Today’s guest picture shows my brother’s scientific rain gauge. His usual monthly rainfall in Banbury is 2″. The scientific rain gauge recorded 6″ in one week alone towards the end of last month. No wonder the people of Banbury were cross.
2014 crept in quietly with no rain and no gales. Mrs Tootlepedal and I cycled out quietly each in our own direction. She was set to cycle round the route of the New Year’s Run, an eight and a half mile part road and part track course where the aim is to start at a time that will bring you to the finish at 11 o’clock. 59 walkers and runners and one cyclist completed the course and a good time was had by all.
I went off in the other direction, looking to put a few early miles on the clock for the new year. With a temperature of 4° and light winds, conditions were very comfortable and I pootled along through Gair, Chapelknowe and Canonbie without trying too hard.
One of the benefits of cycling on New Year’s Day in the morning is that the traffic is very light. I hardly saw a car the whole way round. Altogether it was an excellent way to start off the new cycling year, though I would have been a bit happier if my average speed had been a mile an hour faster.
The roads had dried out after the storms and I only had to dodge occasional puddles. I stopped here and there to take a picture.
In spite of the pleasant cycling conditions, it was too grey for taking photos. I did think of extending the ride a little but I am glad that I stuck to my original plan of 30 miles as the wind got up and it started to rain soon after I arrived home.
By the time I had had a reviving bath, it was very gloomy outside, even though it was not long after two o’clock and there was no chance for a walk or even a shot of the bird feeders. There was nothing for it but to sink into an armchair and watch endless holiday telly. This was considerably brightened by an interesting feature on Aberdeen’s win in the European Cup Winners Cup back in 1983 when they were managed by a young Alex Ferguson. He was fortunate to have had a team in which there were so many players who were not just skilful but intelligent too.
I did manage to take a poor photo or two of the bird feeder before I went out on the bike while I was waiting for the thermometer to hit the magic 4° mark.
We seem to have been getting thicker, greyer clouds this winter. My mind is turning towards spring time already.
I will start the year by ending as I mean to go on. Here is a flying bird. I hope for fresh species to shoot soon.