11 Jun 2015

10th JUne 2015 Hic! Oh Shell!! Hic!

Thursday 11th 51F, 11C, hardly a breeze, overcast. It should brighten up later.

And now, in breaking news: It's official: Shell encourages drunk drivers to buy their fuel at Shell petrol stations. A conscientious attendant at a Shell petrol station stopped two three "very obviously drunk" drivers from leaving and called the police who made the arrests. The police gave her a £50 reward. Shell sacked her for failing to wear a high visibility vest on the forecourt while saving lives. Meanwhile: Drunk drivers can safely use Shell petrol stations without the slightest risk of a citizen's arrest by the staff. Just try not to hit the petrol pumps on your way out!

Mmmm! McLardy's Choker-Colour! Major distributors to Danish roadside litter! We deliver where others fear to tread! 

Will Shell be now be having a [damage limitation] TV advertising campaign to encourage drunk drivers to buy from their chain of [drunk magnet] petrol stations? Perhaps offering savings stamps for petrol purchases based on blood-alcohol levels? With a free presentation bottle of booze after collecting enough stamps? Dunno. Perhaps they should ask the tobacco companies for some really expert advice on attracting generations of lemmings. I wonder whether Shell buys oil from IS or sells barrels for bombs to Assad? Probably best not to ask.

I could come up with some suitable Shell advertising slogans myself:

Shell: The drunk driver's tipple of choice. 
Shell: Get many more miles to the litre [of alcohol!] 
Shell: Too big to ever have to say sorry.

The story of the sacking has gone viral on Facebook with some 900 customers threatening a boycott. One of whom spends 30,000DKK a year or about £3000 at that particular Shell petrol station. Most expressed the opinion that Shell had got it badly wrong.

My usual walk was interrupted by a huge lorry, with attached crane and matching trailer coming to collect a pile of logs.  Rather unexpectedly I was asked by the driver if I was authorised to be walking in the woods. Why, on earth,  would I need to be approved to practice my legal right to enjoy the woods? The sign giving the public legal access from dawn to dusk was planted on a post not ten yards from where we stood!

Should have waited for the huge cloud of dust to settle!

I saw a [scaredy] cat in the woods for the first time today. It didn't come near enough for me to ask if it was approved. It was the spitting image of our old, grey tabby too. A few hares were out on the big field which still has low crops.

It cleared up after lunch but was still only 63F at 3pm. Just a short ride through the woods today. Only 10 miles but came back heavily loaded. It had reached a pleasant 66F, 19C when I returned.

An old, half-timbered thatched cottage from  1777 has had a sand blast to remove centuries of chalky paint. The house name "Svinget" means "The Corner." They must have been psychic! Hundreds of intercontinental HGVs now pass within three feet of the gable end, bedroom wall and window!

Friday 12th 60-72F, 15-23C, almost still with bright sunshine forecast until after lunch. Warblers and blackbirds are having a singing competition in the garden trees. I wonder if I'm allowed out for another proper ride? The Head Gardener worries about my long term exposure to UVs. It's not as if I go south and bake myself on a semi-tropical beach for several weeks a year. I'm not even allowed to leave without a good dollop of sun block laid on thick with a plasterer's trowel.

Mmmm! McLardy's new logo:
Simple fare for [very] simple folk.

No morning walk today so I could leave early suitably reinforced with toast and morning coffee. Rather a lot of traffic on my route but the wind remained light. With many of the turbines standing still early on. The wind picked up a little as I headed home on a different route. Still only 30 miles.

Saturday 13th 64-67F, 18-19C, overcast, warm, sticky and static wind turbines. Thundery showers forecast for this pm. I walked a familiar route backwards. No, not like that. I meant clockwise, instead of the reverse. I don't wear rear view mirrors on my walking boots!

It started raining at my most distant point from home. I was wearing a lightweight, polyester, shower-proof jogging jacket for its pocket capacity. Shower-proof being, on a scale of lies, damned lies and shower-proof, somewhere between blotting paper and fisherman's net. I crooked one hand over my binoculars and pressed on.

A very large heron had obviously heard the rumours about imminent, rising water levels.[Except in California of course.]  The daft bird was looking decidedly odd standing tall, perched on the top of a tree, overlooking a marsh drainage channel. Perhaps it had seen herons sitting up in trees on its holidays? It snuggled down as soon as I took out my camera. Which rather spoilt the effect. Not a very crisp picture, I'm afraid, at full [12x] zoom with further cropping.

Once the rain had satisfied itself that I was comfortably saturated it went off again. A peloton roared past dragging a tail of spray. Rather them than me! Cars came much too close and sprayed me too as I plodded back along the road. Several cars passed with stacks of MTBs aboard. Obviously heading for a competition somewhere even muddier than the roads we must all travel.

Not feeling very energetic on the trike today. Hardly managing to cruise at 16mph. I left damp roads behind and returned to wet roads and light rain later. I'm wondering if they are going to make a cycle lane on the newly widened road when they have finished with all the drainage and district heating work. It's very broad minded of drivers to travel at 60mph in the 60kph limit. Normally they go blind, deaf and dumb if you so much as mention Imperial measurements over here. Only 15 miles x 1.61 = 24.15km. 60mph  x 1.61 = 96 kmh! No sign of any badly parked vans. That usually produces some bright brake lights these days!

Sunday 14th 53F, 12C, very cloudy and quite windy.  Drifts of petals lifted in the breeze or to the draught from passing vehicles. A pair of buzzards circled over the woods as I approached. Otherwise the wildlife seemed to be having a day off. Perhaps they were hiding from the clanging of village church bells? Rest day.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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