Three days in a row (seeing as Magnus, in his new post-driving test state of grace, has taken possession of the Berlingo) I have been cycling, which has been both very enjoyable and face-searingly sore.
It's the wind, you see. Even when it's calm in Shetland, it's windy. Our neighbour Bruce, no mean racing cyclist back in the day, describes meeting an experienced velocipedalist in tears on the Hillswick road, basically pedalling furiously against a headwind to stand still. Yesterday, three of us decided to cycle to Drew and Vivienne's barbecue/spit roast, a distance of about six miles. It was delightful on the way there, the wind at our backs, spinning along beside Ronas Voe like we were Tour De France riders pumped full of EPO and steroids. On the way back, though, it was a different story. You know the kind of wind that makes your teeth sore, and your hair ache?
Mind you, I felt less pain than I might have, having consumed two glasses of Rioja and some fantastic food. And while I would never drive in such a condition, I did feel able to wobble along on two wheels, being punished by the breeze for my indulgence.
And I felt a lot less pain than I did just a few minutes ago.
I was trying to get a quote for Magnus to drive an R-reg Audi A3 he's being lent for six months. A year's insurance, I was informed, was going to cost £2653.
I'm just going to tell him that he'll have to get on his bike.