It’s tough when your kids don’t have any friends at school. That has been the case for Daniel until this year. He was put into the wrong year when we first arrived and was the youngest in his class both in age and maturity. The children were all nice to him but they didn’t view him as a peer. We pushed hard last year to have him repeat the year – there was resistance from the school because their philosophy is to teach to the individual rather than move individuals around to suit teachers. While I agree in principle, our concern was not so much with academic progress than with socialisation. Finally we got our way and he’s repeating primary 5 this year and made friends fairly quickly at the start of the school year.

A couple of weeks ago he got his very first birthday invitation for a party today at Laser Tag. We cycled there on Busby in the pouring rain. Here’s where car drivers get to look smug in their nice warm cars. I got absolutely soaked and discovered that my waterproof raincoat isn’t very waterproof.

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I was hot when I got there, thanks to the cycle ride, but after an hour of sitting indoors in wet clothing I started shivering and developing hyperthermia.

After laser tag they had a go on the climbing wall. Daniel did pretty well.

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When you cycle places it’s easier to stop and enjoy the surroundings which in this case was a marvellous display of daffodils on the banks of the River Dee.

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They beach is always nice to look at except for the oil tankers on the horizon.

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13 thoughts on “Making friends at school and cycling in the rain

  1. It took me a long time to learn how to dress properly for the rain. Once I had the right waterproof gear, I began enjoying my rides more, and went out more often. Since you are a dedicated cyclist, I’d suggest you invest in waterproof gear, particularly living where you do.

  2. I remember a quote from my old Chemistry teacher, who said “water’s not very good at getting you wet” – he was discussing soap molecules which have a hydophilic end and another end that attaches to fats/grease. The point being that our skin, with a fine layer of oil is, on its own, a good water repellant. As a consequence I cycle in the rain wearing as little as is comfortable (lycra shorts mandatory) and carry “respectable” clothing to change into. Works for me, but then again I live with wussy East Anglian rain …

    1. Yes, that makes sense but it sounds cold. I know you warm up when cycling but I often don’t go very fast and I need a jumper and coat or something.

      1. Yeah, your top half needs to keep warm, because its not doing any work, but you may find you are more comfortable with less on your legs (and something to change into at the end). Cycling in the rain means that your legs get wetter than walking, cos they aren’t beneath you, and putting them in waterproofs just makes them sticky with sweat. Anyway, that’s what I’ve found …

  3. This year you’re getting a small floating wind farm just up the coast, although I’m sure it won’t be visible. Possibly on a clear day from ~ Peterhead, if you get up there. It’s only six turbines, basically a prototype operational farm for Statoil’s red hot new floating turbine design which I think will sweep the world in the next 10 years. Floating wind is very important going forward since the best wind resource is often out of reach of fixed (to the bottom) offshore wind. It’s a huge deal for California since while we have the best offshore wind resource in the world we’re also on an active plate margin that leaves very little shallow water suitable for fixed turbines. The Peterhead installation won’t be all that far out, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing a boat tour might be possible. Maybe pick up an “I visited Doggerland” sticker for Busby. 😉

    1. That sounds very exciting. Peterhead isn’t far from us so next time we’re up that way I’ll look out for it. Are they planning to build more in the area once they’ve finished the prototype?

  4. I suspect the Scottish gov’t wants to see how this one performs before approving more. The turbine design is new and so far there’s just one that’s been operated. But assuming the farm does well over the coming winter, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more very soon. The installation is called Hywind if you want to check out the details. Interestingly the company is Statoil, which unlike most other oil companies seems to see wind as a way to survive long-term. According to them the tech has a lot of similarities with drilling platforms.

    1. That is so great! Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t heard yet. Scotland is doing very well so far in reaching emission targets but this is partly due to a warmer climate and less demand for winter heating.

      1. It is nice to see, but we’re still in the low-hanging fruit phase of things. We’ll see how our “green” politicians react when it comes time for leadership on the hard part.

  5. I’m glad Daniel has some friends now and you managed to get what was best for him in repeating a year. I think it’s a huge thing when children aren’t getting on with people around them, usually just due to circumstances and individual personalities, nothing to do with the child themselves.

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