14 Aug 2017

14th August 2017 As if through a hedge, darkly.


Monday 14th 2017 44F, 7C, cool, calm, bright and sunny. Unusually cool this morning after a clear, starry night. I didn't get where I am today by having frosts in August. Actually it was just very heavy dew on the grass but it did look a bit like frost.

The imperious gaze of a sociopathic despot? 
I do hope it wasn't poorly.

Spent many hours yesterday climbing four different ladders to trim overgrown hedges. In an ideal world one wouldn't start from here but level them to the ground and start again with gentle privet. In twenty years we have never had a neighbour who enjoyed hedge clipping in any shape or form. The highest hedges are on the shared eastern boundary. Being horribly prickly with a tough variation on a bitter plum which we call "blackthorn." Though it's not an obvious sloe. We inherited tree trunks of the stuff and it went on from there. I am not allowed to fell the lot with a chainsaw on humanitarian grounds. At least, I think that's why The Head Gardener has put a preservation order on the hideous assemblage of vegetative nastiness. Perhaps She just likes to watch me suffer for my sins?

I don't really need to tell you how high this hedge is beyond the need for a double stretch ladder just to reach the top. Meanwhile, the innocent planting of a row of small and spindly larches elsewhere has, after three changes of occupant, resulted in the makings of quite a decent forest. We may soon be plunged into complete darkness! The migrating geese will have to alter their course, or climb over.

It now needs a tractor with a weapons grade hedge slasher to bring any semblance of order to the local scene, but it won't happen. No longer an amateur's wimpy electric hedge clipper and cheapo supermarket loppers job for Sunday morning. It requires a crack squad of lumber jacks with climbing harnesses and a team of shire horses to drag away the resulting mayhem. I believe there is a rule of 2.5 meters in acceptable altitude for shared hedges but what can you do? Hire a professional 'hit man' and send half the bill to the property developer landlord? Yeah, right!

It was a wonderful morning for a walk. With hardly any wind, cool enough for perfect comfort and bright sunshine.  Yesterday's hare had gone off to be recalcitrant somewhere else. Probably planning a revolution, if truth be known. The rotor from a vast harvester lay waiting patiently for another day's toil on the partially shorn prairie. Later, a hare and a deer pottered about their daily lives before heading for the shrubbery in feigned panic. A jet black crow rose as glossy as a grand piano as it struggled for height and distance in the still air. While the tireless, crop skimming swallows have no fear of humans. Even one like me. I watched a cluster of wind turbines slowly turning their heads to the fitful, but steadily rising breeze, from the vantage point of another hilltop.

More hours wasted attacking the prickly hedge. As I was delivering the damaged goods to the village recycling center I cheated and did the shopping in the car. A fellow hedge wrecker and I decided we did not like the spare containers being left in the entrance to the yard making life difficult for we customers with a conscience.

An over-industrious spider with no foresight regarding the inevitability of a combine harvester coming along eventually..

One of our neighbours burns the proceeds of his meager gardening activities on his front lawn. So that his smoke drifts straight across the main road due to the prevailing wind. That may be the way they behaved in Copenhagen, but we [lifetime without parole] serfs and peasants know better!

Well, some of us do. According to Article 999 Para 2b the burning of garden waste is strictly limited to daytime in winter except for recognized bank holidays. Though where the Danes get the nerve to "borrow" Guy Fawkes and then pretend he was their own private saint. And, then use another date as an excuse to set fire to all the thatched cottages, I have absolutely no idea.  I can only presume they were desperate for an excuse to have another beer with enough borrowed light to set off their fireworks.

Tuesday 15th 62-75F, 17-24C, windy and rather cloudy. Forecast for heavy rain and thunder storms overnight, tonight. I walked for half an hour and photographed and videoed a combine harvester at work. Another day attacking prickly hedges and being attacked in return. It became very hot in the afternoon with several hours of humid 75F. Which made it quite unpleasant to work in the direct sunshine. Apart from a solitary rumble, just after 6pm, there hasn't been any rain yet as we near 7pm. The thundery stuff has sneaked past just north of us but the radar shows the rain isn't far away now with plenty of lightning embedded in it. No ride today.

Wednesday 16th 62-72F, 17-22C, light breeze and bright. The promised thunderstorms and cloudbursts must have gone elsewhere though there were a few rumbles and a heavy shower. Just a shortish walk to unwind tired muscles from days of attacking the scenery. It should/could be a good day for a ride with lighter winds forecast. Becoming very warm in the sunshine. Left  it too late to start on the hedges again. I'll have another go later.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

12 Aug 2017

10th August 2017 And don't call me Imelda!


Thursday 10th 63-74F, cloudy, calm but brightening. Yesterday, as I looked towards the woods, out across the 'prairie,' brilliant shafts of light ploughed across the crops in the very thin mist. Worthy of any UFO/mothership encounter, the effect was really rather amazing. Far more impressive than any film special effects but far too fleeting to capture with my camera. Today was brighter overall, still soft focus but less misty. It was warmer too, without yesterday's strong breeze to cool me off. No ride today.

Friday 11th 51-66F, 11C, calm and overcast. A grey day with light winds. Afternoon ride to the shops. I still haven't found the full capacity of the new saddlebag. Less risk of damaged goods too. NO special offers on display but my attempts to communicate with the infant, supermarket staff using gesticulation and waving their own special offers comic failed abysmally. I must have missed sign language when I went to the [completely voluntary] Danish classes on arrival. Only 7 miles.

I trimmed the length of the bag hanging bar [hose] extensions with parrot-billed secateurs. They produce a nice clean cut. I followed up by putting the bits of Pex hose over a bar in an electric  drill and spun it slowly against sandpaper on a block to smooth off the sharp edges. I also unpicked the stitching on the spare cloth handle padding. Once I had cut the first stitch it peeled off fairly effortlessly. So they must have had some empathy for those who have no need of extra padding on their cloth handle. Now the handle was nicely slim I used a small strap to fix it to the bottom of the Trykit rack for extra support and security. The devil makes work for idol[sic] hands.

Ostentatious bush bursting out of a roadside hedge. At first I thought Elm but I may have to settle for Hazel.

I had a haircut after lunch and returned to say that I felt like a film star. To which The Head Gardner retorted: "Which one? Chewbacca?" I would have been content with the slightest allusion to "Jason Statham" but it was never going to happen in my lifetime. At least it wasn't "Bruce Willis!" Heavy lies the head...

Saturday 12th 57-64F, 14C, overcast and calm with rain promised all day. Still no rain at 9.15 but it is getting darker by the minute. Not much to report from my walk. They are ploughing the fields immediately after harvesting. The birds are sulking this morning. Hardly any to be seen except for mink gulls.

 Dew fresh McSlugbait packaging.

Mid morning ride to the shops. Headwind going, but dry. The queues in the supermarkets were snaking back to the next village. This was due to the negligent employment of only pre-schoolers for staff these days. As the offshore big money tries to save peanuts at the major expense of customer service. A side effect of this economic lunacy is that no special offers ever reach the shelves until next week's offers come around. So now they can charge full price again. Having never displayed the goods at the reduced price as advertised.
Fraud by any other name, but what can you do when Denmark has absolutely no consumer protection? Even EU consumer protection has no jurisdiction here. All the supermarkets [except Aldi] are owned by the same of-shore money printer. So it wouldn't make any difference if irate customers went elsewhere. It's all the same monopolistic shopping chain. Just with different pre-schoolers and different carrier bags. And, the highest food and goods prices in Europe on top of the highest taxes on wages. But Denmark does have a large fleet of coal fired battleships to maintain its global importance as a sea-going, world military power. 

I returned from the shops in increasing rain until it reached Welsh Family Camping Holiday levels of sustained wetness. ["We'll keep a welcome by the till-sides.. but don't stop!" Sung to the strains of Land of my Fathers. [Pl?] Or even, perhaps Devon-Cornish levels of inclemency on the [adjusted] Dorset scale.

Farmer Giles' front lawn gets away from him.
Sending in the heavy mob shows real Claas.

