30 Jun 2017

30th June 2017 Defensive Walking.

Friday 30th 57F, 14C, light winds, still raining. A very wet day and night is forecast. With yellow warnings of cloudbursts. There was only steady, fine drizzle as I walked defensively against the commuting traffic and their tyre spray. Not that walking against the traffic helps when a lunatic in a black Alpha overtakes a lorry on double white lines and then uses all the road to drive at twice the speed limit past numerous blind, private drives, before arriving at the next blind corner.

Very unusually, a young woman with a pushchair was walking with the traffic towards the bus stop. It is rare indeed to ever see another pedestrian.  I looked on in fear as every car had to take violent measures to avoid her on the same blind corner.

Autopilot cutting every single corner in both directions is the absolute norm in Denmark. Every double white line is worn down to grey on every corner and along many straights. I have seen solo driving instructors and police cars following exactly the same line. Crossing the double white lines by at least a yard/meter on even the gentlest of corners is perfectly normal behaviour. They do this whatever is coming the other way. The oncoming vehicle is fully expected to use their own verge to avoid the corner-cutting psychopaths! I kid you not.

One can only presume that all drivers are taught to drive this [suicidal] way in Denmark. They don't know the law regarding double white lines and so they simply don't follow the rules. Logic would suggest that cutting any blind corner, where a large proportion of drivers overshoot, on double white lines is a recipe for national disaster. These drivers wouldn't last a day in Gravely Blighted unless they changed their own behaviour.

Will Google have to exclusively change their self-driving software to cater for illegal, Danish driving habits? Perhaps we should be told? Many commuters will certainly have to drastically alter their timetables if Google's software refuses to exceed the visual braking distance on blind corners. How they will cope en-masse with cornering at such modest speeds is difficult to say. Will psychiatric help be required for the millions who do not engage their brains before turning the "ignition" key? THis all takes place in a country where speeding is the norm. As is tailgating anybody not driving at 10-15kph over the legal speed limit in town, village or on the motorway. There is no basic human right to be allowed to drive at the speed limit in Denmark. Not without constant intimidation.

"They" even lower the speeds shown on the speed indicator boards at the entrances to villages by 6-7kph. I have always assumed this is to avoid embarrassing too many drivers. As they enter the village to flashing yellow warning lights to indicate their illegally high speed. Even these warning lights have a carefully adjusted delay to avoid embarrassing too many drivers by flashing as they approach at some ridiculous speed. The obvious logic would be to have flashing yellow lights on the backs of the boards as well. So anyone downstream is forewarned and the speeding driver has his conscience pricked.

So the faster they drive into a village the less likely they are to see the speed indicator board actually register a lower, but still illegal speed. Or to be warned of their poor behaviour by the flashing lights.

The following vehicle, which may well have slowed to the legal speed limit, is presented with a completely false [totally random] speed reading and the flashing lights caused by the vehicle they were following! If this is meant to be a traffic calming measure then it is poorly thought out, often poorly installed, very poorly calibrated and a constant irritant to better drivers.

 I have been reading the speed indicator board on the way into a local village for 20 years and in all that time it has read consistently 6kph slow when I see 50kph on my speedometer. The difference is enough to mean a fine if I used these daft indicator boards as a guide to my actual speed. The same error held true through various changes of vehicle so it isn't a unique speedometer error.

A new speed indicator board was recently installed in another village and yet again reads significantly low. Though that does not stop it flashing at almost every motorist who recognises a straight village road as an open invitation to speed. At the end of the straight is a blind bend with a crossroads just beyond. Where I witnessed the aftermath of a very serious, multi-vehicle "accident." With one car cut in half lengthways and a minivan on its roof! This in the middle of a village with 50kph [30mph] speed limits for miles in both directions! 

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29 Jun 2017

29th June 2017 About [North] Face, People!

