Scary movies and the boogeyman

I feel like I haven’t written a blog post for ages. It’s just me and the kids here at the moment because Ben has disappeared off on one of his spy trips. I took them to see another film on the weekend. This time we went to Inside Out. It was supposed to be a funny movie but somehow I ended up bawling my eyes out. It’s so embarrassing when that happens in a children’s movie. Both kids loved it and Elizabeth has started making a set of characters from the film out of toilet rolls:


This one is Bing Bong:


I’ve also been reading them Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before bed which is getting quite scary. Even I’m getting scared (despite having read it once before) but I haven’t told them that. Just before Ben left to go gallivanting about Europe he and I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on DVD. It was a great film but absolutely terrifying. Now I wake up alone at 1am and think of this movie which is not good. So I’ve told the kids they can sleep in my bed while we’re reading Harry Potter and they’re scared but really it’s because I’m scared and I’m just pretending that I’m doing them a favour when actually it’s the other way around. Maybe I’ll grow up when I turn 40 :)

My work space

I just got one of those sit/stand desks. I was planning to get myself a desk after moving into our new home because the rental already has a desk and with all of our furniture here + rental house furniture it feels a bit like we’re living in a furniture store. However it’s school holidays at the moment and I’m no longer cycling to and from school twice a day and I was sure I was at risk of developing bed sores from sitting for so long. It was also starting to drive me a bit nuts sitting in a chair hour after hour each day.

Here’s my new desk:


There are supposedly health benefits to using these desks but health benefits aside, there’s also a cool button which lowers and raises the desk, offering hours of entertainment:

Allan Park and Newton Dee

Ben is away in Germany doing some maths at a maths institute in the Black Forest and so the three of us caught up with some friends today and went cycling. We cycled out to Newton Dee which is about 5 miles from Duthie Park along the Deeside Cycleway.

Newton Dee is a village for adults with learning disabilities and special needs where they can live and work and feel like they’re a part of the community. It’s a fabulous place. They have a café, a grocery store, a craft shop, a bakery, a library, and some farm animals. It’s a lovely place to visit and so nice to see meaningful work opportunities for people with disabilities.

We stopped at Allan Park on the way which is a lovely, leafy park between the cycleway and the River Dee. Some pics:



There’s also a playground at Newton Dee. I think Daniel is dreaming about the iPad in this next one:


Bicycle parking just outside the front door:




Craft shop in the café:


My kids’ views on war

Daniel has been asking me questions about the world wars. We’ve been reading the Chronicles of Narnia and the children in the story were evacuated to the country from London at the start of World War II. I’m pretty sure this is what sparked his interest.

I’ve had questions ranging from why did the wars start and why did they end; why were people fighting and that kind of thing. I explained that wars sometimes start because people are fighting over land. World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, wanting to take their land and allowing Germany to expand. Daniel asked me, “Why didn’t they just ask for the land?”. Elizabeth chimed in with, “They don’t have any manners and they don’t know how to share”.

Sometimes kids are smarter than adults :)

First-world kid problems, owls, and cargo bikes

This morning I found Daniel sitting on his bed looking very forlorn and crying to himself. I immediately asked him what was wrong and he said, “I can’t find a good mod”. A mod is an add-on for the computer game, Minecraft. This is definitely a first-world kid problem :)

There was an event on at Duthie Park today so we went along to check it out. They had lots of gardening/wildlife/recycling stands and also some owls. The owl in this next photo is apparently Errol from Harry Potter.


Hedwig has retired but they had a Hedwig lookalike:


Elizabeth brought her own Hedwig toy along and he got to meet one of the owls. I don’t think the owl was very impressed.


Then I saw another cargo bike! Yay! This makes three for Aberdeen now (that I know of). They’re definitely breeding. This is a brand I’ve never heard of before: Urban Arrow. It’s an electric bike and it looked very smart. Cargo bikes give street cred to their passengers and the kid in this next pic – who was the passenger – definitely looks as though he’s got street cred :)


A fountain at Duthie Park.


That’s all!

Hair cut just outside the red zone

Rachel M:

I thought I’d take part in the first post challenge which is doing the rounds in the blogosphere. Thanks, Geoff, for pointing it out. The idea is to link back to your very first post and explain why you wrote it and why you started a blog.