I was overtaken by a convoy of mentally handicapped drivers as they each desperately pushed past me. Anything to reach the back of the queue behind the tractor and trailer which was averaging 0.0005mph faster than I was. About 15mph with a tailwind. Do tailwind rain droplets actually impel a tricyclist forwards? If so, I was probably cheating.

In fact I had to apply the brakes hard and wave the tractor past. Or he would probably have ended up following me along our drive. Then struggled to turn round again in our limited parking space. What with a long tailback of lost cars wondering why they had suddenly found themselves in a GPS black hole.

We don't get mobile phone or TV reception here either but I'm not paranoid. Though I do worry about the constant drones, helicopters and fighter aircraft overhead. I thought Denmark was neutral but that must have been some other country of the collective imagination.

Still happy with the Overboard Duffel saddlebag but would wish for another inch [or two] on the top straps. When the bag is full the straps put an unnecessary fold in the bag due to their being slightly too short. It's not a deal breaker but the cost of an extra 50mm on both straps can't break the bank.  Conversely, the side straps are far too long without any obvious gain except as hand holds. 15 partially wet miles testing the waterproofing. The bag was, but I certainly wasn't. [Waterproof, that is.]

Talking of water: I almost forgot to mention that sloppiness in asphalt leveling has provided a dual, combined car and cycle wash, on the new stretch. Had I not been riding my trike, and therefore able to balance without seeing the bare road below me, I could still be there. Still waiting for it to be safe to cycle around the two huge puddles in the road. As cars sped past at 60mph in a 30mph speed limit. Well, actually, they were all driving at 100kph in a 50kph speed limit [in New Money] but let's not get picky! You knew exactly what I meant.

It is quite possible, of course, that I am being far too cynical. [Moi?] I may, in fact, be badly underestimating the sheer genius of the road and drainage engineers. The first puddle is obviously intended as the wash cycle. While the second, at a precisely calculated distance, is meant to rinse off the now-softened grime. The [illegal] speeding, which follows, is the drying cycle to ensure no muddy drops are left to mire their now pristine paintwork.

Though, given the usual speed at which I travel on my trike, particularly on this uphill stretch, they may have grossly underestimated the amount of grime. Then miscalculated the degree of rinsing required and [finally] sorely overestimated the degree of drying. Particularly when I am already soaking wet and then being constantly sprayed by speeding traffic!

I was quite surprised that the [noisy] circling geese overhead did not alight on one of these artificial 'ponds.' However, they seemed more content with the artificial one provided in the reclaimed marsh, just up the road. The one with the constantly roaring pump, in the small wooden shed. That which looks for all the world like, but is clearly not intended to be, a bird-watching hide for interested visitors. So, they'll just have to wait for a Dane to independently invent the bird hide, as usual. [Janteloven has an awful lot to answer for! Not least, commercial competition!]

Sunday 13th 60F, 16C, bright clear and sunny. Wind expected to increase to 20mph gusts later. Enjoyed a quiet local walk to watch the swallows skimming a huge lawn. A large hare lay perfectly still in the middle of the lawn. Totally ignoring my approach to within 15' as I snapped away with my camera expecting it to get up and leave at any moment. When I returned the same way later it had turned by 90° but remained in the same spot.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

9 Aug 2017

8th August 2017 Bags I the yellow one!


Wednesday 9th 60F, 15C, overcast and breezy but should be a fine day.

I found some Pex underfloor heating pipe with the necessary 10mm bore to fit tightly over the Trykit rack's top crossbar. After cutting some short lengths I sanded the ends smooth to avoid any sharp edges rubbing through the new bag. I then tapped the two lengths of pipe over the ends of my elongated top bar with a plastic hammer. Now I could then slip the bag rings over the newly extended ' bag hanging' pipe. I then used a shoe lace to stop the bag from moving laterally by tying off to the rings. The plastic hose extensions could be a little shorter but I'll test them out first.

My usual test for bag security is tipping the trike almost horizontal. If the bag stays put, then it can usually be trusted on corners and ramps. The latter are the greatest test of safety. With occasions where a formerly secure bag jumps straight into a back wheel.

Zip-ties might do a better security job and are usually neater, but require a sharp tool to cut them. I know you can stick a sharp object into the "buckle" to unlock the little tab but there is usually some degree of haste involved when you really want them to be gone. Most thieves probably carry sharp objects to avoid any risk of apprehension. Their sociopathic "needs" are always far greater than the entire rest of the world's survival.

I'm still considering support options for the rack shelf. I don't want a 'beer belly' of bag hanging close to the sprockets. The applied load is not necessarily uniform so proper support is vital. I'm thinking self-healing cutting boards if I can find one large enough. This might be the problem getting one thin enough. Or even a baking grill would do.

Today was the bag's first ride in anger as I headed off north into a gusty gale. The trike felt lighter than usual thank to leaving the Carradice Camper at home along with the heavy canvas, sports bag. The yellow bag's remarkable capacity soon began to prove itself as I worked my way around the village supermarkets. A headwind coming back so I spent most of the time on the tri-bar extensions. Only 13 miles.

Initial irritation with the neck was soon solved by undoing the buckles on each end of the bag. This allowed the throat to open fully and extend well away from the saddle. Loading mixed shopping has never been this easy! The large area of the base, inside, allowed me to move heavier objects forward onto the shelf.  While the lighter or more fragile stuff could be brought towards me or placed on top. This was vastly superior to shoving the heavy stuff in the Camper and everything else in the sports bag lying [always slightly precariously] on top.

I even found an easy way to stow the hefty Asbo U-lock. The lower picture looks a bit untidy but first I had to empty the bag of shopping to find my camera. The whole caboodle looks much neater with a few things in the bag or with it rolled down tighter. The U of the U-lock points downwards right into the bottom of the mesh, outside pocket as I draw the cloth handle through the loop and catch it in a toe-strap passing through the Brooks saddle frame. Not only did this secure the lock, where it was easy to remember, but it simultaneously took up the weight of the bag. This saved it sagging over the narrower Trykit rack.

All in all, I am absolutely delighted with the new bag! Practice will smooth the routine of releasing the two, or four, excellent quick-release buckles each time I need to open it up. The webbing straps slide effortlessly on demand, but lock as soon as any tension is placed on them. Best buckles I have ever tried, so far.

What I don't like is the superfluous padding wrapped around the spare cloth handle. I may unpick the stitching and discard the padding. Then I can use the bare cloth handle for an extra level of security in securing the bag on the saddle pin. Though the handle is rather long and might need a turn, or two, around the pin to take up the slack. Or tucked down out of the way behind the seat tube and fixed to the rack.

There is no slop and the bag never felt as if it were moving about. Not even on the fierce ramps so typical of supermarket car parks. BTW: An adjustable padded shoulder strap is supplied with the Overboard Waterproof Duffel bag but I have no real use for it. There are no internal dividers and only one flat internal pocket. But I like that for the freedom to fit anything and everything in there if needed. I would use loose carrier bags inside if I need them, just as I always have.

This is the smallest of three models at 40 liters. Larger 60 and 120[?] liters are also available in Yellow and Blue and possibly black.[?] The 40L is highly recommended as a very large capacity saddlebag for tricyclists with a rear rack. I'm still searching for a suitable shelf extender. The plastic, kitchen cutting boards proved far too thick and heavy. A wire oven grill shelf might work but I am slightly worried about the likely localized wear. Anyone contemplating using such a bag for camping or [shopping] expeditions should consider having a deeper rack shelf if they are ordering one to fit their trike. I'll find something to extend the  shelf eventually but I am still searching for lightweight, totally weatherproof, non-wearing ideas. For the moment I'll have to make do with the cloth handle hooked over the saddle pin. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.

7 Aug 2017

7th August 2017 "You keep off my mowing grass!"


Monday 7th 55-62F, 13C, bright with a light breeze. It has reached a scorching 62F with a decent breeze now I am back from my walk. Got a wave from the driver of combine harvester towing its lawnmower drum along the lane. The mink gulls were squabbling over their personal inadequacies. Not much else to say for the moment. The garden is packed to the gills with large peacock butterflies. Mostly on the purple budlias. The sky was full of swallows flying up to 500 ft or more.