Thursday 29th 60F, 15C, uniform grey overcast. Showers or rain forecast with a warning of cloudbursts. Pop festival "goers" might like to take their inflatables with them. I am, of course, referring to dinghies, not their BFs. It is 2017 and literally millions of years since we stepped down from the trees onto damp grass and we still can't cope with a bit of "heavy dew!"

Impatient Mink gulls waiting for the first band to come on.

Most weatherproof clothing is either not waterproof enough, or as sweaty as an over-tailored bin bag. In fact some of them may be as sweaty as the Asian or South American sweat shops where they were produced by [literally] forced economic slaves working in cramped, 98F conditions in 20 hour shifts. Sweat shops where fires are ignored and the "staff" forced back into often unsafe buildings while the fire continues to burn. About [North] Face, People! Enjoy that great feeling of the Great Outdoors in all your expensive finery. And remember, it's only a fire drop of rain! Actually a bit more than that locally: A short walk followed by a very wet day without a ride.

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28 Jun 2017

28th June 2017 See me, Jimmy! 😳

Wednesday 28th 55F, overcast, becoming breezy, showers promised.

I have removed the earlier piece on publication [by the mother] of  an image of a person who "flashed" himself repeatedly at her 10-year-old daughter in a supermarket car park. The mother captured a still of the person from the security camera footage.

The image was published before the suspect was later tried and convicted. My earlier sympathy with the disparity between the fines for the original "offense" [of flashing repeatedly] and the publication of image of the "suspect" had assumed the person had already been found guilty in a court of law. The online news story had not made that very clear.

My attempt to use the case an an illustration of the difficulty of sharing cycling action cam videos [or stills] still holds IMO. In many other countries videos and stills are often used online to shame bad drivers [or other people] who are behaving badly or illegally in a public place and, by their own actions, seriously endangering the public.

Appearing in public inevitably places one in the range of almost countless cameras these days. Any expectations of privacy must be balanced against expected minimum standards of public behaviour. If one has registration plates on one's vehicle [as is required by law] then that vehicle is uniquely identifiable to almost all who see or record the vehicle's actions. Only a fool would assume they enjoy total anonymity. If the driver then behaves like an idiot they have only themselves to  blame if they later appear in a YT video with the registration plates clearly visible.

 Filming and later publishing any obviously illegal or poor behaviour should surely be a normal, human right. The camera owner becomes a local extension of the law when the police can't be everywhere. Their images should be taken seriously by the police even if they themselves were not actually present. Sharing images of bad driving behaviour could result in a dangerous criminal being denied their license to repeatedly commit dangerous crimes against the public. Sharing identifiable images of violence could limit a sociopath, terrorist or gangster's freedom to cause mayhem.

It seems to be often the case [in Denmark at least] that the police do not attend every single crime scene. Assuming a shopkeeper has video evidence and a living suspect, who has the stolen goods concealed on them, how is the shopkeeper to react to being told the police will not attend? The most obvious "justice" in this case is to publish the images of the illegal behaviour and identify the [supposedly innocent] criminal. What other recourse does the shopkeeper have if they are to stay in business?

Yet, in Denmark, the shopkeeper will be prosecuted even for sharing images with fellow shopkeepers as a warning on who is on the prowl. When does the "greater good" of public privacy outweigh the rights of a shopkeeper to remain in business? Or should he act as a free outlet for every scumbag who wants to leave without paying? If only to maintain the right to privacy of the very scumbags threatening his [very] public service.

One could stretch the case that public supervision of the public themselves, by camera, could lead to some kind of authoritarian, controlling hell. I would argue that this is very far removed from sharing a few videos online, of bad, or dangerous behaviour. The public already monitors and often reports bad behavior. The difference is only one of kind. Using a camera is apt to be far more accurate and useful at identification than fuzzy memory alone.