I starting blogging because of the Christchurch earthquakes and so most of my early posts were about living in Christchurch and dealing with my anxiety. Blogging was very therapeutic for me and helped me to cope during this time. Thank you,!

My very first post was about getting my hair cut in Christchurch and how the earthquakes had changed the experience, not just for me, but also for others.

I’m happy to say I no longer feel anxious about earthquakes and getting my hair cut is a very relaxing experience. Living in Scotland probably helps :)

Originally posted on RachelSquirrel:

We ventured into South City yesterday so that I could have a hair cut. South City is in the CBD just outside the cordoned off area, otherwise known as the red zone. I’ve never seen this part of town so quiet.

My hair-dresser has been busy she says but one thing is new: most of her clients are not wanting their hair blown dry. She suspects this is because they just want to get the hell out of the shopping mall before another aftershock strikes. I confess I felt a little the same.

Across the road from the mall is the Smiths City car park. Ever since I moved to NZ almost 6 years ago, I have tried to avoid multi-storey car parks for fear of earthquakes. The Smiths City car park pancaked during the February 22nd earthquake and realised my worst fears. Prior to this, I was able to…

View original 193 more words

An old photo

I came across this old photo of Elizabeth and Ben, taken by Ben’s mum just after Elizabeth had turned 2. It’s such a great photo that I wanted to share it again.


Elizabeth is wearing a washable nappy. I thought she was fully toilet trained by the time she was 2 but my memory must be slightly wrong because this photo was taken in January 2012 and she turned 2 on New Year’s Eve 2011.

We used washable nappies 24/7, even on holidays. I had a bit of a cloth nappy obsession for a while there. Ben called it nappy porn. Our kids both used washable nappies and now a friend of ours is using the very same nappies on her baby. Washable nappies for the win!

A new cycle path for Aberdeen

A new cycle route opened up in Aberdeen this week. It’s a shared walking/cycling path which runs right next to the River Dee. I went and checked it out today and it was just lovely. It’s hard to believe this is in a big city (maybe big is not the best word for Aberdeen?) because it’s so green and leafy and undeveloped-looking that it could easily be in the countryside.



Here’s a map showing where the new cycle path is. I’ve added it as a purple line towards the bottom of this next pic.


The only problem is that once you reach the bridge at the end there isn’t any way to cross without dashing out in front of traffic. It’s a very busy road and the bridge itself has four lanes. Fortunately someone stopped for me and let me cross on one side and on the other I just ran for it with the bike. According to the Aberdeen City Council press release they’re looking into doing something about the crossings thank goodness. It’s nice to see cycling infrastructure like this being built.

Scientific consensus and arguments from authority

A British science journalist who posts to YouTube under the handle Potholer54 has released another video and it’s just as entertaining and informative as all his others. In it he demonstrates how to pick fact from bullshit with a funny commentary.

Why are people so easily duped? A couple of times recently I’ve received some scam calls from someone purporting to be my solicitor and wishing to discuss the car accident I reported. It wasn’t hard for me to figure out that it was a scam because …

a) I don’t own a car
b) I haven’t reported a car accident
c) The caller sounded Indian and the line was was very poor

Some of the things Potholer highlights in the video are just as obvious yet people either ignore them or … I really don’t know. Perhaps before I get too smug I should add that it’s not unusual for me to fall April Fools’ jokes :)

Teenage boys and lacy knickers

Ben’s mum and partner left this morning which was sad as we all had a great time last week and enjoyed their visit very much. Elizabeth in particular was very upset and even a bit teary as they departed. Then Ben left for Cambridge so I decided to take the kids to the movies to lift their spirits. We hardly ever go to the cinema. I can’t even remember when I last took them but they really enjoy it and most children’s films are moderately entertaining for adults too. We saw Minions which was mildly amusing.

Before the movie I ducked into Next to get some new undies for myself. I got three pairs and took them to the counter where I was served by a teenage boy. He got a bit flustered and asked me twice whether I wanted a bag and both times I said, “No”. Then he put the undies in a bag anyway. I also said I didn’t want the hangers but this request seemed to drift over his head as he proceeded to give those to me as well. It was like watching a comedy scene from a movie and was probably more entertaining than Minions. Oh, the trauma of being a teenage boy and holding a pair of lacy knickers!

