29 Apr 2017

27th April 2017 Whoops! Eeek! Aargh! 😨

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!  😬

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?

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20 Apr 2017

20th April 2017 What did you say my name was? 😶

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? 😶

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."  😇

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.

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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 bløødy 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.

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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! 😎

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... 😏

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? 😇

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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5 Apr 2017

5th April 2017 Suffer little children..

Wednesday 5th 42F, 6C, dark grey with a breeze building to a gale. Possible showers too. My wife was unwell yesterday with severe dizziness and extreme tiredness. She is rarely prone to any illness at all but slept on an off all day. This was the morning after a tractor sprayed the field behind us at 8pm in the evening. Just another coincidence? I had identical symptoms myself after walking the field track up to the woods after spraying. On another occasion a tractor started spraying when I was on my way back along the same track. I had to return home by another way. I still had severe dizziness.

Threadbare woods.

When a sprayer overturned recently it made the headlines as the emergency services used a digger to block runoff access to local waterways. The sprayer contained a cocktail of half a dozen different toxins to be sprayed simultaneously. Farm inspections are still turning up illegal toxins which were banned decades ago.

It's no wonder the Danes closed all the village schools which were surrounded in fields. Claiming savings, presumably meant "economic" rather than saving their children from repeated exposure to toxins. Local children would run excitedly through the spray drift as farmers and weekend farmers sprayed their crops. A neighbour sprayed his single, small field, nestling between the houses, repeatedly, as a hobby. He claimed Roundup was so harmless you could use it on your breakfast cereal. Advice given to him by the toxin's salesman as he tried to combat rough grass. The spraying had no visible effect and the grass returned every year despite the ploughing, raking and regular spraying.

The neighbour who followed him uses a lawnmower and there is no sign of rough grass on what eventually became a very large lawn. His own contribution to his children's toxic overload was spraying the weeds growing around the base of his boundary hedge in a light breeze. He used a backpack sprayer while his toddler children played around him in the sunshine. The hedge quickly died, where he had sprayed, but nowhere else. We haven't seen the backpack since.

A single, very large paw print in the woods. Nearly 5" or 12cm long! What the devil is it? Not a wolf, big cat, dog or bear? No obvious claws, four toes, heel, palm and extra 'outrigger' pads. Should I be very afraid?

I was enjoying a trike ride down by the coast one summer. When an octogenarian farmer started spraying his field bounding a popular camping site. With its arms held high above the crops the white spray drift was visibly blowing in clouds. Which were heading straight towards the packed swimming pool on the field's border with the campsite. Where dozens of children were enjoying the "fresh air of the countryside."

I had the luxury of being able to leave in a hurry. I doubt any of the their parents knew of their children's exposure. Spray tanks are not required to carry any labels to allow those affected to identify what they have been exposed to. The same, for some reason, applies to the cryptic markings on road going, toxic bulk tankers. The agro-chemical industry obviously has good friends in very high, EU places. Perhaps they don't want people hanging around long enough to read labels if it will [eventually] kill them? So they rush home to safely consume a Glyphosate and drinking water cocktail to slake their thirst.

A hunter's shed on wheels nestles amongst the trees for solace.

Thursday 6th 37F, 3C, calm and bright with signs of a light frost. It won't last. Walked to the forest in bright sunshine with a cold breeze. There I saw a single Crane in a similar place to last time. It was obviously nervous and took off to fly behind the trees as it had done last time. A small pond under the trees had large clumps of frog spawn and several frogs guarding it. The water level was much lower than the last couple of years but doesn't seem to dry up. Walked back along the spray tracks. A couple of rooks were standing, looking guilty, with their beaks full of moss.

Birds are weird and contrary. They have miles of quiet field hedge to choose from, but park their nests right beside busy roads. A noisy rookery has formed in the trees of the playground of a village school. With 24 hour passing traffic and shrieking children for company during school hours, the birds add their own racket to the general din. As I wait for coffee and rolls the sky has completely clouded over to uniform grey. No ride today.

Friday 7th 45-50F, 7-10C, dark grey and breezy with a risk of showers. There was a hint of fine rain as the wind picked up to a blustery gale. I walked to the distant woods and then along the field track to bring me out on the road a mile further on. A mile-long, untidy string, of hundreds of gulls, passed over, mostly silently, on the lookout for an easy breakfast.

