30 Aug 2013

Monday 26th August 2013

Monday 26th 70F, 21C, windy, sunny. Late afternoon ride for 12 miles. Still taking it easy to keep the joint pain under control. The supermarkets are worse than ever. Endless queues, no stock of basic items and rotten fruit and veg! What do they expect from employing young teenagers without supervision or training? Clear packed soft fruit with white "furry" mould has been sitting on the shelf for weeks! Tomatoes well beyond ripeness awash with liquid in the clear plastic tub! The entire contents of my shopping bag had to be rinsed of watery tomato juice yesterday! Half of the tomatoes had to be thrown away.

Every time they run out of organic milk and wholegrain bread they blame their computer ordering system. Organic bananas are almost always unusable due to handling damage or sold while still bright green. Meanwhile the political hype machine is trying to get people to eat more wisely? The supermarkets never run out of fags, sweets, fizzy drinks and booze! As I am writing this a medical specialist, on morning TV news, is saying that poor food choices are the main reason that hospitals have any patients at all!

My Brooks B17 'Special' after nearly 3,000 miles. Strange markings but it must be just the grain of the leather. This saddle seems to be mellowing far more gracefully than the honey 'Select'. Leather saddles are strangely difficult to photograph well. To the naked eye they have very little shine but the camera thinks otherwise. This is the best of a number of shots under a cloudless, early morning sky and deliberately out of direct sunshine. Perhaps I need a polarising filter? Or sunshine? 

Tuesday 27th 57F,14C breezy, sunny start but forecast to cloud over. Stinking of pig shit and industrial strength perfume! My hip is feeling less painful today. It had been aching continuously with the pain spreading down into my thigh. Now, if I can only stop my coughing and clearing my throat. Perhaps the end of harvesting will help. The combination of strong easterly winds, the farming machinery raising the dust and exposed soil is an unfortunate combination. The car is often filthy with the dust which sticks to the overnight dew. Rainfall is and has been almost non-existent. Every drop forecast never arrives. Rode to Assens to shop. Wind lighter than it has been. 22 miles.

Wednesday 28th 67-73F, 19-23C, still and sunny. The pig shit and ammonia scented perfume seems to have subsided for the moment. They have been raking the fields at 30mph. The huge tractor, with a tennis court sized rake behind, is belching black smoke every time it accelerates. The dust he is raising is unbelievable! No doubt we can now look forward to last year's crop residue being sprayed off. Though logic suggests that such vicious raking in dry soil should kill off most of the old roots. It became quite warm and breezy later.

My hip is still in relative remission. Probably because I have been deliberately avoiding lifting heavy things. The Head Gardener wouldn't even let me help with her escape tunnel to Australia. At least that is what she claims it is. I have hidden all the sharp implements. Just in case. :-) Only 21 miles.

Thursday 29th 58-66F, 15-19C, light breeze, overcast, it feels a bit cold outside. A hilly route to the shops. Carrying 8 litres of organic orange juice back. 18 lbs + other shopping. Yet again a supermarket chain is advertising and even showing pictures of special offers without having any stock on the first day of the offer. This is fraudulent advertising IMO. It happens almost weekly. It isn't a case of selling out of limited stocks. They just don't have any stock at all! Headwind coming home. Some would say I can always find a headwind. They probably don't ride 20 miles to be disappointed somewhere in the middle. Another 19 miles.

Friday 30th 59-65F, 15-18C, breezy, overcast. A cool start with showers or rain promised. Though it stayed mostly dry all morning. Another branch of the same supermarket with no stock of their special offer. Lies, damned lies and supermarkets! I've hardly noticed my hip today. The first signs of leaf colour is suggesting that autumn is almost upon us. I read somewhere that it has been the driest summer for 17 years. I wouldn't be surprised. Though it has been a very windy year. Hardly a still day. Only 9 miles.

Saturday 31st 63F, 17C, a strong, gusty wind, sunny periods with occasional showers. Hardly a single driver was keeping to the speed limit. Many were driving at twice the speed limit in the villages. A huge juggernaut was coming at me on the wrong side of the road in one village. He was using up even more of my side of the road as he raced towards me with absolutely no reason to be in the middle of the road on a long straight.

I started waving my arms to get his attention just as he took a sheaf of papers out of his mouth in time to shout "Idiot" out of the window. Obviously a paid up member of Sociopaths R'US. I really must get a decent helmet cam to have evidence of the mayhem these barstewards are causing.

A raggedy wind was pushing me all over the place. Or impeding my progress. Still no organic apple juice in the third branch of the supermarket chain with the special offer. Lies, damned lies and Danish supermarkets! I guarantee they'll have stock on Monday when the offer is over! 20 miles and the end of August 2013 as we know it.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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