Fall-Out Saturation

Radiation warning sign

Fall-out saturation

The really perfect-for-riding spring weather continues. I’ve been out for varying length rides for five days in a row now and the legs (after a bad winter) are feeling it, but getting out on days like these is hard to resist. A bad day out on the bike is better than a good day at work, and other knackered and not really completely true clichés.

In contrast to all that good feeling, the air and missile strikes against Libya continue, and an awful lot of people in Japan are continuing to suffer. The death toll there is steadily rising too as uncertainties are replaced with harsh facts. The major development today seems to be the radiation in the water in Tokyo and presumably elsewhere too. That’s not good by anyone’s measure.

In a properly incredible coincidence, I overheard Bowie’s ‘Drive In Saturday’ while riding today, with the line about “fall out saturation”, coming from someone’s open top car.

Lately, I’ve been wondering about the general topic of happiness. The idea of some kind of happiness index, or measuring the nation’s happiness rather than crude economic data, comes and goes at the national level and is often met with the sort of baying derision you’d expect from people who get their kicks from money and buying endless amounts of stuff, none of which makes them any happier. But measuring happiness, making any judgements about it, is fiendishly difficult. It’s easy to feel there are a lot of forces out there lining up to rob us all of happiness. Something to cogitate on.

I do know I am very unhappy at the thought of peoples around the world thinking the attacks on Libya are being done in my name as a British citizen. The same applies to Iraq, Afghanistan. There are people around the world who might justifiably look upon any Brit as party to war crimes. That’s quite sobering.

Everyone was more-or-less fine and considerate today despite doing quite a few urban miles, with the exception of one Transit van while I was going through town. It was no big deal, not a close shave, but he cut across in front of me to take a gap in the traffic and yes, I had to slow down. I’m pretty sure he’d have done the same if I was a car coming at him at the same speed I was doing – he’d been waiting to get across for a while and it was busy.

As always, the key issue is how to respond – and the only sensible thing to do is to not get worked up, not gesticulate or shout or anything else. The real bottom line in life is that by and large what goes around comes around. If someone goes through life being inconsiderate, then he’ll be met with inconsideration. That’s a sweet enough thought. Getting wound up just brings you down.

Of course, it’s perfectly legitimate to spend a few moments dwelling on how best the inconsideration he will eventually be on the receiving end of might manifest itself.