14 May 2018

14th May 2018 Sun + RSI = Bandanna. QED.


Monday 14th 61-75F, 16-24C, bright and breezy again. Will it never end? We have been having the most amazing run of good weather. "Good" being dependent on one's point of view. I find it too warm to work out of doors in unfettered sunshine.

A decent range of pith helmets is no longer available at the village Co-op. So I have been [reluctantly] relying on a battered and sun bleached baseball cap. This provides some protection from being dazzled but is far warmer over my swollen cranium than I would have liked. This may well explain some of the problems they have in the USA where, I hear, they are much approved of. [Baseball caps, that is, not swollen heads.]

The constant application of thick sun screen is very wearing and can easily lead to RSI. [Repetitive Strain Injury] Meanwhile, The Head Gardener informs me that my neck has taken on the appearance of a sunburnt rhino. Since I have no eyes in the back of my head I must [unfortunately] indulge her on this matter. 

So I am now forced to wear a gypsy/cowboy-style bandanna. The struggle begins after slapping on the recommended two tablespoons of sun blocking grease. An unlikely combination which is not immediately providing the supposedly desirable pallor of "pale and interesting." But rather confirms me as a Red Neck. In all but manners and politics and even then...

My skill at performing an efficient reef knot, in front of the mirror, is not improving with my sun-inflamed temper! The Head Gardner denies all responsibility for 'kerchief tying as it is not listed under "Official Domestic Chores."

Quite naturally I have fully investigated its unexpected absence but must, belatedly, concede her point. I do admit, though, to having been quite tempted by a well-thumbed copy of "The Compendium of Additional Household Chores" on eBay. Then decided the modest purchase price of this early edition might well have robbed me of later additions to The List.

For outdoor use in such extreme weather, as this, I have always rather favoured a wide brimmed, ventilated [i.e. perforated] Mexican style sun hat. But sadly, have never been able to find a sombrero of suitable girth. Were I prone to holidaying in the popular, but much less favourable, European getaway spots I might have secured an XXL and lived happily ever after.

Alas, most of my extremities seem to exceed the [adjusted] norm. I have much the same problem in finding decent gloves. Don't even get me started on socks! I often think one of those weapons grade, exo-skeletons would help me to don my huge walking boots for my habitual, morning stroll. Alas, I was born well before my time, despite rumours of my early reluctance to join the world as we know it.

My walk to the village was unremarkable save for the number of Marsh warblers competing vigorously with the traffic noise. Though even that was muted in comparison with most, "normal," working days around here. There was a small mallard drake skulking on the far edge of the church pond. It was obvious he wasn't taking his decorative responsibilities seriously. Nearby, several ducks were messing about in a mud bath from a former winter flooding event. I just hope the mud does not bake hard in the heat of the midday sun! When even Jamie Oliver would struggle to make a meal of it.

Afternoon ride as it reached a cloud-free 75F. Whew! Only 7 miles returning laden with a tailwind.

Tuesday 15th 60-74F, 15-23C, bright and breezy, again. Walked to the far woods. A Marsh harrier was circling overhead while looking for breakfast. It was still hunting an hour and a half later on my return. A willow warbler was singing on the very top twig of a roadside tree. Two hares were sitting back to back, like book ends, out on a large, almost bare field.

I have discovered the driving etiquette for illegally overtaking on double white lines. As occurs when a pedestrian cannot see the high speed approach from behind on the "wrong" side of the road. One toots the horn to alert the pedestrian who is walking [as usual] to face the approaching traffic on his own side of the road. So now I know. The psychopath's need is always greater than everyone else's. Already 70F at 10.30am but with a pleasant breeze. Too busy for a ride today as it reached another boiling hot 74F by mid-afternoon.

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