Unexciting Ford News

September 14, 2017

I had a prescription to pick up this afternoon, at Nearest Village, and then needed to head to Bigtown to get the paper. As these are in opposite directions to each other, the sensible thing to do would have been to head directly to Nearest Village and then turn around and head to Bigtown, but we’ve already established that that just seems like a waste of time, so I decided to take the back route out of the village, down one of my favourite hills, and swing by the ford, partly for old time’s sake, but mainly because I had received word that the road there was to be closed due to essential ford maintenance works.

road heading downhill

This seemed like an exciting opportunity to catch the concrete fairy at work (that being the only other maintenance the ford has ever received in this blog’s lifetime), so off I went pausing only to wonder why it is that you can never take a picture of a road that gives any real sense of how steeply it is either rising or falling (actually, I also paused to take a photo of the impressive looking spider on the bike racks at the doctor’s surgery, but because my phone camera will never focus in on an interesting close object when there’s a fascinating stretch of concrete behind it to focus on instead, you’ll just have to believe me).

One swooping descent later, I reached the ford, to discover that nothing was happening, probably because it was running with 5 inches of water, although why the coonsil (or the concrete fairy) hadn’t thought this might be the case after a month when it has rained most days at least some of the time, I don’t know.

the ford, unchanged

More on this non-story as it develops.

Meanwhile, down in Bigtown, something stirs

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Ford Auld Lang Syne

May 2, 2017

Cycling back from the Community Council meeting this evening with a song in my heart – for I had finally handed over the secretaryship to not one but two people* – and several insects in my eye – for the warm weather has brought the bugs out in profusion – I passed the turnoff to the ford. And as there was daylight still (and how nice it is to cycle in daylight in the evening), I thought why not.

Dear readers, I bring you for possibly the last time, the ford:

the ford

It’s been a dry spring, all in all.

* It’s always very satisfying when it takes more than one person to replace you


Any Ford in a Storm

February 4, 2017

A visit to my parents this weekend gave us a chance to reunite the Brompton with a comrade in arms.

Brompton and Paperbike

My parents had gone to visit friends of theirs in the next village along, so we pedalled out to join them for a cup of coffee and to swap tips on gardening (they’ve been using old carpets on their veg bed for 30 years and it’s not done them any harm), sci fi (they were very keen on the Martian, although mainly from the potato growing angle) and linux distributions (no idea – when I want a hobby instead of an operating system, I will put linux on my laptop).

The route there takes you past a ford, although what use a ford is without a measuring gauge, I don’t know.

Ford near Duns

Still, for those of you getting ford withdrawal symptoms, I post this here for what it’s worth.


Final Ford News

July 29, 2016

Well we did it – or at least we’ve translocated ourselves and all our stuff to the new house

Paradoxically, despite moving to what is technically a larger house (but with less shedage) we appear to have no room for half of our stuff. This confirms my suspicions that the stuff does actually breed while you’re not looking.

Blogging has been light because we’ve been fairly busy over the last few days, but we did take the opportunity the other night to play one last round of ‘guess the level of the ford’.

Final ford reading

Final ford reading

The other half was delighted to have the winning guess in what will likely be our final bout. Or maybe we will find another ford.


Normal Service Resumed

March 26, 2016


rain falling

Like most of the country, we’ve had a miraculous period of settled dry weather for a couple of weeks now. As always, it has coincided with me being too busy to take much advantage of it, beyond my usual bicycle excursions – hence the rather light blogging in recent weeks – but, just as things were easing up on the work front, the Weather Gods returned from wherever it is they’ve been …

I was due to be leading a social ride in Bigtown this morning and I was extremely grateful when someone else offered to be the one who went and stood at the rendezvous point waiting for nobody to turn up, as it saved me a 45 minute ride there in the rain, followed by a 45 minute ride back, and having to get changed in the bath.

wet lawn

As it was, if I hadn’t had to empty the compost bucket and feed the landlords’ cats, I might not have ventured out at all today.

Well, except for one important thing, obviously

checking the level of the ford

Normal blogging service should also resume too, hopefully.

felled daffodil

Meanwhile Happy Easter, everyone.


One Dam Thing After Another

January 27, 2016

It was so wet this morning, I was actually somewhat reluctant to evict the giant spider which was in our bath (not as reluctant as the spider, though, which managed to cling on to the edge of the window frame and scuttle back in towards me, whereupon my reluctance dissolved and it got batted fairly sharpish back out into the rain). By the time I was up and dressed, the waters were rising in the front yard and threatening not just our wood supplies, but the bikes in the shed…

flooded yard

(this is not quite as alarming as it looks as the buildings you see are all outbuildings, rather than our actual house which is a crucial few inches higher)

Time to revisit the landlord’s flood defences

flooded drive

And add a few of my own.

shoring up

I’m not sure exactly how effective my efforts were but combined with some leaf clearing and stick poking, the waters soon receded in our yard, if not elsewhere – the farmer’s field bears the brunt of all the road drainage and he may have to switch to water buffalo if this goes on. Or fish farming, perhaps.

water draining into field

But what of the ford, you cry? We were hopeful of a good high score, but in the end it was rather average so by way of compensation here is the ford in action:

Then there was just time to wander up the road and try and capture the brief moments of sunshine before the rain started again.

winter trees

I may have had a little play …

leaf-based engineering

More rain warnings on Friday, hey ho


If a Ford Floods in a Forest…

January 1, 2016

… and there’s nobody there to blog about it it, was it still a new high score?

The evidence of the ‘tideline’ on the road:

flood tide mark

And the debris on the bridge:

debris on bridge

suggests that it might have been, but some idiot has failed to equip the ford with some sort of ratchet min/max device so it’s not telling any tales. It almost – almost – makes me sorry that I missed all the excitement

ford in January

Still, it was exciting enough discovering that Bigtown was on the front page when I stopped to pick the Guardian in Heathrow airport yesterday (yes, that Guardian, the one with all the headless maps of interesting data from England and Wales usually labelled something like ‘house prices soaring in the UK’ where Scotland only exists during the Festival in August). Which in turn was almost as startling as being told by the chap at the till in WH Smith’s that the world was going to end in 2016 – and that he knew this because apparently the Queen had said so in an outtake during her Christmas broadcast, not realising the microphone was still live.*

Her majesty might have a point, seeing as I spotted this plant in full flower on my ride back from the papershop this morning.

plant flowering in January

It’s January, people, January. How am I ever going to get my garlic to vernalise if this goes on?
*It only occurs to me now that this might be part of desperate measures on the part of WH Smith’s to persuade their customers to use the self-service tills