the biggest problem with tradition is deciding when something deserves that particular honour. in terms of recent events, placing real or synthetic pine trees in a corner of the sitting room, bedecked with lights, baubles and tinsel is undoubtedly a tradition, even if the origins of such would be hard to define. santa claus, however, has only dressed in red from the early part of the 20th century, when coca cola thought it something of a wizard wheeze. dressing in such a manner is certainly considered to be traditional, but hardly with the same palmares as the christmas tree.
traditionally, the round church in bowmore has been presented with a christmas tree by one of the island's estates. however, in 2013, they claimed to be unable to do so, as christmas had arrived more quickly than the growth rate of their trees. somewhat of a hard excuse to swallow, i'll admit, but one that has now broken an apparent tradition, though if they receommence in 2014, no doubt the faux pas will be forgotten.
as mentioned in the opening paragraph of a cycle sport article recently, "cycling has long traditions, but short memories", doubtless partly due to the perennial changes and technological development foisted upon the innocent bystander of today. for old fogies such as myself, it is almost whimsical to realise that there are riders in today's professional ranks who have never ridden with toeclips and straps, nor have ever had to judge the amount of lever to pull in order that one of those five rear sprockets might be of immediate use. project this to the not so distant future, and there will soon be riders blissfully unaware that mechanical gearing ever existed at all, let alone that the levers used to fit on the down tube.
which is sort of why it's darned near inexplicable as to why brooks leather saddles not only continue to exist, but on even casual evidence, to flourish. in an era of weight-weenies and implausibly featherweight carbon structures, surely the notion of plopping a hefty piece of tensioned leather atop that nano-fibre seatpost, is something of an anachronism? as one possessed of a posterior immune to all but the worst of saddle offenders, i can attest to the comfort of the modern day item, proffered in a myriad of variations by a substantial number of manufacturers.
given the alacrity with which we have adopted each dinky piece of technology thrown in our direction, ought not we to have praised the efforts of john boultbee brooks, but let them slip quietly off to the museum?
there may be all sorts of reasons as to why the brooks saddle has defied the star trek generation virtually unaltered since the halcyon days of yore. riders such as the mighty dave t, along with his peer group rode brooks saddles when there was little in the way of alternatives, but he has no truck with them nowadays. i, on the other hand, own several, preferring their constitution to the majority of modern day alternatives. agreed, placing a featherweight saddle on an already light bicycle is hardly an onerous task, but it's hard to deny the sense of pride that those copper rivets confer upon any make of bicycle. a sense of tradition, you might say.
but then, without so much as a by-your-leave, brooks all but ignore the tradtion for which they are solely responsible and bring a new kid to market. and as if that were not enough by way of blasphemy, it's not made in smethwick, but in italy*, and it's not even leather. no longer is there a small serrated spanner to be found in the box for the purpose of tensioning the saddle top, nor indeed a cute little tin of proofide. on the contrary, not only does this new brooks cambium saddle require no tensioning throughout its life, but it has already been waterproofed for life.
in a hyphenated word, it has been de-faffed.
but worst, or best of all, depending on your point of view, it needs no breaking in. seemingly gone are the days when a new brooks leather saddle would ride like a coal bunker for the first three months, where it often seemed a contest as to who would capitulate first. and that is, of course, because the cambium is utterly devoid of leather. constructed to sit hammock-like over a die-cast aluminium chassis, the seat is composed of organic cotton and vulcanised gum rubber. there are still the trademark rivets along the rear edge, but rather than having been hammered in place, these are fastened below with torx bolts. effectively, this means that the top can be removed and repaired or replaced should there ever be such need in the future.
it has been too oft repeated that the modern day cyclist is intent on emulating the pain and suffering said to be a part of his/her perennial right of passage. hark back to the brooks saddles of previous reviews and of legend, and it was often a case of suffering for my art come time time to inform you of the latest addition to the smethwick panoply. this is mostly due to the stiffness of new leather and the weeks long battle between bum and that same leather to see who would emerge victorious at some undefined point in future time.
vulcanised gum rubber has no such axe to grind, even when combined with organic cotton woven into a canvas like texture on top. certainly this surface is of a more tactile nature than polished leather and thus perhaps less kind to the lycra that will inevitably sit atop. i'll need to get back to you on that one. however, come the heavy rains (in truth, they have not stopped since the cambium arrived), there is no need to fumble for the often ill-fitting waterproof cover supplied with members of the brooks leather range. though i confess the water has not sat in moisture bubbles in the manner of the brooks website video, a daily soaking seems to have had no ill effects whatsoever.
