29 May 2017

29th May 2017 Killers: Imortality or anonymity?


Monday 29th 55F, 13C, overcast, patchy, distant mist and breezy. Hopefully the heatwave is over.

My recent near miss, as a pedestrian, by a blond using her phone while driving, was brought home by a UK statistic on the BBC News website: In 2015, in the UK alone, 22 people died and 99 were seriously injured by drivers using mobile phones. 

That is a greater number than those injured by the ugly, retarded fuckwit[s] who pointlessly blew up children at a teenage pop concert in Manchester. Why are terrorists so utterly terrified of little girls? Is it a desire for revenge because of some perceived sleight over their own ugliness, by their [culturally inferior] sister? Perhaps I should have put that in words of no more than two syllables? Whatever.

Who are the real terrorists? Raving lunatics hoping for immortality? Or raving lunatics hoping for anonymity? The fine in the UK for mobile phone use, behind the wheel, is a measly £200. A mere fraction of the cost of many mobile phones. It seems the politicooze wouldn't want to lose votes at the election by making weapons-grade, mobile phone ownership an expensive crime. 

How much does the UK spend, per year, watching ugly, retarded fuckwits planning the serial murder of little girls? How does that compare with their expenditure on catching mobile phone users behind the wheel? Do they flood the streets with high visibility, armed policemen every time a deranged phone user kills? Just asking. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40079382 [Killers]

The traffic was remarkably light on my walk. There was a prickling dampness on the air but no visible sign of precipitation. Skylarks rose and fell like their delightful songs. They could teach the repetitive chaffinches a thing or two. Gaudy goldfinches moved about in small groups collecting nesting material. Nature is at its softest and fluffiest at the moment. Even the Japanese Knotweed looks half decent at this time of year. If, that is, you can ignore the tangle of bare, brown stalks from last year.

Copenhagen is getting special cycle signs to warn cycle path users of traffic congestion, alternative routes and other important information. Mid afternoon ride to the shops returning heavily laden. It never did brighten up as promised and only just scraped over a nicely comfortable 60F, 15C. 8 miles.

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22 May 2017

22nd May 2017 Spring is sprung.


Monday 22nd 50F, 10C, almost calm, thick mist clearing quickly, bright overcast. Warm sunshine and 68F, 20C expected. The trike is roadworthy again, but am I?

I'm all for a bit of decoration but this roadside tree is not only "well over the top" but stuffed with singing birds. I shall have to dismantle my TZ7 camera again to remove fluff from its sensor. I believe the zoom lens sucks in dirt during its outward movements.

Is there any finer human experience than a rural stroll along the lanes in spring? Every tree furnished with its own singing blackbird. The air alive with all the other small birds as their songs fade off into the distance. Swallows skimming over the crops or swooping again and again over village ponds. Dandelions competing for altitude and abundance on every lawn and verge. My feet grew weary with the sheer burden of burgeoning life and the sticky warmth of hot sunshine on my back. But not from tricycling today. Too busy for a ride.

Tuesday 23rd 54F-64, 12-18C, overcast, with a light breeze. Too busy for a walk or ride. Mostly sunny with a few spots of rain and thunder.

Wednesday 24th 52-66F, 11-19C, heavy cloud and already windy. It turned into a mostly sunny day with gales. Another rest day being busy.

Thursday 25th 54F, 12C, light variable winds, bright but cloudy. Expected to be warm but rather cloudy at times. Bank holiday. Rather than repeat my usual walk to the village I took to the lanes to escape from the traffic. Though even turning off the main road was not without incident. As a real blonde failed to turn away from the pedestrian due to a chronic and debilitating mobile phone habit.

A few yards on my humour was further diminished by the sight of 10 McSlob's full cardboard jacket, weapon's grade, quadruple packaging scattered over several yards of the verge. I paused to turn it into an art form by recording it for posterity. A few yards more and there were 13 more items of clearly marked McSlob's litter! Then 3 more within another few yards. 26 items of litter thanks to one takeaway litter specialist.

I wonder what litter burden McSlob's is responsible for globally? Presumably it takes only one McSlob to dump 26 items within one hundred yards on a quiet rural lane well over 20 miles from any McSlob's outlet. I hear McSlob's will serve anybody. I have the proof in my camera. Another rest day, leaving me hot, aching and tired.

Friday 26th 56-75F, 13-24C, bright but cloudy with light winds. Another warm, dry, sunny day. My early ride found a lack of stock so I had to go on to another village outlet. Delightful ride though a hilly forest. Cool headwind going, warm crosswind coming home. Going well, with lots of climbing out of the saddle. 22 miles.

Another case of an oversized lawn getting away from them. The purple of flowering lilac hedges, in the background, is softened by distance.

Saturday 27th 62-75F, 17-24C, warming rapidly to another hot, dry and sunny day. Not a cloud in the sky. I'm not a hot weather person. Walked up to the woods and back along the marsh. I was wearing shorts so was attacked by all the nettles on the overgrown tracks. Only 6 ducks and a Heron visible on the marsh lake. Plus two hares and a very large Red deer. This vanished into the shrubbery as soon as I raised my camera. Already 71F at 10am. It reached a windy 75F later.

Sunday 28th 67F, 20C, bright, warm and windy with a risk of early showers. The sky to the SW was very dark as I set off for my walk. Glancing back I could see dark curtains of rain falling. I only managed a few hundreds yards before large raindrops started falling. Bringing with them that strange smell of wet roads after hot, dry weather. The temperature has dropped to 61F.

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15 May 2017

15th May 2017 New gloves, please, Nurse!

Monday 15th 52-66F, 11-19C, calm, bright but overcast. A little overnight rain. More possible, but with sunshine later. Walked down the lanes to find the McLardy's litter zombie has spread its slime trail beyond the main roads.

For those unfamiliar with the bright, acid-yellow carpet this is a field of oil seed rape. It smells rather like it looks. Rather unpleasant [sickly sweet urine] and needs regular spraying and carpet bombing with pig's muck to make it into a very common food stuff additive. After it goes to seed and turns brown it is an impenetrable barrier to walkers. Talking of which, areas of Danish agricultural land are being turned into woods. This is to protect the deep well water supplies of cities from the burden of pesticides trickling ever downwards through the ground. No such luck with our private well. It even kills frogs!

No ride today as I was still busy with my project. It was calm and too warm to work hard and continuously in full sunshine at the height of the afternoon. I had to seek shade for a five minute rest! It was hell out there, but fortunately there were no mad dogs daft enough to be out and about.

Tuesday 16th 51F, 11C, overcast, windy and rain is forecast for all day. It did too! Rest day. The Danish news reports that robotic lawnmowers are doing terrible harm to hedgehogs during the night. The hedgehogs are not afraid of the machines because they do not smell dangerous. Perhaps robotic lawnmowers should not be allowed to run around at night?

Am I the only one who thinks everyone is becoming fat and lazy as a result of avoiding all physical labour? I'm 70 and never use a shopping trolley. I don't need a Zimmer frame with increased carrying capacity. The rain stopped at about 6pm. Too late to get to the shops.

Wednesday 17th 57-73F, 14-23C, heavy overcast with very light winds. An early ride will avoid black, morning coffee. The singing blackbirds never pause for breath around here. A bit like me, I suppose.

Afternoon ride to the shops though the gorgeous beech forest. 73F is hottest day this year with high humidity and bright sunshine. 10 miles.

Thursday 18th 65-73F, 18-23C, bright and breezy start. Walked to the village. We could see 25C, 77F this afternoon with 25mph gusts. It reached 73F, 23C on the house digital thermometer. 75F, 24C on the shed's digital thermometer. Both thermometer sensors are hanging in free air, in deep shade under roof overhangs facing north. No ride today.

Not sharp enough, for you?
It was moving rapidly!
I panned, so that's speed blur!

Friday 19th 57F, 14C, almost calm, overcast. Further warmth and sunshine is threatened. Nature is getting a bit over the top. With foliage bursting out everywhere and far more birds than strictly necessary. The verges are almost waist high in assorted grasses and weeds. All very delightful but ominous of the arrival of the local government's lawnmowers. The coots were absent from the church pond today. Perhaps they were disturbed by the constantly passing traffic. A hot and 'sticky' day with bright sunshine. Busy, so no ride today.

