There was only ever one thing that I wanted for my birthday and that was this bicycle: a pistachio green Dawes Duchess. I spotted her just after Christmas in a cycle shop nearby, and whenever I was passing, I'd pop in to have another look. My various family members all agreed that they would chip in to raise the necessary funds when the time came. Then, a couple of weeks before my birthday, my husband rang the shop to place his order, only to be told that the Duchess had been discontinued.
We were sure we'd probably be able to find one via the internet, even though we prefer to shop local, but after six or seven tries, we'd got nowhere. I'd resigned myself to the fact that there would be no Duchess for me. I couldn't find another model that was so lightweight, yet with a vintage look. There are some beautiful cycles out there, but they are very pricey....
Anyway, a few days later, a large package was delivered to the house and my husband was looking very pleased with himself. He had managed to track down a green Duchess, from a small shop in Newcastle - and here she is. I love this bike. It's such a comfortable ride, with a very low cross bar, and high handle bars. I plan to try and replace some of my regular car journeys with cycle rides instead, as petrol prices continue to soar, and our village has just had its skeleton bus service removed (a victim of the cuts).
You'll be seeing more pictures of the Duchess in due course.