Cheerier now, honest…

Aah, the murky mists of my deep blue funk have finally dissipated, I can once again see the world in all its foetid splendour. Why the turnaround? A few reasons really.

Firstly I fixed my bike last night – now it was hardly a mammoth repair job, I just needed to replace an inner tube but for me it was quite an accomplishment. I haven’t carried out any kind of bike maintenance, other than de-rusting and re-lubing the chain last week, since I had a paper round back in school, more than a decade and a half ago. Also I have nothing in the way of tools and one hand secured in a tubigrip to ensure that I don’t do anything stupid with it (like fixing bikes). Back in the day I had a pretty simple mountain bike and a racer, only a few gears each so wrenching the wheels off was a simple task – much more daunting these days with gears, cogs and all manner of springs festooning the frame. After a short struggle I had the wheel off, the old tube out, the new one inserted and inflated and the wheel back in place – ten minutes tops. I walked away feeling like my old man (in a good way!) and with hands so covered in oil it looked like I was wearing tight black gloves.

Dawes Mojave - This is how I roll...

Dawes Mojave - This is how I roll...

This makes me happy. I have my bike again which means I can go on a wee spin this lunchtime and burn off the pounds of fat I no doubt accumulated, erm, yesterday. I also feel like I can Do Stuff and will be buying a book on bike maintenance so I can do even more – a good idea given the epic cycle plan for later this year.

Secondly I advertised my old electric guitar on Gumtree yesterday morning and instantly had a ton of emails cluttering my inbox. Most seemed exceedingly keen and were asking about year of manufacture, country of origin, etc. with no qualms about the £200 asking price. The guitar was a maple body 1978 Fender Mustang. Some people reading this may currently be spitting their coffee on their monitors and wondering whether I know what I’ve done – I get the feeling it was worth a lot more than that, especially given the fact that the highest bid ended up being £235. I don’t care though, I really don’t. I loved that guitar, it was a gift from my dad many moons ago and was a beautiful piece of kit but it just didn’t get used and that was a damn shame. Guitars are meant to be played, not looked at and certainly not locked away in storage units where you can’t even do that. It needed some work – the pots were a bit shoddy, there’s a slight warp in the neck, the bridge needs attention, no tremolo arm, many scratches – and I don’t have the skills or time to take care of it. Last night someone got a bargain and they’re either going to spend years playing it or will spend some time lovingly restoring it and selling it on for a hefty profit.

1978 Fender Mustang - Farewell, my lovely

1978 Fender Mustang - Farewell, my lovely

This makes me happy. Everyone’s a winner, I now have enough cash to buy the camera I’m after and get tickets to Waiting For Godot, Supersuckers & Nashville Pussy, Richard Dawkins, the Iron Maiden movie and a random climbing film premiere my workmate is setting up at Ratho. Someone else has a new toy which they can either play with or sell on for more money, just as I did. The world is a better place.

(PSA – My Ashdown Electric Blue 130W Bass Combo is also up or sale if anyone’s interested…)

The last reason for my elevated mood is somewhat more whimsical. I was wondering around town on Sunday morning with some time to kill so I popped into Waterstones, ostensibly just for a look but knowing that I’d walk away with something. I ended up grabbing How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker because I’d been reading far too much fiction in recent weeks and needed something meatier to keep the grey matter ticking over. Last night I cracked it open and started skimming through the intro. Something seemed familiar. I flicked through the pages and paused at a few illustrations. Hmm. Checked the chapter headings.

I’ve read it before.

I own it already.

I was fooled by a different cover…

This makes me happy. The beautiful irony of the book’s title and the malfunctioning of my squishy onboard computer brought the biggest smile to my face. Also, flatmate Paige like that sort of thing so she can enjoy the book and then I can sell it on and put the proceeds towards something I haven’t already bought.

So yes, today sees a cheerier Cannonball. Got spending money, fruity oatcakes, a working bike, a birthday in two days, a gig in three. It’s all good.

6 responses to “Cheerier now, honest…

  1. a very nice-looking little camera – if you don’t like it, can I have it please?

    well done fixing the bike. I have never been any good at stuff like that except once I drove a Peugeot 204, about 1,000 miles a week for two years. The fan belt kept breaking and as it was a front-wheel drive with a transverse engine, I had a lot of trouble with it. Because of the configuration I had to fiddle with the radiator to replace the belt. I did it so often that I got it down to about 80 minutes’ work. Beautiful car otherwise.

    I have driven a Cortina with no operable clutch on a two-week motoring holiday, you get used to gear-changing quite quickly.

    Necessity breeds invention, is that what they say?

    I read Pinker’s first book some time ago, something about rules and language, found it quite interesting but his concepts were surrounded by too much waffle. Maybe I should read it again, it’s been a long time and I have found that going back to books after many years may make them appear quite different.

    Glad you are taking a more sanguine view of things …

  2. I’ll keep you in mind if the camera doesn’t work out but I can see myself getting attached to it 🙂 Should have picked it up today from Dixons but their delivery truck broke down, got to wait till tomorrow. Was all psyched up to play with it tonight as well…

    I recommend giving Pinker another shot, Words and Rules was good but it does tend to meander a bit. How The Mind Works and The Language Instinct are great reads, apparently so is The Blank Slate which is next on my list.

  3. Yeah, might give it another go.

    You might enjoy Inevitable Illusions, it is good reading, interesting and a bit of an eye-opener. Here it is (I don’t know how to make a link here so will just have to paste in the full URL). Hell, it is long, I’ll have a go at a link.

    This might turn out messy …

  4. good god it worked.

  5. Well done! Looks like my kind of book, will add it to the depressingly long list of books I have to buy…

    you sold that?!?!?!??!?!? I didn’t realise it was 78 Mustang… very nice…wish I’d bought it and sold it on for a hefty profit….:)

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