however, back to that pain and suffering; it is completely absent, removing any bragging rights and demonstrations of man/womanhood more often associated with the brand. the combination of steel rails and the saddle composition would appear to be bang on the money, from my point of view. ride number one was so well constituted from the sitting point of view, i only remembered to show off the saddle on dismounting for the traditional froth supping.
always aware of accusatory fingers being pointed, and the admission that the cambium was sat on an ibis hakkalugi 'cross bike for the initial part of this review, i left it not where it was. you see the ibis is of a most relaxed nature and highly forgiving carbon fibre. add to that, its wheelsmith wheels were clad in 33mm challenge 'cross tyres which inarguably offered a greater degree of comfort than would be the case on 100psi challenge 25c stradas. so to satisfy my own curiosity and that of the pelotonese who would be unlikely to bolt a cambium to a similar velocipede, it currently resides on the steel framed chris king cielo, with every bit as much comfort as offered by the ibis.
the cambium also seems a particularly hardy breed; no real need to be overly concerned as to how preciously it is leand against a dry-stone wall or cafe window sill. it is far too early to tell how sturdy the fabric top will be in the long-term, but brooks having seeded a number of pre-production saddles to the great unwashed worldwide around a year ago without apparent distress, would seem to augur in its favour. the model tested is marked as a c17, augmented by the ladies' c17s also currently available and a racing version stamped as a c15, due for release later this year.
though brooks have revelled in the tradition that is theirs and theirs alone, continuing to offer a huge range of leather saddles, the development of the cambium is surely testament to a desire not to remain in the past. if the new c15 turns out to be truly a racing saddle, it might not be too long before we see the return of the brooks name to the professional peloton, rejoining a wonderful tradition where they left off just past the middle of last century.
such has been my joy with the cambium c17, i think it more than likely i'll be fitting another cambium to one of the colnagos in my beleagured bike shed.
*(i will defuse at least a part of my argument by pointing out that only the initial production of the cambium was carried out in italy. production has now been moved to smethwick)
monday 6 january 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
five hundred kilometres is a reasonable distance in cycling terms, even when spread over seven days, and when undertaken at this time of year, can be somewhat hard on equipment. on the sunday prior to this monumental undertaking (perhaps a slight exaggeration), when pointing out a few of the notable points of interest on islay's west coast to a visiting german cyclist, two of us were blown off the road. or at least one of us was. my companion, hit sideways by a 50+ atlantic gust, had little option but to ride headlong into the roadside grassy ditch. just prior to joining him, i managed to unclip and get a foot down just as the rear of the bike was blown through ninety degrees.
on the sunday ride prior to that, i had again opted for the ibis 'cross bike because gusting winds were blowing me all over uiskentuie road, and my choice of cycle allowed me to nip onto the grass, where being blown over was likely to be a tad less uncomfortable.
those five hundred kilometres ended somewhat ignominiously when i rode through what i thought was a couple of inches deep floodwater, but turned out to be nearer 16 inches. with both feet soaking wet and freezing cold, i emerged from the other side to discover the rear tyre had suffered a puncture. these things always seem to happen at the furthest geographical point from home, on days when sitting cosily by the central heating would have been a more favourable pastime.
coincidentally, the location of my puncture sufferage was but a few metres from the point when undertaking the same five hundred kilometres a couple of years ago that i noticed an irritating click from the chain. subsequent checking at home revealed a cracked sideplate, requiring a bike change for the remaining hundreds and the ordering of a new chain. ever since then, i have attempted to maintain the chains on my bicycles in the shiny, pristine condition they appear when new or seen on close-up footage during the tour de france. it may well be my one concession to obsessive compulsive disorder.
i would dearly love to give the impression that no matter my physical state at the end of one of those windstrewn, hail-blasted rides, that it's all about the bike. putting off the desperate need for a warm shower, i would administer tender loving care to each moving part on the velocipede before accurately checking tyre pressures and inflating accordingly. but that is very far from the truth. however, on my last day, fresh from a puncture and a coffee, i had the sense to replace the spare inner-tube in my seat pack and inflate the rear tyre a few psi more than i had managed with my frame-fit pump. the track pump that would normally be employed for this purpose is a flipping nuisance; its inflation properties are exemplary, but not only is the hose a tad too short to be used when the bicycle is cossetted by my workstand, but it refuses point blank to clip into the slot considerately attached to the pump barrel.
