7 Oct 2013

7th October 2013

Monday 7th October 52-17F, 11-63C, heavy overcast, breezy. It is supposed to brighten up later.

Another hour's brisk walk with photography along the way. A reserve of usable images is always useful.

Snowberries in a wild, roadside hedge.

I left late morning on the trike for a hilly, rural, shopping trip. The wind had picked up considerably by the time I turned for home at 12 miles. Though it stayed bright, warm and sunny. Causing me to strip down to shorts and jersey again.

My hip is becoming completely unpredictable. I even had excruciating spasms in my hip last night. Though my shoulder has been having a rest from causing regular agony if I'm careful. There seems to be no obvious connection between pain levels and cycling, walking or backwards bending exercises. I just have to avoid heavy lifting and remember to sit up straight at the computer. I have a silly habit of leaning over the keyboard which causes lower back pain or something worse. I'm wondering if the reducing shoulder pain is due to lowering my mouse mat to keyboard level.  I have had it on a 5" higher shelf for many years. Which makes me wonder if I have shoulder problems from mouse RSI.

Typical terrain for Fyn. The hills always look more impressive than their very modest height might suggest. The ever-changing crops maintain interest and constantly sculpt new vistas.

It feels much more relaxed now but there is only room for the keyboard at an angle. It is half hanging off the lower shelf to give the mouse a few inches of space. I could fit a board to enlarge the lower shelf but I am rapidly relearning to type quickly again on the angled keyboard. My elbow now rests comfortably on the arm of the chair while I type and make mouse movements. Just imagine the damage typists used to do to themselves working hard on a raised, mechanical keyboard all day long for years on end! 20 miles.

Tuesday 8th 59F, 15C,  rather cloudy and breezy. I had an early 45 minute walk. Hip hurting badly at first but it went off as I walked. The sky is brightening up now. A 20 mile ride, pm, as it grew greyer and windier again.


The dog at the farmer's machine centre wouldn't let me pass without a fuss. The owner had to climb off the mover to hold it while I passed. Why do some people so resist a little exercise? From the sour look on her face you'd think I'd flashed at her. It's your dog running loose year after year bitch. Deal with it!

A lot of useful tarmacking has been going on for many of my regular routes. Even the cycle path potholes have been overfilled. Then given their regulation, single wallop with the back of a shovel. Perhaps the perps are fans of BMX? I suppose it makes a change from my having to lift a wheel over the former caverns. I just hope no caving teams were trapped down there. You'd never hear their cries for help with that much traffic!

Lots of hedging going on too. It takes about four years before a mixed field hedge recovers to a reasonable height. Probably five or six years to act as a decent windbreak to side winds. Hazels are fastest to recover. Oaks are usually left untouched.

I was just rehearsing my early morning route to the osteoporosis clinic on Google Earth Street View. The driver of the Street View camera car entered a village with a 50kph speed limit at 60kph. Reducing to only 58kph by the time they passed the speed indicator board! I promise not to tell exactly where if you don't.

Spindle berries.

Wednesday 9th 57F, 14C, clearing to sunny periods, windy. Initial impressions from my visit to the osteoporosis clinic suggests that it is not the cause of my pain. Any bone loss is too slight to need treatment. I shall have to wait for confirmation from my own quack, of course. My next bout of S&M has been postponed. Grey skies later with short, fine drizzle showers. Only 10 miles as the trike flies.

I hear that Ford, amongst others, is working to take the sociopath, idiot youth and morally incompetent out of the driving equation. A driver-less car would have been handy this afternoon. A late model Volvo estate overtook me at high speed in a busy, village shopping high street with a very low legal speed limit. He was then baulked by traffic before parking half on and half off the pavement across the entrance to a back street parking area.

His car considerably narrowed an already narrow and busy two way traffic flow. Including frequent buses and countless 6-axle articulated lorries. (Using GPS to shorten journey times regardless of the damage to buildings, villages, unsuitability of narrow, twisting, minor roads, loss of rural peace and quiet, etc, etc) He then crossed the road, on foot, to enter a shop and was just emerging from the same shop when I returned a quarter of an hour later. How does anyone prone to such extremely selfish and antisocial behaviour survive beyond infancy? Another idiot who will never he offered the chance to unplug from The Matrix.

Thursday 10th 43-50F, 6-15C, almost still, threat of sunshine. A 7.30am wake up call from the neighbour's escaped dog. Though I'd been up for an hour by then. Walkies! Me, not him! Though he's a gorgeous dog and deserves far better than mere, token ownership. I'd happily take him for a walk but it's not me that needs to lose weight and joggle their few remaining brain cells into a morally recognisable pattern.

I did an hour's brisk walk around the edge of a few of the local prairies by keeping to the spray tracks to avoid wet boots. The ground rises gently behind us so it was interesting to see our rural area from a completely different viewpoint after all these years. It took us some time to make any sense of some of my pictures. Foreshortened, as they were, by zoom in such a partially wooded situation.

