Thursday, January 01, 2004

Honest labour 

I’m an engineer. It says so on my cv so it must be true.

That might explain how it was that I came to spend New Years Day in a cold garage, engaged in such exciting pursuits as: chasing ball-bearings round an old Chinese take-away dish filled with white spirit; figuring out which nylon washer goes where in an assemblage of bits that eventually reassemble into a dual-pivot brake calliper; fighting the spring on a rear derailleur; playing cat-and-mouse games getting steering head bearings adjusted just so; cleaning wheel rims spoke-by-spoke with a toothbrush.

Since I’m insane enough to do daily battle with London traffic on a bicycle, every once in a while it needs a complete strip-down service, pretty much to the last ball-bearing, and it’s become a tradition that I do this in the lazy days of the Christmas/New Year break. So in the best traditions of hands-on engineers, I now have grease under my fingernails and deeply engrained in the cracks and whorls of my fingers; but I also have a shiny rejuvenated bike, ready to sally forth once more into the fray.

Pray that my engineering is better than my poetry…

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