London Plane, a story.

,A London Plane tree, near a school.

This tree tells a story, those long vertical splits in the trunk are not common to this type. I suspect a long seasonal drought one year, followed by a substantial period of rain. My hypothesis is that during the dry time, the whole tree contracted. When the rain did come, there was not enough flex in the bark to avoid the splitting we see here. The tree has recovered, I’m glad to say.
Spring in 2012 followed that pattern. This year could do the same. So far we’ve had the driest 6 months for 20 years.

Why I hate shopping.

10°C, cool easterly dry wind.
It’s mostly the disappointment. Shopping is about making choices, you go into a shop and either choose something that doesn’t fit, or you choose to leave the shop.
It doesn’t matter whether I want clothes or  a sleeping bag. Most clothes are either sized for medium people, or for fat people. Clothes for larger men are the same as medium except that have fat belly space. Sleeves are usually the same length as are trouser legs. Short sleeves and legs don’t have adjustable hems any more.​

A capella, acapulca, a poodle-goat, as you can see.

Sleeping bags are sometimes available in long lengths. I say available, but that doesn’t mean any shops have them in stock, it doesn’t even mean the importer has any either. The sleeping bag I want may be available by the end of February.
Are you getting a sense of why I don’t like shopping?

Break even.

I rode Racelite-8 with MapMyRide+! Distance: 27.47mi, time: 01:47:06, pace: 3:54min/mi, speed: 15.4mi/h.
Cars can cost a lot of money. Mine has been pretty good for a big car. It’s now 12 years old and has done 112,000 miles. Now I face a few repairs which added to the annual cost of running it, equal the cost of buying and running a new car. The calculations include the assumption that big repair bills will come more often. A new car would cost nothing in repairs, less in fuel and tax. But then, maybe there will be no expensive repairs next year on my old car, it’s down to chance.
My calculation includes supposed fuel economy of the new car. What Car runs tests on fuel consumption and they don’t match manufacturers’ figures. The new Passat is only 5mpg better than the one I have.
Also, I actually feel some sentimental attachment to my current drive. We’ve been places.

Golf Estate, a possible replacement.

Lost child.

17C, windy light cloud.
Queueing in the supermarket we noticed a fat kid noisily climbing over a plastic child’s ride. He grunted, gasped and shouted as he heaved himself over its shiney yellow surface for what seemed like ten minutes. The woman next to me remarked: “you wouldn’t loose that one would you?”.
My answer-
“I’d loose him right away! When he isn’t looking, I would run for it”.

Posted on my phone.

Calm before…

15C, big storm approaches.
The storm, a opportunity arose this morning with grey sky but no real rain, yet. So what happens, I woke with a pre-cold throat, dammit.
It’s been a long run since the last cold- was it Easter?


Written & Posted from a Smartphone.


16°C, fog, very damp.
Ikea- lights are more and more LEDs. I picked up two of these for the kitchen. They are spot-lights to illuminate the cooler and the sink. This is very mundane and domestic, but I am very impressed. View are brighter than the 40W equivalents that they replace. There is little of the flicker that affects compact fluorescent atlas that I so dislike. There are possibly good dough to read by and only use 8 watts.


Rated at 400lm, which is a unit I have to get used to. It’s bright enough with a warmish colour that tints towards sink at the edges.

Rage road.

Movement within a roundabout in a country wher...

Movement within a roundabout in a country where traffic drives on the left. Note the clockwise circulation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+4°C, clear icy strong wind.
Not safe to ride this morning- black ice covers more than usual today- roads as well as pavements.
Not safe to drive either, look…
Near home there is a tee-junction with a roundabout for left or right. So I got in the right lane and joined the other cars waiting. Then just as I turned, a guy in the left turning lane server right in front of me. Annoyed, I blew the horn and flash lights.
As I follow him onto the turning he stopped. I braked and blew the horn again; is he just not looking or what? Then he moved and stopped again. Horn again, he started then stopped once more, but for longer, much longer.
Then he actually got out or his car. I could see him mouthing something, pointing at the roundabout and waving arms. He’s trying to communicate; I hit the central locking. No point interacting with this life-form. The traffic built up behind jamming the roundabout.
What a puzzling experience. A driver is in such a rush that he doesn’t mind treading on toes. He’s in such an adrenaline haze that he stopped to have a tantrum and wasted his own time as well as ours.
What a depressing way to run your life.
Strange thought though, is the stretch of road where this all happened. I have been subject to three road rage incidents over the last ten years. All of them on this half-mile section of road. Beware.

Back to back.

7°C, sunshine.
The Doc says I probably have a second cold straight after the first. Unlucky, but not a serious worry. Presumably, there is no reason that you couldn’t be infected with two colds at once.
Snow is on its way, though it may not fall here. The Mirror paper predicts -15C and blizzards, though view predict that every time the temperature dips a little. Nobody believes them any more. Well, no-one worth mentioning does.

City Station

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.

Urgent tottering

15°C, sun

The olympic torch procession thing passed through town today, I think. there was a nucleus of noise and crowds which is calming down now. I was out with the dog and could hear music, horns, pea-whistles and amplified voices from a point that audibly moved along at a steady pace. There were small groups of people hurrying towards the nub. They almost broke into a trot, not quite but handbags swung with some urgency. Other people walked quite quickly too, that’s a remarkable thing for a nation that likes to walk veerryy sloowly. Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the point of it all, but the noise was not a attractor for me.