Does my helmet look big in this?

Yesterday I seemed to work through my entire mid-life crisis in a few hours. Firstly I bought a ski jacket for my upcoming Chamonix junket (well, to replace the one whose zip went a few days ago, so not exactly an impulse buy). Then I test-drove a moped—a moped, me whose father and maternal grandfather both had serious motorcycle accidents when young. I take some comfort in the fact that I’ve got ten years on the ages at which they both acted stupidly, a choice of machines with speeds restricted to 35mph, and a refreshingly healthy attitude to road safety that I’m certain my father at least doesn’t share. Still, though. Can you see me on a Piaggio, hugging the curves, ciao bella, er-r-r-r-r?

The next few hours were spent trying on wedding wear with my future father-in-law in Moss Bros, fending off suggestions of a pink waistcoat by picking a particularly awful example of the breed. But compared to K’s search for a dress our own particular sartorial odyssey was brief indeed, and by 3pm I went back to Oxford Motorcycles and signed for the moped. Then I spent almost the same amount of money on utterly unnecessary safety gear and an excessive breakdown/repair warranty. By the end of it all I had reverted to the conservative, wary steady-onner that had opened his eyes that morning.

If only that ski jacket had been leather. The narrative would’ve worked out perfectly then.

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