7 Jun 2016

7th June 2016 Hare today, gone tomorrow.


Tuesday 7th 60-77F, 16-25C, windy from the east with the trees all moving. A very brief, light shower showed itself on the southerly windows. Quite bright with a mixture of cloud, misty white and blue sky. The forecast is for a slightly cooler day. I circumnavigated the large field in front of the woods in the dust dry spray tracks. Where I was taunted by a bolshy, asymmetric hare as I moved closer, taking a snap with every other step. No ride today as I was busy at home. It was hot and sunny all afternoon.

Wednesday 8th 55-72F, 13-22C, very light wind, heavy overcast. The cloud is supposed to clear to brighter weather but cooler than of late. It had only reached 58F when I left for my walk into quite a cool breeze. Though it was far from uncomfortable even walking into the wind. I fought my way through head high grasses to reach the marsh pond but there were few signs of life. A solitary Shelduck circled and landed on the water then changed its mind to do a few more circuits.

It was breezy up in the woods. The usual views between the dark trunks of the beeches was lost to dense foliage. Some deer were making their strange 'barking' sounds out of sight in the thickest growth. Judging by the noises I was glad they stayed there!

You call that a track?

Walking back down the usual track to the road involved more tall grasses. There was no sign of a machete dispenser or even a rechargeable strimmer. I am always amazed at the sheer number of different grasses at this time of year. While evolution is very well accepted by most people it does make you wonder how grasses knew I'd be along eventually. Just to have sharp grass heads weave themselves into my socks and stab my poor old feet! I keep getting short bouts of hay fever this year. Which is hardly surprising given that grasses obviously intend to rule the earth. Just try going a week without giving the lawn a haircut if you don't believe me! Gravel and paving slabs are no defense either. They'd have to mow the roads if there wasn't traffic to keep the grasses at bay.

A few minutes after setting off on the trike into bright sunshine, a huge black cloud arrived. I felt three giant drops and pedaled like hell to get to the shops before it tipped down. Another false alarm. The clouds dispersed until I returned home. I'd give up on the amateurish Danish supermarkets if I had half a chance. No stock on the shelves. No stock in the warehouse. Infants on the checkouts and shelf filling. Queues at the checkouts as far as the next village! Only 7 miles of constant torment. Sometimes, I don't know why I bother. ;-)

Thursday 9th 65-69F, 18-21C, bright sunshine, calm. It is expected to be cooler still today. You couldn't make it up! I turned away from my intended route because I saw a tractor sprayer up ahead. So I walked through the woods instead where a hare lolloped several hundred yards to greet me. Hares seem to have poor straight ahead vision. For a change of scenery I returned via the bare spray tracks across several fields. Having reached the road I found myself walking on the opposite side of the hedge to the same spraying machine! A beautiful sky of fluffy cumulus clouds today and only slightly too warm in a thin jacket and trousers. There was just enough of a SW breeze to help me stay cooler.

The spring on the second buckle of my NorthWave MTB shoes broke. Fortunately I received two buckles under guarantee when the first one broke. A very simple [one screw] swap including fitting a new, toothed, tension strap. The latter just slides into a moulded loop. The buckles are "handed" so cannot be fitted to the wrong shoe without problems.

Northwave do seem to have an Achilles heel in the shape of this tiny buckle spring. Without the spring the buckle locks fast and will refuse to allow the shoe to be removed or even loosened without tools. This could prove to be quite a problem after a crash and possible injury. An ambulance driver is unlikely to have a Philips screwdriver in his pocket so would probably take a knife or very strong scissors to the strap to get the shoe off.

I'm sure young and strong MTB racers would give these shoes a hell of a lot more punishment than I ever have. Perhaps they'd view replacing buckles at ten dead squid per shot an acceptable expense for enjoying the competition. Micro-adjusting buckles with all the 'bells and whistles' are far more user-friendly than Velcro straps. When they work as intended. Albeit at considerably greater expense than 'humble' Velcro.

An after coffee ride to some different shops. Same problem as yesterday. An infant on the checkouts too engrossed and inexperienced to look up and see the queue is stretching back to the next village or the one after that. She eventually called a staff member to the second checkout. Several times too, before a lazy roundtoit ambles up as if they had all the time in the world. Which they always have of course and it's only a low paid job and they always have delusions of grandeur that they should be rocket scientists or Bill Gates or something.

Of course, all those who had not queued but were hovering then moved straight onto that checkout leaving the original queue of twelve odd trolleys and several baskets completely unchanged. Exactly as occurs every, single time. The parrot-like: "Y'all have a nice day!" [in Danish] has a false ring to it when real customer respect is always so completely lacking.

The marsh pond taken from the rising field above shows how little marsh is left beyond the water. From the bank it looks as if the largely willow undergrowth goes on forever. The central white blob near the far bank is a solitary Shelduck. Judging by all the spent shells lying around this lake it is much like shooting fish in a barrel. They and the pheasants even get fed grain by the wheelbarrow full in winter.

I keep forgetting that it is not the customer who pays their wages. It is their fairy godmother. Which must be why the shelf-filling staff usually ignore most customer's greetings. Crosswind going and crosswind coming back but it's always a headwind shopping in Denmark. There are several ways of saying thank you in Danish. The only time you will ever hear them is between friends! There is no known Danish term for "sorry" where customer service is concerned. The customer is always at fault. 14 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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