Greetings to all and sundry! I’ve made it back from Scotland with Molly and nanny Dew still intact. Things could have come to blows though on the night train to Edinburgh where I shared a bunk-and-a-half with the above medley of young and old age groups. As luck would have it we found ourselves next to a couple of off-their-heads drunk heavy metal rock stars (on their way, so the guard later told us, to buy a castle in Scotland – as you do) complete with pit bull terrier who insisted on shouting-cum-barking at each other into the painfully small hours of the morning. With babies and grannies none too impressed with the lack of sleep, I confronted the rabble-rousers and asked them nicely to pipe down a peg or two. Amazingly they did so without either giving me a dose of heavy metal treatment or setting their pit bull loose on my shins. Another passenger told me I should have told the guard to deal with our rumbustious neighbours in case they had turned nasty – not a move that had escaped my thought process; it’s just it seemed a shame to rouse the guard when I was already far too awake.

I Love My Bike

I Love My Bike

Anyway, thanks to all who made it to the book festival to hear my bike talk – not that my bike actually talked but you know what I mean. And thanks to those who, on finding it had sold out, gamely volunteered themselves to be admitted as various members of my suddenly very expansive family. How amazing to think that I never knew I had three mothers. Nor a great aunt twice removed.

Back on home ground Molly has now completed just over 1500 miles strapped to the rear of my bike. She makes a good pillion rider – arms flailing in the breeze indicating left when I’m actually turning right, or merrily falling asleep through multiple potholes and a chilly soaking of yet another joyful burst of our tumultuous summer rains (it’s good to form a hardy child – got to get her toughened for the likes of Alaska and Patagonia you know).

That’s it for now. If anyone would like to fill a pew or, in the unlikely event that all seats are sold, be a member for the evening of my newly acquired randomly selected family (I’m looking for a great step-uncle fifteen times removed) at a bike talk and question session I’m giving at Chichester’s Minerva theatre (25th October 7.45pm details and tickets Chichester Festival Theatre 01243 781312 www.cft.org.uk email box.office@cft.org.uk) then all I can say is thank you. But don’t expect a whole lot of sense. More a muddle and murmur and pictures of here and there.

A recent photo of Josie, Molly and bike

A recent photo of Josie, Molly and bike