Monday, May 08, 2017

God's in his heaven ...

Yesterday, I decided to go on a hunt for yet more bluebells; bluebells, those merry harbingers of Spring, though actually the native bluebell is a bit more dispirited than its Iberian cousin, that's one of the ways you tell them apart - Spanish, perky - English, droopy (there's some sort of metaphor here).
Anyway, it was lunchtime, or in retirement parlance, just after breakfast, so the forest was deserted apart from me and about twenty deer, as I pedalled along in the sunshine the coconutty smell of gorse wafted over me, causing great angst. Why? Let me pontificate.
Surely in colonial or maritime circles the coconut was discovered by said settlers or shipmen familiar with the smell of gorse, so why isn't it the  gorsey smell of the coconut?
Over the past three days the oak had produced new leaf, so that the bare trees of Thursday were now covered in brilliant lime green (Goddamit, there's another one, surely it should be new oak green) foliage. Thus buoyed by the sun, the trees, the turning wheel of the seasons, and the azure undergrowth, I continued on my way, only stopping to berate some children intent on making a foray off-piste, irrevocably damaging my droopy blue friends. Yes, I was happy!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Naughty Doris takes the cake.

Here in the UK storm Doris is battering away at my home and castle, more specifically she's destroying my fence, aided by the neighbours sodden peat hanging baskets, now removed. U had finished the painting, though I'll have to do another coat tomorrow (hence Facebookers, I'm not making a cake - as promised), and went out to survey the blusteriness, it was then I noticed my poor fence swaying like a Dad at a disco. "Hmm?" I thunk "That's gonna go." I apologise for my contractions - I was distraught. Reaching over the fence I removed said baskets, but the damage had been done. "Hmm? How can I stop the fencepost breaking and the fencing taking off like a murderous sort of kite, visions of Gordon Kaye in 1987?"
The answer popped into my noggin (rather like the fencepost and Gordon Kaye in 1987) - rope. Somewhere I have shockcord, somewhere I have 5mm rope! I searched, thoroughly and after 10 minutes obscenely, eventually I unearthed (see pic) my SRT gear and two luggage straps, whereon I dispatched myself to the garden and tied the fencepost to the cherry tree. At the moment both are holding, but so's Doris.
 Wish me (and the tree) luck.
 


Monday, February 08, 2016

Magpie Mind.





Each morning as I traipse down the hill to the station I see magpies. Sometimes two (joy), sometimes three (a letter), sometimes four (something better), but more often then not - one! By this point some of you will be shouting, "Three's a girl, four's a boy!", I will merely point out that they certainly weren't until ITV set up Magpie as a rival to Blue Peter, filling all teenage boys with a new appreciation of older women, as Susan Stranks, one of the co-presenters was forty, FORTY!


Anyway, what to do about "one for sorrow", I of course, spit, salute and say "Good Morning Mr Magpie" but then have to decide what that sorrow could be, to prevent it being anything worse. I used to go for , "There'll be no copies of the Metro at the station." but have lately decided that, "There will be copies of the Metro at the station." may be more apposite. Sometimes I delay the train, and sometimes (when I'm late) I make the train arrive on time. Fridays  prove to be a real dilemma, they are treat days, when I have a Danish with my morning coffee, there are always Danishes, there is always coffee, so now I go for, "There'll be too much icing on the Danish.", and do you know, sometimes there is!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hanging out.

I had been bought a pair of underpants, trendy underpants compared to my Primark briefs, these came as snug shorts with a wide waistband, the sort of waistband that is supposed to be emblazoned with a designer name so that people can marvel at the stupidity of spending that much on a pair of shreddies. Mine are emblazoned with "LETS GO COMMANDO", I won't comment on the lack of apostrophe, I'm assuming it's nothing to do with renting, even though that draws up a whole new raft of puns, so lets go contextual.
To "Go Commando" means to go without underwear, so now we have a conundrum, do the manufacturers wish us not to wear their product, in which case what shall we do with them, is it perhaps a singnifier to a potential or existing partner, or is it a comment on the quality of the nethergarment, (you might as well go commando as wear these)?
Who knows, anyway they're nice on a frosty morning, though one of the seams is going so the waistband may become a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Now I'm looking for a post where I can get the phrase, "as scary as forgetting that you'd had a lot of beetroot the day before" in, before I forget it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

And another thing about being 60

When you're fifty, SAGA (Social Activities for the Golden Age) send you a birthday card and invite you to partake in the lifestyle determined by them for the more genteel years, and buy their insurance. Though (see my last bletherings) with sixty being the new forty I expect that a delightful tour of the Amish communities has metamorphosed into a trip to Vegas hosted by Hunter S.

