Last ride this year.

I rode fixed with MapMyRide+! Distance: 18.92mi, time: 01:17:40, pace: 4:06min/mi, speed: 14.62mi/h.
Zero the clocks tomorrow, the year’s milage is complete. Not quite matched my target of 6,000 miles. Not short by many.

imageAccording to MapMyRide: 5,844.7miles for 2014. That’s about 600 miles more than 2013.
Here is the breakdown:
Arrow: 3193.1
Racelite: 934.3
Kona: 1449.8

LPs while wrapping.

10°C, windy with a dose of sun.
Feeling ill can make us feel inadequate sometimes, as though we have failed somehow. I failed to cycle this week. There was nothing I could put a finger on, just that latent cold feeling.
What must it be like for those with serious, or chronic illnesses?
Anyway, today I wrap. The room is filled with the smell of fresh coffee and milky golden winter sun filters through the skeleton trees.
Playing music to give my ears something to do.


This is a double by Tricky. Too often, I forget how clear this stereo sounds. That record player is thirty years old!
It wasn’t the technology that killed off vinyl, nor the sound quality.
The next album I put on was Led Zeppelin. The sound was clear but noticeably compressed. Producers used to do that so the disc would sound acceptable on cheaper record players. That meant the sound was worse for all of us. Then, along came CD which promised clarity of sound and ease of use. It delivered on the latter. Now, thirty years later, LP sales have risen slightly and occupy a clear place in the market. Modern records, like the one by Tricky, sound better than ever. Producers no long have to cater for the mass market. The sound quality is better though the technology is the same (at our end).

Stay in.

10°C, brisk W. Dry and very grey.
Can’t tell what’s going on, but no ride today. Perhaps a virus.


It’s a shame that Christmas is further into the holiday this year. Even my neighbours, both sides, agree that Christmas spoils an otherwise good holiday.
Not a wasted day though. I spent some hours brushing up on Python programming. This is preparation for teaching so I am looking for alternative ways to solve coursework tasks.

Best days.

7°C, icy start and sun for the few daylight hours.
I am at my best on days like this. The sun and crisp air lift away the winter gloom. For hours, I chopped wood, clipped plants, fitted draught excluders, fixed bike, laundry, shopping and more. Now, there is reassurance seeing a basket with enough wood to take me through January.


Sunrise from a few days ago.!

Tindersticks: Ypres.

8°C, rain later.
Get home and chop wood for the fire. The only exercise I had all day. That long latent cold has lifted without really doing more than sapping my energy. Oh well, that’s gone.
Before bed, I relaxed with some music, played on the proper stereo.
On first impression, Tindersticks’ album, Ypres doesn’t include much action. There are some broad key changes, large slow sounds that move up and down the scales.
There is more, however. Some filigree textures and quivering tremolo strings. An inner tension resides there. To my surprise, I was intensely moved, speechless in fact.
Cover art.

Hibernate in the shed.

8°C, storms brewing, strong W. Heavy rain.
This moth has chosen the window frame inside the shed to spend the winter in a very sluggish state. He was on the glass, but settled here after I accidentally dislodged him. Maybe he’s better off there as the glass can get very cold in the coming winter.
Dreadful weather is looming in the northern approaches. It’s said to take quite some time to move out. The more hysterical papers call it a “weather bomb”, a huge drop in pressure in short time.


Promise to self: look out for him, with care, he could make it.

Ten degrees

Sun and showers, 4°C, NW breeze.
Cold house, the kitchen was 10°C when I got home tonight. It’s a few degrees higher now and the fire is roaring in the front room.
The cold has penetrated deeply today, it reached its fingers beneath skin, veins and muscles.
At fifty years old, I am yet to learn to like winter.
Drawing in my work diary, it’s only an inch across.