I paused to watch a specialist muck spreader at work as a large bird of prey glided overhead. It rocked gently, stiff winged and fingered with each new gust. Far more intent on staring down at the ground than anything going on around it. I watched it through my binoculars until it was rapidly lost in the distance. Covering huge hunting areas in mere seconds. Straight into the headwind which roared in my ears. Overall brown, with a pale head and yellow beak were the only identification markers I could be sure of.

I'm a tree!

It was fun to glance along the spray tracks in the knee-high crops. A smartly-dressed, pheasant fop stepped out in its own, private little world. While a huge, fat hare, its fur still bristling with dew drops, stood up and dashed away down the dusty channel. I danced on, along the ragged asphalt edge, between rat-run and wildlife corridor, dodging maniacs in dodgem cars and 7 axle juggernauts alike. Each dragging their great bolsters of wind. Eager to dislodge my cap, and my illusion of surreal calm in the face of repeated adversity. Still resting in the hope that my upper chest pains will subside.

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3 Apr 2017

3rd April 2017 Distance exercising on The Internet of Things.


Monday 3rd 37-50F, 3-10C, bright, calm and clear with an overnight frost [or heavy dew] on the grass. The BBC announces that 20 billion Britons are not getting enough exercise to remain healthy. That's not only statistically significant but sounds downright deliberate to me. Luckily I am doing enough for several of them so that's a dent in the right direction. I just hope they are grateful! All remote sweat donations to charity, please.

Right, I'm off to harass the birds again. The first anticlockwise loop through the forest in quite a while and back by the other way.  I started with a gorgeous plover gyrating madly around the sky in its black and white plumage. Fortunately it quickly became tired of its gymnastics and settled on the roughly ploughed prairie at a safe distance to watch my progress. A deer was grazing at a distance too but too far away to capture with my camera. Unless you like pictures of fuzzy, dark blobs in grassy meadows?

The forest is showing signs of pink fluffiness from afar as this year's fresh leaf buds appear. Later on, a pair of hares dashed through the growing crops towards the marsh. It must be standing room only in there what with all the wildlife concealing itself in the daytime. If the farmers don't send the lawnmowers out soon the straggly grass will get away from them! It will end up looking like a council estate. Meanwhile assorted skylarks rose at intervals to practice their songs. Just a short ride today. 7 miles in bright sunshine. My upper chest pains continuing unabated. The Chief Medical Officer refused "excused [MTB] boots" due to a poverty of organic milk.

Tuesday 4th 33-53F, 1-12C, white frost but bright and clear with hardly any wind again. I was out on the lawn until 11pm last night [in another life] and can personally confirm it was chilly. My recent rants on speeding and security cameras seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest. It seems that people's private security cameras are streaming their private lives and that of their children online without their knowledge. The problem, apart from the online perverts and voyeurs, of course, is the lack of password protection. Now the most basic logic [duh?] suggests that NO system should be allowed to be connected too "t'Internet of things" without a password.

But that would assume that laziness, greed and perversion do not exist. The manufacturer's are in a far off land and unlikely be persuaded to have a password system which demands some simple change before connection is even possible. I'm not talking about a password which people don't know they need to change. But a password system which, by default, MUST be changed from the protective default before the camera, fridge or toaster will function.®

An internal random number generator makes sense. With enough digits and letters to make the pervert's work very much harder. Perhaps the answer is a complete import ban on anything which avoids such obvious protection? If your smart toaster starts getting spam from its sales outlet don't come running to me in tears because some pervert, business or thief, finds you, or your children's private lives, rather more interesting than you do.

Why does the smart device owner even need to know the 'rolling' password? The smart device can go on producing random numbers and letters every half hour, or five minutes or seconds, for all it matters to the owner.® If that makes the NSA's life more difficult then boo sucks! Or whatever the expression is in the pervert nerd's professional circles these days. Who's watching the watchers? Saint Edward?

Just a short walk to see several hares lolloping about on distant fields. The breeze is building slowly. Rest day. Not for the farmers though. First day of stinking pig's muck spreading above 6.5 on the Richter scale for this year. Cue repeated choruses of: "Takes my breath aw-ay." Why is it that I may not walk on their land but they have complete freedom to pollute and trespass in my home and garden. Spreading their cocktails of deadly toxins and a foul stench, at will? Farming is not a public service. It is private enterprise with the sometimes grandiose intention of making a profit. Are they not subject to the same pollution rules as factories? Much of their activity is factory farming. Factories do not usually get fat, taxpayer subsidies to mass produce antibiotic-resistant bacteria for public consumption.