I was reading a Danish article online about  mink farms. Mink farms have a suffocating stench which carries for miles downwind. The animals are fed a mixture of fish and meat delivered by tanker. The Danish minister of the environment is discussing changes to the mink breeder's practices and situations relative to near neighbours. Not an easy problem to solve given the number of farms and the remarkably even distribution of homes within the Danish countryside. The mink "fertiliser" is said to be five times more damaging to the environment than pig's diarrhoea.

The animals are incredibly beautiful but obviously stressed by their close confinement in such small, dirty cages. Long beards of filth hang down from the endless rows of cages in their drab prison camps. The narrow roofs denying the cleansing effects of the weather. No doubt the £600,000,000 annual sales of Danish mink skins to China does not warrant an occasional cleaning of the cages with a hose or high pressure washer between occupations of the death row, holding cells.

I have watched the poor animals make pointless, repetitive movements. Behaviour all too typical of zoo animals when bored out of their skins. Unfortunately the downward sales trend in the West has now been counterbalanced by Chinese new money. The vast majority of mink wear is probably purchased at taxpayer's expense. By corrupt, communist Chinese officials/crooks pampering their multiple, peasant mistresses.  So we all have to tolerate the foul stench of mink farms in Denmark to support government organised prostitution on the other side of the planet! A soon as the Chinese get up to speed on mink farming the Danes will probably find the luxury fur rug snatched from beneath their feet.

I  followed my pleasant walk with an equally enjoyable, late morning, hilly ride around the lanes for 15 miles. A shopping free day, by any other name, would feel as sweet. The promised rain pm never materialised but is hardly a cause for complaint.

Mushrooms looking like freshly baked buns sprinkled with poppy seeds.

My shoulder continues to improve while my hip pain alternates between buttock and groin. I have just been reading a news story about vitamin D supplements being a waste of money for active adults who get plenty of sunshine and a decent diet. Read next week's exciting statistics for the completely opposite belief. I wonder if there are any hard statistics on the longevity of medical statistics? Lies, damned lies and The Lancet? Pass me my D-capsules, please.

Friday 11th 53-55F, 12-13C, heavy overcast and very windy.  Just passed 6,000 triking miles for the year. Not a great year so far. Too many aches and pains. Too many rest days. Even our colds are still hanging on a week later. 19 miles shopping trip, triangulating views across the fields of earlier exploits.

My outworn west Fyn is becoming too parochial. I need a new base from which to explore darkest Denmark with fresh vigour. Untested new hills lie waiting to be conquered. I need somewhere where the cobwebs haven't all been torn back to reveal every lane and cranny. Familiarity is fraying the rural beauty to greyness. I am becoming too negative. Too questioning of the raison d'ĂȘtre. A sure sign of boredom.

I wish I could claim some intentional creative responsibility for this strange image. All I did was resize my digital image as usual. It looks more like a book illustration than a real photograph. 

Saturday 12th 52F, 11C, heavy overcast, windy. I've had an hour of brisk walking. Now it's the trike's turn. Of we, jolly well, go. Fortunately the wind was mostly from the side. It was good for cruising at 20mph some of the time though it stayed very grey. Only a 15 mile shopping trip.

It's odd. Google claims I have very nearly 1/4 million page views on this blog. While Statcounter is showing only about 198,000. Where do I queue for my recount?

I'm having serious doubts about my right to cross open fields even by the bare, sunken spray tracks. While the farmer's own activities do far more harm to the soil structure than my size 11s it seems I have no legal right to wander. Not even by the (completely non-existent yet legally required ) 1.5 metre unploughed strip alongside the hedges.

 This is very bad news because this places me on a completely unprotected and busy main road with HGVs, buses and raving lunatic/incompetent car drivers. Not even a space inside the white line to give me the illusion of safety. I always walk towards the traffic. (of course) So I can look the sociopaths straight in the eye as they brush me with their wing mirrors at 10-20mph over the national speed limit.

With most Danish drivers cutting every single corner I spend some time waving them away just before they actually mow me down. They probably see me as the lunatic! It's no wonder it is so rare to see anybody walking along this road. To try pushing a pram would be to invite a multi-vehicle pile up.!There is an almost complete absence of walkable grass verges and where these exist they are littered with beer cans, take-away packaging, fallen branches from council hedge slashing and other rubbish. Twenty years ago you never saw ANY litter in Denmark. Now they wear it with pride as if covetous of the UK's own appalling standards!

It is not too unusual to see empty beer packaging for 12 cans lying on the verge. This morning (on my walk) I saw disposable nappies and several black bin bags which had obviously been dumped from cars. Bins are weighed by the refuse lorries so anything over 2kg attracts an extra charge. Builders must pay to take their rubble and wood waste to the recycling yards. So almost inevitably some of it ends up in the woods or on the verge.

Sunday 13th 51F, 11C, heavy overcast. light winds. It is supposed to brighten up a little with the winds remaining light. I haven't had a decent ride lately. Where shall I go? Just a hilly loop down to the coast. 23 miles. It stayed sunny until I arrived back at home. To be greeted by the stench of varnished and painted wood being burnt.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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