Whether 'tis nobler to drive on the grassy slope, or to boldly go where farmer's ire is wont to clash with the evil, trespassing  public. The lateral [sideways] slope is so severe that 4WD tire tracks have cut deep into the crop to avoid toppling over. "You keep off my mowing grass!" [Unless it's huntsmen's 4WDs on their way to feed the pheasants and ducks to provide welcome cannon fodder.]

Just a short ride to the shops. Warm but windy. Lots of harvesters busy now.  7 miles.

Tuesday 8th 59-74F, 15-23C, overcast with a light breeze. Should stay dry until later this afternoon. Early  walk with several circling birds of prey out over the harvested fields. Probably hoping for  takeaway breakfast. Late morning ride to the shops. Brought back my yellow, Overboard bag. 7 miles.

First image, deflated and limp immediately after arrival. The yellow has a slight hint of orange but is still very high viz. Smells of PVC tent groundsheets. Seems good quality on first inspection. But as suspected, there is nowhere to fix my Asbo Mini 5cwt U-lock.

 After a bit of fiddling I found a way of fixing the bag using two rings and two toe-straps wrapped around the rack. [Ringed, right.]

Zip-ties could be used instead but would mean a real struggle to remove the bag in an emergency.  A longer top bar for my rack would really help. I'll see if I have any tube to slip over the present SS bar as an extension on each end. Then the bag rings can slide over the tube and the toe straps will pull straighter, instead of inwards.

The bag now seems stable enough for use and the handles could be hooked over the saddle pin for extra support. Which is what I usually did with the black 'bank' sports bag. Though the OB handles are a bit longer. I have removed the Carradice Camper in anticipation of using the OB as a fixed 'saddlebag.'

The next images show the bag stuffed to a comfortable level for the photo-shoot. Still plenty of room in there. It really is big even compared with the similar sized 'bank' sports bag. I think it looks the part. Though the cloth handles are more of a nuisance than  anything with a fixed bag.

The OB bag is actually quite floppy. So needs a plywood or plastic[?] board to rest its 30cm depth on the 15cm deep Trykit rack shelf. I am still searching for something useful for this task which wont quickly wear the cloth or mark the bag in normal use. Aluminium blackens everything it touches. As I quickly discovered when I made my first 'low rider' saddlebag crossbar.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

4 Aug 2017

Friday 4th 2017 Just when you thought you were safe..

Friday 4th 62-68F, 17C, heavy overcast, windy with showers or rain forecast, just as yesterday. And it was.

I saw a bright idea by an engineering student to save weight on washing machines during delivery. They might soon have refillable water tanks instead of the usual concrete blocks to stop vibration on the spin cycle.

Look at the [Trykit] rack on that! In retrospect I should have asked for a deeper shelf for the bigger bags I now use.

I understand the bike lock manufacturers are very unhappy about this amazing breakthrough and their shares have already crashed. Because their lucrative sale of reinforced concrete [b]locks to idiot, wealthy cyclists might suddenly end. Is there any other sport where the weight of the reinforced ballast increases as the machine gets lighter and therefore, far more expensive? Welcome to the wacky world of cycling!

All we need now is a means of filling a large water tank outside our usual stopping places. Well, it can't be any worse than carrying an Asbo U-lock, can it? They might have to change the law about urinating in a public place, though. So everyone and anyone can contribute to the cycle, Gold Standard, security tank. With the total lack of public toilets, and an aging population, this idea might actually catch on. Bulky Carbon Fiber bikes would be the obvious first models to fit with <cough> filling cocks and <cough> drain cocks. They could just leave the bladder in there during manufacture. I just need to think of a catchy name. Damn! 'Portapotty' is already taken. But remember, you patent trolls, you heard it here first. 😉

Spent the day getting very lost in Odense [in the car!] after they closed the center roads [permanently] to build more houses and office blocks. No ride today, The Sun has gone away, tr-la!

I have gone overboard and ordered a big, bright yellow, Overboard, waterproof, 40L Classic duffel bag online. Ortlieb do a similar coloured bag but use a top zip. Denmark will freeze over before I trust another zip. After watching Overboard videos it seem the bag has a tall, folding/rolling trunk. A bit like the Carradice Longflap[s] but made of much better material. Weight is under 1kg or <2lbs.

Here's another, quite unnecessary picture of my all stainless steel,  shopping tricycle without so much as a [gas] bag on board. Pretty, isn't it?

You'll be the first to know when it arrives and is safely lashed to the Trykit rack. Very dark glasses may not be optional! I just hope the glare doesn't blind overtaking cars! How do you write two whole page of text about a yellow shopping bag? Dunno, but it makes a change from writing about traffic. Rest easy, there will be much, much more on this subject. Don't say you haven't been warned! 😎 Now I'm off to whittle a plywood base board for my new bag. While there's plenty of room for two bulging bellies, for and aft, on a trike, one does try to maintain standards.

Saturday 5th 59-66F, 15C, breezy, bright sunshine with all day showers forecast. I missed the showers yesterday but the roads were well puddled from previous downpours. Mustn't complain though. Dump is taking a holiday from the high temperatures in Washington but leaving the Paris Climate Agreement on the pavement. As President he has forgiven himself for Dumping in a public place. [The Earth.]

I must try to get out on the trike to keep my legs in good shape. I haven't noticed any untoward tiredness while riding but have certainly slowed while climbing. Getting out of the saddle has become much more the norm.  I've said it before but when I started climbing and sprinting, while standing up, I could barely manage 10 yards before it became too painful. Which is odd because I was still doing high mileages.

Now I sometimes climb 2-300 yard hills entirely out of the saddle. What I don't much like is the relatively upright position when I'm climbing. It just feels a bit like a child standing up on their first bike. So I grab the hoods and lean well forwards over the front wheel.

Finding the correct gear is critical to climbing like this. There must be a degree of resistance, whatever the pedal revs, or it all feels rather pointless. It becomes more like a knees-up on the spot rather than moving forwards.

Enjoyed a walk along the marsh to capture a few images of all the ducks. It has been an incredibly productive year for them with only about a half of them visible in this image . A pair of Moorhens were sitting and preening over on the left on the dead willows. Coots are very common on rural ponds but the Moorhens only rarely seen over here. The Heron took off for a sulking tour along with a pair of Cormorants.

Saturday ride to the more distant shops. A bit windy but mostly a crosswind. A bull passed me on a TT/triathlon bike. He was twice as wide as I am all over and the roar of his tires made me think I was being overtaken by a 4WD with off-road tires. Steady progress towards readiness of the new, roadside, cycle path. Though it doesn't look as if it will be raised on a kerb to protect the cyclists from the an-alphabet drivers. An-alphabet is Danish for not being able to read the speed signs and is remarkably common. Just as I was leaving the last shop it started raining and was soon heavy. I kept poking my nose out from the overhang on the supermarket roof but it was determined to keep going. As soon as I set off there was a gusty cloudburst so I had to retreat back to my inadequate shelter.  A couple of miles, later on, the roads were bone dry. 15 miles.

Sunday 6th 55F, 13C, very light breeze, bright start but becoming cloudy with showers possible. Too busy for a ride. Or even a proper walk.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

3 Aug 2017

3rd August 2017 An other bag crisis!


Thursday 3rd 60F, 16C, heavy overcast, windy and wet. [All day.] And it was. On and off. With torrential showers, with thunder, interrupted by occasional brightness and even some sunshine. No ride today.

Shopping is just not the same without the 'free' 45 liter 'donor bank' sports bag. Something must be done to restore my carrying capacity! I wish that straps were more normal instead of vulnerable zips. Or, that Carradice made a 45 liter 'Classic' saddlebag for tricyclists. If only! With such a tiny market I doubt there would be enough sales to warrant even making the trial paper patterns. The Carradice UPSO products looked interesting but there's nothing remotely suitable for my heavy duty, trike shopping needs. That said, it's not so much about weight as volume capacity. Bike oriented bags are working with bicycle limitations the tricyclist can simply ignore.

 Pro-Sports Waterproof Duffel – Waterproof Bag – Waterproof Sports Holdall | OverBoard

So I searched online for waterproof sports bags and found Overboard. They do two models in 40 liters which closely match my needs but are not cycling specific. Now I have to make the decision whether I want a large fixed bag, or want to carry it around the shop. Fixed would be nice if I just get rid of the long-serving, Carradice 'Camper' Longflap. Then I can shop with normal carrier or cloth shopping bags and return to load the 40 liter Overboard bag at my leisure.

