Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Omnibus edition.

How in the hell did it get to be Wednesday and no blogs for a whole week?

I'm going to have to be selective and take you on a journey of highlights of the last week.

Saturday we went to Gullane but it wasn't great because I had a hangover. I used to be good at drinking but I've gone off the boil through lack of practise. On Thursday I bought a bottle of wine as much as a treat for Peter as for me. It was a bottle of red called Hedonist that had a pig on the label. It was delightful. I had 2 whole glasses and was steaming. On Friday I felt a bit ropey and ended up doing some of the tidying and rearranging furniture that I've been threatening to do for ages. I stirred up a lot of dust and felt pretty grim by evening time. Another 2 glasses of Hedonist were needed just to get me back on an even keel.
By Saturday I felt liverish and flat.
Peter was on his usual campaign to find and photograph butterflies. I had minimal tolerance for standing around. In the interests of brevity I'm going to skip it.

On Sunday, after nothing to drink on Saturday night, I felt a bit better and we headed for the Lammermuirs. My lungs are still a bit ropey after a cold I had a few weeks ago, so it was hard going to start with. It is, anyway, in the Lammermuirs, as it's pretty much 4 miles up straight out the car.
Peter had it in his head that there should be snakes and then was disappointed when there weren't any.

I didn't stop to take photos until we were higher up. The heather was particularly lovely, and the skies were impressive. Oops. Despite my promise of brevity there's quite a few photos.

Looking for snakes. Complaining about snakes.

I went an ordinary kind of run on sore legs on Monday, feeling glad that the next day was going to be a cycling day and therefore restful.
"Pshaw!" as they used to exclaim in 19th Century novels.

We set off kind of late yesterday so my spirits were slumping before we even started. P had it fixed in his head that we should cycle to Dunbar and onwards to...somewhere...Dingly Dell...Hazel Dean - oh no, she was a singer in the 80s. You'd have to ask Peter, I was just following orders.

The last bit before the...Woodhall Dean...that's it!...the last bit was a series of very steep and unwelcome hills. I'm regretting not having a granny ring on my bike. My legs were a bit tired before but afterwards they were as if someone had torn them open and taken the stuffing out. All floppy.
And we were just arriving at Dingly Dell. And night was closing down on us in his dark coach.
Well not yet. But it was kind of late.
My lungs were scratchy. The oaky, spooky woodlands were charming and it seemed churlish to complain just because I had sore lungs and heat-stroke and I was dehydrated and my legs had gone floppy and it was past my bed-time and I was more than 40 miles from home.

Peter "enchanted"
There were times I felt we were being watched though.

Peter - "They're not interested in you!" Yeah, right.


It wisnae me.

Then we cycled back to Dunbar and I went on strike as Peter pushed for us to cycle back to North Berwick. We got the train home from Dunbar and very civilised it was too, except for the other people. A horrible lady with a pink bag pushed her way in front of me and my bike as we were coming in to Waverley and I was getting ready to carry my bike off the train. She must have been wanting me to hit her in the head but I didn't give her the satisfaction. It had been a tiring day and the children were glad to eat tea and go to bed.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Still no cleaning and tidying.

So yesterday there was very little wind and it seemed like a good idea to take my bike out in the morning and then I'd be home in plenty of time to clean and tidy the house. I haven't cycled anything except my usual commute since August of last year, when I decided that I was going to cycle regularly and subsequently didn't. I thought 25 to 30 miles would be plenty - more than plenty. I put together a route in my head which would take me along back roads to Haddington, from where I could enjoy a long sweep down to Aberlady - maybe check out the cafe at Archerfields, and then make my way home along the coast.
Shockingly, Buchanan played hooky and came too.

Despite having had it for over a year now my roadish bike is new - and I'm still not that sure of it - so I was being a bit cautious - braking on the downhills, that kind of thing, which produced scornful tirades from Buchanan. You see the thing is I'm used to big fat tyres on a mountain bike so I still don't know what I can get away with on a thin-wheeled bike. I didn't pay any attention anyway.

