The Cutester is going away on her first residential school trip in two weeks’ time – five nights away from home, the longest in her ten years of existence. She is of course torn between excitement and terror.
I was trying to calm her fears one bedtime (What if I start throwing up in the middle of the night? What if I cry and everyone calls me a cry baby?) when out of the blue she said, “Can I walk to school on my own tomorrow?”
See that tiny dot on the horizon? That’s my daughter walking to school… all by her (sort of) self
This week – before it reached 33C but probably wasn’t far off 30 – I had to be in the centre of town for a meeting. I dithered about my mode of transport for almost a minute before deciding to cycle. The tube would have been unbearable, and anyway I was up for an adventure. Continue reading
Our tandem transformed the school run, because I could take the 8-year-old Cutester on any road I feel confident to cycle on myself, without fearing for her safety. (You have to be pretty confident to ride the 1.7 mile route to her school, on roads designed to terrify anyone who dares to travel outside a car.)
It’s been working really well and I didn’t envisage any change of plan for the foreseeable future until…
“Mummy, can I ride my own bike to school next week?”
The school run until three weeks ago (balloons optional)
Enfield’s cycle infrastructure is coming along nicely in the form of bike lanes, re-modelled junctions and better public realm along the A105. Since this road – also known as Green Lanes, Ridge Avenue and London Road depending on which bit you’re on – connects my own street to Enfield Town, I cycle up and down it at least once a week. Watching it take shape is fascinating. Continue reading
I’m writing this with a full heart.
Be very glad that you don’t live on the same street as me. This week saw me both rooting through my neighbour’s rubbish and screaming at a passing driver. I can explain…
Coming back to Enfield, from the sanity and civilisation of a world where it’s okay for anyone to ride a bike from A to B, has been interesting. I may have summed up my reaction in one tweet: Continue reading
This mini break has been a comedy of forgetfulness, as usual with any journey that has me in it. All the more so, given that for the first time in 20 years I’m travelling abroad without Mr Suburbanite as the responsible adult. I’m sure one day there will be a name for the disconnect in my brain that causes me to leave something crucial behind every time I leave the house… in the meantime I am diagnosis-free, and as my mother has the exact same symptoms and still managed to found and run an international charity I’m not going to worry about it too much.
The Cutester’s sand creation: one of her favourite Pokémon*
After years of reading about – and seeing pictures and videos of – Dutch cycle infrastructure, I’ve finally done what every cycle campaigner does sooner or later and turned up in the Netherlands in person. I’m writing this in the Hague (or den Haag, as they tend to call it around here).
A Mini Holland!
Here’s the talk I gave at Future Cities Catapult, London, on Wednesday 18 January. Huge thanks to Sam Markey and his colleagues for this (terrifying) opportunity!
I’ve never taken part in a “die-in” before…
Die-in at City Hall, 7 November 2016 (Photo: Caspar Hughes)
…but this one was different. Continue reading