Bottom line: Where it is blindingly obvious that many drivers speed past an unfenced, school playground why may I not record the actions of those same drivers? Why may I not place that video on YT as a gentle means of persuasion for all drivers to behave like competent adults? Rather than sociopaths without a care in the world for the consequences. Simply because they know that police cars and radar traps are as rare as unicorn droppings in rural Denmark. This is not remotely a criticism of the police. Whose duties, numbers and funds are primarily controlled by politicians.

Tomorrow, and Friday in particular, will be very wet. Deluge levels of wet with possible cloudbursts are forecast.  

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26 Jun 2017

26th June 2017 Blustering slugs!


Monday 26th 61-64F, 16-18C, windy and rather cloudy, showers possible again. Short walk in a blustery wind. A Red kite was soaring along the edge of the road looking for breakfast.  It was almost overhead at only 50ft when it pulled away across the fields. The flocks of Starlings and Sparrows indicate another good nesting season in continuing mild weather.

Now all we need is a common bird which actually likes eating slugs. We collected half a builder's bucket full from our lawn one morning. Well, The Head Gardener did, while I supervised and acted as advanced spotter. The edges of the roads are always heavily splattered with millions of slugs after rain. Perhaps it is the mono-culture crops providing perfect conditions for them? Though that doesn't explain their taste for drag racing against cars on damp asphalt. A skill at which few seem to have become truly accomplished. At least, not so far. Perhaps we are never lucky enough to see the celebrity winners? They may go off to be cheered by adoring crowds of fans back in the fields. No ride today.

Tuesday 27th 50-65F, 10-18C, rather cloudy but almost calm in the garden. Took a longer walk today. Along the side of the marsh, the pond and looping back along the curving face of the woods. Hundreds of brown ducklings moved in separate convoys around the far edge of the pond. Far enough away to make a mockery of my camera's reach. Their haste to escape turning dark and shady water into streaks of brilliant light. No herons did their familiar, ceremonial laps at my intrusion today.

Three buzzards circled overhead, each higher than the other and calling plaintively. As I craned my neck and tried not to tip over backwards. I paused at the highest point of my walk to watch as the shadows of clouds and spots of sunlight moved, or faded in and out, across the gentle landscape.  Distant rolls of large hay bales awaited collection on a steep hillside. Leaving me wondering about the incredible stability of farm vehicles on such remarkable slopes. A breeze has picked up now but it shouldn't become a nuisance.

I have a parcel to return to the post office so should hopefully get a ride in today. And did. I saw a girl pull out of a rural junction up ahead and assumed I would soon catch her. For a sit-up-and-beg roadster she couldn't half move! I can only presume she was another TeslaGirl. She put half a mile into me in only a mile and I was doing 16-18mph. I commented to a chap in the long queue at one supermarket that we would soon be queuing next door.  To which he responded in English. "Your Danish is awful!" No, I hadn't just moved here. Ask any of my past colleagues from those 10 years of sharing my pidgin Dansk.  Only 7 miles, returning heavily laden and trying to keep my cadence high. It looks better on the climbs if one crawls at a <cough> "stylish" 100rpm. <sigh> 😉

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21 Jun 2017

21st JUne 2017 Pass the [gilded] cup of sugar, please?


Wednesday 21st 55F, 13C, bright with a light breeze. The shortest day, including for bees, allegedly. The vital little creatures are under attack from all sides. Industrialized, mono-culture, sprayed to death, prairie farming is robbing them of wild plants and shelter hedges. The Head Gardener is doing her best to provide masses of different flowers which bees are known to enjoy. However it is but one garden in a truly vast wildflower desert. 