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2 Apr 2017

2nd April 2017 About face!


Sunday 2nd April, 47-56F, 8-13C, almost calm, heavy grey overcast, light mist. Promise of showers and a threat of sunny periods. The Chief Medical Officer keeps referring to my rhino hide. So I have to apply copious quantities of the old SPF50 to my neck before being allowed to slip out by the Servant's Entrance in a wide-brimmed, cycling helmet. It was so dark this morning that I overslept until 7.25am. Exactly the same time as yesterday. One can only blame the clocks springing forward. I didn't get where I am today being a lie-abed! 
There are problems enough in the world according to the BBC. Apparently there is a black hole in a Croydon pub which is attracting scum like a zombie plague. Just ask the irate, local MP. Who tweeted: "It really gets my Goat! They should build a GREAT WALL around that pub." At least, I think that is what he said. Google Translate doesn't do Cockney Rhyming Slang yet. So I had to use a bit of imagination in my translation to Pidgin Danish and thence to the familiarity of Ye Olde Twirle Anglo-Saxon. The BBC has an awful lot to answer for!

My walk was interrupted, at intervals, by changeable weather. Just when the windmills were stretching for another day they slowly creaked to a stop. With hardly a zephyr to complain about the starter motors obviously couldn't cope after the batteries had gone flat overnight.

There was a troubling sight as I approached the village. The local McSlobbery outbreak is fast becoming a pandemic. The virus has obviously mutated into aerial transmission of a parallel strain of Belcher King. McSlobs will have to seriously rethink their viral packaging if they are to continue competing for the verges. I wonder whether these two giants of discarded packaging pay remotely enough taxes to subsidize the terrifying increase in surgery for those too obese to feed themselves? The Danish news relates a Dastardly plan by the politic-ooze to deny surgery to anyone weighing under 3 tons! Which, I suppose, probably means most of them will starve to death! 
Despite the unhappy timing of the traditional, spring spreading of the spiky twigs the birds are becoming overabundant. The dozens of new nests in the roadside hedges had been totally decimated by the tractor clipper. Yet, hardly a branch of the surrounding trees is free from the feathered tree rats. Even the Red Kites are at it! Like buses, you can wait for ages and then two come along at the same time! Don't you just hate copycats?

Local children have abandoned their healthy indoor pursuits to explore the set-aside fields. None of them look old enough to hold down a steady job behind the checkouts at Fakta. I blame the parents!

If it gets any darker I shall have to fit my lights back on the trike before setting off. I have been saving my ration cards for organic milk but  they rarely have any stock. When I complained to the manager he just sneered and said ; Cut out the middle man." He presumed it would be healthier to eat the grass ourselves. To which I retorted; "What about spray drift?" To which he had no answer.

Left before lunch with a helpful wind to reach a distant garden center. I had to stop and remove my jacket on a long climb because it was so warm. At nearly 3/4 of the way there my wife rang me to see how I was progressing. I was then remotely controlled to another destination. At which point it became very dark so I donned my jacket again. To fight the wind all the way home. 27 miles remembering to keep my cadence high. I was doing a lot climbing out of the saddle. So may have undone the good intentions of spinning everywhere.

Another top British cyclist injured by SMIDSY driver.

Welsh Olympic cyclist 'lost road confidence' after crash - BBC News


1 Apr 2017

1st April 2017 Last "englænder" standing?


April 1st 46F, 8C, misty and still, with a threat of brightness. There is no traffic. At all! Given the date one is inclined to think that there is a wickedly funny policeman sending the traffic via the back lanes. But Denmark doesn't have any policemen. The Danish news website has just confirmed it. They even printed a map showing how many hours it takes for the police to attend an emergency call by geographical region. It is remarkably sober reading material.

Where is the constant traffic which rumbles along what passes for our humped and twisting "main" road? The traffic which often wakes us, but, unaccountably, not this morning. Where are they all? Are we the last left alive after a zombie outbreak? Has our rural isolation provided a negligible delay in our inevitable demise?

