Saturday 15th 50-66F, 10-19C, bright and clear. A walk along the lanes to capture a few pictures of yesterday's harvesting. The fields were covered in spaced lines of golden hay. No ride today.
Sunday 16th 58-65F, 14-18C, heavy overcast with rain or showers promised. It was horribly wet all morning and then well into the afternoon. In the absence of floats on my trike, nor even a wet suit to my name, I decided to take the easy option. By avoiding going out all together.
Monday 17th 59-66F, bright and breezy becoming more cloudy. Another busy day but I was allowed out for my vital, morning walk and a late afternoon ride, of 7 miles, to the shops.
It seems I am well in touch with my inner self. At least, I am according to a Netflix documentary. Walking in the countryside is like meditating but without the usual distractions. One can become aware of all that surrounds us without the fidgeting and constant resetting of one's consciousness. Or that sort of thing. One could say I rely more on intuition and emotional choices than cold logic. Which [apparently] makes me a better balanced person. 'Balance' being the most important aspect of tricycling on, or off road. I am, and always was, willing to risk failure.
I owe it all to the swallows and skylarks and even the farmers as I wallow in my warm bath of Danish, rural nature. Mind as blank as the next enticing page of an essay "exercise" book as I plod along with less than urgent haste. Though I understand that little or no "exercise" is necessary these days. Largely because of the deformities caused to young people by the sheer weight of their laptops on the curriculum. Not to mention the universal spinal curvature so common to the latest generations.
I can still ride my trike fast enough to satisfy my modest ambitions but now have absolutely no idea of my potential range. I usually managed around 85 miles or 130km at least once a year. Such distances always assume that the distance can be covered from beyond a leisurely breakfast while still returning before dark. The drive to achieve such distances is now all but gone. Thank goodness! The Head Gardener is no longer a tricycling widow. A mixed misfortune, at best, because she must now suffer my presence for infinitely more hours than in the past. Now I must pretend to hide on the computer, in my dormer window looking out onto the garden trees, or in the equally untidy shed.
I have recently had my first "falling off" in years. In fact the first since my return to tricycling and all those tens of thousands of miles managed unscathed. Back then I twice fell off onto grass after leaving the tarmac in a hurry. Finding soft ground a poor substitute with regards to lateral stability is apt to lead to a diagonal 'header.' The ground is always a long way down on a trike. You can't just lay it over and slide. It needs to tumble along its ground contact, hinge lines.
Tricycling cured my eyesight. Instead of staring at the foreground, at work and being unable to read a clock on the wall without glasses. My vision now settled habitually on distance and I need only a pair of £5 supermarket "reading glasses" to function normally. As far as 'normal' is an apt term for yours truly. 'Normal' is a term subject to considerable misinterpretation.
It is odd to think that I spent years suffering from my tricycling excesses. Not just the constant leg pain from their daily abuse of the flailing pedals. But my back, my shoulders and my hands demanded almost constant notice for their own pain. All those miles were not without their real and human toll. The rewards must have been well in excess of the negatives or I would have ceased long ago and retired almost literally to my retiree's "death bed." Household names seemed to be dropping like flies so my own mortality could not be that far flung from reality.
I spent almost as many hours writing about my exploits as doing them. Initially I had used my blog to maintain my interest and daily distances. It was one of my survival ploys after I was "let go" [at the age of 63 with piss poor Danish skills and little else to commend me] by my Danish/multinational employers. As they took over and then exported an entire factory full of real lives for a better Audi and probably a larger house on a hideous modern "executive" estate. It wasn't just the sacking of the entire workforce, of course, but its impact on the entire semi-rural community, its ecosystem and its surprisingly fragile economy.
Local shops and services no longer enjoyed their traditional customer base. The empty souls who wandered between bullying sessions at the local <cough> Job Center and pointless courses 30 miles away only exacerbated the problem. The Job Centers literally had no local jobs to offer. None. Zero. Zilch. Bugger all.
This all coincided with a rise in right wing politicooze as the Danes desperately tried to slow the influx of foreign invaders. Their race memories of Vikings and Danes exploits abroad now long forgotten. Suddenly every crook, spiv and 'chancer' had the ear of the truly desperate Danes.
They, the Danes, had worked hard all their lives just to pay the highest taxes in the world. Their reward was benign socialism from outdoor cradle to an early [smoker's and drinker's] grave. Now there was a mosque on every corner and the aliens were being freely handed all the social housing. All without so much as a single minute's contribution! Instead of a grudging pidgin "mange tak" the invaders were downright uppity. They wore their traditional dress and demanded the Danes did so as well! Or they would [allegedly] send "the terrorists" around to practice their atrocities before going off to war against guess who?