A fixed bag really has to be just that. No swaying on corners or when taking fierce, 45°, supermarket, pavement ramps at a 45° angle and at considerable speed to avoid speeding traffic. These duffel bags do have D-rings which might be employed to fix to the Trykit SS [stainless steel] trike rack with zip-ties, straps or cord. I'd need a support base board of [say] thin birch plywood to stop the greater depth of bag from sagging like a beer belly over the Trykit rack. Aluminium marks everything it touches so that rules out this material as a bottom plate. SS plate is pretty [but] heavy!

Price and weight are reasonable for both Overboard Duffle bag models. Classic and Pro in 40 Liters. Though larger are available. I've spent literally years using secondhand sports bags bought for a 'fiver' equivalent from charity [thrift?] shops.

Rarely were these bags the correct size or even a decent colour. The ones I liked rarely lasted long. They might as well put flashing diodes on sports bags zip pullers as a warning against any false hopes of longevity. High viz yellow should be ideal on the back of a trike. PVC is quiet when riding along with no drumming like any kind of box.

I'm just wondering whether the roll top feature is a gain or a loss over a full sized, perimeter top zip with regards to shopping ergonomics. Loading takes place tightly under the rear of the saddle. I'd love to lose the short-lived zips of most sports bags. The longer lived Carradice straps are exposed where they are more easily accessible. Except that the 'longflap' on the Carradice always wants to fall forwards over the open top even when the poppers are normally done up. That's because I'm not using the saddle loops. Normally the saddlebag's "lid" would be flopped over the saddle out of the way.

The 'bank' sports bag tended to flop towards me when loading. So was always fully open when needed. The downside was constantly struggling with worn and sticky zips. I tried candle wax but it isn't the answer. Probably the bag with the tall, roll top will lean away from the trike to allow easier loading.

The various straps on the Overboard might be a bonus for fixing to the trike but are mostly removable or completely superfluous. Saddlebags usually have a rigid crossbar inside where they are hung from the saddle loops via short straps. I have an overlong top bar on my Trykit rack for hanging saddlebags lower than normal. This helps to keep the center of gravity low. Though pedants purists will argue that it increases the frontal area with dire consequences for drag. There's a joke in there about drag and an obsession with bags but I won't bother.

The internal [saddlebag] dowel is a valuable feature for bag stiffness with Carradice canvas. Stiffer[?] 'tarpaulin' PVC might not need this stiffening to retain a 'boxy' shape for easy loading. And, if it does, I can always make strap holes and dowel just as I did with the big, leather tool bag. Which despite its thickness and weight still needed a dowel for a backbone. It's not as if waterproofing is absolutely critical at this point because the rider provides a lot of protection from the rain. We'll just have to pretend that the rider never gets off when it is actually raining. To argue otherwise is simply unwanted pedantry and we won't go there.

The Overboard duffel bags are worth serious consideration I think. Their bright yellowness, with the much greater depth and height, is just what I badly need for a fixed 'saddlebag.' While the last 'bank' sports bag was all black, 50x30x30cm with shallow end pockets. Or 18"x12"x12" in Old Money. The Overboard is a pocket free, 52Lx32D x24H. Just about ideal since it won't be nearly so tight under the back of the saddle when loading. I just hope it doesn't bulge sideways to a ridiculous degree.

With sports bags I used to hang one cloth handle over the saddle pin and this was enough to support the sports bags until I used a toe-strap to secure the second handle after loading. Friction between the Camper's canvas and the canvas bank bag kept it all neatly in place. Though your definition of 'neatness,' and mine, may be worlds apart.

Adding 'slick' nylon bags on top of the resulting heap usually resulted in their sliding sideways into the wheels on corners. [THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED] These extra bags were employed for carrying lightweight but fragile items like frilly lettuce or soft bread rolls. Which is why deep bags [like panniers] are absolutely worthless on a shopping trike. You really can't reorganize a bag full of shopping outside a supermarket. It will end in more damage if the heavy carrots, spuds and milk cartons aren't already on the bottom. I tended to put those in the usually empty Carradice but that meant removing the sports bag to reach it. The one thing the Overboard doesn't offer is the Carradice's ever-ready, non-complaining, tough canvas, side pocket, waiting for the ridiculously heavy, U-lock.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

2 Aug 2017

2nd August 2017 Losing my image?


Tuesday 2nd, 60F, 16C, bright and calm again. Quickly became cloudy and breezy. The grass was very damp on my walk while safely avoiding traffic. My deaf, left ear is making listening for traffic on the blind bends insecure. I really shall have to see what can be done short of carrying an [ear] trumpet on my walks.

Can you just imagine me with an ear trumpet and the action cam parrot on my hat? I shall begin to look like a mobile, one-man-band busker on his way between rural gigs! I haven't yet decided whether this would actually be an upgrade from local, rural tramp. A role to which I have become accustomed and my performances well reviewed. I might lose my loyal public sympathy if I suddenly changed my image. Like Dylan going electric pop instead of spokesperson for a new generation already tired of profitable wars.

My public would have to learn to place coins in my stationary begging bowl. Instead of throwing them at me as they passed in their cars. Begging is now heavily outlawed in Denmark especially for evil alien invaders "incomers" like myself.

In previous years, convoys of Eastern Europeans would be bussed in, to sit outside Danish supermarkets playing a single chord or 2 note 'riff.' They thus avoided being tainted with the same 6" tar brush as "beggars" but became instead "buskers." So, you can see how careful I have to be about changing my image.

A foot across, looks like a polystyrene ball but weighs as much as a turnip. The giant puffball. Calvatia gigantea.

I was allowed out to stock up on shopping. Only 7 miles with a busy crosswind. No bags 'R' Us..

Click on any image for an enlargement.


1 Aug 2017

1st August 2017 Attempted murder or deliberate incompetence?


Tuesday 1st August. 63-74F, 17-23C, rather a grey day forecast with rain starting around tea time.

When does terrifying, deadly incompetence, behind the wheel, become indifferent malevolence? Yesterday, our cheerful, easy-going, morning walker returned slightly shaken but not stirred into my usual verbiage. I thought I'd give it time to consider my response to my near death experience.

I am not your rigid, pedantic, 'pound of flesh' sort of chap. I demand no prescribed yard of asphalt as if by some god-given right to pedestrians. I carry no wind-tattered banners for walker's rights. In fact I regularly take to the verges to allow larger vehicles to pass when approaching each other or myself. A wave or grin is often my only reward for such voluntary kindness. It is but a trifling matter to give way to a far larger and much faster traveler on a mission. 

Yesterday I watched as a metallic diarrhea-coloured saloon approached without deviation from its intended path. I am well used to the merely incompetent driving within a meter, or so, as I stroll along with one foot regularly brushing the grass verge. One has to make allowances for drivers with known, neighbour-like levels of grudging idiocy. Some genetic 'brain damage before birth' can never, ever, be undone. One makes due allowances and allow them a suitably wide birth.

Sometimes a vehicle appears to be taking an approach course like a guided missile with one's number chalked up on the nosecone. One can but hope for a late swerve away from the soft bodied tissue and fragile bone, as one hovers uncertainly on the edge of the overgrown verge. When the cruise missile makes a last second adjustment in one's own direction then I can but call that deliberate. It is mind numbing, calculated dehumanization of a lesser being down to that of an injured hare or even a road-going slug. Though I rarely travel either so fast nor so slowly as either of these two.

The evil barsteward passed within two feet of me and drove onwards without a change in course or speed to suggest I had even been noticed. I turned to see a snow-white haired women in the rear seat but little else. I couldn't even recognise make or model of car. Being a fully paid up and certified member of the Old Fart's Society I was far too slow to catch the number plate. I would not have remembered it beyond fleetingly. As I corrupted the signal-to-noise ratio on the very first attempt at repetition. As usual, the driver was invisible and anonymous behind the sloping windscreen and fast moving reflections of trees, cloud and sky.

