Kill or Cure

March 6, 2017

The thing I really needed to happen this week was for someone to discover an extra day between Tuesday and Wednesday so I can actually manage to get all the things done I need to in time. The thing I really didn’t need to happen was me catching the other half’s cold, so naturally that’s the thing that did happen, although I’m still hoping the magic of cycling will see it off.

Of course for cycling to work properly, you have to not just go out on a bike, but get miserably cold and drenched, at least that’s my theory* and ordinarily, you can rely on the Weather Gods to serve up that sort of weather without too much problem. So I should probably have been unhappy at the fact that during today’s paper run, the only rain I got was the tiniest of sprinklings and a fragment of rainbow, and the rest was just surprisingly warm spring sunshine – not enough to see off even the feeblest of rhinoviruses.

fragment of rainbow

Rainbow posed by model as this was actually yesterday’s rainbow.

Still, maybe the vitamin D will do it instead, although I don’t think the sun’s quite high in the sky to generate useful amounts yet. I took my cap off all the same, and cycled along bare headed just in case. It might not be doing much for my vitamin levels, but it did feel good to have some sun on my skin.

In other news, the daffodils are almost out.

daffodils almost out
* I suspect that, like most cold remedies, it will simply serve to cut down the duration of the cold from a whole week to just seven days.


And the Puncture Fairy makes Three

January 29, 2017

misty morning start

After a couple of years of running winter rides for the local Bigtown Cycling Campaign that have attracted none, one, or at best half a dozen participants, suddenly all our likes, comments and shares on Facebook have started turning into actual cyclists, turning up on actual bikes, to come out and ride with us, which is nice.

Unfortunately the Puncture Fairy is also apparently following us on Facebook and turned up this morning with a vengeance – including one poor lass who’d only been out for a spin on her nice new Halfords bike on her own and been struck by way of collateral damage as she passed our assembly point. Sadly Halfords had not thought to supply her with a pump or spare inner tube (or managed to set up the quick release on her brakes) so she was awaiting rescue when help arrived in the form of several knights in shining – or at least hi-vis – armour in the form of several of the wiry-old-boy-in-lycra brigade who like nothing better than fixing a puncture, especially if it can be combined with fulminations about the uselessness of Halfords.

And even if you don’t count her, the grand total by the time we finished was one delaminated tyre (fortunately noticed before we set off), one puncture at our destination, and one mega puncture involving a Bastard Big Thorn, a duff valve on a spare inner tube, and a recalcitrant back wheel, which meant by the time the back markers had arrived at the cafe stop, most of the front markers had already gone home. Having eaten all the soup. Honestly, there’s just no solidarity among cyclists these days…

Still, it was a gorgeous day to be out, and the weather was mostly pleasant enough to make standing around in the sun making helpful remarks during someone else’s puncture repair (and handing out cranachan-inspired flapjacks, complete with a tot of whisky, to mark the fact that this was our Burns ride) almost pleasant.*

afternoon sunshine

* apart from the point where I said, ‘we’ve been very lucky with the weather within earshot of the weather gods, who imediately started raining on us, just to remind us they could.


Where you can See it in the Stars that the Weather’s Coming On

September 9, 2016

weather coming on

Once, when we had recently moved to the area, we were told a cautionary tale about someone who bought a house on a hill, who promptly felled all the trees some idiot had planted blocking their amazing view, and then spent the next twenty years regretting it as the prevailing wind that the trees had been sheltering their house from battered against their windows every time there was a storm. How we laughed. And when we bought a house on a hill with fantastic views of our own, we obviously weren’t going to chop down any trees because we were wise to that sort of thing. But perhaps we should have paid more attention to the tree stumps dotted around the edge of the garden in the direction of said fantastic views and wonder whether perhaps we weren’t inheriting a similar mistake…

Not that I’m complaining, of course. A view is a view is a view and on a clear day we can see the Lake District, and no doubt the weather gods will relent eventually and we will have one of those days again soon. Plus, once we get the wood burner going (currently waiting for the chimney sweep to give it the all clear) it will surely add an extra layer of cosiness to listen to the storm blowing a hooly outside, and the rain dancing a fandango on skylights upstairs. Just as long as we can stay tucked up inside and the storm stays outside.

