I cheered on Chris Hoy; fell in love with Laura Trott; yearned again to be freewheeling on two wheels. But cash was tight. What to do?
I popped into Mr Sharif’s corner shop on my way to work. What was this? Haldeman’s Chocolate were giving away ten golden bikes. Just check inside the wrapper for lucky tokens. I counted out £2, purchased two bars.
I didn’t open them until lunchtime. “No Win This Time”.
I was hooked. I generally prefer crisps to chocolate but each day I was giving Mr Sharif the shopkeeper an extra pound. Haldeman’s was a bit sickly, so I shared it out with my colleague Angie. She accepted with a smile. Maybe she thought I was slyly chatting her up. Maybe I was.
Friday morning. I had five 20ps left in my wallet. Enough for one bar.
The wrapping felt different. I opened it straightaway. “Lucky Winner” read the card. I jumped for joy like I’d won an Olympic medal. I pictured myself cycling the parks and streets of London in the sunshine, mudguards gleaming.
“What is it?” Mr Sharif asked.
My trembling fingers showed him the winning token. With a smile, he removed it from my hand, reached under the counter and produced a cellophane box. Containing a jewelled brooch. In the shape of a bicycle.
“It’s pretty, yes?” he beamed.
“There must be some mistake,” I blustered.
All those pound coins. All that chocolate. Just to be fooled by a matter of scale. All those calories that I’d never burn off now. Mr Sharif passed me the box.
“Is nice present for your lady.”
I nodded. Maybe he was right.