Saturday 20th 52-62F, 11-17C, heavy overcast, cooler with possible showers but brighter later. A cold wind caught me unprepared for the drop in temperature. After the recent 73F "heatwave" all the winter cycling and walking gear was being put away.

It was still cool and windy as I headed off. An early errand gave me a chance for a pleasant cross country ride via the quiet lanes in mostly bright sunshine. After I had finished the last of my shopping the rear gear cable broke inside the Chorus 11 speed lever. The chain dropped onto the smallest cog and promptly wrapped itself immovably into a tight figure of eight around the crank.

So I was forced to walk the heavily loaded trike home for the last couple of miles. While pulling the errant trike against the almost constant traffic by the scruff of its tri-bar extensions. I really can't remember the last time I had to walk a trike. It was hugely lucky that I wasn't miles from home. Now I'll have to search for another gear cable amongst the detritus in the shed. 23 miles.

Sunday 21st 60-68F, 16-20C, bright and breezy. In breaking news: Danish farmers are being offered crisis psychological help after certain pesticides were banned from being added to their children's corn flakes.


I found a new Campag cable in the trike shed after struggling to get the overlong nipple, of the broken cable, out of the side of the Chorus lever. The lever had to come off the 'bars to give me access. I am excused upside-down, tricycle surgery on account of my age. Beware of copycat "clones." All cables are not the same! The genuine "Campag Bag labelled" cable has a [very] slightly smaller, shorter and more rounded nipple. The rapid deterioration, without prior warning, of the older cable may well have been the cause of my problems. [Well, all right then, not all of them.] Moving swiftly on: I will probably have to take the crank off to "unscrew" the tangled chain! New surgical gloves, please, Nurse!

Removing the crank and rotating it backwards soon released the chain. Though not without some obvious cosmetic damage to the crank's shiny aluminium finish. I replaced the rear gear cable and was instantly rewarded with excellent indexing once the slack had been taken up. Proof of my optimism will have to wait for a ride. 

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14 May 2017

13th May 2017 Chaos to theright.. chaos to the left..


Saturday 13th 50-66F, 10-19C, light breeze, heavy grey skies with lighter splodges. I hope that's not too technical for you? Walked to the village. You coots on the far pond but still none on the church pond. Tiny warblers blasting out their songs above the roar of traffic.

My ride was totally chaotic. Every driver was completely ignoring every speed limit. Crap stock at what pretends to be a builder's merchant. Loads of stuff not in stock in the supermarkets. Quarter of an hour at the supermarket checkout because the imported junk on the endless junk shelves wasn't properly bar coded. So every single item threw up an error. "Staff member to the checkout!" Perhaps they should be required, by law, to give away free takeaways to waiting customers? Just in case they get peckish.

How come drinkers of RedBullshit never have enough energy to take their blรธรธdy cans home? Perhaps they are exhausted from the weight of all the hype? I do hope their sponsored "athletes" can afford the dental care required following a regular acid mouth wash! 

The Danish Post Office confirmed for the umpteenth time why it is stony broke. Five days to deliver a packet and then they don't bother [again] to send me an SMS. So I can't use their 20 digit number on my phone screen at the supermarket, packet collection counter. The number arrived by email late morning on my home PC long after I had left home without a quill, vellum or blotter to my name. Couldn't they have sent a runner, with a cleft stick, after me instead?

My mobile phone service provider has sent me a message about their service of which I can only read the first four lines. The last two words were: "We recommend.....?" Aaargghhh!??! 16 miles.

Now I have to go back out to collect the packet with the numbers written longhand on a long piece of damp paper. Well, it will be damp from sweat by the time I get back there! Grrr! Another 7 miles in default Tricyling Hero mode for 23 miles in total @ 64F, entirely with bare knees. Some young bloke caught me on his sit-up-and-beg bike. I thought he was another 'Teslaboy' but he was just fitter than I was. He was wearing a rucksack too! Perhaps that was where he kept his batteries?

Sunday 14th 52-65F, 11-18C, 100 yard mist, thinning slowly and dead calm. We could see 20C, 68F today with a threat of sunshine. Mind you, they said two days of rain and it didn't. Perhaps meteorology should be treated as a fringe "science" like astrology? Walked my usual loop up the woods. Saw one deer and one hare. It is amazing the drama that can unfold in the corner of a field. Two crows mobbed a buzzard which was minding its own business. It took off and upset a Kestrel in a hedge. Suddenly there were birds going in all directions. You never heard such a racket!

A male pheasant was meditating on the verge as I approached home. I thought I'd better cross the road in case it panicked and became entangled in the occasional traffic. It couldn't make its mind up what to do but eventually disappeared into the hedge. No doubt the story will be recounted for generations of pheasants to come. It is warm and sticky at 15C but the mist has almost cleared now at 10.15 with the sun breaking through. It ought to be a good day for a ride.. But not when one is too busy. It was a gorgeous afternoon with warm sunshine and hardly any wind in our sheltered garden.

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8 May 2017

8th May 2017 Conditions variable.

Monday 8th 45F, 7C, heavy overcast, northerly gales. Expected to brighten later but only a slow reduction in wind speeds. A walk to the village wrapped up against the cold wind. I wore my safety glasses for greatly improved comfort. A jackdaw was so engrossed in pecking at the verge that we walked right up to each other. I wasn't until I stopped that it noticed me and took off. To be whipped away by the roaring wind right across the nearest field. Gulls too, were being tossed around the sky as they tried to make headway to nowhere in particular.

Okay, hands up all those who didn't notice the hare, center stage? Sometimes I don't know why I bother. Ego the size of planet and ...

Tuesday 9th 32-46F, 0-8C, white frost on the grass, bright sunshine and dead calm. Winds lighter today but showers or rain likely for much of the day and tomorrow. I woke in a panic at at 6 am. Having dreamt that I crashed my trike by trying to ride down a steep field with long grass. I was probably processing my recent topple under a similar situation.

Before that I had been dreaming that I had two long, exposed trays of precious junk on my trike's crossbar. I had to negotiate double doors in a large glasshouse with spring closers and full of people working on both sides of the building. This might suggest I feel exposed to view on and off my trike and probably has something to do with keeping shopping safe while wearing my very obvious cycling gear. The trays being an analogue for bags full of fragile good or perishables. The doors are obviously the supermarket entrances and exits which must be managed while heavily encumbered at each shopping outlet.

Near collisions are regular occurrences at the highly undisciplined, two-way portals with self opening glass doors. Many supermarkets have a certain flow which is ridiculously impeded by placing the baskets on the wrong side of the entrance. So that those exiting must always cross the path of new entrants. Add in all the shopping trolleys and chaos inevitably ensues.

The strange thing is, that despite the vast amount of time and distance I have spent on the trike, I don't remember having dreamt about tricycling very much in the past. Perhaps the subject matter was simply purged with each new waking?

A short walk to free up the aches and pains and then another [busy] day without tricycling. I see the McLardy's slob is back. The verges are [literally] littered with copyrighted packaging designed for the obese and partially sighted.

Wednesday 10th  42F, 6C, dark grey but calm. Rain expected all day. Yesterday's promised rain didn't really happen. Though today's did. It was still spitting as I left late afternoon for a short ride to the shops. Fortunately the roads were mostly dry. Only 7 miles.

Thursday 11th 46-54F, 8-12C, calm start but grey. A short walk to untie knotted muscles. Becoming bright and sunny later with a gentle breeze. A busy day, doing nothing of import, tricycle-wise.

The McLardy's polka dot bag for those who compete to throw their litter away on hills. The Danish writing says "Food with More." Isn't that a contradiction in terms? Or even false advertising? Perhaps they were talking about the optional sauce, trans-fatty acids, salt and sugar content? The bag reminds me of medical supplies. Perhaps this is an ironic hint at the surgery required by the chronically obese? 

