26 Jan 2017

26th January 2017 Starry, starry night...


Thursday 26th 30F, -1C, heavy overcast, thick mist, breezy enough to move the trees. Windchill is at -5C. It felt cold yesterday at similar temperatures in a light breeze. I expect it to be worse today unless we get the promised sunshine later. It wasn't too bad for a walk to the village and back. A small flock of Bullfinches brightened the view of the drab, winter trees. The mist cleared but there was no sunshine.

Friday 27th 30-35F, -1+2C. Quite breezy from the east. A clear, starry night for a change. The dustbin lorry was a movable feast, of light, seen from across the fields. The first hint of a glow in the sky from the east at 07.30. By 8.30 the sky was still clear but now bright. A hard white frost reveals itself as a huge heron takes awkward flight towards the pinkly, shaded, northern horizon. The anemometer rotors are spinning as a warning against wind chill on my anticipated walk. Ask not what today will bring. But what can you bring to today.

The soil was rock hard and the whitened grass crunchy as I walked up to the woods. A buzzard flapped away in company with a raucous jackdaw. Which took a pointless swipe at its larger cousin. The beech leaves were noisy under my boots as I sought my exit from the forest into blinding sunshine. Thanks to the shelter of the hedge from the easterly wind I soon had my jacket open and my fleece hat in my pocket. I could also remove my wind visor in the form of yellow, industrial safety glasses. As I have said before these absolutely trounce conventional [cycling] sunglasses for wind protection. They are my go-to choice for perfectly dry eye cycling in wintry temperatures.

Late morning ride wearing my fleece, neck warmer sleeve. It provides a superb, extra dollop of warmth when needed, but can be lost in the bag in an instant. Highly recommended for sub zero rides. Mostly a crosswind in brilliant sunshine returning heavily laden. The scooterist's gloves were perfect today without a twinge of cold.  Three red kites were circling over a roadside marsh. With several buzzards or similar sized birds of prey seen on the way home. I caught up with cyclists going both ways on the raised cycle paths. So I had to dive down short, 45° ramps off the kerb and back up again after overtaking along the road at nearly 20mph. The ramps are only as wide as they need to be for private drives so are best taken at speed. Silly old sod! 😎17 miles.

Saturday 28th 30F, -1C, another clear night. Some early sun promised. As it finally approaches daylight at 8.15 the sky is strewn with thin, pinkish-orange clouds against the palest turquoise. The bright vapour trails from the airliners add their linear embellishments.  [According to personal taste.]

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the Internet content over time? They say that once committed to the 'Net' that it will echo forever. I have this strange idea that iArchaeology students will look back with some virtual longing for our Golden Age of pre-dystopian innocence. I may be a deluded old fart but it really does feel as if the future will be a far bleaker place. Certainly much worse than anything we have enjoyed over the last half century or more.

Melancholic nostalgia has no firm basis in reality and may simply be a standard feature of [older] age. One's youth provides more fertile grounds for optimism than the apparent bleakness ahead. I find myself looking far more often in the rear view mirror than through the dirty and distorted windscreen on the future. Those supposedly in charge or OUR world seem no less corrupt than at any time in human history. I had hoped the Internet would sweep away much the the dross by exposure to the cleansing light of public gaze. But the US electorate has managed to Trump any evil or blind, superstitious ignorance which has gone before. Will the last man [or woman] on Earth please turn out the lights? Thank you.

I walked to the woods and looped around various tracks. Apart from a couple of jays all was quiet today. It was quite hard walking in some places with the frozen soil being rock hard and unforgiving.

Sunday 29th 35-38F, 2-3C, misty and breezy with a heavy overcast. The promised black ice did not materialize. Walked anticlockwise up through the forest and back along the track. The jay's witches cackles echoed trough the trees. A fair number of herons about at the moment. Probably foraging because their regular ponds are frozen. The ground was still rock hard this morning despite the apparent wetness of everything. At least it gives me better access to certain routes. It rained at lunchtime adding to the misery of yet another permafrost thaw causing squelchy conditions.


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