no doubt this flailing hose contributes in a negative way to this particular pump's propensity to fall over at the least temptation. it would be overly iniquitous, however, to lay the latter foible squarely at the door of this particular example, for the same inability to remain upright seems to have afflicted every track pump i have so far come across. not so this monster from axiom, the likes of which you could probably reverse a volvo into without its stability being called into question and the volvo suffering the greater damage. certainly, a falling over track pump rarely seems to incur any collateral damage, but the annoyance value of being met by at least one on opening the bikeshed door never seems to recede.
in this case, free range was offered at axiom to create the ultimate track pump, in consultation with some of the world's finest professional cycle mechanics. it would appear from the end result that they all probably suffered from the same irritants as do i. for starters, the exceptionally wide base, visually similar to a pair of die cast wings, will not only allow confident free-standing, but features an array of those little pins that you'll find on bmx and mtb platform pedals. put one foot on each 'wing' and nothing moves unless you want it to.
facing the red anodised handle with grips reminiscent of quality flat handlebar grips, the clamp holding it in place bears an uncanny resemblance to a stem faceplate. there is an allen bolt top and bottom should it be necessary to remove the handle for any reason. fitted on both sides of the polished 62cm 6000 series aluminium barrel are clips to hold the impressively long rubber hose, clips that actually do what they were designed to do. along with that, there's also a hook just under the handle to keep the hose out of mischief midway through an inflatable task.
somebody has been paying close attention here.
built in to the die cast baseplate is the all-important pressure gauge, reading all the way to 200psi (13.7 bar), it's remarkably easy to read and is far enough out from the barrel for it to avoid obscuring vision. not all track pumps are created equal; some feature less than accurate gauges while others begin to struggle the higher up the pressure table you go. the axiom, however, seems to contain what can best be described as a pressure gear, by which i mean all the way from zero to 100psi, the effort remains the same and with a consistent increase in pressure. meanwhile the hose is long enough to comfortably reach the valves of a workstand suspended bicycle, offering valuable versatility in placement.
judging by the plethora of allen bolts around the underside of the baseplate, dismantling or replacing any errant parts ought to be a simple procedure.
continuing my observation that not all pumps are created equal, nowhere is this more apparent than in the chuck or valve connector affixed to the hose end. i still own a track pump on which the chuck requires to be threaded onto the valve, unfortunately often unthreading the core when being removed. and though i own no wheels with schrader valves, it would seem a compulsory necessity that both options are offered in one unit. any pump that arrives with a separate attachment to take care of either valve is just asking for trouble; it takes very little time to lose something that small.
the valve connector is almost t-shaped, with the schrader connection on one end, presta on the other, colour-coded to avoid confusion. i confess i've not tried the schrader end, since i have no bicycles using that style, but the presta connector is a tight but comfortable fit on any length of valve stem. once in place, there's a small lever to flick into place, solidly locking the device to prevent blowoff at higher pressures. i found this lever a bit of a struggle, partly due to its positioning and partly because on a brand new pump, it's likely still a bit stiff.
resetting the lever once the tyre is at the desired pressure seems to release the internal pressure in the hose, making it easier to remove the connector from the valve. it's a well-designed system that's highly efficient and easy to get used to. my road bike tyres went easily to 100psi, while the same could be said for the cross tyres inflated to 45psi for road use.
the axiom annihilateair could be accused of being a fine eample of overkill. many of us would be more than satisfied simply to get air into our tyres. however, it takes only a few days of routine use to realise just how excellent this track pump truly is, and how much faff and disappointment comes with a return to the ordinary. i confess to having re-inflated far more tyres recently than was strictly necessary, simply because the axiom makes it such a cool thing to do. it's not even remotely cheap, but in my opinion, worth every one of its ninety-five pounds.
sunday 5 january 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
at this time last year, i was sitting (metaphorically speaking) on a mound of detailed information regarding one of cycle sport's public secrets, namely that team sky had opted to change from their then current clothing supplier to one of britain's major players in the genre. though this had been announced several months previously, and had been rumoured prior to that, due to contractual reasons, nothing specific could be stated in print, in pixels or by way of imagery. cloaks and daggers hadn't had a look in.
