Week 27

We rejoin the action in Cardiff. I was at a conference, which was lovely in spirit but boring in practice so I absconded at lunchtime and explored a bit. Didn’t see any of the the recognisable buildings from Doctor Who, but I bought some athletes foot ointment from a big Asda and popped into an Ikea that had sold out of meatballs.

Part of the modern condition is collecting apps for all the different bike hire schemes in different places. In Cardiff, it’s nextbike, which I found exceptionally difficult to sign up for. Despite this, it’s seems popular, with frustratingly many empty docking stations – or maybe vandals have vandalised the bikes in frustration at the suboptimal “onboarding” (ugh) process. Anyway, I managed to ride some bicycles, and they were fine.

An unnecessary overnight in London on my way back, where I sampled a Jump electric bicycle. Much easier to get involved with, and I imagine it’s even easier for plutocrats who already have the Uber app on their telephones. Compared to a Lime electric bicycle, the gears are rather low, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

The problem came at the end of my journey, when the app told me I was in a “no-parking zone” and might be fined. There was a map of different zones, and I could see I was at the edge of one, so I diligently headed east. I interacted with some tired and emotional (harmless) locals, and then I was still in a no-parking zone, so I gave up and parked the bike and walked back (west) to my bed.

Now I see there’s a much clearer map of zones, and it turns out I’d gone to all that effort to park in a £25 no-parking zone instead of the more conveniently located £5 no-parking zone. Cool story.

I finally rode on the dangleway. Smugly passed the little queue of tourists outside the ticket office – as I’m sure diamond geezer has observed, it’s cheaper to use an Oyster card or contactless payment, although this isn’t really advertised on any signs – then got egg on my face as my card was rejected by the barrier. It was OK.

I enjoyed Criminal: UK, which stars among others the actor Kevin Eldon and the woman from the Leerdammer advert.