And then there was an incident involving Jen's toes and the front wheel. It was pretty bad. The toes needed stitches and the front wheel lost a couple of spokes.
After that Bones sat around not really doing anything for almost a year until I had a couple of spare days of the christmas break. After replacing the broken spokes, there wasn't much more I could do for the wheels apart from scrape off the worst of the rust.
The rest of the bike I stripped (even successfully removing the cottered cranks --- previously a source of problems --- using a new hammer and Sheldon Brown's excellent guide) and sanded, with help from N. The shiny steel and the effect of streaks of old paint seemed too nice to cover up so Bones got a few coats of clear gloss and a grease before he was rebuilt. The result is pretty smart looking if I do say so myself. The frame is a little small for me, especially with the short seat-post, so he gives me a bit of knee pain going up hills, but with bikes, sometimes you have to suffer for your fashion.