Friday 12th 45F, 7C, windy but bright. Rain expected later. It is a bank holiday today but the supermarkets are usually open but not for me. I was allowed out for a walk but only on a short rope. I have never seen so many birds of all varieties. The gales seemed to be blowing them out of the trees and hedges. The Gold finches have arrived in large numbers. A Black cap in the garden and warblers in the bushes. A Kestrel keeps visiting the garden looking for a snack. Feathers littered the drive earlier this week.

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5 May 2017

5th May 2017 More gales?


Friday 5th 48-53F, 9-12C, bright but cloudy and already windy from the north. The forecast rain doesn't look quite so threatening today. A walk along the lanes and back. I was passed by a lady cyclist with a dog running alongside on a lead. A common enough sight in Denmark but not one I can remember seeing in Gravely Blighted. Was I ever there?

The image is of an exhausted, or perhaps chilled, Orange tip butterfly resting on an equally tired, daffodil head. It refused to let go as The Head Gardener turned the flower for me to get a better shot.

We have reached 14.00pm without any rain but there was a horribly cold, northerly wind as I worked on my building project in the garden. No ride today.

I was just reading a story on the BBC News website. It seems 40,000 real people in the UK die prematurely each year as a result of traffic pollution. After losing several court cases the UK government is finally being forced to talk about scrapping a few thousand diesel cars and funding the owner's purchase of an electric car to the tune of £8k. The danger is that the UK government  will never match their bullshit empty promises at the Paris climate summit. Another story exposes their bullshit empty promises on reducing CO2 levels by 2020. They have just savagely cut the payments for solar electric panel generation while subsidizing filthy diesel generation for nearly £200 million! Job losses in the UK solar industry are expected to reach 20,000.

Denmark too has corridors of illegal levels of traffic pollution and by coincidence, it too, is cutting solar panel generation payments to owners. These corridors of filthy air run along motorways and main roads snaking through many towns and cities. Sadly, only Bill Gates could afford to save up for an electric car in Denmark with present Danish import taxation on electric vehicles.

Electric Car Sales In Denmark Plummet After Change in Tax Policy - Gas 2

Hands up those who remember government tax cuts on diesel fuel to get people to swap to diesel from petrol? Hands up those who read all the adverts for "chip tuning" to return the diesel models back to sports petrol performance and presumably return their pollution to chronic diesel levels? Hands up those who have spotted all the 6-axle, local supermarket delivery, articulated lorries blocking the roads as they reverse into the tiny supermarket car parks? Was the UK government really hoping to save on pensions and health care by killing off 40,000 people a year? Do they have a "Break Even" box in their human survival V costs spreadsheets? It does make you wonder. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Air quality: Diesel scrappage scheme being considered - BBC News

Saturday 6th 47F, 8C, heavy overcast, calm. Expected to be dry with increasing brightness later and light winds. Having read the news I can't think of a single thing to complain about. This is unusual and does not mean I'm not monitoring the situation.

A walk to the woods and back along the road was all the more enjoyable for the stillness. Birdsong could be heard way off into the distance. The local wind turbines were trying to rotate very slowly but they must have run out of coal again since the US put a ban on North Korean imports. Talking of death and destruction; I saw a dead hare, a Wood pigeon and a Blackbird this morning. Not in the same place so they can't have collided in the gales. There were several living hares though to compensate for the tragic loss. They tend to look rather gingery at this time of year. Presumably a response to bare earth. A solitary cat was hunting along the field track but vanished into the crop out of guilt when it saw me approaching.

Late morning ride to more distant shops. Returning almost empty handed due to a lack of stock of six items. Going quite well if a bit breathless. Doing a  lot of climbing out of the saddle. Just the hint of an easterly breeze and weak sunshine. 20 hilly miles.

Sunday 7th 50-66F!, 10-19C! almost calm with bright sunshine. Yesterday was quite warm but today should be warmer but cloudier. A walk down to the village to take a peek at the coots. Only one visible. The other sitting on eggs out of sight?

After early coffee I rode north with just a hint of a tailwind. First ride this year wearing just bibs, short sleeved jersey and summer MTB shoes. Going well with lots of climbing out of the saddle. Loads of cyclists out training in various groups and solo. More of headwind coming back home. The countryside is looking gorgeous with fresh new beech leaves and bright oil seed rape. I even manged to remember to eat my muesli choccy bar and drink my small box of pure apple juice. Shopping for 3 liters of organic milk and an organic cucumber ten miles from home. Becoming a little tired towards the end due to a lack of miles in my legs. Or overdoing the building work! Perhaps it was helping? I wouldn't be surprised. 35 miles. Warmest day this year so far.

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1 May 2017

1st May 2017 Regaling you with gales.

Monday 1st May 46-54F, 8-12C, bright sunshine with gales. Gusts to 20m/s or 45mph are forecast for today and tomorrow on a 20mph base. Walked up to the woods via the marsh. The Grebe was still there, in the distance, but dived and did not visibly return to the surface. The brilliant sunlight on the water hid any real detail in the bird other than a white face and cheeks, a dark head and possibly a red neck.

After seeing a single Swallow last week there were half a dozen bombing about all over the lake. Walked back into the sun with my eyes watering in the gusty wind. At least I caught up with a few more photographs to litter my monologue.

With the fierce gusts and continued forced labour I safely avoided a ride today.  Even working hard behind a large shed it was windy enough to be quite chilly at times.

Tuesday 2nd 44F, 7C, bright and windy from the east again. Yesterday's gales are about to be repeated. Enjoyed an hour and three quarter walk up to the woods and back along the marsh going anticlockwise.

Upset four geese on the lake which took off making an enormous racket. House martins were completing in extreme acrobatics over the lake with the Swallows. The distinctive white patch on the Martin's rump is the easiest indicator when they are moving so incredibly fast. They seem to have slightly more curved wing shape as well as the V-notched tail.

Saw half a dozen hares, here and there, four deer and umpteen birds. The air is full of birdsong again. Including the sweet tinkle of a pretty Robin high in a tree in the woods. Several Thrushes were practicing their mellifluous craft. Not quite as windy as yesterday early on. I wore a cheap pair of wraparound, cycling sunglasses which made it far more comfortable. Though it makes using the binoculars rather more difficult even with the eye-caps rolled right down.

Gales and exhaustion do not a happy tricyclist make. No ride today.

Wednesday 3rd 47-56F, 8-13C, breezy from the east with mixed cloud cover. The forecast is for more cloud but lower winds. [Only 30mph gusts instead of the 45mph of the last two days.] Short brisk walk without incident except for the convoy of pig's muck carrying tankers. Another day of rock wrestling, digging gravel and pretending to be a young weight lifter. I'm a martyr to gravity. No ride today.

Thursday 4th 44-54F, 7-12C, very cloudy and already windy from the north east. Trend expected to continue. Danish billionaires must be getting ready for delivery of their Tesla Model 3s thanks to tax cuts for the rich. The price of all electric cars is multiplied by Danish  car import taxes so [literally] nobody buys them. Least of all those left without any social support after failing to find a job within a two year window. Homelessness in the big cities is "going through the roof." As is mental illness from the stress of poverty or impending poverty. Needles to say the cash-strapped, mental health services cannot remotely cope, with very long waiting times.

The minister responsible wanted to close the pool for demolition of empty and unfit homes. Perhaps hoping to revive the stone dead and long buried, rural housing market. One in four homes stands empty and ready to fall down in some areas. Years often pass without a single house sale.

Those with enough funds have no need to buy a particular home. They just wait until the estate agent's "For Sale" signs to fade to illegibility and the forced auction inevitably comes around. Then they can buy the same house for absolute peanuts. The main problem is waiting for several pointless years for the auction to arrive. Benign socialism and mass consumption of antidepressants are alive and well in Denmark.

Another news story was about the East European lorries with bypasses on their exhaust cleaners to save expense. They produce 20 times more soot particles. Nice! Walked to the village under grey skies with rather a cold wind. The Coots on the church pond still seem unaware of the birds and bees. A local female blackbird is overdosing on something! She keep spreading nesting material all over the place in the garden. My horizontally stored ladders are lined for much of their length with nesting material. With a "proper" nest sitting incongruously on one end. A bit like having a hall carpet [runner] I suppose, but rather vulnerable to overview and no real shelter.  Perhaps the 'runner' is intended to be a landing strip? Nah. The ladder's rungs would require a slalom approach. No sign of eggs yet. The bird is probably just practicing and soon we'll find a palatial nest with <cough> wings and a conservatory.