Despite my usual diatribes on the subject of poor driving, or the politicooze, I really am no danger to society. I merely express my general dismay at the daily signs of incompetence, or snake oil salesmanship, with my gentle, double/edged, barbed humour.

If you really think my "rants" are serious then I suggest you engage Google Translate. Because that is never my real intention. I merely amuse myself with word salad, with lashings of extra sauce, at their expense. It is my way of letting off steam at the unchangeable. Knowing, full well, that my words will never have the slightest effect in improving their daft or dangerous behaviour. It is all part of the harmless fun. BTW: The legal minimum distance for passing is 1.5m or 5' in Old Money. Even for sociopaths, even for drug addicts, even for the registered blind, even for prescription drug abusers and even for Alzheimer's drunks with a license to kill.

Perhaps it really is time to place the action camera on my shoulder like a pirate's gaudy parrot? I feel like endlessly repeating the message: That pedestrians, and cyclists, might look dangerous to you alone. But that I am merely human, with human rights, underneath the seemingly, terrifying exterior.

If I add a camera to the top of my baseball cap, or winter bobble hat, will it change driver's behaviour? It would seem not, judging by the endless cyclist's videos of driver mayhem and raving lunacy on YouTube. After all, the sociopath, the dug addict, the drunk, the cowardly work bully and the demented really don't give a flying fuck for anybody else. It's only a pedestrian, or cyclist, and they "PAY NO ROAD TAX!" So probably deserve to die anyway. No doubt "The Jews" and "The Blacks" paid no road tax either. Look at the numbers who turn up to enjoy every public execution, burning and flogging. Mine's with sauce. Or "ketchup" for the clinically pedantic and "splatter" movie fan.


31 Jul 2017

31st July 2017 I'll think of something...

Monday 31st, 62F, 17C, bright, but cloudy, with showers possible. Denmark nearly got away with a 38 year old record for a July day without hitting a 25C temperature. That's 77F in Old Money. Yesterday it hit 74F locally but other places spoilt the show by reaching a stratospheric 26C. On only three occasions since 1878[?] has Denmark failed to reach 26C in July. It has been a rather unspectacular year so far. More mild and damp than hot and sunny. The wine has suffered but the slugs have thrived. Next come the midges. And that was July.


29 Jul 2017

28th July 2017 What? No electric balers?


Friday 28th 52F, 11C, a bright start but rain forecast. Possibly thundery. Still holding off at 10.30. I rode to the shops early and back in a stiff side wind which felt more like a head wind. Only 7 miles.

The Danish news tells us that there are now over 2000 charging points for electric cars in Denmark. Slightly more than there are petrol stations. However, there were only 17 electric cars sold in Denmark in 2017 and all are owned by property investment, multi-billionaires. Only they can afford the massive import taxes deliberately and politically designed to [subtly] thumb their piggy snouts at AGW. [Agricultural Greed Warning.]

What to do when your huge lawn "gets away from you?" Just invite a small, local farmer to come in to cut it and bale it. Ponies are still the favourite, robotic lawnmowers, however. All you need is to plug in a coal-fired, electric fence and contact a bale dealer.

Classic American cars are very popular in Denmark. I have heard rumours that the Danish government has access to a large and immaculately maintained fleet of these gas guzzlers. They are mostly used for kommuting [sic] back and forth to EU climate meetings all over Europe. Well, somebody had to put their foot down. All the private jets were having difficulty finding local parking at these posh banquets. It is good security cover too. For all the staff who have to protect the politicooze from themselves. Seeing 50 classic American cars go past looks like just another meeting of like-minded, petrol heads. Not far wrong, either.

A micro, Petrol-head snail crashing the slug, drag racing scene on local roads.

There are probably fewer electric cars sold here than Ferraris or Lamborghinis. Both of which are rarer than unicorn droppings on the local, Danish highways. A few Porsches with German number plates roar past occasionally.  I have seen fewer supersportscars here in 20 years than I would normally see daily in a city like Bath in the UK. Mind you, lightweight trikes are probably even rarer. Which probably makes me a bit "special." 😉  I had better glue a unicorn horn onto my cycling helmet and hang a bag for collecting droppings on the back axle. Somebody on eBay is bound to want some for their roses.

Saturday 29th 58F, 14C, heavy overcast, windy and raining hard. Expected to clear up later. I'm not holding my breath. It did eventually, but I didn't.

Sunday 30th 66-74F, 19-23C, light breeze, cloudy but bright intervals.  The sky went black and there was a massive, thundery cloudburst after 11am. A flock of some 30 swallows were flying around quite normally amongst the falling "stair rods." No cagoules? Not even a snorkel and flippers? An emergency poncho? Apparently not needed.

I had hardly managed a hundred yards walking along the road when a pretty Bambi head popped up from the crop. We exchanged moist, wide-eyed stares for a few seconds and then it bounded off. Jumping high to avoid damaging the crops? Or avoiding catching its hooves in the dense stalks? It left no clear message as it quickly gained the summit of a small rise and vanished. My attempts at capturing the creature were thwarted by slow response times. Both by camera and operator.

Then I played tag with a hare. Which seemed determined to remain at the limit of my TZ7's modest zoom range. If you stare really hard at the picture the hare is seen mesmerized by a large red arrow floating in the air just above it. I wish I could claim the arrow had something to do with the crop circles. But those visible are only spray tracks following GPS guidance from above. 

Later a ride to the shops in breezy conditions. Despite the towering, cauliflower clouds, the sun seemed to shine constantly on our tricycling hero labouring along, down below. As I carved a short route along the glittering valleys between local thunder storms. At 74F it was strictly bare arms and bare legs, shorts and cycling jersey perfection. Only in the forest did the temperature seem to fall suddenly. Elsewhere it was nicely steamy.

However it was not all positive. The ex-local bank, sports bag, which I have used for literally ages, finally and catastrophically let go of its 180° roof zip. I am now bereft and bagless. It was so perfect too! Its 50x30x30cm fitted my trike to absolute perfection. It lay over the Carradice Camper thanks to perfectly proportioned and comfortable, cloth loop handles. A generously proportioned shoulder strap was just the gilding on the lily. I loved that bag despite its jet black exterior [and interior.] Magenta or burgundy would have been nice for a bit of understated bling. That would have given me more street cred as I danced around my bag outside the supermarkets.

Alas, poor bag, it is no more..

Alas, the local bank, where I obtained my prize, free of charge, is no more. The entire rank of struggling shops and small businesses has been entirely erased by a very large excavator. Leaving a naked eye view of a once hidden, but now extinct, rural sorting office and downgraded, equally rural, bus station with extensive cycle parking. One hardly likes to think of the wind whistling across here without the natural windbreak provided by this [now missing] terrace. What will all the teenage drunks and druggies do now for shelter [from inquisitive eyes] on those long, summer evenings? 

What plans they have for this heavily trafficked, high street situation is as yet unknown. Well, not to me at least, but I don't take the local [advertising] paper. It's nothing personal, but I am still heartily afraid of "going native" after all these years. And that would never do. I don't even like most Danish beers. While [intensive] pork frikadeller with sauce [the Danish national dish consumed at precisely 18.00pm daily] would make me psychologically retch. And I have more than enough personal problems already. Not least finding another free, 45 liter, sports bag! Preferably in understated Burgundy or magenta. But beggars can't be choosers.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


25 Jul 2017

25th July 2017 Snot fair!

Tuesday 25th 59-66F, 15-19C, heavy overcast and rain with a light breeze. The Head Gardener and I are both suffering from bunged up chests, runny noses, watery eyes and misbehaving ears after a couple of days of spraying, harvesting and ploughing on the fields around us. So buy shares in tissues! According to the DMI there is very little pollen about because of the rain.

Walked the lanes under grey skies before is started raining for most of the day. Still lots of energetic swallows around. A bird of prey has just turned a circle over our back garden before moving on, effortlessly stiff winged.

It seems BMW is to build the Danish billionaires' first electric car. The Tesla was strictly in the Bill Gates' price league in Denmark. The electric Mini is to be built in Oxford. Thanks to crippling import taxes the eMini's price in Denmark is likely to interest only oil magnates and there are precious few of them here. Lots of coal magnates though who own or supply the majority of Danish power stations. So BMW may sell one or two eMinis in Denmark. Only to those who already own a Lamborghini or Ferrari as the tax-free, company car. Funny they don't ever drive coal fired cars.. isn't it?

