Friday, 11 September 2020

dégonflages et montgolfières

The mornings are decidedly chilly now, with the suggestion of imminent frost. I've moved to Bathampton, and here's the view across the valley to Bathford Hill, where the road ascends to Sally in the Woods on its way to Bradford on Avon. On the other side of the canal from my boat is this wild boar, who reminds me of Twrch Trwyth.

I drove up to Bristol to collect my mail. A huge pile of boxes was waiting for me; almost all bike spares. A real treat was the pumps. After that puncture I got last week, when my pump failed to inflate the repaired tyre, I decided to take a Long Hard Look at pumps. I've usually got a ragbag of them lying around on the boat, either really old traditional type ones or one of those nifty miniaturised shiny ones that look so cute and.... are about as much use as if they were made of chocolate.

So now I've got a new SKS workshop pump, and an extra long Zefal pump for taking with me on the bike. And they are well-engineered, and work like a dream, if what you dream of is having properly inflated tyres, and let's face it, who doesn't dream of that?

Home on the boat I unpacked and tinkered with a neighbour's bike and drank rum and ginger beer while the evening grew still, and the hot air balloon hung almost stationary over the valley. 

Talking of stationary, it's a worrying word because you have to look carefully when you write it to make sure you don't mean stationery. The french for hot air balloon is montgolfière, which is rather sweet. Umbrellas were (and perhaps still are) called gamps, after a Dickens character. But with balloons, it was the brothers who came first. They also manufactured paper, and made their balloons out of it. Canson is still going, and I've use their paper to draw on. Only discovered the connection the other day, and was tickled by it. Easily pleased, me.

1 comment:

  1. The origins of words can be fascinating. I think it sweet that in Britain, what we in Canada call a rain-jacket is a mac ... for Macintosh who invented that jacket there. Americans have 'facial tissues' but we use a kleenex, even when we buy another brand. I have no idea why what we call a sweater (I don't often perspire wearing one) is called a jumper over there.

    That pump is a major leaguer for sure!