Short afternoon ride to the shops but still with strong winds. Only 7 miles. This constant roaring wind is boring!

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29 Apr 2017

27th April 2017 Whoops! Eeek! Aargh! ๐Ÿ˜จ

Thursday 27th 32-44F, 0-7C, bright sunshine, almost calm with a hard white frost on the grass.Walked to the village. No ride today as I was doing hours more, of backbreaking exercises at home.

Friday 28th 40-46F, 4-8C, wet start. Walked to the village. Another mixed day of torture with a shovel and wheelbarrow.

Saturday 29th 40-50F, 4-10C, grey and almost still. Showers possible. Aching all over. My walk along the lanes helped to relieve the pain of overdoing it for the last week. A Shelduck flew over. Several luxury 2-seater cars went past at high speed. Race across Denmark?

Today I fell off my trike for the first time since I first started tricycling seriously again over seven years and 50 thousand miles ago. I was looking left across the road with a car approaching along a narrow lane. When I failed to spot a 4" [10cm] vertical drop off the side of the asphalt. I was doing just under 10mph [16kph] when the inside wheel dropped into empty space.

I tried to recover by hanging over the other wheel to try to roll back onto the road further on. But ended up in the long grass of the verge. Eventually the adverse slope became too much and I fell over sideways to my right into the field. My elbow was a bit sore at first and I have some pain in my right calf. The car driver stopped to check my chances of survival and I waved back that I was fine. Then it was onward to the shops feeling very foolish. At least the large bunch of earlier cyclists did not see my acrobatic misdemeanor. My reputation as a tricycling clown remains intact.

A large number of motorcycles went past in a long string through the village. At least 40 I should think and all of very mixed makes and ages of machine and rider. They were followed by a few more at intervals. Then it was back home for only 8 miles. I am still aching from all the exertion over the last week. Though nothing really noticeable from the fall except my painful calf. Probably just a tensing strain.

I have just discovered that it takes 8 button presses to go from Trip Distance to cadence on the Sigma 16-16. One press for the 16.12. Given the sheer number of bottomless drops off the side of the road, some up to 30cm or 12" deep, I may not reach Cadence very often. At least, not unscathed!  ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Sunday 30th 35-50F-2-10C, bright and sunny with a light frost on the grass. Warming quickly but with 15m/s winds from the south east promised for later. Walked to the village and back. The calf pain from yesterday's grass diving has gone. The coots were having a bit of a squabble on the church pond. I now how they feel. The wind was picking up on the way back. So that it was cool, but not cold, on the hands. Three Mallards were hanging about suspiciously on a field track. Between bouts of traffic the air was full of birdsong. There was also the sound of geese, ducks and everything else with a voice. The trees could be truly and finally be said to be bursting out all over.

Emperor Trumpet [Twit@US] has forced the Environmental Protection Agency to remove all reference to Climate Change from their website as "false advertising."  6.5 billion will soon wish they had dropped Trumpet@MOAB.Twit [Mother of All Bullshitters] on Afghanistan!

There I was blaming my strange aches and pains on freestyle washboarding the stairs and it was 5 weeks ago! It felt more like a fortnight ago. Why do I still have chest pains when I breathe in too hard? Pant. Or sneeze? That really hurts! Pressing my right pectoral stops the pain completely and [almost] prevents it happening when I sneeze. Broken rib? Torn muscle? Surely they would hurt all the time? I may never walk the same again

Late morning ride to the more distant shops against a strong cross, then headwind. More of a crosswind coming home heavily laden. 15 miles.

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24 Apr 2017

24th April 2017 Navy blue skies!

Monday 24th 43F, 6C, a wet day with gales. It was so dark at 6.45am this morning that I needed a torch to check the wall clock. It stayed dry for my walk up to the woods but was blowing a gale again.

I passed by the pond on the marsh and saw a diving bird a little smaller than the Mallards. Far more slender too, with a white face and dark head. I immediately thought Grebe but it wasn't the usual Great Crested. The nearest to it [on a Google search] was the Western or even the Horned Grebe but I'm not sure either of these are normal to Scandinavia. I'd need a spotting telescope to see it properly at that distance.

Another day of exhaustion, in another life, in the garden. No ride again!

Tuesday 25th 35-46F, 2-8C, chilly but with hardly a breeze. Frost on the lawns. Showers possible. No walk or ride as the marathon gravel movement continues.  Cold and windy day until late afternoon with bright sunshine.

Wednesday 26th 35F, 2C, sunny but not cloud free. Hard, white, overnight frost on the grass. Lighter winds with rain forecast for this afternoon. According to the DMI April is cooler than March for the first time in 44 years. No walk today because I was still ferrying gravel for most of the day.

First ride for several days. The sky was pitch black to the north as I left. With bright sunshine in my vicinity there was an incredibly strong sense of 3D between the foreground trees and background woods. For once I actually stopped to take a picture, or five. My TZ7 camera was completely blinded by the bright foreground soil against the black skies. This was the best of those I took. Unfortunately I have to reduce image size dramatically for the blog. So much of the scale and drama is lost in this image.

One supermarket had no stock of everyday items. The next tried to rip me off on prices not matching the shelf labels. Which is handy for crooks, because most people reject taking a receipt when asked. That's right. You don't automatically get a receipt unless you respond in the affirmative when asked by the checkout operator. Is that a license to print money, or what? Only 8 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

21 Apr 2017

21st April 2017 Head Gardener's apprentice.

Friday 21st 46F, 8C, dark grey, light winds with a threat of rain now and then with wind later. Still busy in the garden so no walk today. No ride either as I was set to work moving sand and gravel in dozens of wheelbarrow trips. Despite my best efforts the iceberg did not tip in my favour. The servant's entrance is still blocked to tricycles so I have much more work to do.

Saturday 22nd 40F, 4C, bright and breezy with possible showers. A good day for barrowing? Did you know that tricycles are also known as "barrows." Probably in recognition of their vast carrying capacity compared with those silly machines which fall over when not actually fitted into a bicycle rack. Even bicycle racks have at least two meanings. Both a carrying device and a parking place.

The problem with most bicycles is that the big rear wheel gets in the way of real bags. Panniers can help to overcome this problem but these bags are, by necessity, narrow and tall and sit right out in the breeze. Which increases both the frontal area but also adds huge drag due to the rectangular cross section. 

A saddlebag is sheltered by the rider's bulk and has enough depth for carrying more reasonable  quantities of "real stuff." Unfortunately, the vast majority of saddlebags are aimed squarely at bicycles and don't fit those very well anyway. Additional support systems are vital if the bag is not to become a very large and efficient, though non-adjustable, drag brake. Many a steel mudguard has served double shifts in supporting a badly sagging bag. The trend to naked tyres does not favour the longevity of any bag dangling unaided from the saddle. 

Meanwhile the rear triangle of a tricycle has acres of spare room. It can have a bag deep enough to carry serious quantities of "stuff." Provided the bag fits easily between the rear wheels it need only avoid the circular saw action of the rear sprockets from below. The height to the underside of the saddle is the next important parameter which must be addressed. Those sporting several feet of visible saddle pin are laughing. The vertically challenged have no such luck.

The Trykit could easily manage a 50x30x30cm saddlebag if one were available. That's 45 liters of recycled sports bag in New Money! By comparison, the largest Carradice 'Camper' saddlebag [see image left] is a bijou purse for girls to dance around at the disco. Strictly a lipstick, mascara and packet of tissues carrying capacity even with a following wind. Hardly room, even, for one of those obsolete iPhoneys which used to be so popular with real blonds. 

A tricycle rack is a serious bit of kit and ought to be considered vital to heavy transport duties. The rack keeps the saddle bag safely off the cassette. While providing plenty of even support for a brace of milk churns or a three seater settee. Or any other regular transport needs of the serious tricyclist. The tricycle rack helps to spread the loads into the rear triangle of stays and so avoids unnecessary mechanical stresses. It also stops the bag from flopping into the wheels when you take those vicious, supermarket, car park ramps at 37 mph and 45°. As you desperately try to cross the traffic as an oncoming sociopath puts his foot down to cut you off.