The gorgeous grasses on the verges are briefly allowed to flower. Before being cut down to avoid contaminating the fitted carpet of right-up-to-the-edge crops. The verges are now just paper thin skirting boards. The roadside hedges long gone to allow vast machines to effortlessly spray and harvest every last, square centimeter to comply with EU rules on soil exploitation for stashing offshore profits.
Meanwhile, Denmark has been voted the best country in the world to live in. Perhaps they just counted all the Audis and Denmark had more per-capita than everybody else put together? 👍 All joking aside, it does feel very safe here compared with the universal crime, grime and aggression of [forever going backwards] countries like Gravely Blighted. Conversely, I was reading an article yesterday about it being almost impossible, even for the Danes, to integrate into small, village societies as outsiders. Which is fine if you don't want the neighbors dropping round for endless cups of sugar. 

Obscene inequality and the resulting crime is becoming a problem in many places in Denmark. But it will probably take centuries of sustained effort before the universal crime level of GB is ever reached. I was reading that if Broxit forces retired ex-pats back to Blighted it will cost countless billions and literally hundreds more hospitals just to keep them all healthy under the constantly grey skies of the NHS. So, be careful what you vote for. Politics must surely be the most uncalled for calling. They give professional liars, con men and cheats a very bad name! Well, it is the oldest profession. 😎

Another busy day, not riding tricycles. Though I did tidy the tricycle shed. 

Thursday 22nd 55F, 13C, cloudy, light winds with rain on and off. I managed only a half a mile walk  before it started raining. So I made a quick about turn. Much cooler today but should warm up later. It did. Another, exhausting, rest day. More shed tidying.

Friday 23rd 60F, 16C, someone forgot to turn the lights on this morning! Lights, please? Showers possible.

I hear the Utterly Corrupt Illegitimates are changing the rules for the major cycling Tours. From now on only 176 motorcycles are allowed to ride in the peloton. At, least, I think that is what they are saying. I'm still waiting for a ban on petrol-engined media motorcycles. But the UCI is probably getting far too much from their motorcycle manufacturing sponsors. So they are  unable to stop petrol fumes belching into the faces of the riders on the high mountain climbs.

It only takes one motorcycle to pass me to be able to taste petrol in my mouth for the next five minutes. As I pant along on the three wheeled, freight carrying steamroller. So, does this mean there will continue to be more electric motors in the race than following it? There are other ways to thin the traffic jams on the tours. Ban wheel changes for punctures. Just for a start. Drop test CF frames to increase longevity. Disposable 10k machines are ridiculous. But what do you expect under the UCI?

Went for a walk in misty, fine drizzle. The wrong sort of mist and the wrong sort of rain for landscape photography.

Saturday 24th 60F, 16C, very heavy overcast, breezy with showers. Possible brightening after lunch. Walked down to the village in spitting rain and variable wind. No sign of ducks or coots on the ponds. Another idiot had overshot a blind corner and ploughed up the verge. The same willow has been knocked over three times now. It keeps getting bushier but flatter on the ground. With spots of rain on the windows it might be wise to wait until later for a ride. It wasn't. So I spent a while spreading half a ton of gravel by shovel just for the exercise. Followed by assorted pull-ups and general monkeying about on my climbing frame.

Sunday 25th 60F, 16C, rather cloudy with wind and showers. My walk was timed to perfection as huge drops started falling the moment my feet touched asphalt. Fortunately the sky was  moving so  rapidly there wasn't time for a soaking and it had moved on almost before it had started. It became quite warm, though breezy later, walking back in brief sunshine. The warblers dominated the soundscape again today. While lots of sparrows dashed about having untidy flying lessons. A gaudy pair of Goldfinches worked their way down the hedgerow. It looks as if I made it back just in time to miss a real shower.

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20 Jun 2017

20th June 2017 On shrieking apes and things.

Tuesday 20th 61-68F, 16-20C, light winds, bright but rather cloudy. Another sleepless night feeling too warm at 80F indoors. Today is supposed to be cooler. It has reached 68F before 10am. Went for a short walk to stretch my legs. The wind has picked up again but the clouds are clearing to warm sunshine.

Don't you wish you had such an exit to another world?

