We have all surely heard of “Moped Crime”. To me, an ex-copper, a moped has a motor and pedals (So… no brownie points for guessing how mopeds got their name). If you are as old in the tooth as I am then you will remember what mopeds looked like. THIS is a moped –
I know this because I bought, and rebuilt, one of these for a girlfriend (and reluctantly admit that it went better before I rebuilt it than it did afterwards). The bikes being stolen, and ridden, for bagsnatching crime etcetera are lightweight motorcycles and motor scooters. They are not mopeds.
So who got it so wrong, the police or the media? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. It certainly doesn’t if you are Humpty Dumpty*: ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.‘
*Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll, 1872.
I am half-way through writing a new novel and it’s going well, I am on a roll. For several reasons I want to finish it in the next few months so it’s busy-busy, what with making a new pond and rebuilding the old police bike I rode back in Medieval times. The police bike rebuild is going well but I haven’t yet tackled the engine. The pond has no fish, just water, plants and a resident frog. Where do these things come from? (the frogs, I mean – I know where the plants and motorbikes come from). As soon as you put a hole in the ground and put water in it you get a frog. The one in our new pond comes to the surface and looks at you as if you have no right to be there. Oh yes, the book… I have been writing novels for over fifteen years. At first I wasn’t serious, it was like practising. Slowly I realised that I wasn’t that bad – especially when I got shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award in 2002. I made the mistake of thinking that because someone else (apart from the MD of Random House) seemed to recognise that I had talent it would only be a matter of time before I got published. I am still waiting. I have been told that getting published, even if you are good, needs a lot of luck. Maybe I should get a rabbit’s foot. I seem to have tried everything else.
Nice relatives who shall remain nameless bought us tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo. We have lived here for twelve years but for some reason have never seen it (well, you don’t, do you? When I lived in London it was nothing short of a miracle that I actually managed to visit the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens while I was there. When you visit a place on holiday you make sure you see everything but when you live there you don’t. Well, I don’t. Not the Tattoo, anyway. Not until last week). I had hoped to take photos, but the sun was in the wrong place (astronomers might tell you otherwise). Don’t think I’m complaining. The weather was marvellous. The thought of sitting there for 90 minutes in pouring rain is probably why I have never been before.
The highlight for me was the bikes. I had never heard of The Imps. Their display started with a five-year old riding around the arena on a small motorbike. He came back in a similar sized sidecar, ridden around the arena on two wheels with the sidecar in the air. The only time I have managed to do that on my own bike and sidecar is when I have taken a right hand bend too fast. It’s scary when you don’t expect it.
The Imps are aged between 5 and 16. They are VERY impressive. As I said, when I watched them the weather was good. Since then some performances have been wet. I liked the Twitter comment on their home page last week ‘No injuries yet…’
The photo above is stolen from the web but it is the Imps’ own picture so I’m sure I’ll be forgiven.
Also, check this.