Today’s post is taken from my brother Andrew’s pre Christmas bike ride and is put in to show that the sun sometimes shines in Britain (just not here).
Today here was once again marked by a noticeable absence of sunshine but at least it was warm and mainly dry so it could have been worse. I still haven’t thrown off my cold completely so I am not in position to go pedalling with Dropscone yet. Fortunately, he was in a position to join me for coffee and he brought with him a slice of his Christmas cake which made him doubly welcome.
When he left, I glanced at the birds for a moment or two. The day was brighter than yesterday.
I haven’t really taken much heed of the junction between foot and feeder until lately. The chaffinches use all sorts of grips and techniques.
Then I thought of a little cycle ride but I had just got one trouser leg tucked into the sock when the phone rang and I had to make a quick dash round the kitchen with a dishcloth before Dr Tinker and his daughter, Maisie’s aunt Elizabeth came to visit. Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been out on an errand, soon joined us and seasonal good wishes were exchanged. Mrs Tootlepedal arranged to send some spare box plants up to Elizabeth who is a professional gardener and I scrounged some good advice from her on dealing with an outbreak of lichen on my front lawn. All in all, it was a productive visit quite apart from the pleasure of seeing Elizabeth.
As they left, it started to rain and I despondently thought that my chance of a pleasant pedal had gone. I had a very light lunch (cold turkey) and was about to sit down and sulk when I noticed that the rain had stopped. Pausing only to take a shot of a passing robin…
…I tucked my second trouser leg into my other sock and set off silently on the belt driven bike. It really is a treat to ride and in spite of having no suspension, it is very forgiving over our bumpy roads. I had sandycam with me so that I could put this first ride for some time onto the official record.
The sun was almost but not quite strong enough to break through the thinnish cloud but in a light wind and with a very reasonable temperature, it was an unalloyed pleasure to be out pedalling again. My chest was not at its peak so I pedalled quite vigorously to stretch the legs but took the opportunity to stop fairly often for a little photo op and a breather.
I wondered if perhaps black and white would suit the weather so I took one tree in monochrome…
…and one in glorious technicolour.
The thick black line behind the tree is a peat bank along the side of the burn.
The road I was on runs beside the Wauchope Water and as I glided silently along, I could hear the note of the river rising and falling as it came to little rapids. The river is often just out of sight of the road so I stopped at one of the little crescendos and scrambled down the banking through some trees to see if there was a little rapids and if there was, whether it constituted a photo opportunity. I thought that it did.
Although I had only done a meagre ten miles, I was pleased to get a sit down and a cup of tea when I got home but as I write this in the evening, I have suffered no ill effects and will therefore take the next window of opportunity among the wind and rain to go out again.
After my cup of tea, I did a little research for my forthcoming speaking engagement and wrote a few more lines of the text. I am still fishing about for my main theme but I hope that like a frog prince, it will magically spring out of the muddy puddles of confusion that constitute my thinking apparatus these days.
I enjoyed a plate of curried turkey for my tea and noted that there is still some way to go among the Christmas remnants before I will have to buy anything new to eat. Eating up ends is one of the unheralded delights of the festive season. Bubble and squeak beckons next.
A flying bird of the day was (just) available.