It seems that it's my tiny little delicate paws that are the difficulty. I simply wasn't pushing the end of the pump hard enough on to the valve on the bike tyre. The Sage has succeeded in pumping up the tyre now, and so I can go out and do my shopping by bicycle. Yay.
You can probably tell, that was a yay said without much enthusiasm. It's only because I wish to support my local shops that I don't buy everything on the internet. It was jolly useful when Al had his shop, I could ring him up and ask him to bring stuff home with him. He did deliver in fact, and one of his customers used to phone all the local shops, get them to deliver what she wanted to him and then he would take it all to her. She was elderly and couldn't get out easily and it was ideal, saving time and trouble for everyone. Everyone for Al, that is, but he was going to her anyway so it was little more bother.
I was talking to Weeza tonight on the phone. I rang to see how she is: fine, still pregnant. It's Zerlina's birthday in less than two weeks and we were talking about her presents and what to get her that she will be able to use with little or no help. Weeza was a bit rueful about the thought that she won't get all the attention for much longer. "You might not have thought much about having siblings when you were young," I said. "You must be glad of them now though. Just think, otherwise, your father and I would be your entire responsibility." She acknowledged that it is a burden she is glad to be able to share. Especially now that we realise how puny my finger muscles are.