1 May 2015

May 1st 2015 Stand aside, Imelda! Coming through!


Friday 1st May 45F, 7C, almost still, rather cloudy with only a few bright periods so far. The forecast is for showers [possibly thundery with hail] and sunny periods all day. After yesterday's foolishness I am inclined to believe them! So here we are at the start of May. We had March winds [and hares] and April showers [all to quite unnecessary excess] but survived to tell the tale [at considerable length.]

Wild violets on the path through the woods.

Those of you who don't enjoy my biannual rants can blame chocolate. For some reason it affects my mood. Having excessive quantities of chocolates handy is only apt to occur at Christmas and after my birthday. Binging on chocolates is a poor weapon of choice but seems mostly harmless provided I have eaten them quickly enough. The effects of overindulgence are more severe but unlikely to end in tears of long term regret. And on that note I am being strongly urged to take a walk.

I'm keeping a careful eye out for wolves. They are spreading north from Germany but it seems rather unlikely they will try to cross by motorway or railway bridge to the island of Fyn. Though I do  hear some very weird noises in the woods!

A hare with very little understanding of the game of 'hide and seek!'

I checked the face of the woods from afar, through the binoculars, just as I usually do in search of deer and hares. A person was just disappearing through the dark entry portal! The second trespasser on my woodland privacy in two years? Not a good start but I'll put it down to a spring holiday aberration.  Fortunately there was no further sign of the intruder as I followed on a good 10 minutes in arrears.

It was a perfect morning for a walk. [Or a ride!] Almost dead still, sunshine, light bank holiday traffic and birdsong. The snowy Buzzard was still circling despite it being an official holiday in honour of one of Stalin's many massacres, or something like that. Several hares pottered about in the spray tracks without a care in the world. I watched tiny warblers through my binoculars as they flitted from twig to twig.

Then I was brought to an abrupt halt.! Somebody had erected a tall, black, narrow and featureless spire. Perhaps several hundred feet high and just behind some local woods! I fully intended to check its position using an online mapping service when I got home. Using a careful examination of line of sight and foreground buildings I would ride that way after coffee to see what on earth was going on.

I  had it all planned until I reached another viewpoint a mile or so further on and clear of the foreground woods.  It was a damned great large wind turbine standing quite still with one blade absolutely vertical! I am so used to seeing windmills going round that I hardly bother to pay attention any more. They are usually rather indefinite in my vague sense of perspective in the familiar local landscape. Today they were all doing their silly and rather pointless; "I'm a tree!" impressions. Windmills 1 Chris 0. Null points for identification then, Chris! In my humble defence I must say that the strange paint they use can appear as everything from snowy white to blackest black. It is really an odd colour of matt pale grey. Probably intended to match the ever-changing background sky under all conditions.

An afternoon ride looked distinctly possible until "that somebody" emptied a ton of half inch hail on the garden! [Apologies for the non-metric utterances.] So I had to content myself with treating the leather of my latest anthem to Imelda the Bag Lady. Or was it shoes? No, designer bags are the Danish prime minister's fetish. I know Imelda had some leather fetish, or other. Said bag is a workman's [?] leather tool bag of superb stature and wonderful girth. With a thickness of hide which Brooks can only dream of in these days of ecological calf rearing on diluted, condensed milk and kindness.

Dr Trykit rides again!

The image shows the leather still slightly damp from the [horse] saddle oil which I used to to re-nourish the leather. Though the stiff hide was still in very good knick bar a few scratches and some obvious "history" from years hiding in a barn. All thoughts of using Brooks very own 'Proofide' evaporated when I remembered how poorly it rejected rain spots even moments after application. I needed something much more waterproof and just happened to have bought the saddle oil, many years ago, to revive a mummified B17 Narrow. The oil proved unsuitable for cycle saddles, in the long run, because it softens the leather too much. So don't even go there. Better the devil you know.

The new bag is probably best mounted on the back of the Higgins. Ideal, I would have thought, for my weekly runs down to the coal yard to collect my pensioner's ration of Best Welsh Steam. Suit yourselves. [You will anyway.] I just hope no hairy biker wants it for his Harley! I do so hate violence.

The bag fits an absolute treat on the Trykit rack with the handle slipped over the saddle pin. Downside is having to remove the saddle pin, or the saddle, to fit and remove the bag. Not really major but a serious impediment to one so prone to procrastination.

WARNING:Weight weenies should look away now! The bag weighs in, as seen, at just under 6lbs. [2.72kg]  That is without the rough plywood base liner and tool compartments which came free of charge. I unbolted those, but a series of leather tool loops, riveted within the bag's capacious interior, have been left as-is for a nice touch of Feng Shui. Or was it a momentary ache for some semblance of originality? Anyway, something to brag about when I am stopped in the street by interested leather fetishists? Well, you never know?

I may yet attack the bag exterior with some black, wax, shoe polish in the hope of further minimising the more obvious surface damage. Though, quite honestly, I have never fully recovered from the hours wasted spent 'bulling' the toes of my heavily dimpled, ex-govt, army boots. This was for that nice warrant officer of the ATC in my distant youth. PTSD doesn't even come close! I swear I've never been the same since. Nobody explained that you weren't supposed to grin sheepishly when the warrant officer bawls you out for severe toe polish transgressions.

Talking of which: My Salomon GTX Discovery walking boots have, yet again, sprung leaks in the waterproof membranes. I only have to glance at a bit of dew on the lawn and my socks get all wet! The manufacturers replaced the last pair free of charge [at only one year] well under the 2 year guarantee. Now I'm wondering if the guarantee period rolls forward for these replacements? Probably not, but it's better to travel in hope. Though, preferably, not with wet socks. I should still be good until November 2015.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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