Sunday, 27 January 2013

Is it worth the aggro?

It's gone! Rain overnight has washed away the white stuff that's been hanging around for the past week and now I'm reminded what colour the world is supposed to be. In a way it's a bit like watching an old black & white film - makes a nice change from time to time but it's always nice when it's finished and you can go back to colour.
Now of course we're gonna have rain for a few days, but we have to have something to grumble about don't we? It's a fundamental part of being English. Lots of countries have a climate. We have weather, and we grumble about it. Too hot, too cold, too much rain, not enough rain - whatever it's doing it's never just right and somehow I feel that it never will be because moaning about it is hardwired into our thought process.
I could go out for a ride on the bike in the height of summer with no wind, warm tarmac and twisty back roads, and at the end I'd still have a grump on because the hot weather made me all sweaty under the protective clothing, plus I'd have to clean a thick film of squashed bugs off the bike and helmet.
It's as if everything good has a price tag attached. If you go to the cinema you get the huge screen and great sound, but the trade off is the kid in the seat behind who keeps kicking the back of your chair and the guy in the middle of your row with the weak bladder who keeps wanting to squeeze past, not to mention the extortionately priced snacks that force you to go to the supermarket beforehand to stock up on drink and sweets to sneak into the cinema under your coat.
You go for a nice meal out, and then comes the bill. You have a good time having a laugh and drinking with friends, then spend the next day feeling like someone's jammed your head in a vice. Base jumping without a parachute would be thrilling, but landing would be a bitch.
The question is whether the downside of something is worth the trade off. I'm prepared to spend over 200 pounds a year on bike tyres because I love the thrill of the acceleration, but I don't go to the cinema any more because it's a rip-off and the film will be out on DVD within six months anyway.
I don't go on foreign holidays because I couldn't deal with the crowds at an airport, but I love climbing to a high peak in the Yorkshire Dales even if my heart rate does go through the roof and I slip over in sheep shit.
Everyone will have different crap they will or won't accept in order to get the good stuff. Ranulph Fiennes walked to the north pole and ended up cutting his own frostbitten fingers off with a saw, whereas I won't go into a shop if there's lots of people in there. We all have our level, and although I'm gonna spend the next few days griping about my bike getting covered with salt and grime, I'm prepared to put up with it because now the snow and ice has buggered off at least I'll be able to ride it again.

hardcore nutter