at the risk of incurring notions of deja vu, a remarkably similar set of circumstances has taken place once more during this festive season and new year celebrations, though less shrouded in secrecy as last year.
based in livingston near edinburgh and having made serious inroads to the road-racing milieu initially via their own sponsored continental team and most recently in conjunction with germany's pro-continental netapp team, endura cycle clothing have stepped up to their own plate, emulating their predecessors from perren street. in fact, had movistar remained with pinarello as their 2014 cycle sponsor, they'd have had even more in common.
such is the internationalism of modern day world tour cycle racing, that it doesn't seem notably odd spain's top team have opted to wear jerseys and shorts emblazoned with the logo of scotland's premier apparel manufacturer. and in so doing, endura have been keen to point out the that replica movistar kit that will eventually become available through their dealers is in every way identical to those worn by valverde, quintana et al. it's a point worth making, since a substantial amount of so-called replica team kits are anything but the same as those riding ahead of the mavic car.
the potential pitfall of releasing replica team kit in early january is that the majority of us couldn't give a monkeys about our tanlines at this particular point in time. which is why it's of comfort (in more ways than one) to learn that movistar's winter training kit includes hollow-fibre technology to increase its thermal properties. as endura's katrin engel was keen to point out "Once fabrics and components have been selected, each pattern shape is honed to create an ergonomic fit to allow for the specific weight and stretch of each component fabric. Our garment technologists work intensively with the riders to fit the pattern shapes and refine them on a CAD system before grading them for different sizes. Every rider has a particular pattern allowing for their particular shape and riding requirements."
the patterns are then passed onto the graphics department and cutting room. every panel on each garment has its artwork and logos accurately matched to within a millimetre on the finished item. considering the variation in rider sizes and the number of riders in a world tour team, it takes little imagination to realise how substantial a task this to transfer each piece of artwork via endura's in-house dye-sublimation printer onto the selected state of the art fabrics. unlike several team clothing suppliers, the only items not crafted in endura's livingston premises are socks and gloves which, according to founder jim mcfarlane, require specific specialist manufacturing.
though fans at the side of the route are perhaps more likely to notice movistar's switch from pinarello to canyon bicycles, the early part of the 2014 season is likely to be a work in progress for both parties. however, with more than 95% of the necessary facilities already present in scotland, any teething problems on a possibly steep learning curve ought to be simply and speedily coped with. it is of great credit that not only are british riders achieving notable success within cycling's professional ranks, but now britain's top two clothiers are following suit (if you'll pardon the pun).
ultimately, we're the folks that will benefit.
saturday 4 january 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
i lay the blame fairly and squarely at the door of graeme raeburn. about four christmases ago rapha's chief designer, painfully aware that spending the festive season ensconced in an armchair was a less than onerous task, decided to attempt 1000 kilometres between christmas and new year, detailing his trials and tribulations on the rapha website. it was, to put it mildly, a substantial undertaking and not without its obstacles, but an adventure that led directly to the festive 500 in which so many have opted to indulge over the subsequent years.
several thousand have this year signed up on the rapha/strava page to conquer those 500 kilometres, no longer just in the uk, but all across the world. as a means of getting out and about over the holidays, it's been an excellent challenge over the past three winters, never simple due to the weather experienced in the hebrides, and never once offering the nominal eight days allowed. a daily average of 62 kilometres is easily accomplished by the majority of riders, always assuming, of course, that family time allows for sneaking out in the early morning to forestall any domestic disagreement later that same day.
however, on each and every occasion i have stepped up to the plate in an attempt to complete my own festive 500, the weather has diminished those eight by at least one day. storm force winds on christmas eve this year prevented any thoughts of even making it to the door of the bike shed, let alone removing a bicycle from its innards. rather obviously, this has resulted in an increased daily amount to get up to speed, a task made less equitable by glowering stares from mrs washingmachinepost on my return. however, i have protested, if it was easy they'd hardly have dubbed it a challenge.
despite my stoic heroism in the face of continuing adverse weather conditions, a fact that led me to mention on twitter that perhaps we needed a uk conversion factor (for surely those in san francisco, for example are having an altogether easier time?), i'm not particularly proud of myself.
though the ibis hakkalugi, being ridden because it's safer in gale force winds, is equipped with a garmin gps device, i never normally carry anything more sophisticated than my festina watch. despite my frequently mentioned dislike of numbers, a digital device displaying a wide variety of information is currently necessary at least for validating my daily total of kilometres. though i have lived here long enough to know the distance of almost every section of road on the island, i prefer to play the game exactly by the rules, though i stop well short of signing up to a page on strava. that would be one step just too far i'm afraid.
