Sunday, 24 February 2013

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Brrr, it was cold, gloomy and grey. The light was poor so my photographs aren't great. But it wasn't raining - actually I don't think we've had any rain all week. Little dots of snow fell for most of the ride, often landing on my eyelashes. I heard buzzards mewing from the lonely hill road. Many fields had recently been sprayed with muck so much of the cycling was accompanied by a certain rustic aroma. Gorse blooms and the roman soldier sculpture provided welcome colour. And... I saw lambs! A nearby farm stocks an early lambing breed, it's too early yet for "normal" lambs.

I cycled about 13 miles, I originally intended going further but my camera battery was low, so I didn't!


Friday, 22 February 2013

Another Crescent Moon Shawl and Some More Patchwork Progress

Finally, I have finished the crescent moon shawl I have been working on (on and off) since July. It has been posted to my sister-in-law and she says she likes it very much indeed, which is a relief! I do like the finished shawl, but I did find it a little tedious to make. The colours, though great for wearing, didn't help make crocheting it an exciting process - I found making my first one ( link here, which includes information about the pattern, etc) much more enjoyable - I loved seeing the effect of the new bands of colour appearing; I think I need the fun/interest/joy/satisfaction of the colour mix element to keep me focussed on a project.

Some photos...

And if you're finding the tasteful grey and cream a little drab, here is something rather more colourful...

On the spur of the moment I decided to start joining the patchwork hexagons I'd made during 2011. I last mentioned them here, almost exactly a year ago (there's a bigger mention here too, if you're interested). It's going to be a long project!

Changing topic, I had another interview yesterday. Again, a mostly enjoyable experience, but I fear I waffled too much and should have paused and taken more time to formulate my thoughts before launching into an answer. It was at the university I attended in my youth, the campus was remarkably unchanged but I worked out how long ago it was since I first visited, hmmm, quite a long time - long enough that I don't want to say! I have "only" four weeks till I find where or not I've been successful...

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

A bike ride two weeks in a row, woohoo! Again, the weather didn't look appealing. I did my shortest route last week so knew I'd be out for a bit longer this week. I left the house in the rain at about 9am. It's the getting out that's often the trouble; once on my bike and away I was fine.

A fairly flat route out the village to start with. A line of bare branched trees on the left, a farmhouse faintly visible ahead on the right.

Over the river, another farmhouse in the distance.

A hawthorn. By this point I've climbed the long hill through a nearby village. I managed it in one go and without too much puffing despite my lack of exercise and excess of eating over the last couple of months.

Now taking the the road past the reservoir, the mist makes it look atmospheric.

A little lone tree.

Tumbledown barn. There were lots of jackdaws noisily chattering here, one can be seen perched on the doorway with no building - an entrance to a magical kingdom perhaps?

More curly branches for those that like that sort of thing.

Here I liked the reflection of the trees in the puddle.

The coppery tones of last year's beech leaves provide a welcome splash of colour.

Another view across the reservoir, zoomed in to look at the little partially submerged island with perching birds on a rock.

A hole in the wall.

 More colour.

Misty daubs of trees 

I even found a (teensy!) patch of snow. Nice tree ridge dead ahead and I like how the road appears to just end.

Renovation project anyone?

Here is is from another angle. There are quite a few abandoned cottages and barns along this road.


Here the road is bordered by very neatly trimmed beech hedges. I like the effect of the tree in the foreground arching over the one further away.

On another couple of miles, looking back.

I don't think it comes across well in the photo, but the pattern of stones at the base of the fence seemed to echo that of the trees in the distance.

The pine cone is still tucked into the old gatepost.


Barbed wire and fence posts.

At the back of the old farm. It's looking more dishevelled than ever. There was no-one around today but a couple of cars were parked in the farmyard spoiling the view, so still no decent photos of the front to share.

Door detail.

 Funny sheep. After a bit of googling I think they might be Hampshire Downs?

The little old trailer I like to photograph when I come this way. It looks like it's starting to fall apart.

A nice bend in the road. More sheep and beech hedges.

These sheep were posing beautifully at the gate till I stopped to take their photograph.

Snow drops. The reason I came this route - I knew there was a big patch of snowdrops at the bird santuary towards the end of my ride. I didn't take a very good photo of them as by this time it was...

...properly raining!

A last photo of some swans on the loch, then home.

I probably did about 15 miles today. Last week I only did about 10 so it's heading in the right direction. It will get easier to increase the mileage as the mornings get lighter and I set out earlier. Hopefully the weather will start to improve too...


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