12 Aug 2017

10th August 2017 And don't call me Imelda!


Thursday 10th 63-74F, cloudy, calm but brightening. Yesterday, as I looked towards the woods, out across the 'prairie,' brilliant shafts of light ploughed across the crops in the very thin mist. Worthy of any UFO/mothership encounter, the effect was really rather amazing. Far more impressive than any film special effects but far too fleeting to capture with my camera. Today was brighter overall, still soft focus but less misty. It was warmer too, without yesterday's strong breeze to cool me off. No ride today.

Friday 11th 51-66F, 11C, calm and overcast. A grey day with light winds. Afternoon ride to the shops. I still haven't found the full capacity of the new saddlebag. Less risk of damaged goods too. NO special offers on display but my attempts to communicate with the infant, supermarket staff using gesticulation and waving their own special offers comic failed abysmally. I must have missed sign language when I went to the [completely voluntary] Danish classes on arrival. Only 7 miles.

I trimmed the length of the bag hanging bar [hose] extensions with parrot-billed secateurs. They produce a nice clean cut. I followed up by putting the bits of Pex hose over a bar in an electric  drill and spun it slowly against sandpaper on a block to smooth off the sharp edges. I also unpicked the stitching on the spare cloth handle padding. Once I had cut the first stitch it peeled off fairly effortlessly. So they must have had some empathy for those who have no need of extra padding on their cloth handle. Now the handle was nicely slim I used a small strap to fix it to the bottom of the Trykit rack for extra support and security. The devil makes work for idol[sic] hands.

Ostentatious bush bursting out of a roadside hedge. At first I thought Elm but I may have to settle for Hazel.

I had a haircut after lunch and returned to say that I felt like a film star. To which The Head Gardner retorted: "Which one? Chewbacca?" I would have been content with the slightest allusion to "Jason Statham" but it was never going to happen in my lifetime. At least it wasn't "Bruce Willis!" Heavy lies the head...

Saturday 12th 57-64F, 14C, overcast and calm with rain promised all day. Still no rain at 9.15 but it is getting darker by the minute. Not much to report from my walk. They are ploughing the fields immediately after harvesting. The birds are sulking this morning. Hardly any to be seen except for mink gulls.

 Dew fresh McSlugbait packaging.

Mid morning ride to the shops. Headwind going, but dry. The queues in the supermarkets were snaking back to the next village. This was due to the negligent employment of only pre-schoolers for staff these days. As the offshore big money tries to save peanuts at the major expense of customer service. A side effect of this economic lunacy is that no special offers ever reach the shelves until next week's offers come around. So now they can charge full price again. Having never displayed the goods at the reduced price as advertised.
Fraud by any other name, but what can you do when Denmark has absolutely no consumer protection? Even EU consumer protection has no jurisdiction here. All the supermarkets [except Aldi] are owned by the same of-shore money printer. So it wouldn't make any difference if irate customers went elsewhere. It's all the same monopolistic shopping chain. Just with different pre-schoolers and different carrier bags. And, the highest food and goods prices in Europe on top of the highest taxes on wages. But Denmark does have a large fleet of coal fired battleships to maintain its global importance as a sea-going, world military power. 

I returned from the shops in increasing rain until it reached Welsh Family Camping Holiday levels of sustained wetness. ["We'll keep a welcome by the till-sides.. but don't stop!" Sung to the strains of Land of my Fathers. [Pl?] Or even, perhaps Devon-Cornish levels of inclemency on the [adjusted] Dorset scale.

Farmer Giles' front lawn gets away from him.
Sending in the heavy mob shows real Claas.

I was overtaken by a convoy of mentally handicapped drivers as they each desperately pushed past me. Anything to reach the back of the queue behind the tractor and trailer which was averaging 0.0005mph faster than I was. About 15mph with a tailwind. Do tailwind rain droplets actually impel a tricyclist forwards? If so, I was probably cheating.

In fact I had to apply the brakes hard and wave the tractor past. Or he would probably have ended up following me along our drive. Then struggled to turn round again in our limited parking space. What with a long tailback of lost cars wondering why they had suddenly found themselves in a GPS black hole.

We don't get mobile phone or TV reception here either but I'm not paranoid. Though I do worry about the constant drones, helicopters and fighter aircraft overhead. I thought Denmark was neutral but that must have been some other country of the collective imagination.

Still happy with the Overboard Duffel saddlebag but would wish for another inch [or two] on the top straps. When the bag is full the straps put an unnecessary fold in the bag due to their being slightly too short. It's not a deal breaker but the cost of an extra 50mm on both straps can't break the bank.  Conversely, the side straps are far too long without any obvious gain except as hand holds. 15 partially wet miles testing the waterproofing. The bag was, but I certainly wasn't. [Waterproof, that is.]

Talking of water: I almost forgot to mention that sloppiness in asphalt leveling has provided a dual, combined car and cycle wash, on the new stretch. Had I not been riding my trike, and therefore able to balance without seeing the bare road below me, I could still be there. Still waiting for it to be safe to cycle around the two huge puddles in the road. As cars sped past at 60mph in a 30mph speed limit. Well, actually, they were all driving at 100kph in a 50kph speed limit [in New Money] but let's not get picky! You knew exactly what I meant.

It is quite possible, of course, that I am being far too cynical. [Moi?] I may, in fact, be badly underestimating the sheer genius of the road and drainage engineers. The first puddle is obviously intended as the wash cycle. While the second, at a precisely calculated distance, is meant to rinse off the now-softened grime. The [illegal] speeding, which follows, is the drying cycle to ensure no muddy drops are left to mire their now pristine paintwork.

Though, given the usual speed at which I travel on my trike, particularly on this uphill stretch, they may have grossly underestimated the amount of grime. Then miscalculated the degree of rinsing required and [finally] sorely overestimated the degree of drying. Particularly when I am already soaking wet and then being constantly sprayed by speeding traffic!

I was quite surprised that the [noisy] circling geese overhead did not alight on one of these artificial 'ponds.' However, they seemed more content with the artificial one provided in the reclaimed marsh, just up the road. The one with the constantly roaring pump, in the small wooden shed. That which looks for all the world like, but is clearly not intended to be, a bird-watching hide for interested visitors. So, they'll just have to wait for a Dane to independently invent the bird hide, as usual. [Janteloven has an awful lot to answer for! Not least, commercial competition!]

Sunday 13th 60F, 16C, bright clear and sunny. Wind expected to increase to 20mph gusts later. Enjoyed a quiet local walk to watch the swallows skimming a huge lawn. A large hare lay perfectly still in the middle of the lawn. Totally ignoring my approach to within 15' as I snapped away with my camera expecting it to get up and leave at any moment. When I returned the same way later it had turned by 90° but remained in the same spot.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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