Posted by: Emily | November 15, 2009

The art of waffle

A few years ago, I had a boyfriend who took great delight in pointing out my, seemingly endless, flaws. One particular Emily-bugbear of his was what he called my ‘waffling’ (he had many others, but I don’t think there’s time to go into all of them in this post). We’d be chatting via IM and if my message exceeded some magic adjective-to-word-count ratio, or whatever it was that triggered his waffle-o-meter, I’d get the one word, full caps, response: “WAFFLE”. Looking back on this now, aside from wondering why I didn’t just tell him to waffle off, I have to feel sorry for him. There are clearly times when it’s best to just get to the point and be as clear and concise as possible. What a shame, and how boring would it be, though if this was always the case.  I’m as capable of replying to ‘How are you?’ with ‘Fine’ as the next person and it’s often the response I give when asked. Maybe the mistake I was making was assuming that this guy genuinely wanted to know how I was feeling. Silly me. Now I don’t deny that I can get a touch overenthusiastic about things and this may translate into me being somewhat effusive, some may say verbose. But we’re talking online chat here. I wasn’t submitting a thesis for critical review.  In his defence, he no doubt thought he was doing me a favour. Maybe he was, but probably not in the way that he intended.

You may be wondering what on earth this has to do with cycling and thinking maybe my ex had a point on the waffling front. Bear with me, I’m getting there. As with writing, there are times with cycling that you simply want to get from A to B in the quickest and most economical way possible. Head down, peddle fast and don’t stop at the red lights (unless there’s a policeman watching). Then there are other times when you want to try a different route. Maybe a longer, less direct way. When, just for the love of cycling, you want to head out with no clear sense of direction. Just see where you end up and what you find. No agenda, mission or particular need. The weather is lovely here in London today so I’m going to get out on my bike and waffle my way to who knows where. To anyone reading this, I suggest you do the same. You never know what you might discover.



  1. […] My ride today was a little different from Emily’s meanderings around London. I took a day off yesterday but the crisp autumn weather drew me out this morning. Although there […]

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