26 Feb 2016

26th February 2016 Watch TV or go to prison!


Friday 26th 31-37-41F, -1+3+5C, almost still, white frost, clear, with bright sunshine on the way. Another promising day. Two snippets of Danish news for the curious about the "happiest people on Earth" [Outside of North Korea of course.] The right-wing farming package, to allow farmers to shit up the countryside even more, is now close to causing a general election. The muck-spreading will also lead to an explosion of nettles. How utterly and entirely appropriate! ;-)

Some of the forest tracks are almost grown together in places despite the deep tyre tracks. Presumably the forestry vehicles just brush through. While I have to duck and even take detours just to get though without ripping my clothes on sharp thorns.

The second item will make even hardened communist dictators like "Putin the Terrible" take a sharp intake of breath: Three out of four Danes have to pay for commercial TV channels they never, ever watch. A TV "package" is a condition of home or flat ownership in many cases. We aren't just talking about the second highest TV License fee in Europe [after Switzerland] but compulsory commercial TV packages! Even old people's homes charge over £40, $56US [equivalent] per month, every month, to supply TV to every resident regardless of income status. The charge stands even if the elderly person is completely senile and they never watch TV! An impoverished, elderly person can actually be thrown out of their retirement home for not being able to afford the compulsory commercial TV pack! Only in Denmark! 

My walk extended to nearly an hour and three quarters today thanks to taking a long loop in the forest. I saw a splendid Nuthatch, bright, raucous Jays and a busy Coal tit. It is never really quiet in the woods even when there are no nearby roads. There is a constant background music of bird calls and warning beeps. The plaintive mew of the birds of prey is as frequently heard as the woodpecker's deep rattle.

I can never quite capture the warmth, beauty and uniformity of the fallen beech leaves on the forest floor. This bank is furrowed by a narrow stream and always seems to catches the play of light on its gentle contours.

The warmth of the low sun was as remarkable as it was bright. My early footsteps were met by hard-frozen ground. Later, the sun had already penetrated deep into the bare soil. To produce a foot mud bath when I tried to take a shortcut along the field tracks. Despite my steadiness of tread I was barely able to walk on the slippery mire! I now need a shoulder bag to carry my jacket, hat and gloves when it becomes too warm.

Quite a chilly crosswind on my late morning ride. I watched as a larger bird of prey chased another across the road causing a white van to brake hard. A lady cyclist asked me about the trike an commented on the fine weather. She seemed surprised when I said it was quite heavy and unstable. Legs much better today. I even remembered and enjoyed my forgotten Corny muesli bar. 14 miles.


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