When we got to Haddington, (after a few navigational zigs and zags) it was easier to keep going than to get the map out my rucksack, so we overshot the road to Aberlady by some distance. In fact we ended up in East Linton. By now I knew I was in for more than my 30 miles! But there was nothing to be done. And the truth is it wasn't too bad. Pedalling just doesn't hurt like running does - and my bike is light and we were enjoying ourselves.
We found our way back on B roads and stopped in North Berwick to refuel.

We went to the Steampunk Cafe which we'd heard good things about. And it was alright. But my it is pricey. We tried not to squish our faces up as we paid more than £20 for a couple of snacks and a cup of tea. (You could get a whole Indian meal for two for that!) Peter had soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I went for a grilled cheese sandwich and a side salad. The grilled cheese sandwich was greasy with butter, which was enjoyable to eat, but kind of heavy. And my salad had nothing green in it - in fact it seemed to pearl barley in oil. It was okay. I like simple things to eat and there was some kind of sweet and savoury garlicky garnish on both the sandwich and my salad.

The worst thing was that after all that grease and oil my pudding tummy was still empty so I had to break a tenner to get two pieces of cake. The sugary icing hit the spot. But two pieces of cake were more than a fiver. I know how I sound! But me and P have been too poor, too often for too long to not notice high prices. And the menu was kind of choiceless and weird. Sorry Steampunk cafe.

Here he comes. But please note, I am ahead of him.

So in the end it was a 58 mile day. Nothing to regular cyclists but more than I've done in a year or two...or probably a decade...or more!

The tragedy of it was that when I got home I was too tired to do any housework.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Monday Swim

I've got a few days off work so it's kind of my ambition to get some tidying done at home. Yesterday I went out a run in the morning and then was back in plenty of time to get cracking. But Peter had 'floated' the idea that I might come for an evening swim. He's been going fairly regularly - or half regularly - outdoor swimming on a Monday or a Tuesday evening. For me it's usually out of the question because I'm up at the crack of dawn the next day - but I wouldn't be this time. There were a gang of people going to Gladhouse Reservoir. The forecast looked good for it and on top of that there was supposed to be a full moon. I looked up the rising time of the full moon and it said 1910hrs. So about when we'd be there...It seemed like too good an opportunity in a way.

And yet I haven't been outdoors swimming in probably a year - and even though I didn't have to be up in the morning, I am increasingly not an evening person - and the thought of lowering myself into some cold dark water when I'd normally be eating my tea and watching netflix with my feet up in the sitting room wasn't that appealing.

But tired of the sound of myself saying No all the time I went. And in order to do so I bumped the cleaning and had a little afternoon nap instead. When Peter came home bouncing with joy and ready to go swimming I had that brain lethargy you have when you've had a nap. I could barely get any words out. We had some mild quarrelling over what the best way is to get to Gladhouse from this side of town - and we did take a very narrow road which wasn't strictly 'the wrong way', but I'm not sure what the plan was if anything had of come along the other way.

I'm a bit short of action shots as somehow or other I let Peter take the (my!) waterproof camera. He went off in a group of 6 who were all going to go round some island in the far distance. I opted to swim to a little nearby island. I was quite satisfied with that. My swimming isn't that great any more. I used to enjoy getting into a rhythm, but now I'm tired out before I even get into a rhythm. A bit of practice would improve things quite quickly I'm sure but...well... you can only do so much. So anyway I went for a putter in the dark water and went to the island which was full of bears. Okay, not full of bears.

And then I swam back to shore and got dried off and dressed in my duvet jacket and took pictures from the shore and before long some heads appeared in the water in the far distance. 

In the meantime I was surrounded by a charming swarm of insects which seemed to be non-bitey but they made me itch anyway. Here's one on my arm.

Once everyone was back and counted in I sat in the car taking pictures out of the window of the car which wasn't filled with naked bottoms. But talking of which, where the hell was the full moon?

Well I don't know. Maybe I read the moon tables for the wrong year or something. I got up for a pee in the night and it was riding high like a torch in the sky. But there was no sign of it on the way home from the swim. There was a lovely golden sky though, so we settled for that.