and it's that ever present grey and black digital readout that has caused the problem. riding a bicycle ought mostly to be fun, particularly during the current task when there is no real need to be anywhere at any given time for any given purpose. but when that fun becomes the slave of those digital numbers, something of the journey gets lost. the defining moment came last friday when it seemed that my arrival at the croft would be a kilometre or two short of the desired distance. despite the knowledge that these errant kilometres could be easily retrieved before the grand finale, i disappointingly opted to play the numbers game by riding 1.5 kilometres up a nearby single track road, then turning to ride them in the opposite direction.
that section of my daily riding was added for no other reason than to accumulate a the extra distance. as soon as i turned left instead of right on the final approach to home, i knew i'd let myself down. i don't ride a bike for bragging rights; the festive 500 is a work in progress, and it's the effort that's important, not necessarily the total at the end. there have been more than just a couple of occasions these past few days when i figured it would be easier (and probably safer) to take a shortcut home, but pride and stupidity wouldn't let me.
this year's weather has provided enough of an obstacle on its own, and not just for me. anyone who has attempted the five hundred should be proud of themselves; it's the journey that counts, not the arriving.
friday 3 january 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
there's a certain degree of versatility built-in to many of the velocipedinal delights aimed directly at our spending power, though arguably just as much specialisation in the same arena. though i wouldn't necessarily bet against it, it would surely be a foolish chap or chapess who attempted the festive 500 aboard a time-trial bicycle. though the latter would be unlikely phased by the distance, the rider may be a little less enamoured with the necessary physical position. this, of course, depends greatly on the terrain enjoyed during those 500km.
additionally, completing the distance aboard a machine similar in intent to that of a pashley roadster would hardly be impossible, but may take a tad longer than the fellow on a pinarello dogma. very much a case of horses for courses, as it were; a bicycle is a bicycle is a bicycle and thus all will eventually manage the tasks for which a bicycle was conceived. some better than others.
many will be aware of the carbon wheels proffered a few years back by the fellows at carbonsports in germany, wheels that were intended purely for climbing and no other purpose. though it almost seems a tautology that round discs of carbon with tubular tyres affixed should have no troubla coping with flat, uphill or downhill terrain, it appears these particular examples were not fitted with any form of braking surface. less than appropriate for walloping downhill into a series of hairpins one would imagine.
it is perhaps pertinent that my narrative has deigned to concern itself with wheels, for that is pretty much the sole subject of the remainder of this admittedly, one-sided discussion. you may perhaps recall my original review of an excellent pair of handbuilt wheels from derek mclay's wheelsmith, adding a millimetre to the rim width and morphing from the definition race 23 to race 24. i had originally asked derek if he had anything that might be prudent to fit to a cyclocross bike, in order that we might collectively celebrate the beginning of the 2013 season, along with other trinketry designed to ease the transition from road to mud.
though he thought the 24mm rims would cope courageously with all manner of scuffing and scrabbling, he asked only that i initially review the pair fitted to a road bike, to more easily make comparison with their 23mm predecessors. should you need reminding, that review is here. however, having proved themselves more than equal to any boutique, factory-built wheel, i whisked them away from the colnago, fitted a pair of challenge grifo 33mm 'cross tyres, and proceeded to get muddy.
though i am less than confident that any innocent bystander in nearby bridgend woods would necessarily recognise my efforts in comparison to those of sven nys or jeremy powers, i do generally figure that my demonstrable lack of skill in this arena means that the tyres and wheels (to say nothing of the bike) have a great deal more work to do in saving me from myself, than could be said of the same components in the hands of a professional. or even a very good amateur. however, in the absence of any documented video at which you or i might snigger, mud-splattered scrabbling was undertaken with both glee and enthusiasm, aided and abetted by those excellent wheels.
grip and braking can be placed pretty much at the door of the fitted rubber and a fine set of cantilevers, but getting self and bicycle to the point where that rubber might head in untoward directions, or struggle to take advantage of an arresting of momentum, seems to me to be the preserve of the wheelset. additionally, for one as incompetent as myself, those wheels need to offer bucketloads of confidence.
