Tomorrow, I start my cycle trip across Britain. The trip has already led to some fun surprises, as shown in the picture. It’s from a place I stopped by to pick up “a few bits and bobs” as the Brits would say. The picture shows the inside of a small store called “London Tools.” I love the name. It’s the kind of practical and modest name that’s used around the world. Starting with the word “London” is less modest, sort of how Restoration Hardware was a simple name in an overly posh shop. But, when I walked into London Tools, the feeling of modesty returned, and coziness.
I also had a strange feeling of going back 40 years. Around that time, I walked into Our Own Hardware the first couple of times, in Holdingford. Of course, I don’t remember many, or any, details of Our Own Hardware at that time, other than a look of concern on Dad’s face that I would cause him more trouble when he couldn’t find me while I explored the isles. Our Own Hardware was a wonder of disorganization. It wasn’t a mess, but it wasn’t tidy either. That’s just what boy loves, 5 years old or 45. Both boys also enjoy the friendly folks who help in those cozy stores.
The building that held Our Own Hardware is gone, Dad too. That’s sad stuff, but sadness does make us appreciate life’s little gems a little more. Some folks are still brave enough to run stores like London Tools, or (insert the name of your town here) Tools. I say brave because they are staking their income on the chance they can take away enough people from Home Depot, called Home Base here.
This isn’t the kind of topic I expected to wander into when describing tomorrow’s bike trip, or is it?
I do enjoy writing, but I better start to enjoy packing. Here’s the list of things I need to start packing, soon.
|Tickets to||Tickets from||Reservations printouts|
|Tent||Sleep mat||Sleep bag||Stove, depressure||Pot|
|Sleep pills||Toothpaste||Bar soap||Ear plugs||Rag|
|Aspirin||Toothbrush||Deo||First aid kit||Towel|
|Cold ease||Floss||Scissor||1st aid booklet||TP|
|Digestives||Coffee||Spaghetti||Spag sauce||Breakfast bars?||Water purifier|
|Peanuts||Olive oil||Salt/spice shaker|
|Brillo pad||Spork||Camping Mug||Dish soap|
|Black clips, to seal bags||Trash bags|
|Wind up flashlight & headwear||Cigar||Wallet|
|Camelback||Blue running watch||Travel cd|
|Credit card backup||2 Lighters|
|Swiss army knife||Cutlery||multi plier||Wire|
|Allen multi-tool||First aid kit||Puncture repair kit||Self lock cord rw&b|
|Big plastic bag(s)||Tire gauge||String||2 Bungies|
|Multi-box wrench||Monkey wrench||Spokes||2nd bike key|
|2 pair biking shorts||Karrimor fleece||Canoe hat|
|3 bking shirts||Blue hiking trousers||Rain Jacket||Baseball cap|
|1 running shirt||Hiking socks||Rain trousers||Sandles|
|Bike shoes||2 pair briefs||Bandana||Pick short sleeve shirt|
|Blue mara shirt||4 pair synth undies||Belt|
|Water bottle||Biologic battery||Gloves||Lock, cable, & d-lock|
|Trouser clip||Camelback||4 Panniers||New Helmet|
|Running belt||Reflective vest||Reflective bands||Handlebar bag|
|3 LED light|
|Netbook power cord||Outdoor GPS||USB stick|
|New phone||Old phone or radio||Standard USB Cable|
|New phone cable||Old phone USB cable||2 Pair clip on headphones|
|Earbud headphones||Old phone audio adapter||Memory chips|
|Batteries, variety||Trip Directory in 3 places||Muvi cam|
Luck, little humor, not too much.