AC/DC – Rotterdam to Dortmund..

I’m afraid there’s a brief moan about tachographs again today; Namibian and I have been forced, through safety regulations, to struggle unsafely through the night.

You see, in order to comply with a weekly rest period of 24 hours – as though we need it – we have to reach Dortmund by six o’clock in the morning.

Tomorrow, at a similar hour, we’ll barely have to do an hour’s worth of manoeuvring – but that,  in the eyes of the fools that dream up these rules, is neither here nor there. So, if we use a little common sense – maybe pull in at 4am for a couple of hours in bed – we break the law. Oh yes, what a splendid rule: risk falling asleep at the wheel to meet a stringent safety regulation.

On a brighter note, not only have I discovered a third umbrella under the bunk, but my diphtheria self-diagnosis was entirely erroneous. It was indeed a sore throat.

The sun is briefly out, and a city reconnaissance by bicycle is just the thing. Well, it would be if my front wheel wasn’t buckled beyond recognition – an ailment that can only have stemmed from erratic driving or poor loading procedures.

Isn’t it awful when you just know that the fault lies with yourself? Vengeance against another soul seems so unfair…but I look for Namibian anyway. That sweet-toothed creature is beginning his evening meal with dessert this evening.

This front wheel setback is not as serious as misfiring stoves or running out of teabags, admittedly, but it’s not far off. The bike shop in Dortmund is useless. They can have a new wheel for Wednesday…by which time the AC/DC tour trucks will have toddled through the Czech Republic and Austria, and be rolling into Italy. Great.

Meanwhile, as I’m dealing with these pressing matters, Little Dick appears to be in training for a sleeping competition; at 5pm – yes, 11 hours after arrival – his curtains are just beginning to twitch.

And that’s only because I’m playing trombone outside his window.

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