Scotchbrite for the Soul #1

Hello. Mrs. A here. For those of you who are reading the blog for the first time and this is the instalment you landed on, I'm sorry in advance! My language is saltier than my pasta water and my ramblings will have little to do with bicycles. Click on the 'Workshop Updates' category and you'll find something more tube and tyres related!


I'm not sure why or how I've come to the decision to start writing a few of these. Maybe I wanted to offer fellow framebuilder partners a safe space to come and feel as though they aren't alone. Perhaps I need a release or maybe it's just that we have a tendency to be super honest about our difficulties and this is an extension of that. Either way, here I am, and thank you if you are still reading.


Life's not easy, is it? Babies, self-employment, owning a house. What a load of old crap. The more you try and extricate yourself from the system, the more you get caught up in it, because you need a new bathroom or the car is due for MOT and money doesn't magically appear in your bank account every month.


What you don't see behind the pretty Instagram pictures and funny workshop updates is what I presume a lot of framebuilders and their families are dealing with. Depression, OCD issues, grieving, and just trying to find a way to accept that not everything can be changed but maybe some things don't need to be. While everybody is busy posting about #filletfriday, I wonder how many are having a terrible day. I think about how many partners are holding down the fort alongside the kids, their own jobs, housework, and bill-paying. I wonder who is struggling with the death of a parent and wishing they had someone to talk to about it. Because that's our reality. And I'm tired. I'm tired of being tired, so I'm planning things to make us (you included, hopefully) happier and I thought I'd write about them here, in an infrequent blog designed to offset maybe a little of the drudgery and doom and gloom of the workshop updates. It's my little bit of Scotchbrite for the soul.


So, what's on the cards? Well. I'm looking into the logistics of organising a special riding event that can be done remotely, virtually, or actually together on bikes, depending on location and COVID restrictions. That's proving really fun and some of the shitty puns and ideas that are springing up have me in stitches already. I won't say too much more now but put it this way: you might need a Challenge Annika mindset to take part. And douchebags will not be welcome. This will be a fun endeavour for people that want a laugh, not a chance to lord it over other riders.


I've also been thinking about actually getting the shit on with doing some screen printing. We have a brilliant set-up here and Gavin built me a table for doing it all on (of course he did), but I always wonder if anyone will find the same things funny as me. I'm not casting any shade at all, but the whole 'bike jokes' thing isn't for me. Satirical observations about the industry, yes. But naff jokes about wives vs bikes? Nah. Sorry to burst your bubble as well guys, but we all know how to use Google, so we DO all know how much they cost.


Urgh. Insert sad trombone sound here.


My day job is fucking awesome and I'm considering how I can combine it with fun August nonsense. I'm the content director for a vegan media company and part of my job can be recipe development, so I'm wondering about maybe creating some actually tasty and performance-driven energy snacks. Hmmmm. More to come. Maybe.


They say that your vibe attracts your tribe. Bleurgh to that rank phrase but I like the sentiment and I'm going to test the theory. I think it does work because we have the best and most genuine friends we've ever had now and that's all since we started being open about our mental health and saying no to people who just wanted favours. The shitty friends melt away when you're no longer useful and the ones that remain? They are the keepers. To put it in perspective, I was looking at our wedding snaps yesterday, in celebration of the atrocity that was International Husband Appreciation Day (which I believe is almost every day, in a healthy marriage, no?). We are going to have a renewal party in a few years, so our little one can be part of the fun and you know what I realised? A lot of the people in those snaps wouldn't be invited. It's kind of sad, but at the same time, I can't wait to take new pictures with the bunch of beautiful misfits we love and appreciate now. And yes, I'm talking about you Loo, you Scott Black. You can come too Mark E and if Danielle, Beth, and Nate can all carpool (yes I know Danielle is in fucking Canada), get your arses over here!


So here's to stopping the sadness over friendships lost and the state of the human race as a whole because there are good things coming. Even if I have to make every single goddam one of them happen myself, they are coming and if you don't like it...

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Disclaimer: I don't like Simon Pegg that much but against all my better judgement, I cannot help but find this film funny. I think it might just be because Bill Nighy is in it for all of two minutes and he is god. GOD I TELL YOU.