16 Jan 2012

16th Jan 2012


16th 38F, light winds, very heavy overcast. The DMI website is offering continuous cloud for the next week. With potential snowfall over several days!

They are still showing the fraudulent [IMO] Uniblue scam adverts. It seems so simple, doesn't it? Download, Scam and Clean? Er... Haven't they forgotten the big red "PAY" button somewhere in the middle of their "traffic light" ads? I'm amazed that Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut is willing to accept advertising from this sort of company. Reading online comments it seems many others agree. Every new scam produces hundreds of new registry errors. Really? How does that work? I use CCleaner Free. It keeps me regular. ;-)

This series of pictures is of a beautiful farmhouse and its odd mixture of outbuildings. I have no idea if anyone lives there now. The initials above the door suggest that landed gentry were in residence there in the past. The farm lies between two stately homes so is probably part of the estate. The date 1861 is mixed with the initials over each door.

All these images have been considerably lightened because the sky was so dark. Despite it being midday. There is a melancholy air about the place which is well suited to the lighting. I'm never sure whether images work with intervening shrubbery. In this case I think they suit the mood of the place.  Somebody cuts the lawn but there is little other sign of habitation. Certainly not as an active farm. I like melancholic buildings. My wife calls them depressing.

16th cont'd. I set of after 9am with the intention of reaching a 17 mile-distant shop. It felt cold in my Belstaff jacket but I pressed on. Warm going uphill. Cold going back down. The puddles in the roads and fields were still iced over. Though yesterday's delicious, icing sugar coating and bright sunshine were now absent. When I finally warmed up I took off my Thinsulate hat. I must have ridden 10 miles with just the Abus helmet on my head. My nose was streaming in the cold and had to be cleared every half mile or so. My hands were also becoming quite chilly at times.

As I climbed off at yet another supermarket, at 20 miles, I nearly fell over! I was extremely dizzy. I didn't know whether it was the cold getting to my sinuses. Or my inner ears. Perhaps I was suffering from dehydration. Or even low blood sugar. I staggered around the supermarket, swaying like a drunk. Just trying to warm up and stay upright. There is never anywhere to sit down!

Outside the shop again, I felt I was falling off the trike and had to get off again. I decided to eat a banana and drink a box of orange juice. As I was feeling a bit better, after a while, I put on my thin windproof jacket over the Belstaff 'Cyclone'. Naturally, I put my Thinsulate hat under the helmet again.

It was a bit worrying being so far from home with such strange symptoms. I have been feeling slightly dizzy more than once recently. Usually at home, when I turned my head too suddenly. Not out on the road, luckily. I used to get dizzy quite regularly if I climbed out of the car too quickly. Mind you, I rarely use the car these days. My wife blames the dizziness on too much time spent on the computer.

I was soon warm on the long uphill drags going home but couldn't get rid of the headache. It seemed to get colder as time passed but I wasn't feeling particularly tired. My wife agreed with me when I arrived home. She had been tidying in the garden. The temperature had actually risen 1 degree but it felt 5 degrees colder. There was no real wind to speak of and I had it on my back coming home anyway. Safely home and I ate some sandwiches and retired to bed for an hour. I still have the headache and slight dizzy feeling hours later.

40 miles today carrying 15lbs of shopping for half of those miles. I certainly wasn't as tired as I used to be after such a long ride. So? Am I having fun yet? What do you mean 40 miles isn't far? Try it on 50lbs of trike, including shopping, on my hilly roads! Try it when you are a worn-out, old fart, like me! :-)

17th 40F, 4C, light winds, very heavy overcast. My back was aching this morning. As was my head. So I'm waiting until after coffee to go out. I gave Mr Higgins his biennial scrub down with cold, soapy rainwater. I could not believe how filthy he was! Usually, I only see the handlebars. I'll find some puddles later. To rinse the soap off.