Did you know I broke my first trike by carrying a hundredweight [112lbs] of sand and gravel the fifteen miles home from Bristol to Bath? That was back in the last century but being an immature youth is no real excuse. I borrowed an empty drum from work to carry the load and the mechanical torture broke one of the chainstays. You would not believe the hills I had to climb out of Bristol with that load!

The reason for this total insanity was that none of the sand stockists in Bath were open while I was at home. I could not bring myself to steal some sand from the local golf course bunkers. Not even if I had been willing to pick out the dog's muck. My excuse for needing the sand was to build a sand-filled loudspeaker baffle. Well, you have to, at least once. Don't you?

Today I walked my usual route up to the woods and back down by the other track. It was blowing a gale! Making it quite difficult to keep my baseball cap on a lot of the time. Few such caps are supplied as standard with chin straps.

Three distant hares pretended to be invisible to my binoculars out on the bare field. Then I spotted a bird of prey. It was blowing too hard to keep my binoculars still enough. So I crossed the road and borrowed a signpost to steady the view. Which upset the bird of prey so that it took off and soared much closer. Light underneath, wings tapering almost to a point, with 'fingers' at the tips  and a very long tail. Possibly a Goshawk, but it's a wild guess. The undersides of the wings were differently marked to the images posted online. More like the usual darker "contour lines" common to some other birds of prey rather than uniformly speckled.

There was a short sprinkle of rain as I neared home on the main road. Judging from all the traffic there must be a sale somewhere. Or they are escaping some dire circumstance yet to register on our rural-detached radar. I was excused tricycle shopping on account of a double marathon wheelbarrow race to move a load of gravel. It would not have been much fun riding in the gale force winds.

Sunday 23rd 40-48F, 4-9C, bright and windy but not cloud free. Walked anticlockwise up to the woods and back the other way. I hadn't gone far before a Nuthatch started scolding me loudly from the roadside trees. A few gulls dotted the huge expanses of bare earth. Still no sign of the first, familiar, green blush at grazing viewpoints. Elsewhere, glistening waves raced across the foot tall, grass-like crops as the wind roared in my ears.

Half a dozen deer were sheltering in the conifers but moved away through the shadows. Once out of the woods there were mixed flocks of small birds foraging in the bare fields. There were Chaffinches, Sparrows, Yellowhammers and the very populace Great tits. Up to fifty Fieldfares are still sharing the big lawns with the clockwork Starlings. Despite the wind I still have to go shopping. I have been slacking on the shopping front while wheel-barrowing gravel for hours on end. But no, another day of shoveling and wheel-barrowing gave me enough exercise for another day. When will it ever end?

Click on any image for an enlargement.


20 Apr 2017

20th April 2017 What did you say my name was? ๐Ÿ˜ถ

Thursday 20th 32-48F, 0-9C, white frost on the grass, early calm replaced by whizzing anemometers, bright with thin, high cloud. Early, or overnight pig's muck spreading, has obviously occurred!

Gulls? What gulls?

We'd better forget that occasion where I raced the length of Wales. Going completely the wrong way! Desperately trying to get home from a camping trip before it was extended beyond the call of duty. Normally I do have a good sense of direction and can remember the site of almost every building I have ever  photographed for my blogs. Ask me to remember the name of the nearest village or road and I am often completely stuck. For me the general situation of the building is contained in a warm and fuzzy, mental image, Only very rarely by a place name. I often forget the names of the three villages at which I shop most days of the week. I will often start to write about something and will forget the exact form of words I had mentally crafted only seconds earlier.

My blog posts are, by default, almost completely spontaneous. I often have ideas I want to to discuss as I am riding along. A few minutes later I haven't a clue what I had decided to write about. Yesterday, I arrived home with four things which had occurred. Could I remember them? Try two out of four!

I do remember that another person, also without a functioning brain, had parked right across the beginning of the new cycle path. Hedge cutting, it seemed to him, had a far higher priority than the needs of mere cyclists. I doubt it was a deliberate act of premeditated  evil. More a total lack of brain cells. Would an extra ramp, or two, have broken the budget of a multi-million, multi-year long, multi-discipline roadway, cycle path and public services contract? 

On my return journey I discovered that the village gutters had been partially swept for the first time in what passes for living memory. I'm pretty sure they will have missed lots of Viking treasure. Even some earlier stuff, if they did not sieve the contents of the vacuum sweeper lorry on its return to the depot.

I know from years of practice that I rode 12 miles yesterday. But I shall have to wait until Year Three of my Advanced Sigma 16.16 course before I can get the new toy to tell me that with less than 37 carefully sequenced button presses. Despite it being a birthday present I am sorely tempted to return to the 16.12 and put the new computer head on the Higgins where it won't really matter. What, on Earth, were Sigma thinking when they released the 16.16 on a completely unprepared world? Heads should roll!

Footnote: Luckily, on returning home, I was able to enroll on a three year, evening class course, in Sigma cycle computer basic settings at the Odense Technical College. It's a 25 mile ride each way, completely in the dark for six months of the year, but it will be well worth it, eventually. The course was heavily oversubscribed but they let me in because of my tearful pleading in pidgin Danish. Perhaps they thought I'd be fun to have around? There's no accounting for taste. Time for a walk before I seize another chance to talk about me. What did you say my name was, again? ๐Ÿ˜ถ

Talking of courses; various employers have sent me off to "improve" myself. With the inevitable consequence that I'd find myself at the end of day one having overwritten the memory of that morning's facts with those administered after of lunch. I'd turned up needing several megabytes of memory cells but find I had only 8k available. And so, as each day passed the earlier information would be repeatedly over-written into increasing corruption of the vital earlier data. Despite using maths for every project and interest, I have the skills of an unripe lemon. Even basic fractions must be tested to destruction with simple examples to ensure I haven't broken anything.

My father decided to invest in a commercial memory system at the height of his career. With several thousand staff to be remembered it was probably a wise move. It was also handy at family get-togethers for him to to be able to instantly conjure up the 7th or 17th root of any number on demand. It seemed the memory system relied on remembering a clue to the fact or number to be memorized. I tried it briefly but soon found I could not remember the clue.

Intelligence, without a working memory, is a very severe handicap. Expectations are always very high and always sorely disappointed. Being told, repeatedly, that I should be in a far better job only ended when I retired from a lifetime of manual/unskilled jobs. Having the memory of a shriveled walnut required copious notes to avoid daily disasters. After nine years of working on one CNC machine I still could not remember the numbers stamped on the few sets of jaws used on that lathe. Yet I was considered the expert and frequently required to train others. I got away with it by sticking clear labels and files on the machine hood to "aid potential trainees."  ๐Ÿ˜‡

Even to this day I will forget to turn on the router or the telephone each morning. I have tried to remember some detail which will trigger the memory to turn it on without the least success. This goes on day after day. Year after year after year. The telephone remains switched off all day or I must return downstairs to switch on the router. I made a mental note to look out at the weather from the window just above the switch. The weather always goes unnoticed for months on end. I tell myself to look at something specific and have always forgotten to look. I not only forget what must be remembered but forget to remember to remember. If only I could remember to stick a note by the switch itself.. 

Oddly I have a perfect memory for the exact source of every piece of junk in my collection of large plastic tubs and boxes. A thousand parts from literally hundreds of dismantled objects are easily identified in my mind. Often from objects taken apart well over half a century ago. How useful is that to a normal life? I must have been standing behind the door when they handed out the really useful stuff.

Every morning I add the weather to my blog. Every single morning I must use a list on the wall beside the computer to convert F to C. Every single morning, for year after year, I simply cannot remember even the "round" number conversions so must consult my list. I did a delivery round in my youth but could not remember a single customer's name out of hundreds. How weird is that?

I have had a lifelong obsession with astronomy.  Inevitable, I suppose, when you feel more alien than human. Yet I cannot remember the names of more than a few constellations or one or two stars. After 60 years of this total obsession I really ought to be able to reel off the names of Jupiter's moons. Or the diameter of The Sun? Nope. Not a chance if you demand anything from memory.

