Diary – Hey Presta!

Yesterday I woke up as normal: at 6am the alarm went off and I leapt across the room (I keep it on my desk to combat my complete lack of willpower when it comes to getting out of bed), made breakfast and a massive mug of tea, ate breakfast, and settled in to continue learning JavaScript. As I’ve said before, JavaScript is proving more of a challenge that HTML/CSS (to be expected) but despite, or because of this, it is more satisfying as well.

When Anna had woken up I chatted to her and continued with the coding, dropping in some revision as well. Memorising the quotes for The Rape of the Lock seems easier than memorising the ones for Paradise Lost, probably because the former is written in simpler rhyme and meter, so it is easier to remember and identify any errors that ruin the entire rhythm of the lines. As Anna didn’t have uni, we were planning on cycling to Temple of Seitan in Hackney, as I mentioned yesterday, and, just in time to arrive for lunch, we unlocked our bikes from the railings outside our flat, helmets on, ready to go.

“Let me just pump my tires up a bit before we leave,” I said, checking the pressure between my fingers, though I already knew it was low. I’d been meaning to pump them up for a while now. I think Anna sighed a little, but it was also her that pointed out that my back tire was a bit flat so she couldn’t complain. I went inside to get the pump, and when I returned I tried to fit it onto the valve. “Oh,” I said, confused “it’s not going on.” The pump was too big to go on the valve. “Maybe I just have to unscrew this a bit.” This was not the case. As soon as I unscrewed the second section of the valve, the air pressure inside the tire blasted the cap across the floor (luckily not out onto the rooftop beyond the railings), and whatever air was in the tire already gushed out with a great hiss. Oops. Instead of stopping to investigate, though, I stubbornly carried on trying to pump up the tire, only to realise that as soon as I detached the pump, all of the air I had just worked so hard to pump in poured straight back out again. At this point I consulted Google. Ah, my new(ish) bike has a presta valve. Unfortunately, this meant that the original plans were off the cards, but instead we had a lovely walk to Halfords, with a stop for lunch at Rinkoff’s, the 100+ year old bakery around the corner. At Halford’s I picked up the valve adapter I needed and we wandered home via the Genesis cinema to book tickets for David Lynch – The Art Life next month, and Sainsbury’s, to stock up on bread, milk, and masses of oat milk, which is still on sale!

All in all, then, we probably ended up having a more productive day than if I hadn’t had the whole tire situation, and I’m glad that I made the presta valve discovery in advance, rather than right before an important exam or something. Besides, I’m meeting Anna after uni today, instead, to go and try out the vegan ‘chicken’ place, so all is not lost.

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