Stromness to Aberdeen by ferry + train

My post yesterday about Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar was rather rushed because we had to dash for a long day of traveling. But both places were absolutely fascinating. Skara Brae was particularly good. How often do you get to see the house, including furniture, of a Neolithic human? All the walls were still intact. You could see their beds and their version of a pantry and fridge.

The Ring of Brodgar was also an amazing place. As I was walking around it and imagining what ceremonial or religious purpose it might have held for early humans, I couldn’t help thinking what a crock of shit all religions are. In 5000 years from now humans will look back on the religions we have today and wonder what we were thinking just as we do with Neolithic humans and their stone rings.

At breakfast yesterday I found myself feeling nauseated just thinking about the boat trip back to the mainland. This time we caught the ferry from Stromness – a very cute coastal port – to Scrabster on the mainland. It was only 1.5 hours on the ferry and the sea was calm. It was actually a very pleasant trip and as soon as we were out to sea my nausea completely vanished. Oh, the power of the mind. I spent most of the trip crocheting:


There was a play area on the ferry with dress-ups:



It was raining for most of the crossing but we could just make out the cliffs on the island of Hoy in Orkney:


Here’s Scrabster from the sea:


From Scrabster we went to Thurso which is where the train leaves from, had lunch and a walk around before catching the train all the way back to Aberdeen, a trip of about 7 hours.

The landscapes at the start of the journey were quite flat but still pretty. There were lots of green fields with sheeps, cows, and plantation pine. Then it got hillier and we passed beach, loch, and firth. Here are some pics from the train:






On the front page of the local paper for Inverness was this:


Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae

We visited some more neolithic sites yesterday. First stop was The Standing Stones o’ Stenness and the nearby and well-known Ring of Brodgar. Both are stone circles about 5000 years old. The stones are huge and heavy and would have been quite difficult to move and stand upright in their positions. Why did humans build these stone circles? They must performed some kind of ceremonial purpose but what exactly no-one knows.

The next two pics are of the Stones o’ Stenness.



The Ring of Brodgar.





Next stop was Skara Brae, a neolithic village built out of stone and in remarkably good condition. It was built about 4,500 years ago and much of their furniture was also built out of stone and is still there to see. I was impressed by the quality of the construction – I’ve seen shoddier homes built by humans today.






Our last stop was the Broch of Gurness, an iron-age village with a central stone tower.




Orkney and the Tomb of the Eagles with puking and ticks

We’re in Orkney. We caught the ferry from Aberdeen yesterday afternoon and arrived here just before midnight last night. The ferry stops in Kirkwall, Orkney a few times each week on its way to Shetland. Here’s a map showing the route we took on the ferry and also the route we plan to take back. We’ll be catching a much shorter ferry back to the mainland and then catching the train from Thurso all the way back to Aberdeen.

When we went to Shetland by ferry a couple of months ago it was relatively calm. Last night was not so. I needn’t have bothered buying dinner because I puked it all up, traumatising Daniel in the process. I didn’t make it to the toilet and had to use one of those paper bags, similar to the ones they provide on aeroplanes. I can remember hearing Daniel say, “I’m not going to look,” and then he shuffled as far away from me as he possibly could. I couldn’t wait to get off that boat and am quite pleased we’ll be catching the train home. We all felt queasy but I’m the only one who puked. Here I am prior to getting sick.


Today we went exploring and saw a fascinating archaeological site: The Tomb of the Eagles. Some pics of the scenery on the way there:





The next photo is a Bronze Age burnt mound. It was a building which was using to heat water. There’s a large pool in the centre which holds about 1000 litres of water and a nearby fire was used to heat stones, which they put in the pool to warm the water. They don’t know what the heated water was used for but two possible theories are either for boiling an entire animal like a lamb as a way to cook it or for bathing.


Nearby is a neolithic tomb where human skeletons, pottery, and various other artefacts were placed some 5000 years ago. This is the Tomb of the Eagles. Entry is via a small tunnel which you either need to crawl through or pull yourself through on a trolley.




