Wednesday 16 November 2016

Onward into The Wind and Rain

Wednesday 16th November Fresh to strong SW

Cold with a few heavy showers.

A strong breeze in the face greets me as I turn from Kinross High Street around to the west, onto the road to Falkirk.
It is a cold wind and the road is a busy one with lots of large lorries passing. Rain showers make the going even more over
Eventually over the old Kincardine Bridge, past the Falkirk Horses and into Falkirk. 

I need a rest. The weather forecast for tomorrow is vile. My eyes are bloodshot and after five days cycling, I am going to have a day off.

26.11 miles 718 feet elevation up 967 down

Tuesday 15th November Fresh SW

Mostly sunny, another lovely day. 10C

Across the long Tay Bridge from Dundee and along roads that take me west along the southern coast of the Tay Estuary. Autumn colours come to the fore, vivid reds and oranges.

I pass a group of Eastern Europeans are working hard covering a huge area of a brassica crop with mesh. They wave, I wave back. They shout “good morning;" and ask how I am doing. “fantastic!” I shout back.

Hills and quiet country lanes, pheasants and signs asking for cars to slow down. The local farmer doesn't want his pheasants hurt by cars. No, not when he can shoot them himself or be paid by bird murderers who enjoy blasting easy targets out of the air. Daft thoughts go through my head. Why don't they shoot sheep? They are just the same sort of easy target. Some people get immense pleasure out of shooting lions, elephants, giraffes. Some people!
I hate the hypocrisy of it all and cycle on.

Today's landscape is far more hilly than of late, which means more, get off and push moments.
Through Newburgh and over to Auchtermuchty, in both places I stop awhile to peruse the World War Memorials. More slaughter, as evidenced by the names, some of them repeated on plaques. To the glory of God, King and Country; each memorial gives a variety of responses to this basic idea of why the brave boys were killed. Last year I observed the two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at Auchtermuchty.

I have dozens of photographs of War Memorials around Britain. I have collated them over the last two years. I must make a Facebook group page on the subject. The memorials never cease to dismay me as the massed names demonstrate the devastation caused to each community and family visited. Lambs to the slaughter.
My Grandad Prescott, My Dad's Dad, was there at the Somme. Wounded three times, he survived, physically.
Negative thoughts.
I need my latest strategy to move onto new, happier thoughts. Disneyland yesterday, how about birds whilst cycling today. I try to think of special birds chronologically but my memory won't allow such disciplined order. I want to think of the rarest birds seen yet my mind immediately goes to a black redstart that came and sat by me at the lookout over The Severn Bridge whilst I was eating a tin of mackerel back in 2010.
The strange, washed out but very beautiful stonechat seen with Howard Vaughan at Rainham Marshes RSPB reserve pops into my head next.
The Syke's warbler at Channerwick, Shetland, now that is more like it; a real mega rare bird.
Tomorrow I will try to remember the special birds from last year's New British Green Record list.

34.87 miles             1981 feet elevation up                1699 down

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