes curl; head down, wheels whirl.
Hair streams, fields race; ears sting, winds chase.
Breathe deep, troubles gone; just feel windsong.”

Sock Market Crisis


Sock Market Crisis
I’m very worried about what I feel could be a new world crisis. It’s all to do with what’s happening in the sock market. I don’t know the whole situation – worldwide I mean – but if Fulham and Chelsea (London boroughs) are anything to go by then the sock market is in trouble.
Certainly as far as my own researches and observations are concerned socks look to be pricing themselves out of the market.
Quite clearly people can’t afford them any more. My evidence for this is the increasing number of people who, even with the onset of winter, are not wearing socks. And it’s not as if they are wearing the dreaded sandals (although far too many are), no I’m talking about men (and women) wearing brogues, trainers, loafers, even granddad’s old hob nailed boots without the benefit of socks. And the only reason I can see for this is that, un-noticed by the world’s media, the price of socks must have gone through the roof, to a point where people have had to choose between putting food in their mouths or socks on their feet.
I have to admit I’m worried. While I have a plentiful supply of socks at the moment – colours to match trousers, thickness to match different shoe types – some of them are old and need replacing. I think if the crisis deepens I will choose socks over food. I mean Mummy would turn in her jeweled casket if she thought that I wasn’t wearing socks.
Of course, there is a marketing opportunity here. Paper socks. Make your own socks, after all newspapers should be good for something – they’re certainly not very good at getting their facts right. For example The Times or Telegraph for formal attire – Dinner Jacket, tails, business suit. The Guardian if you’re in the police or work in security, The Sun for holiday wear, The FT for financial services, The Mirror for people in show biz. The opportunities are endless.
Although quite who would find the Mosquito News appropriate is hard to see.