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From Birmingham we have moved back to Scotland, winding up a little way along the train line to the west of Edinburgh. It feels like home. On a clear day, it is wonderful: from just a few extra degrees north we gain a low, golden light in the dilated mornings and evenings. The verges and parks with their grasses and trees and mosses feel like a wilderness even in town. It is green but not dank. The air is cold but the sun is warm.

Then it rains, and it still feels like home. I don’t much remember the rain when I was young, oddly, although there must have been plently of it. But I do remember the rain from two years spent in Glasgow, without a country in the way to block the watery Atlantic climate. The rain here in the east is different. Manageable, somehow. Without wanting to rudely shoehorn in a bike reference, putting decent mudguards on the commuting bike has made all the difference. There’s no such thing as bad weather, so they say, only bad clothes. Or, perhaps, bad bikes.

That commuting bike, an old Nishiki Olympic that I’ll write up soon, has become the neo-Kaffenback. Only on this go-round, I’ve taken the time to make it into a bike that I enjoy riding. To paraphrase something I wrote once before, giving yourself permission to simply enjoy a bike ride is a hell of a drug.