Ben is crouched on the floor in this next photo peering into one of the caverns off to the side in the tomb where a number of skulls were found. They also found eagle skeletons here, hence the name. Ben’s mum and her partner are here on holiday with us.IMG_2096_2

After the tomb we went for lunch where I noticed what looked like a scab on the back of Elizabeth’s neck. On closer inspection it turned out to be a tick so we promptly left and made a dash for Kirkwall hospital to have it removed. Elizabeth had a good look at the tick after they plucked it from her neck. It was wriggling about with legs flailing on the end of some tweezers. I think she would have taken it home to be her pet if she’d been allowed. Here’s a pic I took of it just before it was removed. It was still quite small so I think we got it almost right away.



I want to make a comment about the scientist Tim Hunt, who was recently sacked for making some disparaging remarks about women. They weren’t exactly disparaging but they were not complimentary and although I think his intention was to be funny, they were not. However I don’t think this is a good reason for him to have lost his job. We don’t sack people for making politically incorrect remarks. 

There’s something disturbingly extremist about what happened to Tim Hunt. It’s not unlike the Islamic extremists who murder cartoonists for poking fun at their religion. We have to allow people to say what they want, no matter how unfunny or offensive it might seem. We don’t want a society like ISIS where people are not free to speak their mind. We definitely don’t want to sack someone for something they’ve said especially when they work in a University.

As a woman, I also want to be able to make fun of men from time to time. For instance, when my husband goes looking for something without success I accuse him of having a manlook. When men get sick they get manflu. There’s also mansplaining and mantrum and and various other derogatory words about men that are quite useful. Women can’t be sensitive when it goes the other way or we risk losing the freedom to do the same thing ourselves. 

I’m on holiday this week and we’re off to somewhere exciting for a few days! 

Castle Fraser

We went to another castle yesterday, Castle Fraser, which is about 16 miles west of Aberdeen. It’s a Scottish baronial castle built in the 15th century. Like all of the castles we’ve visited so far it is surrounded by gardens and woods with lots of lovely walks. There was also a wonderful children’s playground which was not like a modern playground at all but was set in a wooded area with play equipment made out of vines. Elizabeth just loved it. Here are some pics of the playground.




The castle gardens were magnificent but I’m yet to visit a castle that does not have a magnificent walled garden.



Here are some photos of the castle itself but none of the inside because photos were not allowed.






The wooded area on the estate is managed with the help of the Forestry Commission and there were lots of young saplings which was good to see. There was also a field of very healthy and happy-looking cows. There were calves there too, including one in this next photo, drinking milk from their mothers. This is something rarely seen these days since we separate mothers from their babies at a very young age so we can take their milk instead. I can’t say enough how much this disturbs me given that we don’t need to drink milk from cows in order to survive. We are stealing the milk that is meant for a baby for our own convenience and without any good justification for doing so. This why I don’t drink milk.


Mr Lemon

Elizabeth drew a face on a lemon the other day and now takes the thing with her everywhere. She even took it to school today.


Unfortunately the waxy surface of the lemon is not a very good surface for drawing anything permanent and the face invariably rubs off. Last night she woke up in the middle of the night upset because she couldn’t see the face. She ended up going downstairs by herself, found a pen, and drew the face back on. Then, feeling satisfied again, hopped back into bed and went to sleep. If only we could solve all the problems in the world by drawing faces on lemons.

To Aberdeen by bicycle via Drum Castle

We cycled back from Banchory to Aberdeen yesterday and it was rather hellish. I thought I was going to die. We arrived home and I collapsed in a heap with a very sore butt and feeling sorry for myself. I’ve decided to give up cycling for good. Just kidding :)

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Banchory Lodge and none of us wanted to leave on Sunday morning. I love these British hotels that are each unique, without the soulless furnishings of a large hotel chain, and also a little rough around the edges. We stuffed our faces at breakfast and enjoyed lovely views of the River Dee.IMG_1891



Here’s the view from my chair:


I like this photo of the kids and the painting above them:


The day started rainy and overcast so I was thinking we’d have a nice cool cycle back to Aberdeen and dressed accordingly but the sun came out and it got hot again.


A close-up of the flowers behind me in that previous pic:


Someone yesterday asked to see a photo of my hairy legs. Here you go:


Ok, so that’s not really a photo of my hairy legs :)

A couple of pics outside the lodge before we left:



The part of the Deeside cycleway between Banchory and Crathes is just lovely; my favourite part of the whole trip. It’s very leafy, quiet, flat, and right beside the River Dee. This particular section is not tarmac but it was still easy enough to cycle along. It was not like the gravelly bits in some of the other places which I found quite arduous. Busby is not a mountain bike and cycling on gravel is hard. The section between Drumoak and Peterculter is the worst part with lots of gravel and hills. In fact, it’s so awful that we went back an alternative route which was better.