I was hoping we’d get through September before all this became an issue though. So much for an Indian summer…


Waiting for the Second Shoe…

June 13, 2016

Two things I am not, repeat not, complaining about:

1. It is well into June and ASBO buzzard hasn’t attacked yet. Not so much as a swoop. Which is cool. It’s fine. I’d much rather *not* be attacked by a buzzard than be attacked by a buzzard. But the anticipation is getting something fierce.

2. In the past week we have been caught in a sudden rainstorm driving back from the train station on Wednesday, I got fairly heavily rained on riding to the train station in Edinburgh on Sunday and I got mildly rained on going down for the paper today. But has there been any appreciable rain on the actual garden? There has not. Or at least not enough to replenish the water butts. There are four full-size ones up by the walled garden and we’re down to half way through number four…


Still Invisible

January 25, 2016

I think I have complained before about the relative invisibility of our typical South West Scotland pacing-itself mizzling type of rain to both the forecasters and the rain radar. Today was one of those days, where both the Met Office and the Norwegians (the other half has taken to consulting the Norwegian weather service just in case they have any better weather on offer) were claiming that it wasn’t raining at all, backed up by Rain Today, while a quick glance out of the window revealed curtains of rain moving swiftly sideways up the valley (or ‘fast-moving fog’ as the other half described it yesterday).

It did stop, however, just in time for me to head out and I cycled off hoping that perhaps the time it had taken me to put all my wet weather kit on was enough to invoke Sod’s law, although I have no idea why, after living here for so many years, I might have thought that; still, hope springs eternal, as they say.

But not as eternally as South West Scotland’s rain and I was soon cycling into an enormous headwind and experiencing some of the other half’s fast-moving fog which was every bit as unpleasant as it sounds.

The sad part is, that was just the warm up act – we’re under another apocalyptic weather warning for heavy rain, but it doesn’t even kick in until tomorrow. It is supposedly the same storm that just buried the Eastern Seaboard of the United States under snow, but about 10 degrees warmer, so stand by for a drenching.


Between Weather Warnings

November 18, 2015

a break in the clouds

I have to confess that there’s something quite grimly satisfying about being greeted with the words ‘you’re mental, what are you doing cycling in this weather?’ by your neighbour as you peel yourself off the bike after a soggy ride home. But even more satisfying is spotting a window of opportunity between the dire warnings of heavy rain in the mornging and the direr warnings of high winds in the afternoon,* and grabbing the chance to nip out for the paper…

There was a headwind, but that’s okay – I got it back on the way home and with interest. There were parts of the road where I barely needed to turn a pedal.

But never mind all that, you cry, what of the ford?

Ford in November

I call that a bit disappointing.

* Or ‘November’ as it used to be known


Bombproof

November 10, 2015

Bad news, regular blog readers: it seems that even after being freshly re-proofed, my everything-but-the-apocalypse-proof jacket is letting in a bit of damp at the shoulders and the sleeves. Perhaps it is finally wearing out – it is beginning to look a little faded and frayed around the seams (but then again, that’s generally when my clothes are just getting comfortable). Either that, or this actually is the apocalypse (‘which would explain a lot’ the other half said).*

Either way, I’m going to need a new jacket because if the end times are coming you wouldn’t want to face them in anything but a breathable but otherwise completely impermeable outer garment, and neither would you want to live in South West Scotland, frankly. Any suggestions? The local horse riders (who fear for my safety in my current ninja getup) would prefer it if it wasn’t black…

*’Apocalypse Abigail‘ according to the Met Office** – although really, I do think they should stop messing around and just let the people of Glasgow decide what the storms are called

** although it seems the Met Office folk in Aberdeen are made of sterner stuff and have pointed out that wet and windy weather in November is normal for Scotland.