It's no wonder I took up astronomical telescope making instead! I converted advanced optical design textbooks to BBC Basic with great success. I even found typos and mistakes in answers to test designs. Ask me to solve an equation on a piece of paper and you might as well ask a limpet.

I was always useful with mechanical things. I had an early start when I dismantled my mother's iron at the age of 5 or 6. Ask me anything about electronic circuits? No. But I can wire up a complex audio system including satellite reception and DIY multi-speaker boxes.

I quickly taught myself antique clock repairing and restoration to undo the awful damage caused by professional repairers. My first car was highly modified before I parted with it for more than I paid. I built my first racing bike in a couple of hours, from scratch, at fifteen. Despite having never owned one with derailleur gears, high pressure tyres, center pulls or cotterless chainsets before starting.

My morning walk was without excitement other than an aggressive Coot attacking an innocent pair of Mallards. Which had foolishly chosen the church pond for a little R&R. Coots are obviously much closer to the dinosaurs than they pretend to be. A clear case of "village mentality" in my book. There's a lot of it about.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


19 Apr 2017

19th April 2017 Memory of a goldfish.


Wednesday 19th 35F, 2C, huge banks of cloud but not quite overcast thanks to blue sky in between. Hardly any wind but distinctly cooler today. It was threatened to have gone down to -5C in the night but there's no sign of frost on the grass.

I was just reading an article on the Beeb's news website about the collapse of Western Civilization. All the pointers suggest it is imminent or all but happened already. As expected, I can claim no part in the collapse. I haven't encouraged any of them to mess things up by using the car like a headless chicken. Which, unfortunately, seems to be the norm these days.

I don't need a new bike computer to remind me of the massive savings of cycling compared to everyday car use. I just wish my negative contribution to climate change was much better rewarded. I still have to pay full road taxes despite my miserly mileage. Insurance is still expensive despite the massively reduced risk of an accident through not being behind the wheel to fetch every whim which floats across the vacuum between my ears. Even my [newly] advanced great age should offer some statistical savings but doesn't. The now ancient car becomes ever more expensive to remain roadworthy. With no other option to improve matters except giving it up completely.

Small electric cars are priced right out of the Danish mass market. All due to the punitive taxes of a right wing government. Which was naively elected ONLY to stop open immigration and [hopefully] not to break anything else. That's the problem with electoral naivety born of social desperation. You always get the whole blรธรธdy package! Strutting arrogance, warts and all.

Early showers and overcast gave way to brightness as I plodded around the 3 mile, rural block. A strangely triangular arrangement of two quiet lanes with a hypotenuse of main road. One can see right across the triangle from various viewpoints but all potential shortcuts are blocked by large fields. The breeze was chilly at first but soon tolerated bare hands.

Not much to report except the increased obscuration of familiar, threadbare, winter views by gushing, spring foliage. The birds plied back and forth as is their wont. Gulls decorated the vast swathes of still-bare earth. Each shining white blob enjoying a large radius of private space. Water glinted in distant spray tracks as the bright clouds caught the recent puddles. Perspective mocked my clumsy attempts to reach home before I became too warm. I was forced to remove my fleece cap as the sun climbed free of concealing clouds. To brighten forested humps and innocent and detached, rural dormitories.

I was allowed out for a mid afternoon ride to slightly more distant shops.  It did not start well. I could not remember, for the life of me, how to get the new Sigma computer working. I changed the magnet on the front wheel three time before returning indoors to consult YouTube for expert advice. One of Sigma's 18 instructional videos offered the clue that the computer would self start once under way. Grrr! I'd tried that with knobs on!

More asymmetric wildlife.

Eventually the "doze" screen disappeared, but still required a strict sequence of button prodding before it would actually show MPH and Trip distance. All hope of zeroing the previous trip distance was immediately abandoned. Even as I rode along it still wouldn't register MPH or anything else more interesting than two, big, fat zeroes. Much button prodding later and two rather iffy stops in traffic on the main road and it finally burst into digital life. It had actually begun to add hundredths of a mile to my previous trip distance and I was now officially, actually moving according to the speed readings.Though I'd already lost a quarter of a mile to acute, recalcitrant somnolence.

To say I have a functioning memory is a downright insult to all goldfish. Everything I do remember is as if through a dense fog. The harder I try to grasp a thought, the further it recedes. Which means I have to constantly reinvent life as I go along. Stop sniggering at the back!

I can no more remember the simplest mathematical rules than I can recite poetry, remember the lyrics of a popular song or tell jokes. I know only one rude joke which I learned in junior school. School, for me, was a ridiculously extended exercise in doodling in my scrap book and trying to discover the diameter of a wheel which travels at the speed of light by longhand multiplication. Which, I ought to add, was further exacerbated by my complete inability to "carry" digits. This was deep into pre-calculator days so the task should not be underestimated.

Learning languages involved my tackling the verbs of an alien tongue previously unknown to mankind. I had problems enough with English punctuation! For some reason I can remember only one date of historical significance. 1066 seemed to stick amongst my Teflon coated, non-stick memory cells. I can also remember 1953 for the first climb of Everest by a [heavily tanned] white man.

Despite wishing to become a legendary guitarist I could remember only three chords and only the middle notes on my beloved recorder. What happens above and below C on the musical stave is as opaque to me as Quantum Mechanics is to a squirrel. To say I am not good with names is to state the blindingly obvious. Try not remembering the names of close family on waking! Kings and queens of England? Forget it. Remember chemical symbols and reactions? They might as well have been written backwards in Mandarin. Though I'm not dyslexic as far as I can tell.

I'll admit it, I am a bit of hoarder. For years I would search every box or book I owned to find an object or specific subject matter. The exercise of constantly searching refreshed my memory of my belongings going right back to my teenage years. My countless hobbies and interests mean I forget more than I will ever really know on a daily basis.

I have always been fascinated by almost everything of a "scientific" nature. Ask me to remember the names of atomic particles and you might as well ask a hedgehog. When I was younger I read every book in the library on particle physics, cryogenics, astronomy, geology, high altitude research, deep see bathyscapes and spheres, mathematics, absolute zero, physics, chemistry, steam locomotive design, you name it. I was regular at the reference library as I tried to cram the sum of all human knowledge onto the head of a very slippery pin.

A love of classical music forced a further wedge between myself and others at school. But ask me to remember the name of a piece of music or its composer on hearing it again and again? Not on your life!

I was always interested in mechanics and optics and several hundred other peculiar interests over time. My wife refers to me as the "The Butterfly." I once sat down to list everything which had interested me by the age of thirty and seemed to be able conjure hundreds of them out of thin air. So I obviously have a badly broken, selective memory over which I have zero control, nor any choice in the matter.

With greater age it is short term memory which causes the most problems. Without a written shopping list I would return home with almost nothing. My wife rings me to add one item to the list and I will have completely forgotten it within seconds.

Remembering the first letter of bread or milk or carrots really does not help. There are other, equally apt, options which I dare not take home. I once brought home corned beef when tinned salmon was requested. Being, by far, the cleverest person on the planet is not a valid excuse at such difficult moments! A trained monkey would be better at shopping than I am without my list. At least it would know what it liked. Though, interestingly, bananas have become a staple of our diet.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


18th April 2017 They have no bread? Let them eat Danish Pastries.


Tuesday 18th 32F, 0C, clear, bright and quite breezy with pockets of frost on the grass. Possible wintry showers between sunny intervals, but rather chilly. I was just hearing that the May Military Regime has been cutting funding to the public parks in Gravely Blighted. Why don't they use all the fines for flashing, dog's muck dumping, drug dealing and pedophile grooming on the parks instead? Make them pay for the facilities they usually enjoy free of charge.

Asymmetric Coot's nest and Coot. 

They used to have park wardens in my youth to keep innocent people out. Children only needed to glance at the massive, spiked, iron gates to receive a clip around the ear! There were more prohibition notices than blades of grass around signs saying: "KEEP OFF THE GRASS!" I wonder what happened to all those sign painters? Another forgotten art, along with farriers and rhubarb enforcers.

