I know how to live it up.

20C,not a cloud, light sea breeze.
Never done this before in the 11 years I have had this car. I have wax polished it.


It’s a little tricky, the instructions on the bottle make it sound easy. The car does need to be spotlessly clean. The polish is a milky liquid that should be left to dry. Then within a big soft cloth, you buff it off. Easy, but the dry chalky stuff really sticks to any flaws or bits of dirt to show how bad you are at washing.

Shall I try it on my bike?

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Wheat, nearly ripe.

The same field,

22°C,light N breeze, bright sun.
Tracked ride with- MapMyRide! Distance: 34.1mi, time: 02:14:53, pace: 3:57min/mi, speed: 15.2mi/h.
Dragonflies, dozens were on the wing today. Is there any poetry in the way they look like antique biplanes, these fabulous creatures from a time long, long before?

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Service race-8

24°C sunny, no breeze.
Yesterday’s ride was no without problems. At 45 miles the gear change became heavier and sticky. Up-shift was unreliable and I knew what it was. Out of sight, inside the cable the wire was frayed. It snags and forced me to double-shift and back for the rest of the day. With experience, I knew the fault immediately. Once opened up, it was clear. A single strand of wire in the cable had coiled up inside the sheath.
Today, I fixed it and changed the cable route too.


I have been looking at new bikes too. There are two complete bikes that fit my needs and size. A Kona Jake and a Raleigh Revenio. Both are cyclo-cross bikes with disc brakes. I want more reliable braking in rain. Normal brakes are poor when the rims are wet. Discs should solve that. These two makes are suitable because the top-tube length is right for me (22.5″ or 60.5cm). I hate short frames. In the 1990s, top tubes were mostly 21.5 inches for all frame sizes. That is mad, the size should be in proportion , not fixed to suit the brazing jig.
In the mid 90s, I had both my made-to-measure frames built with 23″ top-tubes. At the time that was the only way to get a frame that fits. These days, there is another choice- off-the-peg.

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100 with two diversions.

24C max. N breeze. Sunny start and end, cloud in between.
Tracked with MapMyRide! Distance: 101.85mi, time: 07:13:05, pace: 4:15min/mi, speed: 14.11mi/h.


I couldn’t see how deep this flood was. In this situation, it’s a good idea to wait for a car to drive through, that would show how deep the water is. Two cars appeared, but each stopped for a long time then turned around. They daren’t try it either. The water stretched from that left hedge and over the R. Anker on the right into the wheat field to the right. If I could predict the highest part of the road’s camber, then a ride through is possible. The edges of the road were completely hidden so I scrapped the idea.
I went along the A5 for a few miles instead. What a horrible road to ride on.
The other diversion was to avoid the traffic diverted from the closed A38. Presumably, there had been a smash in the middle afternoon.

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Can I have a new mobile phone?

20°C, heavy storms with thunder. The sun gets a look in too.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Mini II. It runs really badly, sometimes with a 30″ delay before text appears on screen. Internal memory is low most of the time (about 90-120Mb) despite running a cleanup app. several times a day.
I suspect that the data flow bottle-neck is in the system memory. An 800Mhz single core processor doesn’t help

Angle-poise lamp, with phone.

Here is my mobile, reflected in an angle-poise lamp.

First thoughts: Galaxy Mini III. More RAM, better camera, dual-CPU and an easy swap for my current sim card. The screen is supposed to be brighter (Amoled) which may mean the phone is usable in bright sunlight.
I have a cheap but more than adequate contract where I pay £7 per month. Data, calls and text are more than enough- I have never gone over the monthly cap.

Only trouble is- the best deals seems to have gone. There were several below £100 a few months ago. Is summer a bad time to buy a new phone? Perhaps I should wait until after my holidays where the chance of loosing the phone is higher.

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Three short notes.

28°C, humid, later breaks down to thunder.
End of academic year- we’ve broken up for summer. What a good day it is when you win the staff Fairtrade hamper in a raffle. I don’t think I ever won a raffle before, and I really like the stuff in the basket.
Shock: I got a shock when I arrived home, literally. It was so hot and humid when I got in that I threw windows open to change the air. Then I thought of the lodger’s pet rabbit up in attic room. It gets roaring hot on days like this: I went up to check. A bit untidy and the rabbit seemed okay- he even appeared interested to see me. I reached down to switch on the fan and got quite a jolt. There was a thump to the back of my arm.
The cable had live wires exposed. Mr rabbit had nibbled though the insulation and is lucky to be alive.

Overnight- woken by the slow, ominous approach of a thunder storm. I played the counting game, flash to rumble/7. It was coming directly for here. When close enough, the sound was loud enough to trigger house alarms.
That was about 1am, the same happened at about 4am again.
I love a good thunderstorm.
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Boundary conflict.

18C, N wind, clear.
This bottle brush plant failed to flower last year.


A nice surprise after a trip away.

Got home this afternoon to find my garden has been hacked.

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22C, milky close, rain to come.
The most annoying punctures, more annoying than the other annoying punctures happen at home. This one hissed itself flat when I pulled the pump head off the value. The effort of flicking that lever and pulling it off after blowing up to pressure has split the tube at the value base.

And on the ether hand, my weight is coming down. Cycling is more fun when I weigh less than 14st.7. For the last month or two, I have been over 15st. I topped 15st.7 which is way too much.
I blame snacking and no twice daily dog walk.
Parti-poodles look like a good choice. I may even get a lad next time.

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100,000 miles.

17C, sunny with brisk wind.
Just driven the first 100,000th mile in my car, a 2002 Passat.


I have driven most of that distance though the car stands, unused, outside my house. I caught it nearly 12 years ago. It should be viable for another 5 years. The only costs, therefore, are normal maintenance repairs.

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Film: Let Me In.

16C heavy rain.
Let Me In: is the American re-make of Let The Right One in.
I was expecting worse, based on others’ opinions. My view is that if you’d seen the Swedish original first, then you are likely to feel disappointed. I did to some extent, but trying to be fair- it was quite watchable. It lacked the magic of the Swedish film, but not fatally so.
There is a problem though. Why did the Americans re-make a film only a year after the first version? There was nothing wrong with the Swedish version, the re-make added nothing. In fact, the re-make lost qualities.
Watch it if you have the chance, but why not watch the far superior original.
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