but as attestation to the versatility previously mentioned, that cyclocross bicycle, still with its set of wheelsmiths attached, has proven worthy in hitherto unpredicted circumstances. for the last few weeks, stretching back to early december, the atlantic ocean has grown angrier by the day, sending gale and stormforce winds to infect the sunday morning ride with unfailing regularity. it must be noted that this particular weekly outing is all but sacrosanct, leading to sunday morning excursions that really ought not to have taken place, had a prior health and safety risk assessment been undertaken.
there is really no bicycle manufactured that will withstand the surreptitious crosswinds that conceal themselves along uiskentuie strand, but a cyclocross machine owns many of the features one would wish to have at one's disposal. on a particularly gale-infested outing, i opted for the ibis, safe in the knowledge that, if i found myself being blown into the path of passing vehicles, i could nip onto the grass-covered dunes and reach debbie's more safely. being felled on tarmac might hurt a bit, but the same happenstance on waterlogged grass considerably less so.
and that is precisely what happened, those wheelsmith hoops making the transition from metalled road to sheep and cattle populated grass without so much as a sneeze in the worng direction.
my recently completed festive 500 was ridden in its entirety aboard that very same ibis hakkalugi for those specific reasons. many of islay's roads ar in far less than pristine condition, while heavy rain and storm-force winds have dribbled substantial dollops of water in places that i'd really rather they hadn't. couple this with the knowledge that during the islay festive season there are more audis, bmws and range rovers inhabiting our kilometres than at any other time of year, and many more off-road excursions become a regular necessity. sad to say, few mainlanders seem to have the faintest idea of what the words 'passing place' actually mean. and if they do, their cubic centimetre fuelled arrogance means they rarely pay any attention.
thus, five hundred at times dramatic kilometres were successfully managed without any hint of trouble from those wheels. granted, many took place on tarmac, but rarely was dipping onto the grass (or, on one occasion being physically blown onto it) part of anyone's cunning plan. no dented rims, no broken spokes, not a sound from the hubs and still as true as the day they arrived from larbert. versatility is a lofty ideal, all the more praiseworthy when it is so convincingly achieved.
my festive season has been immeasurably enhanced both by the ibis and the wheelsmith race twenty-fours. highly recommended.
thursday 2 january 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
i'm not much into this bit. new years, that is. were it not for peer and family pressure to bring in the new year at midnight, i'd be tucked up in my bed fast asleep, oblivious to the drunken idiocy taking place in the village hall and at public hostelries around the island. when i had reached an age at which my parents felt it appropriate for me to remain awake until the first of january arrived, i was extremely disappointed to say the least, that as the clock struck twelve, nothing actually happened. well, nothing other than hugs, kisses, a glass of shloer, a piece of christmas cake and a mince pie.
and that, to put not too fine a point on it, was it.
though surrounded by malt whisky distilleries, i do not indulge in the demon drink, leading to an ease in acquiring new year drumming gigs from my late teenage years onwards. it is apparently hard to engage the services of musicians quite happy to greet the new year with a cup of green tea. percussing into the wee small hours at least provided a suitable reason to remain awake rather than languishing in bed.
however, i am well aware that it is customary and seemly to review the antics of the past year for the edification and amusement of one's readers. some probably expect it, while others are rarely in a fit state to read such nonsense in the first place. i have come across blow by blow accounts of all that has transpired over the past racing season in pretty much every one of the monthlies. i don't mind admitting that after a cursory glance through their pages, nearly all of them went straight into the recycle bin. while this may smack of arrogance at worst, most of the events are too recent and too fresh in the memory to warrant squandering more reading time on.
mind you, some of the pictures were quite good.
however, if you've read this far, you may now be concerned that, despite my vitriol aimed in the direction of all that has been listed above, i'm about to do likewise. fear not. at the end of every week, i manually archive my daily scribblings, all of which can be accessed via the archive link to your left. if you feel sufficiently nostalgic for 2013, feel free to pick and choose in order to create your own 'that was the year that was'. i have no intention of doing it all for you.
however, ahead of mentioning that i intend to take new year's day off and give you all a well-deserved break, i wouldn't mind thanking all those who have supported thewashingmachinepost over the last twelve months, including those who have taken the time to correspond both favourably and otherwise. i still enjoy doing this enough to keep up the daily scribblings for the foreseeable future, and i'm most grateful to all those individuals, manufacturers, publishers and distributors who are happy to send items in my direction for review. it makes me work harder, but that's part of the fun.
see you in 2014.
tuesday 31 december 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................