Walked to the village in bright sunshine but with a stiff, cold, Easterly wind. Rather eye/watering at times. Perhaps it's an age thing? The coots seemed to be hovering rather closer together than of late. I feared they'd lost the plot for another year. I spotted one hare sunbathing and then another lolloping about in the grassy crops. My form, at playing "Chicken" with the 7-axle, intercontinental juggernauts, is a bit off at the moment. It must be all those chocolates slowing my reactions. I had to take to the verge a couple of tines this morning and we all know how dangerous that can be! I'm a martyr to deer bugs when I've forgotten my Alpine gaiters. I am exaggerating, of course, but the Danish press is always full of dire warnings. Our cat was always bringing them back despite the ridiculously expensive drops we were supposed to apply to his back.

A busy day attacking the garden and ferrying the results to the recycling station. So no ride today but several weeks of exercise rolled into a very full trailer.


17 Apr 2017

17th April 2017 Twirley + five = roundtoit

Monday 17th 36-45F, 2-7C, cloudy but bright with lighter winds. Five years ago I officially became an old fart. Five years later than that I'm still here. Still pedaling along despite the hurdles and obstacles randomly cast in front of my mud splattered wheels. 

For instance, I ought to be entitled to a UK bus pass by now and become a registered Twirly. For those unfamiliar with the term a Twirly is an elderly, UK bus pass holder who tries to board a bus before the official start time for free travel. Presumably buses are now very popular with the countless impoverished in Gravely Blighted under the vicious May Regime. So they don't want hordes of senile old zombies taking all the seats ahead of paying passengers during Ye Olde Traditional Rush Hour. 

All this is pure guesswork, of course, but I'm known for having a vivid imagination. If Broxit all goes horribly wrong I shall be on the last boat at Dunkirk which still has room for a trike, or three. Whereupon I can chant the official Twirly greeting to the heavily armed, boarding ramp staff. "Am I too early?" To which will come the standard response. "Yeah! Now Gerroff you daft old #%@@er!" Leaving me stranded on the beach with [low hanging fruit] Junckers strafing the stragglers with lapsed EU status. 

Which is probably just as well because I really wasn't looking forward to the UK immigration questionnaire. How the heck do I know who came second in the Tetley's Under 15s Welsh Women's Curling Cup in 1873? Or the nickname of the second cousin removed of the stand-in barman at the pub in 'Corry' during that 1943 flashback to "The Blitz?" Whoops! Sorry, I was getting confused with the Danish Citizenship questionnaire. Easily done at my age. I'm seventy, you know! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

The Head Gardener has been saving her pocket money and bought me a nice, new Sigma BC16.16.STS.CAD trike computer to replace the 16.12.STS.CAD which lost its tiny, cadence battery lid, contact strip. The instructions sheet is nearly 1.5m x 1.5 meters square or 5' x 5' = 25^2 ft in Old Money. So I have carefully stored it in the Carradice "Camper" 'Longflap' saddlebag. To be used as an emergency rescue or bivouac blanket in event of confusion or hypothermia causing a sudden brain glitch at the bike rack outside the local supermarket.

Like all of those who hate reading instructions manuals I have resorted to Sigma's YouTube instruction videos. It took me less than five minutes to fit all the kit and seventeen hours to program the computer to read in Miles and Fahrenheit. So that's all right then. Now I am finally ready for the road. Perhaps Sigma should consider a talking AI "companion" like Ford's Cortina, to do all the initial settings? Just a thought... ๐Ÿ˜

They could have saved considerable complexity by offering [temporary] deletion of unwanted services. Why on earth would anyone want car fuel savings or the rider's inside leg length measurement as inputs and readouts of any significance? Hasn't Sigma heard of those new-fangled electronic calculators? Or even those silly "Sinclair Home Computers" which will never catch on. Even those daft smart phones have calculators these days. Or you can just ask a virtual friend on The Dark Net to do the maths. Were Sigma really that desperate to additional "features" beyond the existing 167 of the previous model? 

Test ride to the shops. Detoured on the way back. Still only 9 miles. The trike felt so much quicker with a new computer and one clean chainstay and my cadence was off the chart at times. I always feel that the acres of empty screen could be better served with more data. Why not three simultaneous readings using only slightly smaller digits? I did like the small super-magnet whose little plastic holder presses into the inner end of the pedal spindle's hex socket. Far neater than the stacked bits of sticky plastic of the last iteration. It remains to be seen if it stays there in the longer term.

There was a rather decent, wet hail shower, mid afternoon, with thick, 6mm, 1/4"cornflakes. It was quite impressive for a while!


15 Apr 2017

15th April 2017 The late "Tricycling Clown."


Saturday 15th 43F, 6C, dark grey, light rain and quickly becoming windier. The forecast is for rain or showers with gusts to 35mph. The Easter weather is being unkind to those who only enjoy a few public holidays. Today is the only day some shops are open in several days. A light shower and roaring wind had me turning back from my intended walk. A large lawn had perhaps fifty Fieldfares mixed in with the usual Starlings and Blackbirds. By the time I returned they had all moved on. I am trying to get permission, without success, to ride my normal Saturday shopping run in the face of gales and rain. It wasn't to be and I was catapulted into a local shopping run by a gusty tailwind.

Okay. It is official! I can confirm that I have been upgraded from "the only tricycling clown in the village." I have now been dubbed "The CycleMan!" I heard it from two Danish boys waiting outside a supermarket. They wanted to know about my strange "racer." So now they are probably spreading the word that I own an "English racer." 

The sun came out when I arrived in the village so I took off my rain jacket. Having shopped, it started tipping down on the way back. It kept it up until I turned into the drive. It was blowing so hard I had to lower my head to avoid the feeling of being repeatedly cut by the rain drops. I looked out across the empty fields to see solid white stripes of rain hovering over the bare earth.

Then a bus passed me so closely there was hardly room for my elbow. There was only one oncoming car but the driver deliberately committed to overtaking me just as the car arrived. I'm not keen on such intimacy with complete strangers! Danish bus drivers usually set very much higher standards than this! I will often pull off, when I can, to allow buses to pass me easily. I always ride hard against the ragged edge of the asphalt. Where there is often a 12" drop where traffic has cut deeply into the verge on corners because most of them cut every single corner going both ways.

This particular idiot had absolutely no idea how steadily I could ride with no room to avoid the usual hedging debris and/or potholes or crumbling asphalt. Quite seriously, a less experienced rider would probably not have survived. Apart from the many tens of thousands of miles I have ridden my trike I regularly practice riding with my inside wheel behind the white line when there is often only 50-75mm [2-3"] of ragged tarmac left. I make it a point of pride not to impede the traffic. Several drivers have stopped to thanks me for my thoughtful road positioning. I often have to lift my inside wheel over sunken drains where the asphalt contractors couldn't be bothered to lift them. It all becomes second nature with practice. A timely twitch of the handlebars to lift a wheel can avoid many obstacles.

I seriously doubt a two wheel cyclist could have stayed upright in that narrow gap between the rough grass verge and the passing bus. 1.5m [5'] clearance is supposed to be the minimum distance when overtaking a cyclist. This psychopath gave me about 30cm [12"] or less! Just to save themselves lifting their foot, however briefly, off the pedal. Just to let the approaching car pass safely. It was also raining hard so I had a free shower from the wheels.

Tragically I am not allowed to show videos [in Denmark] of such piss poor driving. I would be actively prosecuted for showing this kind of driver behaviour on my blog or on YouTube. Criminals and bad drivers, in Denmark, rely on this law to avoid prosecution. So I stopped using my action cams on my trike to avoid any risk of capturing criminal behaviour. Those who have shared videos of criminality online received far heavier sentences than the criminals! Their right to privacy exceeded other's right to life. The temptation to share my footage would probably have been too much. So, unlike Russia, I cannot protect myself with action cameras. Not even posthumously. Only 7 miles. Only in Denmark.

