Peely-wally

According to my mom, my Scottish step-father apparently used to say he was feeling ‘peely-wally’ when he was in a bit of a funk. I just checked the definition online and I’m wondering how Scottish he really was – it seems that ‘peely-wally’ refers to how someone looks – ‘pale and sickly in appearance’. Tootlepedal, you’ll have to set me straight on this one, but for now I’m using the stepfather definition.

Two days ago I was going to write this post on the general malaise I’ve been feeling lately, but my peely-wally prevented me from doing it. I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee this morning, so feel fortified enough to see it through.

I think that Covid is finally getting to me psychologically, which shouldn’t be a big surprise, but it is anyway. I’m the kind of person who has his head firmly in the future most of the time (or the past, the older I get), making plans for bike trips, paying off the mortgage, the occasional vacation, and bike tours of course. All this has been taken away from us for the moment, so I’m finding myself gazing at my navel a lot. Living in the present is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I am communicating with enough people to know that I’m not alone in this and I have friends who are losing their usual motivation when it comes to cycling. I’m doubtful that the Tour du Mont Blanc will even run this year, but I think this is not necessarily a bad thing because I’m not doing the work I need to do to survive it. I’m riding, and riding is never ‘bad’, but there’s an aspect that’s lacking now for the most part. I get many of my bright ideas when I’m riding, for example, but now when they come up I often have to put them aside because I know I can’t act on them.

In the ‘outer world’, everything is fine. I still have the job that pays that mortgage and the French government is keeping the cycling company afloat. I’m all too aware that I’m in a supremely privileged position simply by living where I am in the world, so I’m not complaining. This is just my statement of peely-wallyness .

How’s everyone else doing out there?

17 thoughts on “Peely-wally

  1. I feel similar. Very difficult to get motivated. As for cycling events, I think there is a chance smaller events like TMB and RAF might happen, expecially RAF which is a no drafting allowed event, and no mass start (riders start one at a time and are not supposed to ride together). Something like Etape du Tour seems impossible though…

    Here’s to hoping spring weather will entice us to ride more.

    • At least the weather is forcing me out of bed earlier. That’s a good start.

      I think that if our funk is connected to France’s Covid situation, it’ll be a little while before we feel better. Hopefully that’s not the case.

  2. Having lived in Scotland for 30 years (but not Scottish) I can confirm that peely-wally means looking ‘under the weather’. My Scottish wife tells me it means ‘pale’. On the subject of motivation, I’m cycling but like you without much intent or focus. Aiming for some longer bikepacking type rides this year, exploring new places in Scotland: rides in Europe will have to wait until 2022.

    • Jules, thanks for the confirmation. I’m sure my step-father knew what he was talking about, so it must be my mom’s memory!

      Bikepacking Scotland is an excellent idea. I’m going to do the same in France when restaurants reopen.

  3. Very similar here. I’ve been fortunate to still have my job as well. Ginette has been doing Work out Zoom classes for her ladies and getting paid and she is now back at the community center doing 4 classes a week.

    As for the riding, I’ve been on the bike almost every day doing one workout or another even when I don’t feel like it, It helps with the doldrums. we also go out for a 45 minute Hike in the woods every day, Nature has a way of grounding you. The bike project has been front and center to keep me busy this year and we are also looking forward to buying a house in Terra Nova to keep things interesting. Not sure this would have crossed our minds if it wasn’t for all this thinking we do sitting down these days. These have all been great distractions but it doesn’t replace living with a purpose knowing that you can plan for next week, next month or that trip you wanted to take.

    • Have noticed that you and Ginette have been doing little hikes. That’s a great way to ‘ground’, as you say. I actually bought a new pair of boots yesterday, so ready for another year of walking in the hills.

      Do you have a timeframe for Nova Scotia? We are also starting to look at moving, but not sure when or where.

      • Well that’s a big question, the buying is happening very quickly, another offer going in tomorrow. Ginette would move before I do and I will go back and forth for a while. Hopefully in a month we should have a place closing and done.

        • Woah, I was expecting ‘years’! Well, that’s a big move for sure. What town are you looking in right now…I’ll get our Google Maps!

      • In the Annapolis Valley, could be anywhere as everything is driving or cycling close. Right now, I’m looking at Kingston which is close to Greenwood but we could end up in Windsor or out towards Digby for all we know. Not really fuzzy as the whole Valley is pretty gorgeous. Yeah, it is big move but time for the next phase of our life. Preparing for that semi retirement can take a few years, might as well have a house to go to. I will let you know how it goes.

  4. Had an event in the Pyrenees i had planned for in june, i also doubt it will go ahead, so as per last year, it’ll be a 200km (on the same day) ride in Devon/Cornwall instead, with no target, its easy to drift into jra.

  5. Peely-wally definitely means looking and feeling poorly (pale). But I quite agree about the feeling a bit pale about the pandemic. I haven’t been very perky myself lately at all.

  6. GREAT vocabulary term! Thanks for that.

    My MTB was getting tired of my kvetching, so I sent it to the spa for a couple of weeks to get a full fork- and shock-rebuild. New chain, cassette, and rubber on the way as well.

    Poor snow year here and skiing season is winding down. Nevertheless last night I gave one pair of skis a through tune up.

    Bottom line, at least I could do something nice for the innocent bystanders. Now I just have to work on being that nice to actual people.

    • Yes, a good word, even if I got the definition wrong. Then again, so is ‘kvetching’!

      I remember you being very nice, Tony, but then again, John and I were ensuring you were well fed and full of wine. Those ‘actual people’ need to step up their game!

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