Just in case you?re wondering why I?m sending you a picture of a boat instead of a bike, that?s because I?ve taken up boating. Well, not exactly boating, rowing. But unlike this postcard, I?m not rowing in a boat on a nice bit of water. In fact I?m not even in a boat. I?m simply rowing round my bedroom (which is also my writing room-cum-log-burning room-cum-eating room and a few other things besides) on a dilapidated machine I spotted in the local paper for a tenner. I only bought it because I?d wonked my knee. Not my bad knee (again) but my other knee. And that?s supposed to be my good knee for heavens sake! I am now cycling again, albeit slightly lop-sidedly.

The Lake

The Lake

But for those few days when I couldn?t cycle I thrashed around on my rowing machine causing imaginary large bow waves to splosh down the stairs. So as to avoid using my left leg, I rigged up an ingenious cats-cradle device utilizing an old inner tube (26?x 1.75) that I lassoed around the foot pedals. This meant I was able to row to my heart?s content by keeping the inner workings of my twanged patella nice and straight.

Should anyone be faintly interested to know how the devil I injured my knee, well, I?m not quite sure. I wasn?t competing in the Ironman or diving off a hundred foot cliff or rugby-tackling an unsavoury character who had just mugged an old woman of her handbag. No, I was simply going to the toilet when something went wonk. I?m now trying to pay a little more attention to my technique.

By the way, I?m still trying to write a book, but it?s going badly wrong. It?s supposed to be about cycling around New Zealand yet I?ve now written a quarter of it but I?m still bobbing about on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic trying to get there. It?s amazing how much drivel I can write about a large and lumpy sea and a cargo of Russian seamen.

Word count to date: 28,000 words.

All I can say to that is: oh dear.
I think I?ll go and have another row. Because as Confucius (551-479BC) remarks on the front of this postcard: ?If there is no wind, row?. Very sensible advice, if you ask me.

There again, if there?s no wind, I might just go for a cycle.