Introducing Gwladys

^^ definitely sunglasses weather^^

Meet Gwladys. Pronounced Gladys. I was wandering around Broadway market about a month ago when stumbled upon this little red ball of fire. She was on sale for a song in a bike repair shop, locked up in a row with a lots of shiny new road bikes.

Gwladys is definitely not a shiny new road bike. Wherever she came from her previous owners gave her a fair share of knocks and tumbles. She's all scratches and rust, but she's got character.

That's why her name is spelled with a W. To really understand what it is to be called Gwladys spelled with a W you need to watch THIS clip so that P. G. Wodehouse can explain just how girls named Gwladys with a W really are  (watch a few seconds from 6:39 until Tuppy walks in announcing his engagement).

Just like Jeeves said, Gwladys is not known for her reliability. For example, on the way to the post office this afternoon her breaks broke - which was fun as I was carrying a package under one arm and steering with the other.

But she's a fearless little thing! You have to be to ride around the streets of London. That's why she is also named for Flavia de Luce's legendary charger; also red, also brave as a lion, and also named Gladys (not spelled with a W). If you haven't read the Flavia de Luce books you absolutely should. It's one of those series that I wish I could go back and read again for the first time. Start with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

I now spend the best part of my evenings and weekends careering around Hackney with Gwladys, trying not to run over cats or crash into anything. Much like I did when I was twelve. We make a pretty good team, her and I.