Scary Stuff

November 30, 2009

‘Good morning!’ I called cheerfully as I cycled past a dog-walking lady on my way to the papershop – giving her plenty of room as I overtook her, I might add.

‘Aaaargh!’ cried the dog-walking lady, clutching her chest and leaping a foot  into the air.

It’s not just the sheep I terrify, then. Really must get a bell on that bike…

Bringing Home the Bacon

November 28, 2009

It was a fine day today, the sort of day that suggests the weather gods may, just, be considering forgiving us whatever transgression it was brought their wrath down on us last week.

But I didn’t have time to stand around admiring the view for I had an important mission to fulfil: the Town Mouse household had run out of bacon. Time to cycle down to our local Camphill trust, which has a farm shop selling its own excellent cheeses, bread, various organic foodstuffs and which I thought might also do bacon. Off I pedalled and sure enough, there was plenty of bacon and when I asked if it was outdoor raised I got the answer ‘Oh yes, totally, you can head on out the back and say hello to the pigs if you like’ which is far more reassuring than ‘all our meat is sourced from farms which adhere to Tescos own high animal welfare standards,’ for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on*.

23 miles later and my nose and toes were telling me all about the imminent onset of winter. I’ve hit my Eddington target for the month, blown the last soot of London out of my lungs and – best of all – according to the Highway Cycling Group Bacon Calculation Algorithm, I’ve earned myself an extra 2 and almost-a-half rashers with my supper tonight. How fortunate that we’ve got plenty to hand…

* It’s only now I’ve come to write this up that I realise I should have actually taken a picture of the pigs. Oh well, bad blogger.

You Know you’ve…

November 27, 2009

… lived in the country too long, when of all the people walking down a busy London street, you’re the only one who notices (or, at least, admits they’ve noticed) the litter bin blazing merrily away.

‘Course up here, we’d be standing around it to keep warm.

Hate Figure

November 26, 2009

Hehe – just seen my first cycling traffic warden.

Could anyone be more unpopular with drivers?

Back home tomorrow…

London Bound

November 24, 2009

As you read this, I shall be rattling my way south courtesy of Virgin Trains or – more likely – sitting in a siding somewhere watching what’s left of Cumbria wash past the windows of the train. Either way, posting will be light-to-nonexistent until I return.

I shall be staying with these two minxes – the latter showing how wellies really can be worn on a bike with style. I appear to have been roped in to babysit as well. Posting resumes on Friday, if I am spared.

Who Needs Cycle Clips…

November 23, 2009

Rural Cycle Chic

… when you have wellies?

The reason is this: the temporary lake that guards the entrance to papershop village. Mostly I’ve been whizzing through puddles – if you can call them that – with my feet in the air, which is fun but this one is too long to make it through on momentum alone and too deep to avoid submerging my foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke. So I’ve taken a leaf out of the few local cycling farmers’ books and donned my wellies (they’re proper farmer’s wellies, too. I had some of those knee-high expensive walking ones but they were clearly designed for someone with patrician thoroughbred calves, not a cyclist. And they leaked. These ones were ten quid and don’t. Bargain).

So anyway, my feet stayed dry this trip, although it’s more than I can say for my chain. Any tips for keeping a bike running when it’s mostly underwater? Because I don’t think this weather is going to go away.

Ask the Internet

November 22, 2009

Anybody know what this plant might be?

It was blooming in my mother’s garden and I’ve borrowed a few clumps… But I’m in the process of digging out roughly half a hundredweight of Crocosmia/montbretia corms, which are in the process of taking over, and this looks a little similar. I don’t want to find out I’ve adopted a monster, but on the other hand, anything that flowers in November has got to be worth tolerating.

And talking of things flowering in November…

… what do you think this rose thinks it’s up to?

Not that I’m complaining, mind, but do you think it knows something I don’t?