Well, there were no puddles so Mr Higgins is probably still sticky behind the ears. My cheapo cadence bike computer is no more. The new battery failed to revive its normal functions. Poking a bit of wire through the original button holes had no further effect. The cheapo mileage meter is now fine but I've lost 256 miles after zeroing it on the new year. My wife is showing cold symptoms today. So that may explain the severe dizziness and continuing headaches. Only 14 miles.

Am impressive, edge of town farm with buildings of all ages.
Beautiful, old-style lamps and doors really look the part.

Only the length of the house gives the impression of former wealth. It still seems slightly overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the outbuildings. Tiled box dormers aren't very commonplace around here either. I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to the age of this tidy, old farmhouse. Timber-framed buildings were still being erected in the 1880s. The steep roof angle might suggest earlier thatch. Perhaps it was gentrified when the funds became available for tiles? Though I doubt it improved comfort levels indoors.

18th 37-38F, 3C, heavy grey skies, breezy. Feeling a bit better today but my wife is still unwell.

How much weight did I save by removing one bike computer and a lot of dirt? The wind built up rapidly. Which was useful when I wanted to cruise at 20mph to cover some distance to another shop quickly. Then I had to turn into the wind to get home again!

I was nearly brought off by a couple of boy racers. They had waited until just before a red traffic light to overtake me. I was going straight on. These two posers started a rolling track stand moving well off to the right. So I started to overtake them when the lights changed. As you do.

This building looks like it was designed primarily for housing work horses.

Now they decided they were going left without either looking or indicating. As I was already alongside I asked the leader of the pair what he was doing. (in Danish of course) Only to receive the sneering yeah-yeah-yeah of the Dane caught with his pants down around his ankles. A SMIDSY from two tøsedreng on fancy racing bikes? You couldn't make it up! 

I went on to finish my shopping and then headed across country by the winding, hilly lanes. Anything to avoid that long drag along the main road straight into the wind. 23 miles. Half at an acute angle to a nagging, cold and blustery wind. Even my toes were cold. The Aesse jacket did its job very well today. Normally it is too warm at 38F but it coped well with the nasty wind.

I'm now taking off the Thinsulate hat in the shops to avoid rapid overheating. As my hair always looks a sight at such moments I put the helmet back on. Well, you have to keep up standards, don't you? The heavily laden trike already looks like a Danish tramp's daily transport. So I have to make an effort. I was carrying five, nested plastic buckets home today. Held on with cord to the saddle frame and lying on top of the bag. :-)

This barn is quite unusual. Heavily timber-framed but with a rather strange, boarded, mansard-like, lower roof. It may have been for increased ventilation of the upper floor. I imagine all of these building are rather outdated for modern, big machine/prairie type farming. So it's nice to see these old buildings still being well cared for.

19th 40F, 4C, breezy, heavy overcast. Rain was promised but it stayed away. I was getting fierce but short-lived pains in my head on the way to the shops. Though I had my warm hat on. Chest a bit wet, breathless, snotty. I still have a slight headache. Just another virus.

 A buzzard made a surprise landing on a paved drive as I passed. He looked completely out of place. There was nothing obvious on the slabs for him to eat. On the way back I chased a cyclist into a roaring headwind but couldn't make any impression. He just kept going further away. Two cats were road kill. A ginger and a young, beautifully marked tabby. There seems to be a lot of tree and hedge clearing going on at the moment. Field drainage work too. 18 miles.

Paper and bottle bank containers are a common sight in most villages.

 20th 36F, 2C, sunny, becoming overcast with rain. Breezy. It had snowed big flakes overnight. Only about an inch but it had refrozen hard in places and thawed in others. The roads were very wet and slippery. With slush and ice-dammed puddles.

Some corgis were loose with toddlers and owners and they rushed over to see me. I tried to stop from speed and slid for a couple of yards on the icy surface. Not a problem though. The dogs barked, sniffed my feet and then wandered away. Obviously as bored with me as I was with them.

After about 8 miles the snow petered out and the roads were quite dry. I did my shopping and headed home. Soon it started raining. Becoming steadily heavier so that my clothes felt very wet on the outside. Though I stayed quite comfortable and dry in the Aesse jacket. Still no new photos. 19 miles. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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