Finally, the Pan has been collected by a courier service and has gone back North to Porridgeland, where it started its earthly career in the keeping of Strathclyde's finest.
I felt sorry for the buyer. He clearly wanted the bike as soon as possible, and paid me straight away by Paypal the night the auction ended, but it has taken his chosen courier company until now to collect it. That's almost a fortnight. Admittedly the Bank Holiday weekend came in between, but they seem to have strung him along with feeble excuses and broken promises and he has been most apologetic to me. I told him that it would be fair to give me at least a day's notice of when they were arriving, so that I could arrange to be home. In the end, they told him it would be today, so I stayed in all day in anticipation. Eventually, I got a call at 3 pm, telling me that the driver was only two miles away but couldn't find me. Well, that would be why we told you to phone first, wouldn't it? You see, we live here and we know that your satnav will take you to the wrong junction, and that you will end up asking your way in the pub. It's happened to every courier for the last 20 years, so we tried to make things easier for you. But you know best.
The van driver didn't seem to know much about bikes (he even wanted me to ride the bike up the ramp into the van, which I politely declined on insurance grounds), but he strapped it down and went on his way. He had another two to collect before returning North, and I'm pretty sure they weren't going to fit in the space he had left. I hope my buyer gets his bike undamaged.
Normally at this point there would be a small amount of moisture in the corner of one eye. Not with this bike. I have said this before, but although it was immensely capable and magnificently comfortable and speedy, I never actually loved it. I am far more upset by what the sale represents (the final abandonment of our plans to go round Europe together, following Anna's illness) than the loss of the bike. Anna was sorrier to see it go than I was, and for this reason.
But some chap in the Edinburgh region is getting a heck of a bargain, and a fantastic bike to tour on. I wish him well.