Sharing life with your wife

Last night Jane announced she wantedneeded to do some clothes shopping. I wanted (and needed) to visit Glenfield Hospital today.

We realised we could combine the two.

So when Jane finished work we set off for a (late) social lunch together at the Costa Coffee at Beaumont Leys. Jane could then do her shopping while I continued on to Glenfield Hospital.

The problem is that I didn’t know how long I would be and Jane wasn’t sure how long she would be. So travelling by car would be inconvenient. One of us would be bound to have to wait around for the other.

Travelling by car would also have been inflexible. I would not be able to respond to a call or message and change my plans – maybe going to Mayday Hospital as well or into Leicester to one of the Christian Bookshops or to someone’s home. Jane wouldn’t be able to decide there were no shops she liked and go into Leicester instead or that she liked the shops so much that she wanted to spend several more hours there.

Travelling by car would have cost money. The car park (if you can get a space during visiting hours) is a minimum of £1.50. Plus the route is not direct so you pay more for fuel.

So we cycled. Obvious really. The route is mostly off road and nice (apart from the not at all pleasant Birstall Road).

Here we are parked just by Costa Coffee (the Tesco entrance towards the Library).

PB190001

As so often is the case not many spaces (I took the last one later when I returned from the hospital) and badly positioned Sheffield toast rack (you can’t get the bike far enough forward to put a U-Lock through the rear wheel and bike frame and Sheffield stand).

So we nipped into Costa (and thanks Costa for paying Corporation Tax, one reason why we visited you today) for some lunch. Then I headed off to the Hospital while Jane started visiting every shop :-)

After I had finished I returned and sure enough Jane hadn’t quite finished. So I guarded the stuff she had bought thus far (in Costa while being sustained by a nice Flat White) while Jane finished emptying the shops.

We then rode home together.

Net result was:

  • zero fuel cost
  • zero parking cost
  • loads of flexibility
  • some gentle exercise
  • quality time spent together
  • plenty of shopping done for Jane
  • my work accomplished
  • zero direct carbon footprint

So tell me. Why would anyone think of using a car for an afternoon like this (or even worse two cars to get the flexibility)?

Oh and of course my new Shand Stoater was a beautiful ride for this :-)

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