Did I mention that the verge where I attempted to emulate the Wright Brothers tricycling feats  has been filled in with gravel? Has somebody been reading my blog? Or did some local dignitary notice my recent "arse-over-tit" and pull some strings? Would it be ungrateful and totally disrespectful to say they are just a tad late? Only joking. Anything which helps to keep this old fart in the saddle is good thing in my book.

Talking of which: I was finally allowed out in the later afternoon. Having shopped I was on my way back up the high street, heavily laden as usual. My way, and that of the busy traffic was baulked by a poor imitation of a human being sporting an oversized <cough> people carrier as he tried to compensate for his personal inadequacies by parking in the high street right across a busy crossroads. Strictly a no-parking zone for miles with perfectly adequate selection of free car parks and free pull-ins along its entire length.

The reason for his stop? He needed to cross the road to perform some ignominious errand on the other side of the street.

Having waited for the traffic to filter past him I pulled out around his tin, family minibus and began to accelerate. But the traffic terrorist hadn't finished yet. He gave me a long blast on his horn to show that he was amongst the chosen, if local, elite and and was [probably] a real Viking in a former life if the truth were known.

Not only that but he raced up the very low speed limit, shopping high street and then reversed rapidly into his own private parking space less than 60 yards further on! He had already vanished indoors in the seconds it took me to reach the spot. Whether he was desperate to brag about his great victory against the tricycling riff-raff, or simply afraid of a confrontation, we will probably never know. 

Have you noticed the close similarity between the sound of shrieking apes and car horns? The similarity does not end with the merely audible but extends to their having precisely the same purpose. Sound an alarm to gain sympathy and to show your hierarchical feelings have been hurt by the lower orders impeding your rapid upward progress through life to some imaginary state of [obese] perfection.  The moral of this story? I know where you live and wouldn't swap places for all of Trump's dreams of avarice. My sympathies for your intolerable plight! Seven miles, still not out. 🙉

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19 Jun 2017

19th June 2017 An unspoilt moment in time.

Monday 19th 62-78F, 17-26C, sunny, with high cloud  and no wind. Last of the warm summer days for the moment according to the Danish media. We might see 77F again today. I find it much too warm to work outside in such hot weather but do so anyway.

I woke early and walked around the 3 mile rural block after breakfast. It was warm and still. With the wind turbines slowly grinding to halt beyond the hill. Several hares explored the asphalt ways before slipping out of sight back into the crops. It is a strange concept that the crops hide such enormous numbers of wildlife.  Many of which live out their lives completely unseen.

I was assaulted by birdsong at every step and equally delighted by the huge variety of grasses and wild flowers on show. The variation in crops is becoming ever more noticeable. Even my weak sense of smell could not ignore the sweetness of freshly cut hay and the childhood memories growing up in the unspoilt British countryside. That was before the Earth was invaded by alien traffic, of course. It took only two or three years in the 1960s to lay waste to all which lay before it.

The gentle Danish landscape has sensitized me to variations in contour. The arrangement of folds and woods catching my eye and demanding another photograph. To add to my already vast collection.  I love the way the farmer's spray tracks can lead the eye into the distance. The combination of artifice and accident of line adding their own, unique charm to the heavily cultivated landscape. Much of it No Man's Land, so that it might as well be heavily mined as far as public access is concerned.

Denmark has never enjoyed the revolution of access brought about by ramblers and walkers in the UK. The Danish farmers are supposed to leave corridors beside hedges and waterways but the rules might as well be written in Old Martian. Old, forgotten pathways are lost to the constant increase in field sizes. As smaller farms fail to find anyone to pay the taxes to inherit the losing battle against vast prairies, factory farming and giant mechanization. I know of only three public paths from memory in all my tens of thousands of miles of travels over the length and breadth of Fyn. Only two of which are marked as such. Though it has to be said that most privately owned woods and forests offer freedom to wander on existing paths. It has just reached 78.3F [26C] at 4pm in the shade. It is windier now and I'm still hoping for a ride.

