The Danish news invited my moral outrage yet again today. The talking heads, mingling in the corridors of their gilded, 1st class, gravy train, have cut social security to the very poorest families. Why? To negatively reward poor teenagers, who take a part time job to make some honest, well-earned, pocket money.
Thus, the early and absolutely vital, psychological connection between honest work, self-esteem and personal reward are safely crushed into politically-motivated oblivion.
Further down the news web page was a story about youth, drug gangs, pressing small, city businesses for protection money. The real cost of street gangs to society? Vastly in excess of the paltry funds saved by targeting young people's dreams and income. Probably by a factor of several billion to one over multiple lifetimes of crime.
My planned, afternoon ride was cancelled due to strong winds and a dark and threatening sky.
Wednesday 15th 39F, 4C, clear and bright, becoming windy later. Walked to the forest along the familiar track in bright sunshine.
As I looked off to the left I saw a pair of huge Cranes in the distance. They were slowly climbing a low hump at the far end of the large field and looking around nervously. I crouched down and hid behind the only tree and watched them through my binoculars. Fortunately the low sun was behind me and the wind in my favour.
My attempts at photography at full zoom on my compact camera were doomed to failure. But I snapped away and hoped as they slowly emerged into the sunlight. Suddenly they began to trumpet and the larger and darker of the pair practiced lifting slightly off the ground with its massive wings spread wide to catch the stiff breeze. Then they panicked and took off hooting loudly and repeatedly. They banked behind a narrow leg of the forest and disappeared from view. They were very impressive in flight.
Later, three Mergansers left the pond on the marsh as I approached. I also saw several birds of prey including one with pointed, scimitar-shaped wings. Quite a large bird and very light on the undersides.
More consternation on the Danish news. It concerns Ikea, that bastion of ridiculous names and vastly profitable warehouses. They have been paying their delivery lorry drivers a slave wage of £3 an hour to live in their lorries for many months at a time. Of course they are feigning ignorance of the unheard of crime of organized human slavery. Blaming East European hauliers as subcontractors for this latest outrage of inhumanity to hit the Danish news.
The news is often full of horror stories of East European building workers having to live on unfinished building sites. Or stacked into appalling and inhumane accommodation while they "earn" an absolute pittance for working very long hours. Guess what? Many of these same, prestige, building projects are being taxpayer built for the Danish government or Danish city councils.
Late morning ride to the shops into blinding sunshine. Cruising at 17-20mph thanks to the tailwind. More like 11-12mph coming home laden. I had hand greased the saddle with Brooks finest Proofide. The addle glowed with a deep shine after the treatment. Though it wasn't as slippery as usual despite being well buffed after an overnight baste. Tying the B17 'Special' at a fellow tricyclist's suggestion, was the best thing I've done for saddle longevity. It hasn't sagged despite not being re-tensioned. Previo9s examples have had a short comfortable life before becoming too saddle backed. 15 windy miles.