Sunday 16th 37F, 3C, grey, damp and breezy. Wintry showers forecast. Including hail, sleet and snow. Nice! It was cool and bright, but with hardy a breeze, as I walked to the village. A male Kestrel watched me from afar as I peered back through my binoculars. A bunch of seven or eight clubmen went past at a good pace with their tyres roaring loudly. While a similar number of Fieldfares stood around as starlings hogged a field puddle for their energetic morning ablutions.

Fieldfares always dress smartly. Reminding me of English, formal morning suits, beloved of working class, wedding hire attirees and heirs to the crown. The Coots on the church pond rowed about looking bored. Then I spotted what I took to be a common blackbird but which flared out to reveal completely white undersides as it landed in a tiny beck. Not a dipper, I don't think. Dippers were very commonplace on the streams and rivers of Snowdonia. It has become quite sunny now. A chance for a ride? Not today.

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10 Apr 2017

10th April 2017 Nesting mayhem!

Monday 10th 47F, 8C, breezy and dark grey with possible rain. There is a threat of sunshine in the forecast. Blowing a gale with the sky rushing over as I walked up to the woods and back along the marsh. Heard a Chiffchaff and the terrifying bellows and deep "barks" of a deer. [?] I keep watching YouTube videos claiming to be deer noises but none of them sound anything like the noises I hear so regularly. Loud, almost dog-like but often deeper and much softer edged sounds than any dog bark I have ever heard. Lots of variations too and it can go on for some time, almost as if they were talking. YT recordings of Roe and Red deer just don't sound remotely like this. Not a wolf, fox or badger noise either. A 7 mile shopping trip. Cruising fairly effortlessly at 17mph going like the wind. 7-10mph coming back home against it.

Tuesday 11th 38-45F, 3-7C, bright and breezy.

How difficult can it be to persuade lorry drivers to lock their vehicles in the name of security surrounding a weapon of mass destruction? Or, are lorries like so many roaring and stinking, diesel cars? Which must be left running outside supermarkets because they will never start again?

Those who would kill innocent people for a cause, have no cause. They have only their shared lunacy and criminality for company. There is no defense, no empty excuses, nor petty justification for such actions. The victims can have absolutely nothing in common, except for their involuntarily shared [human] DNA. However you care to label it, your crime is always the mass murder of innocents. Always while the balance of your mind was severely disturbed. Get a real life! Not take them from others, far more deserving than you. Who would carelessly discard yours, in exchange for a carefully fabricated delusion of bloated, ephemeral, self-importance.   

I had a three mile walk around the block in bright sunshine and a cold wind. The traffic seems lighter than usual. Perhaps it is extended Easter holidays for some. A large, brown bird of prey rose from beside a field pond and disappeared into the nearby woods. Spent the morning and afternoon  trimming overhanging trees.

Wednesday 12th 46F, breezy, dark grey and raining. No walk today. It cleared up a bit after lunch so I risked a ride to the shops. Just as I was loading the bags outside the last supermarket it started raining quite hard. Then kept it up all the way home until I turned into the drive. Only 7 miles.

It's getting like Piccadilly Circus out in the garden. Birds are nesting all over the place. Including a Wren just above the front door. My wife even had to break up a scrap between territorial Magpies and a male Kestrel this afternoon. There is a large and amazingly perfect nest in the hedge beside the shed. We think it's a blackbird but nobody is willing to admit to it so far. There are so many blackbirds it is difficult to keep an eye on all of them. We even have one male with a white, lance corporal's stripe on its wing.

Thursday 13th 45F, grey and breezy. Just a brisk walk to the village and back. There were lots of Fieldfares sharing a large lawn with Starlings, Blackbirds and a solitary Ring ouzel. Meanwhile, the wren is in dire need of an intensive training course in micro-nesting. It keeps bringing leaves larger than itself and dropping them all over the front doormat. Its nest is becoming quite palatial for a tiny squatter without formal planning permission! Too busy in the garden for a ride.

Friday 14th 41-45F, 5-7C, bright and clear with light winds. I can confirm a female blackbird is sitting in the large and perfect nest by the shed. I just hope the nest's size and position does not attract predators.

My aches and pains seem to be responding to repeated exercise. So I might be allowed out for a ride before it turns wet and windy. Tomorrow's forecast is wetter and windier so I had better take my chance while I can.  My walk was interrupted by spraying. I did a swift about-turn and beat a hasty retreat. Once the machine had moved to other end end of the field I could return home. Several birds of prey around.

I detoured to the shops in empty lanes under bright but cloudy skies. Several small groups and individual cyclists out training. By sheer luck I was doing 22mph on the flat when I was overtaken by three, fast, young blokes. Which warranted a greeting as they steamed past. Still only 12 miles with a headwind coming home, while putting lots of distance on a much younger chap. Spent several hours attacking a tree stump. The chainsaw is a pain which will not start. So I was swinging an axe cum sledgehammer for most of the time. 

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8 Apr 2017

8th April 2017 Welcome to the twilght zone!


Saturday 8th 44-52F, 7-11C, dark grey sky and the garden trees are moving slightly in the fitful, westerly wind. Small birds are bouncing about in the branches like ping pong balls. A small group of Bullfinches perform their belated duty as living, Xmas tree ornaments.

The decorative, wild woods to the south. Home to voracious, feral... er-um-er... camels... [?]

A song thrush has been moving steadily closer to our garden from the wild woods to the west. Its voice, a weapon of massed destruction, of the peace and quiet of the countryside. Unlike the mellifluous Blackbirds, the thrush shouts obscenities at the top of its voice to all who must listen. Probably a precursor to the coming wildlife resistance movement as the word goes around that they do indeed have a voice.

The forecast is for brightness later with 25mph gusts. I ought to make the effort to ride today. Just to see if my aches and pains have reduced. I am presuming they are the aftermath of my poor attempt at tobogganing down the stairs without the necessary equipment.

Opening the windows on the catch this morning nearly blew my head off! Definite 8 on the Richter pong index of pig's muck devastation.

The culprit was driving a huge muck spreader on a lead. Well, actually a very long hose was involved. Running back to a noisy shipping container with a large diesel motor to pump the stuff down the pipe. Slow moving but with wide arms to spread the joy far and wide. It reels itself in and out again over vast distances.

After breakfast I walked back to yesterday's track in the woods armed to the teeth with a tape measure. The problem was finding the same print. I saw lots of large dog/wolf prints but  not the huge one I saw yesterday. Perhaps it was further on. There were several MTB tracks too for the first time in those woods.

The real reason for the post title was when a distant white spot caught my eye. I looked though my binoculars but could not believe my eyes. A large, white, albino stag, with a huge crown of antlers, was moving amongst his flock of ten to twelve Red deer! I have never seen such large deer on my daily walks so where they have been hiding is a mystery. Presumably in the deep, dark woods.

One supposes the hunters will not shoot such an unusual creature because he makes such an easy target. Even from my most distant point I could easily see the animal contrasted against the dark forest background. Unfortunately it was always far too distant for a photograph. The nearest I could get from the road was 900 yards away but it was easily visible even to the naked eye from just over a mile away as I exited the woods. Now I am back at home I reek of the the smell of pig's muck carried on the air.

More of the same later as I rode away. The smell, not the deer, which had moved on when a tractor arrived to rake the prairie next door. Cool and still grey, with a strong headwind coming home. Only 7 miles. My chest still hurts when I breathe too deeply. [i.e. Panting] How am I supposed to climb out of the saddle if I can't breathe? ๐Ÿ˜‡

Sunday 9th 40-58F, 4-14C, breezy, but bright, with thin, high cloud. It is supposed to be calm now but gusting to 25mph later. Where do I queue for my compensation handout? I was hoping for a longer ride today but don't even have a Corny muesli choccy bar to my name.

After yesterday's 8-hour, late, heavy bombardment I thought I'd better aim my walking boots at the command and control center position. That which had [allegedly] sent out the toxic attack on our civilian olfactories. But there it was, gone. No sign of the vast container, with its roaring diesel. Nor the queue of [equally vast] stainless steel, 7-axle tanker lorries.

The thrush has finally reached our garden but is [thankfully] proving vulnerable to my closely-grouped retaliation of hurled insults. I always fancied myself as a sniper. Most just see it as personal  criticism or, simply, too much wittering-on. Only a 3 mile ride on an errand.

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