L3 (Day 78.5): On Air (ii)

Big mouth strikes again.

Three hours out and a puncture

Took wind from my sails

~

n.b. Hahahahahahahahahahaha 🙄

~

CLP 25/03/25

L3 (Day 78): On Air (i)

The pneumatic tyre is a great invention! ’nuff said.

~

CLP 25/03/2021

L3(Day 51): Norfolk

Out into the broad expanses of Norfolk north of the city where the land is flat and the rivers are still young, we went. There vast swathes of open land devoid of hedge rows to protect the lanes from cold cross winds.

There are lines of ancient oak trees along some field boundaries, some showing signs of age, some of weakness, but the majority grey, stolid witnesses to the continuing changes in farming practise.

In one field machines were planting potatoes, in another despite the strong wind, spraying was taking place.

Where there was protection from the cold wind, the Sun was able to penetrate the February air and make it pleasantly warm.

At a stop for drinks, I queued behind behind a rotund man who spent nearly £50 on tobacco. Behind me a man had come in to buy lottery tickets. Outside at the chip shop a queue was forming along the village street. Friday for fish and chips?

On the way back a farm has reclaimed an area that had chainlink fencing and large areas of concrete aprons and old runways from the time of the Second World War. The nearby church of St Peter’s, with its round flint tower, had a sign stating that it was a site of Commonwealth War Graves. Here lie the remains of air crew from that conflict.

Passing through Norwich city centre on my way home, I was not surprised to see so many people walking in the bright February sunshine, but I was a little taken aback to see that several people seemed to be walking in groups, rather than alone, or in couples. There seems to have been a relaxation of the physical distancing rules all of a sudden. Have I missed something about Covid-19 not being able to infect people in this city?

I am increasingly aware of people being affected for significant periods of time by the symptoms of Long Covid. I am also aware of an attitude that some people who now having been vaccinated losing interest in what is going on with pandemic. Meanwhile teachers and school staff, police, prison officers and supermarket workers are being asked to work on without being repaid for their year-long public service by early vaccinations.

Teaching staff in the UK have suffered a death rate from Covid-19 of around a quarter more than the general population and still The Great Clown wants to make them wait by age for vaccination. Bad mouthing the teaching unions as he goes. If children’s education is so important, why has he not working with the workers’ unions to get a decent plan? Dead teachers can’t teach.

It is late. I am tired.

~

CLP 26/02/2021

L3 (Day 46): Norfolk

Took a ride out in the sun, passing through Seething and cycled along Biggott Lane, Spong Lane and passing by Big Back Lane. Norfolk’s history writ in its place names.

Daffodils in full bloom, a deer startled, ran this way and that before switching fields by suddenly darting across the road and then disappearing through a line of oak trees. A herd of cows and their calves steaming in a huge barn. The smell of damp turf. The sound of a lawn mower. Cricket fields with sight screens waiting for the coming summer. A buzzard’s cry, a couple searching for a bullfinch through binoculars, woodpeckers knocking and more skylarks singing – always the skylarks.

~

CLP 21/02/2021

Lockdown 3 (Day 26): Yaxham

I cycled west from Norwich deeper into the heart of East Anglia. I passed poultry farms and great swathes of open fields, solid flint wall churches with square towers, wind turbines, solar panels and the remains of at least one war time airfield.

The old road was marked by roughly estimated mile stones. On one straight road I passed two white painted stones at least a mile apart that announced ‘Norwich 10’. When cycling into a freezing easterly such repeated approximate information can be a little demoralising.

The wooden road signs omitted distances and were held in slotted signposts that in wartime allowed hasty removal of directions, should an invasion from the Nazis have come.

I saw and heard many redwings today. Heralds of bad weather, these colourful birds make more tuneful chatter than starlings. They reminded me of being in love in Sussex and walking hand in hand through falling snow at this time of year, many moons ago.

~

CLP 31/01/2021

On Losing (10)

In such cold wheels slip

underfoot the ice, hard, slick

how long before no grip

~

CLP 10/12/2020

On Numbers (43)

Between rain and dusk

Over the hills and back again

Pedalling fury!

~

n.b. Sometimes you just get lucky and the weather breaks fall perfectly. Taking advantage of this, my cycling buddy and I sped around 43 km of Norfolk countryside today in a couple of hours. It was an almost total escape from some of the nonsense found elsewhere in the media, but not quite. I had to share the photo. We chose to avoid this complete dead-end. You may notice that the sign looks like it’s been badly beaten.

Strangely we seemed to speak to more people in passing than we might have done without Lockdown 2. Norfolk is a place where people talk to each other…at a safe distance. Maybe the distancing helps conversation. What do you think? As someone brought up in England I rather find a little physical distancing to my liking. Depends who it is though.

CLP 12/11/2020

On Pleasure

It’s just gone midday

After rapid 50k

Pint of noon Sun, please!

~

CLP 10/09/2020

On Pleasure vii

Weary travellers

Take overdue refreshment.

Sun turns sky silver

n.b. Surlingham Ferry. The Ferry House hove into view, somehow knowing a drinks break was needed after 4 hours of an impromptu cycle ride. Interesting cloud formations and sunset too.

CLP 06/09/2020

Red Deer at Dusk

Of course, as luck would have it, the day I decide to rest from writing about the local wildlife and environment, when I am out on an evening cycle ride in rapidly-failing light, I spot a herd of red deer. They are happily rooting around in a harrowed field. They have dared to amble right up to the edge of the local market town. They stand in the last field before the parish sports field.

The antlers of the dominant male are obvious, even in the heavy shadows stretching from trees lining the far side of the field. There is also a smaller male in the group whose immature antlers are just visible. The rest of the herd contains at least three adult hinds.

As is their way, the deer gather in the centre of clearings and open spaces for safety. Such a position allows them to see, hear and smell what is approaching and gives them plenty of options for a safe exit. Aware of me stopping to watch from the roadside hedge, several of the deer look up and the large male moves nervously around the herd, before they set off in a higgledy line towards the darkening wood. One of the younger does was grazing by the top edge of the field before I arrived, but she silently and quickly re-joins the herd as soon as the other animals become twitchy.

The adult stag leads the unhurried retreat, although I sense that they are on a knife-edge, ready to run for cover at the slightest excuse. The dryness of the ground is noticeable from the dust that these nine big beasts kick up as they dissolve into the gloaming.

.

Christopher Perry

16th May, 2020