Princess Queenie

After all the rain in recent days, it’s been lovely to have some sunshine today. I decided to dust off ‘Queenie’, my Pashley Princess bicycle, pump up her tyres and cycle along the lane to deliver a dozen eggs to my friend and neighbour.

I love my bicycle. I received her as a surprise birthday gift a few years ago while we were still living in Glasgow’s West End (she was christened ‘Queenie’ because we used to live in Queensborough Gardens).  But if I’m honest, she’s a heavy lady and much more suited to gliding down the flat European streets of Amsterdam or Berlin rather than the hilly landscape of Scotland’s southern uplands, so she doesn’t get out much!

I confess to pushing her up the long track from our cottage but once on our quiet lane, it was very pleasant cycling indeed. Cycling gives you such a satisfying feeling of moving swiftly through the landscape while still being able to enjoy the smells and sounds of the hedgerows. I have friends and relatives who enjoy mountain and road biking but I’m more attracted to what I imagine was the joy of cycling around Scotland half a century ago. My ‘slow cycling’ is about a lazy Sunday afternoon, glorious countryside, and fresh eggs in my basket.

At my friend’s house I was treated to a restorative cup of tea and slice of fruity tray bake (my friend bakes delicious cakes!). Once relieved of my somewhat fragile cargo, I did enjoy whizzing downhill, and the rhythm of two spinning wheels on my modest ride back to The Lint Mill.

And now Queenie goes back to the shed for another hundred years!

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