We wanted to visit Drum Castle on the way home which is slightly off the track so we ventured away from the cycleway and along the main road to the castle. We were so exhausted by the time we got there that I think we spent more time resting in the castle café than walking around the castle itself. We’re going to have to go back for another visit to see it properly. There was quite a long hill up to the castle and I ended up making the kids get out of the bike and walk the last stretch. Cycling uphill without kids was easy peasy. I’m seriously considering getting an electric motor for my bike.



Drum Castle is gorgeous even though we didn’t even get to see it all. The grounds are huge and there are lots of walks you can do as well as a children’s playground. The café is right at the bottom of the castle in what looks like the old kitchen. Since we spent so much time in there here are a couple of pics of it:



Aberdeen Art Gallery is currently undergoing some renovations and the collections have been moved to various other locations in the area including to Drum Castle. This means that not only is there all the usual stuff to see at a castle – gardens, woods, architecture, furniture, history, sculptures etc – there’s also an art gallery. It was just lovely.

Eventually we hopped back on our bikes for the final stretch home. Unfortunately I drank too many cups of tea in the café and ended up desperate for the dunny the whole way back. I couldn’t very well crouch behind a bush after all my rants about men pissing in the city centre so I had to put up with the discomfort. I’ve probably given myself permanent kidney damage now. This along with a headache, sore throat, sore arse, and a general feeling of un-wellness made what was really only a 1-2 hour trip feel more like 4 hours. But I made it home without wetting my pants and that’s the main thing :)

To Banchory on the Deeside cycleway

We stayed in Banchory last night and I’m typing this from a very comfortable hotel bedroom. For a little while now we’ve been wanting to extend our cycle ride on the Deeside cycleway but felt that Aberdeen to Crathes and back was about our limit given we’ve got small kids and the Bakfiets. If wanted to go further we’d need to stay overnight. So about a month ago we booked a hotel in Banchory and made plans to cycle to Banchory on the Saturday, spend the night here, then cycle back to Aberdeen on the Sunday.

When you book in advance though you can’t predict the weather or other unknown factors and we all woke up yesterday morning feeling sick. Elizabeth has had a cold all week and vomited on the Friday night. I woke up with a headache, burning throat, and generally feeling under the weather. Ben also felt unwell. Only Daniel felt fine. But we couldn’t cancel our trip and we were all looking forward to it so off we went anyway.

I didn’t feel as energetic as the last time so we took it slowly and enjoyed the surroundings. It was also really hot and muggy. One of the things I love about a cool climate is that I get to wear tights everyday and because of this I haven’t shaved my legs for months. My husband loves me hairy legs and all and so I don’t really see the need to do it and I just can’t be bothered. It was so hot yesterday though that I had to take my tights off and bare my hairy legs – shock, horror!

Here’s a pic of the kids in the bike – one on the iPad, the other having a nap, and both picking their noses by the looks of it.


Ben also had some cargo as you can see in this next photo and we spent much of the ride in the vein of the Four Yorkshire Men discussing who had it the hardest.


This dress of mine is more than 20 years old. I don’t remember it being quite as tight as this so it must have shrunk while hanging in my wardrobe :)


Some of the sights:






Rachel declaiming:


We cycled past lots of productive agricultural land including this field of wheat or oats or barley. I can’t tell the difference. Does anyone know? There were lots of fields like this and they never seem to have any sort of irrigation there. They must get enough water from the sky.


I love getting somewhere under my own steam. There’s something satisfying about that and also about enjoying the sounds and smells of the countryside which is something you don’t get sitting inside a car. However while I’m happy to struggle during the travel part, I like my creature comforts at the other end. So we booked a room at the fabulous Banchory Lodge. It’s right on the river and I can look outside our bedroom right now and see the River Dee. The Deeside cycleway pretty much cycles right to the lodge. Here’s a view of the Lodge from the outside:


Some pics of the River Dee outside the hotel:




The nearby Falls of Feugh:

Vegan macaroni cheese recipe

I haven’t shared a recipe for a while and last night I cooked a vegan version of macaroni and cheese which my kids love and so do we. It’s adapted from a recipe called Sunflower Mac in one of the best vegan cookbooks on the market, Isa Does It.