Wednesday 26th 61-72F, 16-22C, overcast, with a light breeze, but dry.

I hear the UK will ban all coal-fired cars by 2040. Denmark remains resolute that "no lefty, pinko, tree huggin' Danish hippy is ever going to get their hands on an electric car." "Not on my watch!" The PM is to form an alliance with President Kim of North Korea to fight the "creeping menace" of electric cars. They are said to be forming a COALition to help to boost their flagging share prices as coal-fired car production is tapered off. The idea, presented by Kim in a joint statement, is that all electric cars must have a political prisoner with a red flag walking in front of them at all times.

I walked along the track to the marsh against the invading hordes of slugs. The vast swarms of ducks were practicing their "Laughing Gear" chorus. So I thought they'd make a good audience for my stand-up routine. Whereupon they immediately fell silent and turned their backs on me! A buzzard was circling and calling over the woods, wings outstretched, in the very light breeze.

The traffic was almost non-existent at times, as befits the national holiday. I frequently take to the  verge to allow large lorries to pass without having to go around me. As is the norm for those of us who follow the age-old discipline and Code of The Defensive Walking Institute. Only to [quickly] discover that they never intended to go out around me anyway because they were on their mobile phones! Don't you just hate it when that happens?

It was warm and sunny by the time I was released from the starting gates and thundered off down the drive. Bit of a crosswind but nothing serious. Shops were very quiet. Saw several cyclists out training and others touring. Only 7 miles.

Thursday 27th 62-66F, 17-19C, rather cloudy with a light breeze. Showers possible all day. Despite the grey skies it stayed dry for my morning walk. The wind had picked up just as a large tractor started spraying the fields upwind of us. I decided to go anyway and walked downwind with a strange smell on the air. It didn't seem to bother the birds which were out in large numbers again. Flocks of thirty-odd swallows or sparrows are very commonplace.

The tractor passed me later towing its huge tank and folded spray bars. A child was sitting in the lap of the driver. Did this signify product safety or mere, pig ignorance? As I have mentioned before I had a farming neighbour who said you could safely put Roundup on your breakfast serial. The sales rep had told him so. Not on my organic Muesli, you can't! A wet day, until later.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


24 Jul 2017

24th July 2017 Carrying the can.


Monday 24th 60F, 15C, bright, but rather cloudy with no wind. Walked briskly to the village in slightly sticky conditions even for a fairly lightweight jacket. The road was splattered with yet more slugs. A score of swallows were enjoying the airspace over a pretty village pond below the church on its prehistoric hump. With lilies and irises looking particularly well at this time of year. 

Small part of a vast flock of mink gulls turning up their noses beaks at actively foraging behind the plough.

Can anyone explain how somebody in sore need of an "energy" drink can manage to carry the full can to the checkout and then struggle out of the shop, all the way out to the car park? But having once consumed all that "concentrated energy" they no longer have the physical strength to reach the nearest waste bin? 

The same goes for takeaway snacks. They are so weak from hunger they repeatedly risk shortening their lives at one of these "healthy foods" establishments. Once they have regained their missing strength it's the same old story. The multi-layer packing is just tossed onto the verge through the car window.

Meanwhile, I have regularly ridden up to 80 miles without so much as a sideways glance at an "energy" drink or takeaway snack and still managed to reach home having missed two normal meal times! I didn't even have a reserve of "between meals blubber" to call upon as an "energy" reserve. I looked more like a [bent] stick in just my shorts than something which would easily roll downhill unaided.

The common Drag racing slug is recognizable by its sleek, streamlined form. It is said to be capable of considerable bursts of speed when competing against commuters. This bronzed individual has obviously been training hard over the summer months.

I was allowed out for a hilly ride today. Mixed periods of sunshine and cloud with light winds. Going well and climbing out of the saddle a lot of the time. The countryside and forest were looking gorgeous again today. I completely forgot [again] and brought back the muesli bar and apple juice I so desperately needed to "maintain my energy levels."

It seems I am doing it all wrong. I should have been eating Heinz Shredz "healthy eating" bars with up to 67% sugar despite its "99% fruit" sales propaganda. I wonder whether their advertising staff or Heinz [Bulk Sugar] management would eat Heinz Shredz or feed their children with them? Do tobacco executives bring home free cigarettes for their families to enjoy? Only 20 miles.

20 Jul 2017

20th July 2017 Bananas! Pardon? ✔

Thursday 20th 64F, 18C, heavy cloud but dry. Rain by lunchtime. What happened to Tuesday and Wednesday? This is Saturday according to my inner clock. I knew I should have taken the quartz movement upgrade instead of relying on the old-fashioned original. Enjoyed a walk up to the woods going anticlockwise. Spotted one black, feral cat and a very large hare.

Yesterday was a [seasonally adjusted] High Level of Swallow Exuberance. As flocks of up to 30 birds wheeled around trees and houses in effortlessly tight formation. Today there were only a few stragglers winging their way over the ripe crops. Probably suffering from an adrenaline hangover after yesterday's, superb, aerial gymnastics.

Two [banana] bunches of useful information on the Gravely Blighted News today:

 1. 2/3ds of Alzheimer's is caused by being an old fart.
2. BBC wages are inversely proportional to the £43,000 per week, wage earner's actual value to human progress.
I was going to patent the obvious answer to multiple problems. But euthanasia was already taken.
It seems there are nine factors responsible for 1/3 of the cases of dementia. If only I could remember them... I might have had something to say. It seems though, that I get extra house points for being able to spell Alzheimer's without a spelling checker. Google got it wrong so they must be suffering from dementia already.

Wouldn't that be ironic? Google becomes an aware AI and it has dementia from birth! It wont even recognise itself in the mirror of public hostility as it steadily switches off all humans rights around the globe. Aided and abetted by Universal & Ubiquitously Vulnerable, Windows OS, of course.

Isn't it nice to know that these "broadcasting" wasters and their henchmen are largely responsible for countless poor people spending time in prison for not being able to afford the TV license? You remember BBC TV? The "public service" broadcaster with about as much public service as the mafia. Where democracy of the right to public access to discuss programming and to enjoy the freedom of creative expression is as exclusive as any Royal Family's right to endless handouts. Plus all the free accommodation and TOTAL PRIVACY in multiple palaces, estates and exclusive holiday destinations with servants.

Do you ever wonder why someone <cough> earning a fortune has exclusive rights to privacy not enjoyed  by their "lesser mortals?" Doesn't the ridiculous pay level recognise some responsibility to their adoring [brain dead] fans to share more than a few, deliberately released, compromising images to maintain headline stories? Anything to sell the next tawdry film, pop-porn video or talentless album, and the next. Can any of them "act," "dance" or "sing" with all their clothes on?

Friday 21st 61F, 16C, very heavy overcast, but mostly dry and it may be brighter later. If I don't get a ride soon I shall go bananas. Did you see the video of the chap in the US, shooting selfish ape's vans? They parked across two private driveways to reach the trees, just because they can. The police took the driveway owner away for endangering vehicle tyres with a loaded banana. I'd have arrested the apes with the van for deliberate obstruction.

Banana rights, eh? Can't live with them. Can't live without them. The apes are probably still hiding up in the trees according to the video. And don't give me any of that nonsense about loss of habitat! The bloke with the banana was the [sore] loser. It's a slippery slope when you start carrying bananas in the streets. [Or to college!] All they need for instant banana control is a simple mental test: If you want a banana you're not fit to own one! Send in the next patient, please?

Slightly too warm for my walk along the lanes but it was windier than forecast. I shall of course be seeking compensation for hurt feelings. A flurry of swallows was practicing its acrobatics but not with the same vigour and discipline of the other day. Yesterday's wet weather had ensured mass casualties of slugs on my traditional and well worn route beside the verge. Had I know in advance I could have worn my alpine gaiters. No ride today.

Saturday 22nd 64-72F,18-22C, cloudy to overcast with bright periods and light winds. Walked to the village and back. Light traffic but heavy on swallows. Trike shopping beckons! A headwind going. More of a crosswind coming back laden.  Saw several riders out training, single and in small groups. The T de F procession is over for another year. Did anybody win? 15 miles.