Yes, that's right, The Danes in the international <cough> peacekeeping corpse. Who, despite putting their lives on the line every day and night are taxed. Just so that Denmark can afford to pay these very same IS terrorists their Danish social security. Denmark was required by international and EU law to send overseas social security clerks to the front line to ensure the terrorists get their entitlements despite not actively seeking work in Denmark. Unemployed Danes, even wounded, ex-service people have their social security cut off after two years. But not the IS fighters. All thanks to benign Danish socialism.
Meanwhile the "alien's" kids constantly start fires in the social apartment blocks and throw stones at the firemen who come to put the fires out! Later they would form cosy gangs and take over the drugs trade from the nasty Danish rockers. Before starting armed wars with each other to gain territory or just to protect their threatened sales patch.
My "own" factory closure naturally coincided with others as the moneyed stashed their ill gotten, tax free gains of-shore as fast as they exported all the real jobs to China or Russia or any other slave wage economy. Soon only weeds thrived and expanded on the newly deserted industrial estates. Around which I pedaled optimistically job seeking almost daily for three years before official retirement as the local, tricycling clown.
Compulsory job seeking [even in an employment vacuum] had its price. I would ride out in my tricyclist's clowns outfit at temperatures down to -10C. That was before I found secondhand winter cycling togs in the charity shops. The agony of cold hands and feet should not be underestimated in the unemployment statistics but never seem to feature.
As I pedaled around the wastelands of my little bit of Denmark I saw the village shops, with long decades of local service, were suddenly all gone. All of them! The previously fat, estate agents desperately tried to pretend all was still well. By filling the newly haunted windows with their own [unsold] wares. "For sale" signs outside rural homes slowly faded to illegibility. To match the mood of the totally non-existent, buyers. Buyers, if any, who had no need, or desire, to pay the market price. They had only to wait long enough!
Forced home auctions became the norm after years of highly visible neglect. Family dreams died in exchange for an absolute pittance from impoverished "first timers" and a few developers. The latter would abuse Eastern European workers, at [illegal] Eastern European wages, to 'tart up' these former family homes into liberally whitewashed rental properties.
Meanwhile the unsold "properties" [homes and businesses] dragged down the whole area. As Japanese Knotweed replaced the rows of bedding plants, neat lawns and discounted supermarket shrubs. The same lawns were soon long beyond the help of a mere, inherited and knackered petrol mower. They sorely needed a modestly sized harvester and baler to make any real impression. The hedges grew so tall that birds nests easily outnumbered the remaining inhabitants.
Home buyers are constant improvers. They want to show off their assets and impress others of their taste and wealth. Even if it means borrowing against their assets to do so. In the absence of home buyers the DIY and furniture stores suffer. Foreign money bought up all the DIY outlets and stripped away all the "interesting" stuff. To be replaced with highly profitable, identical bubble packs on identical racks. So another branch suffers steady decline, a complete lack of choice and far fewer skilled staff are required or retained.
Builders suffer too and many vans and offices vanished from the daily scene. Once thriving garages and workshops find their customer base becomes smaller and much more demanding. The obvious crooks go first but the trend is always downwards.
Meanwhile the politicooze, on their private 1st Class, neo-Louis 14th, non-stop, gravy train, play their endless games of musical chairs. And play their parts as talking heads with the mutually parasitic media. The politicooze has no answers to life's real problems. Religion, outside the alien invader's ghettos, had no new new answers either. So the Danes voted with their feet but forgot to turn off the central heating boilers. All either superstition could ever offer were the same, old simplistic lies. As they endlessly hiked their own salaries and fiddled their expenses to maintain their crooked and/or deluded egos. I find it best to ignore them in the interests of what remains of my sanity. I was never much one for celebrity worship.
If you still adhere to any semblance of what passes for modern reality then I suggest you simply move to another country. And then see how important the News from Home actually seems. But remember, you are far more likely to die on the roads than from any "breaking news."
What you do with your own body is <cough> largely your own business. Just don't expect me to pick up the tab when your shit hits assorted fans simultaneously. Exercise of mind and body requires an expectation of some suffering. But at least you know, with every fiber of your being, that you are still alive! If everybody else, on Earth, is put there as an example to others... then why the hell would you copy any of them? Least of all me! 😎