My sister told me recently that the photos I put on my blog to accompany recipes often look like vomit. This is the nice thing about sisters: they tell you the truth when others are too polite to say it :) I’m still going to include a photo with this recipe but it’s not very good and possibly looks more like vomit than food. This is partly because I forgot to take a photo and we’d all licked our bowls clean before I realised. So I had to scrape the remains from the saucepan and put them in a little ramekin. This is all there was left. Is a bad photo better than no photo?



1 cup of cashews finely ground (I grind them in a coffee grinder)
2 carrots thinly sliced
1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp tomato paste
Juice from one lemon

I don’t cook with salt but feel free to add some salt to taste.

Fry the onions and carrots for about 10 minutes until soft then add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Cook the pasta while the onions and carrots are frying.

Remove the onion mixture from the heat and add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, ground cashews, and lemon juice. Use a stick mixer to mix it all up into a smooth paste. Add the flour and return it to the heat for a few minutes to thicken the sauce.

When the pasta is done, pour the sauce over the top and mix well. Serve and eat!

The original version of this recipe users sunflower seeds instead of cashew nuts for people who are allergic to nuts.

The Hövding invisible helmet – a review

I’ve been using the Hövding – the invisible helmet – for a week now and I thought I’d write about the experience so far. I’m wearing it in this next photo (NB: the helmet is the black collar around my neck. It’s an airbag which deploys in the event of a crash):


When I first put it on it felt strange. I imagine this is how a dog feels when it’s first trained to wear a collar. I wear scarves all the time but this felt different. There’s a hard piece at the back and so it’s not soft like a scarf. I’m guessing this is where the sensors are located.

The instructions that came with the Hövding discuss this and say that over time it softens up. The hard piece at the back will never soften up but I can imagine the fabric probably will. However after a week of use it no longer feels quite so strange. It’s not comfortable to wear when you’re walking because the weight at the back pulls the front of it against my neck and I feel as though I’m being strangled. However this is not a problem when you’re on the bike. The reason they’ve done this is because when you’re cycling you’re slightly bent forwards and they didn’t want the weight hanging in front and creating a strain on your neck. Instead it sits at the top of your back which is better ergonomically. It just means that as soon as I get off my bike I take it off, which I suppose is fine since it’s not needed anyway. When I’m cycling it sits comfortably and I don’t notice it. It’s not heavy at all but it’s not weightless either. Here’s a photo from the back so you can see what I’m talking about.


It’s very easy to put on and take off. There’s a zip and a button where the button activates the sensors that deploy the airbag. This means you can walk around with it unbuttoned without the risk that it will deploy. Knowing me I’ll forget to unbutton it one day, trip over on the pavement, and end up with the air bag around my head feeling stupid. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen.

When I was researching the effectiveness of helmets one thing that came up was that helmet wearers potentially take greater risks because of the perceived safety benefits of wearing a helmet. This is very hard to measure of course and so there are no conclusive facts for how big an effect this is, if any, but I have noticed a difference in my own cycling. I’ve been cycling on the roads more for a start and although subconsciously, I think I’m taking more risks. I think it’s because previously I had the thought in the back of my mind that if I did have an accident people would say accusingly, “She wasn’t even wearing a helmet”. At least if I get hit by a truck and die I can now die feeling righteous :)

Overall I’m very happy with the Hövding. The main benefit for me is I can wear my hair in a bun with 100 pins in it without having to pull every single one out just to put on a plastic helmet. In winter I’ll be able to wear my beanie. All I need to do is zip and button up the collar. I think it’s fairly unobtrusive as well and easily blends in with most outfits. The Hövding requires charging but this is also very easy as it charges via USB so I just plug it in every few days as I do my iPhone. Most importantly though, it aces safety tests.

A friend once said to me, helmets make cycling look sporty and dangerous. Cycling can be both things but it can also be neither. Although I’ve got a Hövding now I still view the sort of cycling I do – commuter cycling – as very safe. It would be even safer if more people cycled and the infrastructure was better, but there’s nothing I can do about either of those things.