When you're sixty the NHS (National Health Service) write to you and ask you to participate in the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, then a week later they send you a different sort of card, and instructions, fortunately not illustrated, and an envelope lined with waterproof foil, rather like those ones that were used to transport floppies (no comment), only in this case a deliquescent floppy.

So to sum up, at fifty you're invited to participate in a cruise, and at sixty you're invited to participate in a game of poo sticks.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Time passes.

As I stared at the huge front moving in from the Southwest I was struck by a thought, so turning from the mirror, I sat on the bed and contemplated my socks, they were like me, a trifle faded, slightly threadbare, but otherwise serviceable. On Christmas Eve I had become sixty...."Sixty - it's the new forty!" said my friends (the majority on the wrong side of fifty five), so what does this mean? It possibly means a mid-life crisis extending for another twenty years sauced with an existential/thanatophobic crisis due to the certain knowledge that the end of existence is coming a step closer (especially if you buy that motorbike), i.e. it's all downhill from here.
However, this vertiginous career to the grave/furnace is now tempered with inappropriate mid-life anxieties: should one start, not, or stop, looking at girls. How old is "too old" for a floral shirt, or have you passed the point where anyone cares how you look? Slippers - retro, anathema, essential? Flirt, Charmer or Dirty Old Man? This was all proving too much - I put my shoes on.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A right knees-out


A man is sitting on a bicycle, his grey hair should be being riffled by the breeze of his passing, it isn’t, for several reasons:- 
1.   It is contained in a helmet, though this still offers scope for riffling through the ventilation holes, in the past this has led to spectacular hairstyles reminiscent of a balding sea-urchin. 
2.    It, the hair, is plastered to his skull by sweat, later more sweat will take up the encrusted salt, exit from the helmet and deposit its briny load, excruciatingly, in his eyes. This may prove a useful excuse for crying. 
3.  There is no breeze of his passage, he is overtaken by snails, tortoises, ancient glass windows, in fact overtaken by everything that defines: “slow”. The only things that are not slow are:
1.     His breathing rate.
2.     His heart rate.
                                              
What thoughts are going through the noggin of this inverted speed-merchant? At the moment it is, “Oh a yellow golf ball!” For Nick, yes it is he, has just noticed one below his left pedal as he grinds up Haldon Hill. Already his gaze has drifted from the prize, the top, to the mundane, how to get there. How to get there without dying, how to get there without having your lower limbs independently fly off at a tangent due to the explosive pressure produced by synovial boiling.

A couple of months previously his pal Carol has suggested that he might like to do the Devon Classic  a “bike ride”, he has opted for the 55 mile stage and has trained by doing a 40 miler, two weeks before in rural Hertfordshire, which, until now, he thought had hills. Thus he is woefully under-trained, under-fit, and, if this hill doesn’t stop, soon to be underground. He thinks that he will ask his fellow bikers if anyone else noticed the golf ball, a paradigm for Haldon Hill fitness, sadly he never catches up with any, apart from Paul, who waits for him at the top of every hill. He sees an older woman, who walks up every hill but never catches her, and so he descends into a Sisyphucian gloom, believing he is scorned for his lack of lycra and his panniers with 1.5 litres of water.

Eventually the Fit Bloke what rides at the back hoves into view, makes fun of his panniers – see – and then delivers a series of cycling homilies designed to make the fat boy feel better about himself. It makes the fat boy grit his teeth (only for a short time, gritted teeth impairing the ingress of oxygen) and mutter darkly (also only for a short time, passim).

Several bouts of hours, hills, power bars (power bars MY ARSE!) and unshed tears later, there is a whispered conference between Paul and the Fit Bloke. Nick is, of course, aware of this conference, the rush of blood through his head has not rendered him deaf quite yet, it is not Niagara, more Hardraw Force. He knows that they are talking about shame, swallowing bitter black bile, ignominy. Does this spur him to new heights, it does, he fumbles another power bar (MY ARSE!) out of his pocket and manages to summon the energy to tear open the wrapper.

A conference, a conference that will see him agree to suffer defeat, and be picked up from the feeding station at Castle Drogo, but first he has to get there, it is quite a long steep walk. There he finds his fellow defeatists, bids farewell to Paul and Fit Bloke, and lies around feeling sick for an hour watching the hundred and ten milers whizz past, while he waits for a lift back to the start, his bike will follow later.

The Devon Classic, was generally agreed to be “Brutal”, this is deemed by Nick to be a small fillip to a generally humiliating day.

The next day he goes home, the cycle to the Station down the Exe is generally, and surprisingly all right, the trip over Waterloo Bridge is surprisingly not, for, you see, there is a rise as the span tends to its zenith, if he wanted he could chat to the tourists keeping pace with him, he does not want.