I finally left at 4.30pm, only realizing I had forgotten to buy bread when I was half way home. I was passed by two different cyclists making it look completely effortless as they passed me at +10mph. You can't be a cyclist without cycling often enough and far enough to call yourself a cyclist. Not when you are a tricyclist and carrying shopping as well. If the shopping bags were any larger I would make a very good tortoise. Nine miles.

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12 Jun 2017

12th June 2017 Wrong-sided by the Sun.

Monday 12th 60F, 15C, bright and breezy start. Expected to be a little cooler today with a risk of showers. Just a short walk along the lanes in a blustery gale as jumbled clouds raced across. Dark masses accumulated but it stayed dry until I made it safely home. Only to dump a very short shower on my heels.

A pretty, village pond enjoying quiet domestication.

A morning of gales and repeated showers which continued into the afternoon. I headed off to the shops via a detour along the lanes. A young chap went past on a racing bike and I tried to follow. I cranked it up to 19 and then 20mph but he was leaving me well behind.  I just don't have the legs for it any more. Hardly surprising with my limited mileage these days. Fortunately it stayed dry. Though I was being pushed around by the wind or fighting a headwind. There didn't seem like much of a tailwind on offer. Only 11 miles, returning heavily laden. Down to 6.5mph over the last stretch.

Tuesday 13th 55F, 13C, heavy grey overcast but almost calm. The forecast is dry, but with strong winds again later. The ducklings disappeared into the reeds on the far side of the church pond just as I arrived.

After another busy day without a ride. So I decided to go out at 6.30 to explore the evening before dinner. A 20mph rush with the wind along the main road, up a long drag and then hard left and back along the empty rural lanes. I can't remember the last time I rode in the evening. The sky was very dark at times but with a golden wash on the crops making familiar scenes almost magical.

The sun was on the wrong side of the sky and illuminating whole new vistas. Even when the sun disappeared behind clouds the light was softer than I usually enjoy. I came out of a stretch of extremely rattly cobbles to discover a gaggle of club cyclists in their smart uniforms gathered just around the blind junction. Perhaps they were steeling themselves for the cobbles? They all seemed very cheerful as I rode on towards home into a headwind between rocking trees. I wonder how many mad tricyclists they come across on their travels? 12 miles.

Wednesday 14th 58F, 14C, bright and not so breezy. Walked along the marsh and back through the woods. Saw [and disturbed] several deer. Windier now but almost continuous sunshine. Too busy for a ride.

Thursday 15th 61F, 16C, bright, sunny and calm. Showers forecast for this afternoon. The sky is milky from persistent vapour trails. Short walk but no ride.

Friday 16th 61-68F, 16-20C, bright and breezy but rather cloudy. Possible showers. Returned from a short walk to find several baby wrens on the doormat. Their mother had built a nest in the timbers above the porch. She was still going back and forth to the nest while the babies scattered amongst T.H.G's potted plants. Seconds later, huge rain drops fell from the sky. Though it was over just as son as it started. I left the wrens to sort themselves out as soon as the doormat was clear enough to go indoors.

I have hay fever again with violent sneezing and a bin full of damp hankies. I'm a martyr to Ragweed. [Ambrosia artemisiifolia] I sneaked in a late afternoon ride to the shops in a gale. Thanks to the wind it felt almost chilly at 68F. Seven miles.

Saturday 17th 59-72F, 15-22C, bright and very breezy again. A walk to the village in bright sunshine with a gusty wind. The baby ducks were absent again. Rode to more distant shops with a tailwind allowing 18-20mph. A Bullfinch was shouting from the fence surrounding the supermarket car park. Total chaos in the supermarket due to one woman with two trolleys filling the belt. Why couldn't she stuff her bags at her car outside in the sunshine? Head wind coming home and a struggle to maintain mid 90s cadence. 16 miles. Too warm trying to work outside in the sunshine at 72F.