Sunday 23rd 60-66F, 15C, heavy overcast with a breeze. It was barely half past seven when I set off, picking my way carefully through all the slugs. Another splatter fest for these creatures which will shortly inherit the earth. Depressed and suppressed were acceptable terms for this morning's toddle. The  birds seemed fewer and more distant than usual. The dull, flat light seemed almost to press down on the landscape. Removing the usual joy and delight of multi-coloured, rolling fields interspersed with trees, hedges, copses and forest. The sparkle seemed to have gone out of it all today.

The forecast is for a very wet day with thundery showers and possible cloudbursts. Hence my early stroll along the lanes before the DMI's dire, early radar warnings dump themselves quite literally, all over us. Torrential rain, with local flashes and loud thunder, arrived at 10.50am. It dried up later allowing me to potter about outside. Now I am back indoors the swallows are swooping round and around in the garden. If they get the midges which bit us both earlier then that will be a win.

If you reached this far and remain in some doubt: "Bananas" is a reference to the statement of anger by the gentleman who shot the overhead workman's vans for [unnecessarily] blocking his driveway. Videoed live and widely distributed.

Click on any image for a bigger one.

19th July 2017 Getting it off my [treasure] chest.


Wednesday 19th 58F, 14C, sunny, bright and clear with a light breeze moving the trees. It could be as warm as 25C [77F] later, possibly with thunderstorms. I am aching all over from yesterday's activities. A walk will help and I'll have to put in a requisition for a bit of R&R on the trike.

I see Their Royal Oil Fences in Saudi Arabia are troubled by beggars pretending to be poverty stricken council road sweepers. The sweepers work 18 hours a day in sweltering heat but get paid less per year than a single, gold thread in the solid gold and diamond encrusted dish of disposable napkins on the the solid gold dining tables in the umpteen, priceless marble and gold, Royal palaces. With more garages each, full of priceless supersportscars, than any humble, American, TV evangelist.

Denmark solved such low pay problem simply enough. By getting rid of all the council road sweepers and all their sweeping machines during the most recent recession. They spent the scrap money on tasteless daubs by Danish modern <cough> artists and Danish architect designer furniture for all their [latest] Town Halls. Which are often modernized from striking, but failed company buildings by Eastern European workers. Who have to sleep on-site and work 8 days a week in exchange for handing their wages back to their <cough> mafia employers. All for the privilege of being brought here in the back of a smuggler's lorry. Along with all the trafficked girls for the highly popular and no doubt extremely lucrative, Danish prostitution trade.

We once stopped the car in a quiet, city cul-de-sac for a nice cup of tea and a Danish pastry. We were overlooked by the huge, Odense police station. It took but a few moments to realise that we were in a <cough> hotbed of prostitution. With clients cruising back and forth in their cars as they waited for the next "member of staff" to become available.

Trafficked women who go to the police for help are put on the next plane home without a penny. Perhaps they should be advised to become a hate preacher at one of the highly popular, invader's mosques. That way they can stay for years and are completely and utterly untouchable. Provided, of course, they can keep the child abuse and mutilation an open secret.

I hear all the Danish women's shelters are so choc-a-block that there is a years-long waiting list. With many desperate customers having to be sent to distant hostels. Well, that's post-benign socialism for you. Same taxes, just far, far fewer options.

It was already a very warm 67F by the time I returned from my golden, rural walk. Fortunately I had roadside shade trees to take off the worst excesses of this crippling heat wave. The two seater Mercedes sports car driver was following his usual [pathetic] line on the same blind corner. Namely overshooting by 6' beyond the double white lines to put him almost completely in the opposite lane. As is his daily habit. And I kid you not.

The odd thing is that he looks like a miserable old version of me but is obviously a much poorer driver. If I overshot a single corner I'd sign up for an intensive advanced driver training course and extended therapy sessions. Other's driving standards are obviously pitifully lower than mine. Well, there's always the insurance to carry the expense of off-roading [in the opposite lane.] What 's a modest speeding fine to the owner of a Mercedes sports car? Particularly when one's reputation, as the fastest, miserable old fart in the village, is at stake?

I hear iRottenapple, of tax free, iPhoney slave production fame, is building at least one [entirely self-serving] server center in Denmark. The facility is expected to consume almost half of Denmark's daily, normal electricity production. The local <cough> sub station covers the equivalent of thousands of village football pitches. When they still existed as such. The Danes are now much too obese to be running about with a ball. Their former playing fields have largely gone over to intensive industrial pig farming to the benefit of the small village mentality.

As a personal favour to this week's [authoritarian] Danish PM, iRottenapple have promised, on pain of massive fines, never to use their literally vast quantities of excess heat for domestic home heating within the Danish national borders. Just in case they start competing with the offshore, hedge fund owned, coal fired power stations. So they [iRottenapple] may well be hoping to sell their excess heat to a grateful Germany via an insulated pipeline laid entirely at Danish taxpayers' expense. Though the labour for the entire project will probably be provided by imported [trafficked] slaves. As is the norm in the EU these days.

It seems that there are not enough windmills already to upset the remaining locals. So iRottenapple is building a massive wind farm to further blight the entire area. No doubt astronauts of the near future will be competing to photograph the server center from space as it glows white hot against the pitch black of the usually deserted [and empty] Danish, rural landscape.

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18 Jul 2017

18th July 2017 Dog sniffing dogs?

Tuesday 18th 58-66F, 14-19C, heavy overcast,  but dry, with a threat of sunshine later. Just another day in paradise. There was a piece on the Gravely  Blighted TV news about a need for dog sniffer dogs [sic] to replace the present drug sniffing dogs. Instead of starting each day with a line of coke, the dog, sniffer dogs are desperately needed to bust the import of illegal, puppy-farmed hairy mutts for the mutts who cannot afford a 'real' one , probably because of all their other habits. 
I'd cut out the middle dog and have dog chip readers in every mobile 'iWotsit.' If the dog's chip fails to register then you should have the legal right to hit the mutt's owner with your laptop or oversized iPhoney 12½, or whatever. Hope this helps?

Evil LOTR extras dressed as ducks.

Time for a walk before I get into any more trouble. Wish me luck! I'm a potential martyr to every drunk, drug addled, deluded commuter with a mobile phone and an empty, bubble-packed ego. As I toddle along, as the close to the verge as I dare in my [charity shop] expeditionary boots. What with killer deer bugs, killer slugs and wolves roaming wild it might actually be safer on the asphalt!

Luckily, it occurred to me at the very beginning of my morning, [dangerous sports] walks to carry some ID. Just in case one of the registered and multiply-banned, drunken sociopaths fails to notice me during a sexting session in his black, two seater Mercedes. As he makes his daily attempt at the Danish Land Speed Record for passing a junior school. He needs a very long run up which passes along my usual route. I just pray I don't end up being roasted on a spit, as road kill, by the local sports club at their annual, overnight, pop festival!

In breaking news: It seems the Danish killer slugs have competition from invading, edible snails. The expert's advice was to take them out with a shovel or garden spade. So I am wondering exactly how large these snails are supposed to be! I have warned The Head Gardener that it will be her responsibility to act as referee in the coming battles as a sort of token, International branch of the Red Cross. Though it seems highly likely to be a rather one-sided affair if the snails can crush the slugs simply by rolling over them!

Well, that was a complete flop!  I arrived at the marsh pond on cue. The costume department had me kitted out as the local tramp. I needed no earpiece prompter to help me with my lines as I prepared for my greatest walk on part..

But will it fly?

When suddenly there were more evil extras, all around me, than a bad dose of LOTR. A thousand immature ducks burst into uproarious laughter at my outlandish garb. As a cross between Dr.Who and Worzel Gummidge, I had thought myself suitably attired for my part. But they were having none of it! So I took a quick snap of the set [for posterity] and beat a hasty retreat. Before there were fatalities to their withering strafes of derision.

Just in time too, as I spotted a Colossal class, [Claas?] agricultural spraying machine. It was very obviously headed my way with evil intent. That certainly explained the strange odour as I entered the field track. At first I had thought it was just me staying in character. But, with my poor sense of smell, it might well have been another, dead cat. So, all in all, not a great morning so far. Far too busy for a ride today.

