14 Sep 2015

14th September 2015 On the lonliness of the long distance tractor driver...

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Monday 14th 60-66F, 16-19C, breezy, overcast. Showers possible but also clearing to sunshine. Take your pick which you trust. Forecast now changed to dry until this afternoon. Went for a walk but still no sign of the missing Coot family. Presumably they have joined the endless refugees in search of a new place to call home. Warm, sunny and windy.

I saved a life [my own] by stepping onto the grass to avoid an elderly  woman driver heading straight for me. She clipped the grass verge where I would have been standing without so much as a glance in my direction. Lots of ploughing going on to the delight of the shifting clouds of mink farm gulls. A few wet bales linger on as darkly forgotten tombstones. Raised to the memory of past harvests and their countless victims. Nobody does anything manually any more. Except me of course. Where have all the navvies gone? Long time passing.

Rode north with a tail crosswind off my right shoulder. Shopped and then returned with a cross headwind. They are all at it! Tractors raking, tilling, ploughing and sewing all on the same prairie. 14 miles.

Tuesday 15th 55-59F, 13-15C, bright and windy. Very windy, in fact. I walked towards the woods to take some pictures of a tractor ploughing the prairie. The advantage of the modern large, 4WD tractor is the sheer speed they can cover the ground. This young chap went back and forth several times by the time I had walked along the track. The entire plough flips over at the end of each furrow ready for the return journey.

My cap was in great danger of becoming road kill on my return journey. Still no coot family on the village pond. I wonder whether I should make a missing coots report? And if so... to whom? Rural policemen are even rarer than .. er.. um... er.. coots, these days. With rain forecast for after lunch I suppose I had better make an effort instead of sitting here waffling all morning.

Headwind going. Tailwind coming back. It felt rather cool when I left but the extra clothing soon came off. Luckily I missed a heavy, very localized shower at home. Another person asked where they could get a trike like mine instead of a heavy and ugly "invalid" trike. Sadly I had to point out how unstable lightweight trikes are in comparison with the cast iron, drainpipe variety. Two teenage girls admired my trike outside another supermarket. They seemed genuine enough. Kids in Denmark are infinitely better behaved than in the UK. They also seem far more self-confident and mature. A chap on a scooter came over to chat about bikes/trikes v scooters in the economy stakes. Only 15 miles.

Wednesday 16th 54-60F, 12-16C, breezy and rather cloudy. Rain again promised for the afternoon. Walked mostly across empty fields for a change of scenery. Difficult to match clothing to later warmth as temperatures climb rapidly from a rather cool start. Short ride under rather grey skies. Only 10 miles.

Thursday 17th 60F, 16C, windy with heavy overcast. Gusting to over 30 mph later.  Clomped across more harvested fields to experience the empty quarter where no humans ever tread. There were times I could literally lean on the wind as fine drizzle threatened at intervals. The only wildlife was a hunting house cat, several windblown butterflies and the swallows.

I spent another few hours clipping a ten foot tall, prickly hedge in a howling gale. It was blowing so hard the clippings were rolling away across the lawn! The task would be much easier if the hedge were not ten feet thick in places where the neighbour hasn't touched his side in the years he has been here. Wielding a massive, extended hedge clipper from the top of a ladder is not what they usually recommend as suitable weight training in the cycling manuals.

And, I'm an old fart! Which is just another excuse for another "rest day". I wonder how many people of my age can manage my "circus" tricks? [Clown on a tricycle, high wire hedge clipping, extreme stubble field rambling, limbo dancing through small holes in hedges, etc.] Thank you, thank you, thank you! No applause is necessary. I'd like to thank....



Click on any image for an enlargement.

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