Following yesterday’s off, I remain in considerable pain. (This is like the bulletins they used to pin to Buckingham Palace gates when the King was ill). Had some difficulty finding a comfortable position to sleep in last night. I usually sleep on my right, but my right thigh has a huge bruise which is also a lump – a big multicoloured lumpy bruise – and the inner part of my left knee also has a big bruise, yellow last night, purple today, so sleeping on my right was awkward. At some point last night, my neck got sore too and today I’ve been one of those people unable to turn their heads; I have to turn my whole body.
That thigh looks very cellulitey, and it is, but the lumpiness is mainly the bruising. And I promise, it’s not a picture of my arse, it’s well down my leg. But it’s hard to take a photo of the lateral-posterior aspect of your own thigh.
I ache everywhere today. In addition to the pain and stiffness in my hip, I have sore knees, sore arms, a sore neck and sore shoulders. Having spent the day doing nothing, I thought I was feeling better, but 15 minutes of cooking dinner had my hip beyond painful. And then there was a power cut, so I was making risotto by the light of a bike light, trying not to trip over my stick. I was thinking about going back to work tomorrow, but I think I’ll give it another day.
What really pisses me off is that the council have been asked over and over again to grit the cycle paths. There are several good off-road cycle/footpaths in Edinburgh, mainly on old railway lines. My route to work via the cycle path is just over 3 miles, downhill most of the way there (uphill most of the way back), well-surfaced with tarmac, more than wide enough for two bikes or a bike and two pedestrians to pass each other safely, no traffic, well-lit through the eastern half, dark and spooky in the western half, and always something to talk about – sofa in the burn, corpse in the undergrowth, various burnt-out things by the side of the path, trees on fire, pig’s head in the tunnel – always something new and interesting to see. And it takes me 15 minutes. If I went round by the road it would be a mile longer and take at least twice as long, assuming I wasn’t squished by a lorry on the way. The cycle paths are very well used, by cyclists and pedestrians, but they’re never a priority for gritting. Edinburgh wants to be a model cycling city. Edinburgh wants to encourage active and sustainable transport. But when it comes to doing the things that facilitate active and sustainable transport – like making sure the good routes are fit to use, forget it. We’ve got millions of pounds to piss up against the wall in the name of mythical trams, but when it comes to the day to day realities, well, those things just aren’t important enough.