Monday, 29 June 2015

Guest Post - It's Like Riding A Bike by Ali Chrisp

‘Don’t worry, it’s like riding a bike!’ goes the well-known saying which means that once you’ve learnt how to do something, it becomes second nature and you’ll never forget it. Well, in my case, I should be very worried because I seem to be the exception to the rule and have indeed forgotten how to ride a bike!

After envying my husband and son for going off on their bike rides through the countryside, I decided that it was high time I bought myself a mountain bike so I could at least cycle to a few local pubs (you have to get your priorities right!) I chose a well-known make and wasn’t concerned that I couldn’t try it out before buying it. 

When we brought it home I wheeled my lovely pink bike into the quiet lane near to our house; I couldn’t foresee any problems but didn’t want to draw any attention to myself. Satisfied that the coast was clear, I prepared to hop onto my bike and cycle into the distance just like Bradley Wiggins.  How mistaken I was! First of all, I insisted that the saddle needed lowering - I could reach the ground with the tips of my toes but that wasn’t low enough for me. My husband declared that my legs wouldn’t be extended enough to cycle properly but that was the least of my problems - I couldn’t even get enough momentum to be able to sit on the saddle and pedal. After several failed attempts, I had to suffer the humiliation of my husband holding the saddle and pushing me along just as my dad would have done when I was six. 

To add insult to injury, my son decided to come outside and video the spectacle. This spurred me on to cycle the length of the lane albeit in a very wobbly manner. There! I thought.  I can remember how to ride a bike, but then I changed my mind when I tried to turn the corner and fell off.

‘I think that’s enough for one day,’ I declared, sheepishly wheeling my bike back into the shed.
The next morning, my son ‘helpfully’ got my bike out for me and took it round to the front of the house.  

When as many neighbours as possible had gone out, I decided to give it another go and managed to go up the road unaided with my son chaperoning me on his own bike and shouting words of encouragement.  I suppose it was a bit like mentoring a younger sibling in his eyes. I got to the stage of riding in a straight line again but when it came to turning around at the bottom of the cul-de-sac, I could only steer in one direction, otherwise I toppled over.

I really can’t understand why my sense of balance has disappeared.  When I was in my teens, I used to cycle everywhere on my Raleigh Shopper (also pink), including the six mile round trip to school every day. The main difference, however, was that the wheels were much smaller and I only had three gears to choose from. Anyway, the long and short of it is that this will be the fourth year that I haven’t ridden my bike outside the cul-de-sac and I don’t think I even bothered last year.  

Perhaps this year …

About Ali Chrisp
Ali Chrisp’s career has included teaching aerobics in the early 1980s (often demonstrating death-defying lunges and squats on a dangerously wobbly trestle table!), working as a sales negotiator in a local estate agent, then spending twenty-three years as a civil servant. For the last five and a half years she has been working part-time as a personal assistant to a lady with Alzheimer’s. Ali is a real animal lover and the proud owner of Lola, a bonkers, mud-loving Labradoodle, and Winnie, a feisty rescue cat. She lives with her husband and their semi-feral teenage son who lurks in a dark corner of the house. He is mainly nocturnal, coming out to forage when the house is quiet and leaving a trail of destruction behind him. She wouldn’t change him for the world though.

About Home Comforts

A laugh-out-loud comedy about families, friendship and romance. The perfect feel-good summer holiday read.

Jo Longford's life takes an unexpected turn when her bosses wrongly accuse her of stealing from a client. Suddenly, she needs to find a new job and a new home for herself and ten-year-old son, Tom. Not to mention their small menagerie of badly behaved pets.

Her selfish mum isn't much help; obsessed with keeping up appearances, nothing her daughter does is ever good enough for her. But at least Jo can rely on best friend Val for support. They've been getting themselves into mischief since they were teenagers, and that includes an eventful school reunion and joining a cringeworthy dating agency. Some things never change!

Life certainly doesn’t get any easier for Jo. Will she be able to fend off her sex-mad landlord – a retired businessman who struts around in Lycra and thinks he’s God’s gift to women? Are her new employer and quirky clients at the Handy Jobs Domiciliary Care Agency all they seem?

And will Jo ever be able to sort out her chaotic love life when two equally unsuitable men gatecrash her world?

Home Comforts is a heart-warming tale with a cheeky twinkle in its eye.

Thank you to Ali Chrisp for this lovely guest post. I've personally not forgotten how to ride a bike, but I never learnt in the first place, so could imagine these would be the sort of scenes I would encounter if I tried it now! Thank you also to Ian at Corazon Books for getting in contact about a possible guest post.

I do plan to review Home Comforts in the near future (next month or two hopefully), so if this has peaked your interest and you read it before me, please let me know how it is!

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