13th February 2024:

I push my bike along the pavement into driving rain because the road is too dangerous to risk cycling on at this hour. My yellow raincoat is starting to leak. Lorries splash my legs as I listen to Paul Simon sing “..drop off the key, Lee – And get yourself free” through my headphones beneath the dripping hood.

The zip comes up to my nose and the peak of the hood covers my eyebrows so that my two darkened eyes and my nose are the only features visible. I look like a wet wotsit. How did it come to this? My neck is aching and mascara runs down my cheeks.

Where are the good vibes? Will there be sunshine round the next corner? No – only a Tesco delivery van in a long queue of traffic, so close to the pavement that I can see the mud sliding down its wheel arches. My hands are cold and wet inside wool gloves. I stop at a small shop next to the newsagents and lean my bike up against the glass. There is a lotus flower in the window and a woman sitting behind a small desk which has a brass Buddha bowl placed on the edge. I go inside.

“How much is a neck, back and shoulder massage, please?”

The Thai lady asks me how long do I want to be massaged and when? “Why you not telephone instead of parking your ‘Lamborghini’ on top my window?” she laughs.

I smile and tell her my Lamborghini is very fast. Faster than the telephone.

“Only take cash – no cards” she says. “It’s £30 for 30 minutes or £55 for an hour”. My shoulders are killing me.

I don’t have any cash with me and, without considering what more important things I could use the money for, I book in for half an hour tomorrow afternoon.

It will be a Valentine’s Day gift to myself