One of my regular dog walking routes is along by Settle's telephone exchange. Not far from the water tower it presumably serves a large slice of the Dales and maybe will one day enable us to have super fast broadband.
Normally on these expeditions I do not see a soul but today's 0830 poo-bag perambulation was unusual. As we got to the far end of the building Bess and I were surprised by two cyclists appearing from behind the telephone exchange. My mind raced to constabulary days and several explanations crossed my mind.
Both rode posh bikes and wore the full Lycra kit plus streamlined sunglasses and Martian hats. He was in front and she followed, looking as embarrassed as anybody in Lycra and sunglasses can look. I challenged them fearlessly.
"Hello (hello, hello). Are you two into telephone exchanges then?"
Mental cogs whirred almost audibly.
She answered first. "He works in there" she offered with a nervous laugh.
You need to know that judging by the number of times the pavement outside the exchange is dug up, there are problems. "Yes" he confirmed with an air of melancholy, "I'm the gaffer".
Explanations accepted they went on their way and Bess filled her bag.
I bet they are entertaining their Lycra buddies with a version of this tale right now at some watering hole on a summers day.
GCHQ - please forward as considered necessary.