And finally. I join the world of the blogger.
But after having resisted it for so long - and indeed blogging (after a fashion) elsewhere, why the sudden interest?
This story has its beginning in a small German town near the border with Holland. There I live with my other half (Chef) and the world famous Gruesome Twosome. We have relatively good public transport links between our town and the rest of the universe (by bus and train), and between the village where we live and the town (by bus) but in general it is necessary to have one, preferably two cars. Because, for instance, our bus service does not operate after 6pm or at weekends or on public holidays.
A few months ago Chef, who works in Düsseldorf, announced that his car was Kaput and would be to expensive to fix. Moreover he wanted to start going to work on the train as it would save money and the environment and - more importantly - he would be able to listen to music. Since he has to leave the house before the buses start the plan was for him to take the opportunity to get fit and go to the station on his bike.
Mother nature didn't really like this plan, and certainly didn't like the idea of me festering in bed until 6am and so it snowed. With a vengence. We haven't had that much snow here since who knows when. But eventually the snow went, and life settled down to normal. Chef pronounced himself more than satisfied with the train service, and cycling was working out well.
My car then started to show signs of reaching the end of a long and dusty road. I'd had to call out the breakdown service a few times and just recently they have taken to shaking their heads and double checking when I mention that it's done over 350,000 kms.
Friday, the 2nd of July was Punto's last journey. It made it into town to drop Gruesome #2 at school, then it made it to just outside town before it started to shake, rattle and roll in a most alarming fashion. To cut a long story short: the car is no more and an alternative way of travelling the 35kms to Willich, where I work, had to be found.
It's flat here so everyone has a pushbike. I'm no exception, and so in a moment of reckless enthusiasm I decided that I'd let the train take the strain. Chef had a bit of a chuckle, and we scratched our heads a little, and the result was that on Monday 5th July I became the proud owner of a shiny new bike with - gasp! - 21 gears and a rather groovy clip on basket.
This blog, then, will be a record of my journey to work. How I get on with my one-month trial season ticket. How often the German trains didn't live up to their reputation for a fearsome punctuality. And, probably, a record of what I read on those journeys. Because, let's face it, this is me. As much as I like riding my shiny new bike, and as much as I hate driving: reading is the stuff of life.
In fact, I rather suspect that Chef thinks that I sabotaged the car in order to get in some quality time with my books!