Should we prepare for the onslaught? As a hundred blood-covered, raggedy dolls stagger down our collective, potholed drive towards their next gory meal? Dare we raise the portcullis and lower the drawbridge for the non-existent post-bud Per? Where are the habitual collectors of bread, greasy pastries and rolls on the early bakery run. i.e.Those who feel compelled to always screech their tires on every corner? The sooner to be back into the hygge of their families and a hearty breakfast of snaps and beer. There is absolutely no sign or sound of life anywhere on this auspicious day.

Dare I go for a walk this morning? I have no standard issue, "family model" assault rifle. Not like our favourite cousins in the Colonies. What shall I do if I am confronted by a hoard of marauding, transsexual Danes with a collective ill-will towards all Gravely Blighted rats leaving the sinking, EU ship? Perhaps I should leave the orange jacket at home just for today? Wear all green and pretend I am a weekend warrior hunter. That might work if I adopt my usual [ministry of funny walks] gait to make me invisible amongst the locals. Wish me luck... I may need it! 😉 I decided to go for a low key outfit in dark green slacks with V--necked top, sporting autumnal, knitted, cable accents.

Eventually I worked my way carefully along the backs of the roadside hedges. It did not take long to discover the real reason for the hiatus in the usual roaring traffic. Staccato commands were being barked at an elite task force of heavily armed agents in all-black, unmarked Hummers from the ironically-named, Danish Job Centers. Motto: "Work is Freedom, to stay!" The elite force had stopped another convoy of deluded, left wing politic-ooze. Whom had been unsuccessfully attempting to ferry yet more "illegals" across Denmark to the safety of Sweden's ghettos.

The fate of the "illegals" will probably remain unknown. As they were swiftly taken away at gunpoint in a fleet of IKEA's forced labour lorries to an uncertain fate. While the terrified politic-ooze were bundled together in one of the Hummers and taken back to the nearest Job Center. To be mercilessly interrogated by their psychological torture specialists.

So, the unexpected, commuter's "Silent Spring" was but short lived. As the completely innocent, traffic queue was soon released on their way to speed to their usual statistics. I kept to the verges on the way back with my head bowed. Just in case my scruffy dress style attracted attention as a possible escapee from the convoy. Once safely back in our rural hovel I could finally relax. As I tucked into marmalade covered rolls and instant coffee. Though always with my one good ear listening out for that dreaded knock on the door and a quick dive through the trapdoor into the escape tunnels.

I desperately need to build up my reserves for another surreptitious ride. To get more rations from the dingy backstreet supermarkets. Since they are all owned by offshore fund managers they will serve anybody with ready cash and a badly forged permit card. Even an unlikely tricyclist with a very dodgy accent. It helps that I am always heavily disguised as a Lycra clad weekend-warrior-clown. The staff take one look and quickly dismiss me as just another downtrodden, Job Center-damaged immigrant.

There are spies everywhere since the "Employment Minister" offered a small tax rebate as  a reward for information leading to every conviction of an "illegal." So I play my part, from long practice, but my heart still pounds with fear of discovery in the endless queues at the checkouts. Which are routinely "manned" by prepubescent, eagle-eyed, true [obese] Aryan Danes.

Even long after reaching [Danish working classes] retirement age I am not safe. Broxit status is as good as "stateless" to the ruthless staff at the Job Centers. I could be forced onto the next plane home to a life of grinding poverty under May in the slums. Where everybody speaks in Cockney rhyming slang learned from the BBC's daytime, antiques fencing programmes.

The Danish middle classes have no such problem and always retire in their late 40s. With a free Audi, a summer house, a roof full of solar panels and a pension which constantly drains even the 98% taxation of the Danish working classes. Whom are forced to work from before long dawn to long after dusk during their long and arduous working lives in semi-Arctic conditions. Always at the mercy of a 'sting' by their own trades unions. Or [infinitely worse] hourly attendances for "re-education" when their jobs are "exported" en-masse to the ex-colonies which still openly practice slavery.

I tell myself that my fragile existence could be far worse. Only 100 years ago I might have been placed in a cage at the Tivoli Gardens and exhibited as an "entertainment of undesirables." Arranged for the visitors to poke with sticks [provided for a nominal sum] just to see if I would bite. Grrr?

In breaking news: I reached Assens and returned unscathed. Except for the fly which I inhaled on a climb. Leading to much coughing over the following miles. I seemed be completely bunged up. 19 miles.