Sunday 18th 62F, 17C, rather overcast but expected to brighten and be rather warm again. It was already a "sticky" 67F on my walk as the cloud cleared to sunshine and constantly changing, cloud shadows on the crops.

I paused at a field entrance to find a small baby bird at my feet. Probably a Great tit judging by the colours. Meanwhile the parents were chattering their alarm from the overhead trees. So I left it them to their own devices. No doubt the tiny thing is already being treated for PTSD with a few favourite "buggy" snacks. Taking of which, the McLardy's packaging has been shredded by the verge cutters. What you might call accelerated decomposition to increased bio-degradation. Or an even worse mess if you prefer. No ride today.

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5 Jun 2017

5th June 2017 I'll get me wellies!

Monday 5th 58-66F, 14-19C, bright and breezy. Enjoyed a 40 minute walk to the village and back in a gusty wind. The ducks are still in residence on the church pond and no sign of the aggressive Coot. The sparrows have obviously been "busy" because there were small clouds of thirty, or more, in places. Noisy little devils, they are, too.

Got flowers?

The cuckoo on the marsh was sounding more urgent than usual. As swallows pulled effortless G-turns which would make a human pilot's eyes pop! An immaculate, cream coloured, Morris Minor went past with a wooden slatted, picnic rack on the boot. A couple of cyclists out training returned my greeting as they flew over a small summit with the following wind. Just living the dream.

But not the deer, allegedly. The Danish Hunting wotsit has calculated that farmer's harvesting kills upwards of 20,000 baby deer each year. [Lambs.] So they are using drones in their battle to save the lambs from the slaughter. Or should that be "for" the slaughter? Whatever. 😉 Late afternoon ride to the shops. Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 6th 60-74F, 15-23C, bright and breezy again. Rain forecast for after lunch. I am still aching all over so could do with an enforced rest from my project. Just a short walk along the lanes to loosen my tired muscles.

Now that's what you all a real verge! Chest height, goes for miles and proud of it.

Off-white drifts of catkins decorated the edges of the road under the tunnel of trees. As did small clouds of minute insects. Each rising and falling within the formation. There were fewer birds today except for Chaffinches and Wagtails. The crops are remarkably uniform in height and texture. Too busy for a ride today. The first rain was a torrential cloudburst at 6.45pm.

Wednesday 7th 53-58F,12-14C, grey, cool and windy. Rain and gales forecast for later. I managed only a quarter of a mile before it started raining. Then it kept it up for the rest of the day. With gales for added charisma. I tidied the shed and made a new parking place for the trike where I could actually get past. It's an ill wind...

Thursday 8th 58F, 14C, a bright but very breezy start. Walked briskly to the village to find the church pond devoid of visible wildlife. Unless you count the swallows skimming the wave-tossed surface, of course. The two ducks were dozing on the lawn by the large, private, garden pond again. It was probably a farm pond in the dim, distant past and looks well at the bottom of a gentle slope. There are often large Herons skulking about on the far side in the reeds and Irises.

Rain forecast for this afternoon with the wind slowly easing. I am almost guaranteed a gate pass from The Head Gardener for a morning ride to the shops. I must remember to give the Brooks B17 'Special' a wipe over with clean rag after giving it a hand massage with Proofide yesterday. The top, copper, nose rivet is looking slightly "loose" as if the leather is under strain.The first sign of any visible deterioration since I tied the skirts together. Just look at the quality of the workmanship, that gorgeous, real leather and the solid copper rivets! Even the Carradice 'Camper' is playing its part. All very mellow and reeking of vintage cycling. 😊

A wet and windy afternoon after an exhausting morning did not a tricycle ride make.

