A Sad Day

It was a late night last night. Steve and I sat up, with a book, a website, a pen and notepaper, and talked and theorised and drew diagrams, trying upon trying to work out how an Enigma machine worked!

“I think it’s doing this…”

“But how is that circuit scrambled…?”

“Is it like this…?”

On it went, as we tried to figure it out with words and diagrams. Did we succeed? Nope. The Enigma is still an enigma to us, but we will persevere!

I had the gym to myself again this morning, to take a plod on the treadmill, rest the fatigued grey matter with an interesting podcast and turn the exercise over to the legs for a while.

The rest of the day was a bit sad. It was time to start packing some things in boxes and the first things to be boxed were our dear bikes. We won’t be doing any more riding now, mainly because we are nursing Steve’s bike for the final couple of rides that are needed to get home once we arrive in Australia. Steve broke a spoke on our ride towards Rome and hadn’t had a chance to get it fixed. The ride from Rome to Anzio, plus the few other rides we’ve done since leaving Italy, with the spoke still broken, has left his back wheel a bit buckled and the tyre really worn, from scraping on the mudguard. We’ve been reluctant to stress it anymore. So…today was a day to give the bikes a clean, take them apart and slide them into their boxes, ready for their flight in a couple of weeks.

Steve sets to work
Steve sets to work

Steve armed himself with alan keys and bike tools and set about removing wheels and other parts. The removal of the pedals on his bike took some work and resulted in some grunts and growls and terse words. In the end it took him holding the alan key while I stood on it, to get the reluctant screw to turn and get the darn pedal off. Eventually, the bikes were robbed of the necessary parts to get them to fit into the boxes.

No front wheel
No front wheel
No more free wheelin', just a cramped box
No more free wheelin’, just a cramped box
Grrrrr, come off you darn pedal!
Grrrrr, come off you darn pedal!

We stood, glumly, looking at them in their cardboard stables. I gave my little bike a pat. We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve slogged up hills, ploughed through mud, wheeled through rain and storms, been blown over by wind, been hit by a car and most importantly, seen some amazing places together. It never broke down, never had a puncture and never had a single day it didn’t get me to where I needed to go. Funny how you can get attached to objects, but I’ve become very attached to my little bike. It was sad to see it sitting in a box. We’ll unbox them again to put all their padding on, before taking flight, but today really meant we wouldn’t be getting on them again until we arrive in Melbourne and then the final ride home in Tasmania. Sad time, but also a time of some reminiscing and reliving some magical memories.

The rest of the day was spent packing boxes and filling in forms and organising to get our camping gear couriered home, to reduce some of the baggage we have at the airport. I’m going to remain in a heathy state of denial for as long as possible, about this trip coming to an end. There’s still time left, still some “breeyant” times to be had!

Boxed up and ready for pick-up (we're crossing our fingers they get home without us!)
Boxed up and ready for pick-up (we’re crossing our fingers they get home without us!)

I did see something that made me smile. While channel surfing I saw BBC Parliament and the debate in the House of Commons was about the falling hedgehog population! Bless. Nice to think the government is thinking about protecting hedgehogs.

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And finally…some more out signs!

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