When the Toad came home

My first day cycling to work almost ended prematurely at the hands of the Metropolitan Filth.

As I was crossing the normally stately Eaton Square I was distracted by the sight of an elderly gentlemen on a bicycle of unimaginable antiquity which he must have nicked from the Science Museum back in South Ken, or indeed from the Egyptology section of the V&A. It is but a small exaggeration to say that his palaeovehicular contraption was a marvel of High Victorian overengineering: marble and hand-burnished mahogany surfaces held together by wrought iron and discredited physics, doubtless requiring frequent tyre rephlogistication.

And that’s how I was almost hit by a pair of speeding police cars hooning at me the wrong way ’round an intersection like Ayrton Senna on a neckload of blow. Having kept safely to the curb, the elderly cyclist just looked at me plaintively and uttered an absurd “Poop! Poop!”, though he must have been about fifty when the film of Wind in the Willows came out.

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