Boots on the ground.

-1°C, Clear sky, snow on the ground.
Work: we are taking a whole yeargroup to the park for DofE training. The cold will be a problem for some.


Some kids were well equipped, walking boots, a hat and decent coat. Some in chunky boots did however, wear ankle-socks with them. They give with one hand and take away with the other. Sigh.


2°C, rain then dry.
Talking to a class of 11 year olds today in a lesson on sensors. I asked them what devices they have at home with a sensor. The usual burglar alarms and security lights. Then one told us about her kitchen bin. It opens when you wave your hand over the top. Presumably so you don’t have to touch the lid.
Taking this further, another has a toilet that lifts its seat if you approach. Impressed, I asked how does it know whether you want the seat up or is it just the lid. The subtlety was lost on this group. So I said “perhaps it’s just a bloke thing”.
By now, my imagination was running with this. What happens when you go to the bathroom for a tissue to blow your nose? Like the hand-driers at work, it presumably is activated. Does the toilet lid lower itself in a disappointed way afterwards?
This would make a fun subject for animation. It’s all in the timing, the disappointment bit I mean.
This instrument is near work, on the side of a busy road. For years, I have wondered what it is. Probably a smog detector. Looking back, I couldn’t see what that light is aimed at. Is there a reflector in the distance somewhere?

74 lengths

2°C, dry early, snow later.
Swim after work, last week a guy suggested not alternating strokes and settling into a rhythm.
I did so today and it works smoothly. In all, 74 lengths. Only stopped after getting a bit of cramp in my feet.
64 lengths is a mile in a 25 metre pool. Sorry to mix scales.

Lovejoy Q2.

2°C, light wind and clear.
Best chance to see this comet this week. Twice I rode to work in the week. On the return trip, I stopped in a gateway to look up. First a thin veil of high cloud covered the wrong bit of sky. The next one was clear, despite trying, no smudge could be seen.


This photo, not mine, shows the comet’s location. With binoculars, it’s easy to find. I looked from a field in this city, so light pollution covered most fainter stars. That also means the tail is impossible to see.
Nevertheless, I am satisfied to see it.

Deer in headlights.

6°C, strong W wind. Mostly dry under grey sky.
I rode Fixed with MapMyRide+! Distance: 22.98mi, time: 01:35:19, pace: 4:09min/mi, speed: 14.46mi/h.
Very windy, almost unsafe on a bike. Given the quiet roads, I ventured out at 3pm. As seen in the screenshot, the route was a series of loops near home and included some short sharp hills.

Driving back I was forced to take a diversion around Cannock Chase. There was only a few extra miles, and am interesting incident. On the twisty lane back to the normal route, I glimpsed something moving ahead. An animal, but it was very shadowy. Then a deer; both me and an oncoming car stopped too. Then he switched head lights off, and then I did. We let the deer gallop across the road to the south. Sweet!

Back to work.

5°C, light SW, grey.
New term. Straight into the darkest mornings of the year. Sunrise has only improved by 2 minutes since mid-winter. Whereas street has improved by 16 minutes. Rapid change is coming though. It only takes two weeks for the light at the end of the tunnel to get switched back on.


Half an hour before sunrise, this view was worth pulling over in the car. This is a narrow sunken lane with muddy passing spaces. I got out and took the picture and slowly slid sideways in the mud.