Friday 9th 57F, 14C, heavy cloud, breezy and wet. Potentially heavy and thundery rain forecast. It must be summer. I used the weather as an excuse to dismantle and blow the dust off the senor on my camera. It didn't take long and the piece of dust or fluff was clearly visible on the tiny sensor. During a momentary brightening I became foolishly optimistic and took to the rural lanes for my walk. Hares seemed to be coming out of the woodwork this morning. Even a hunting tabby cat came toddling down a spray track towards me.

At about half way the sky suddenly turned black so I turned back too. The rain soon went off so I kept snapping away at the fields under a moody and occasionally ragged sky. Within a quarter of a mile from home it suddenly changed its mind and rain began to fall like stair rods. I was soon soaked but it hardly mattered when one can change into dry clothes in the warmth and shelter of one's home.

It brightened up so I took a chance on a window. Left my trike lock keys behind and had to return. Feeling very warm, at 72F @ 1pm. Forecast warning for cloudbursts possibly with hail and thunder. Only 8 miles.

Saturday 10th 55F, 13C, bright with blue patches, light breeze. Some sun forecast. Walked up to the woods and back going anticlockwise. Manage dot get my boots and trousers sopping wet from the tall, uncut grass on the tracks. Several hares were lolloping about in the spray tracks. I have hay fever for the first time in ages. I have a ragweed allergy so perhaps it's a good year for that. Too busy for a ride.

Sunday 11th 64-74F, 18-23C, bright and breezy. A dry day, warm day with cloud and sunshine is forecast. I'm still aching all over from yesterday's carpentry activities. I am delighted to report that a female Mallard was shepherding ten, young and fluffy chicks on the church pond. The dawdlers can't half put on a burst of speed when mother calls. The bow waves from their rapid movements were crashing over the reeds! One of them even aquaplaned the length of the pond! Another daydreamer. The sun had gone in behind large plates of speckled and barred plates of cloud. There were only brief glimpses of sunshine despite the blue areas. With 27C or 77F a possibility for later I hope it remains cloudy or it will be unbearable trying to work out of doors. It was already 70F before I left for my walk. Still too busy for a ride.

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1 Jun 2017

1st June 2017 An excess of springery.

Thursday 1st June. 56-66F, 13-29C, bright and clear with light winds at first. Quite a large bird of prey has just soared over. Long, narrow wings and long tail with a white base. Perhaps a harrier? Another bird of prey with light undersides was soaring on the gales over the local woods.

A decent crop of buttercups competes for colour with the rapidly fading, oil seed rape.

I walked down the busy main road then turned sharply uphill towards my favourite woods. Two hares were messing about in the crops but ducked down as I approached. Then one took off, running flat out for the summit. The other pretended to be invisible until its nerve broke and it followed its mate up the spray tracks. I failed to capture either with my camera. I took more pictures in the forest then completely missed a red deer which was resting right beside the main track. Yet more pictures followed as I walked back downhill towards home. Far too busy for a ride today. I'm making the most of the fine weather to work on a project in the garden. Too busy, hot and exhausted for a ride today.

Friday 2nd 56-68F, 13-20C, bright and sunny with light winds. Short walk then out in the car for more materials. Still too busy, hot and exhausted for a ride today.

Saturday 3rd 62F, 17C, breezy and bright but cloudy. I am definitely doing my Saturday morning ride. I need the exercise to unwind aching muscles from all the hard labour!

With only seven electric cars sold in almost as many years the Danish government's ears must be burning like diesel smoke. They have decided to reduce the several hundred percent purchase tax in a desperate attempt to daub a thick coat of green paint over their rapidly fading environmental credentials.

A brisk walk to the village. The church pond was providing breakfast to a relaxed pair of Mallards. They remained quite unperturbed by my walking past. The sheer number of birds visible and heard today was astonishing. The traffic was amazingly light. But not later as I rode along the main road to the distant shops. Several buzzards were soaring over assorted woods. Legs rather tired. 15 miles.

Sunday 4th 60F, 15C, heavy overcast, slightly misty, calm and damp. Early rain should eventually clear to sunshine. What rain?

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