Mid-winter bumbus

13.5°C, grey,mild, dry.
What is this bumble-bee doing up and about today, mid-winter? My guess, the dog disturbed it on wandering about the shrubs in the garden. They hibernate through to spring so maybe the mild weather woke him.
He raised a leg as though in fear- as if to rush me away. He knew I was there and was alert enough to sense threat.


I can’t see him surviving now he’s woken. I gave him some sugar and wished him good luck.I was gentle.

Eight weeks

11°C, wind.
Very long term which finished just as my cough/cold did.
Ex Cathedra: were as good as ever on this sixth year I have been to their Christmas Carol concert. We were sitting in possibly the best seats we’ve had- some choristers even stood next to us for a couple of pieces. Their voices were so powerful, the sound was on the cusp of tinnitus.
Waiting till the day after we broke up left me devoid of the urge to doze in the show. In previous years, I have gone after work and dipped in and out of semi-sleep during the concert. That’s an interesting way to be to listen to music- you listen slightly differently.
Winter is in a mild mood now, all warm and wet.
Now for some urgent late preparation for this season of unwelcome madness. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

Emergent day.

8°C, few showers, sun, no cycling.
Recovery: a week of undefined illness has sapped most of my energy. Now it’s lifting I can’t feel the cold, and yes I know the air has dipped below 5C. So, I spent the day recovering.
I became quite geeky later in the afternoon.
Geekiness is fuelled by a feeling. It’s a feeling with deep roots, all the way back to childhood.
With a cold like mine, any activities today had to beundemanding, so I spent time looking round Google Earth. In a few places, there are circular mountain ranges that are just too perfect a circle. With a little research, it turns out that many are impact craters. Some are as young as 3.5 million years, which doesn’t sound that old, relatively, geologically. The earth is peppered with them, though some are only detected by their gravity anomalies  One contributer has uploaded a .kml file that shows loads more. I was, by now, hooked.
And, this is where it gets geeky, I decided to see how they look in the flight simulator FSX. Some are quite clear, often a near circular lake, or an obvious crater. One, in far eastern Siberia, is not actually an impact crater but an eroded intrusive pipe (Kondyor Massif). Now it’s one of Russia’s biggest platinum mines.

England is dirty

0°C, ice again.
weekend at home- too much marking to go away on adventures. This time of year uncovers what’s been hiding beneath lush grass all summer. English roads and lanes are bordered with unbroken lines of MacDonald’s packaging and mineral water bottles. Some of those water bottles have their sides pierced.


They are always carefully pierced in the same way. Sometimes, a plastic tube remains inserted in the side. It’s a sort of bong left by local druggies. They use this to stupify themselves and then leave with their piles of litter behind.
A bit of detective work could trace them. In the discarded shopping bags, there is often a receipt, which could track the buyer.
A few years ago, someone died in a festival tent in that field. Sometimes I find foil, but never needles. Drugs.
Such is modern life.