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17 Jul 2017

15th July 2017 It's never just about the new Audi!


Saturday 15th 50-66F, 10-19C, bright and clear. A walk along the lanes to capture a few pictures of yesterday's harvesting. The fields were covered in spaced lines of golden hay. No ride today.

Sunday 16th 58-65F, 14-18C, heavy overcast with rain or showers promised. It was horribly wet all morning and then well into the afternoon.  In the absence of floats on my trike, nor even a wet suit to my name, I decided to take the easy option. By avoiding going out all together.

Monday 17th 59-66F, bright and breezy becoming more cloudy. Another busy day but I was allowed out for my vital, morning walk and a late afternoon ride, of 7 miles, to the shops.

It seems I am well in touch with my inner self. At least, I am  according to a Netflix documentary. Walking in the countryside is like meditating but without the usual distractions. One can become aware of all that surrounds us without the fidgeting and constant resetting of one's consciousness. Or that sort of thing. One could say I rely more on intuition and emotional choices than cold logic. Which [apparently] makes me a better balanced person. 'Balance' being the most important aspect of tricycling on, or off road. I am, and always was, willing to risk failure.

I owe it all to the swallows and skylarks and even the farmers as I wallow in my warm bath of Danish, rural nature. Mind as blank as the next enticing page of an essay "exercise" book as I plod along with less than urgent haste. Though I understand that little or no "exercise" is necessary these days. Largely because of the deformities caused to young people by the sheer weight of their laptops on the curriculum. Not to mention the universal spinal curvature so common to the latest generations.

It seems my obsession with tricycling is well and truly over. For which I can warmly thank one paranoid schizophreniac on the triking forum. Where I was the endlessly patient, polite, benign and hopeful moderator but an [alleged] tyrant to one, sick individual. Empathy, and a weird sense of humour, is in short supply amongst many of us, it seems. Where violence is becoming the norm. Even amongst investment bankers and [quite recently] the priesthood.

I can still ride my trike fast enough to satisfy my modest ambitions but now have absolutely no idea of my potential range. I usually managed around 85 miles or 130km at least once a year. Such distances always assume that the distance can be covered from beyond a leisurely breakfast while still returning before dark. The drive to achieve such distances is now all but gone. Thank goodness! The Head Gardener is no longer a tricycling widow. A mixed misfortune, at best, because she must now suffer my presence for infinitely more hours than in the past. Now I must pretend to hide on the computer, in my dormer window looking out onto the garden trees, or in the equally untidy shed.

I have recently had my first "falling off" in years. In fact the first since my return to tricycling and all those tens of thousands of miles managed unscathed. Back then I twice fell off onto grass after leaving the tarmac in a hurry. Finding soft ground a poor substitute with regards to lateral stability is apt to lead to a diagonal 'header.' The ground is always a long way down on a trike. You can't just lay it over and slide. It needs to tumble along its ground contact, hinge lines.

Tricycling cured my eyesight. Instead of staring at the foreground, at work and being unable to read a clock on the wall without glasses. My vision now settled habitually on distance and I need only a pair of £5 supermarket "reading glasses" to function normally. As far as 'normal' is an apt term for yours truly. 'Normal' is a term subject to considerable misinterpretation.

It is odd to think that I spent years suffering from my tricycling excesses. Not just the constant leg pain from their daily abuse of the flailing pedals. But my back, my shoulders and my hands demanded almost constant notice for their own pain. All those miles were not without their real and human toll. The rewards must have been well in excess of the negatives or I would have ceased long ago and retired almost literally to my retiree's "death bed." Household names seemed to be dropping like flies so my own mortality could not be that far flung from reality.

I spent almost as many hours writing about my exploits as doing them. Initially I had used my blog to maintain my interest and daily distances. It was one of my survival ploys after I was "let go" [at the age of 63 with piss poor Danish skills and little else to commend me] by my Danish/multinational employers. As they took over and then exported an entire factory full of real lives for a better Audi and probably a larger house on a hideous modern "executive" estate. It wasn't just the sacking of the entire workforce, of course, but its impact on the entire semi-rural community, its ecosystem and its surprisingly fragile economy.

Local shops and services no longer enjoyed their traditional customer base. The empty souls who wandered between bullying sessions at the local <cough> Job Center and pointless courses 30 miles away only exacerbated the problem. The Job Centers literally had no local jobs to offer. None. Zero. Zilch. Bugger all.

This all coincided with a rise in right wing politicooze as the Danes desperately tried to slow the influx of foreign invaders. Their race memories of Vikings and Danes exploits abroad now long forgotten. Suddenly every crook, spiv and 'chancer' had the ear of the truly desperate Danes.

They, the Danes, had worked hard all their lives just to pay the highest taxes in the world. Their reward was benign socialism from outdoor cradle to an early [smoker's and drinker's] grave. Now there was a mosque on every corner and the aliens were being freely handed all the social housing. All without so much as a single minute's contribution! Instead of a grudging pidgin "mange tak" the invaders were downright uppity. They wore their traditional dress and demanded the Danes did so as well! Or they would [allegedly] send "the terrorists" around to practice their atrocities before going off to war against guess who?

Yes, that's right, The Danes in the international <cough> peacekeeping corpse. Who, despite putting their lives on the line every day and night are taxed. Just so that Denmark can afford to pay these very same IS terrorists their Danish social security. Denmark was required by international and EU law to send overseas social security clerks to the front line to ensure the terrorists get their entitlements despite not actively seeking work in Denmark. Unemployed Danes, even wounded, ex-service people have their social security cut off after two years. But not the IS fighters. All thanks to benign Danish socialism.

Meanwhile the "alien's" kids constantly start fires in the social apartment blocks and throw stones at the firemen who come to put the fires out! Later they would form cosy gangs and take over the drugs trade from the nasty Danish rockers. Before starting armed wars with each other to gain territory or just to protect their threatened sales patch.

On those rare days, away from their personal grindstones, the Danes would find the shops full of foreign invaders. Spending their generous social security which the Danes had paid for in blood, sweat, tears and endless disappointment over the long decades of benign but tight-fingered and intrinsically authoritarian socialism. Now, with the right wing firmly in charge, there is even less money to spend on "SERVICES". So unskilled labour finds itself without yet another avenue of exploration for highly competitive unemployment. If there is such demand for the unemployed then why are they so poorly paid compared with [say] the politicooze? Few of whom seem to have ever held down a real job.

My "own" factory closure naturally coincided with others as the moneyed stashed their ill gotten, tax free gains of-shore as fast as they exported all the real jobs to China or Russia or any other slave wage economy. Soon only weeds thrived and expanded on the newly deserted industrial estates. Around which I pedaled optimistically job seeking almost daily for three years before official retirement as the local, tricycling clown.

Compulsory job seeking [even in an employment  vacuum] had its price. I would ride out in my tricyclist's clowns outfit at temperatures down to -10C. That was before I found secondhand winter cycling togs in the charity shops. The agony of cold hands and feet should not be underestimated in the unemployment statistics but never seem to feature.

As I pedaled around the wastelands of my little bit of Denmark I saw the village shops, with long decades of local service, were suddenly all gone. All of them! The previously fat, estate agents desperately tried to pretend all was still well. By filling the newly haunted windows with their own [unsold] wares. "For sale" signs outside rural homes slowly faded to illegibility. To match the mood of the totally non-existent, buyers. Buyers, if any,  who had no need, or desire, to pay the market price. They had only to wait long enough!

Forced home auctions became the norm after years of highly visible neglect. Family dreams died in exchange for an absolute pittance from impoverished "first timers" and a few developers. The latter would abuse Eastern European workers, at [illegal] Eastern European wages, to 'tart up' these former family homes into liberally whitewashed rental properties.

Meanwhile the unsold "properties" [homes and businesses] dragged down the whole area. As Japanese Knotweed replaced the rows of bedding plants, neat lawns and discounted supermarket shrubs. The same lawns were soon long beyond the help of a mere, inherited and knackered petrol mower. They sorely needed a modestly sized harvester and baler to make any real impression. The hedges grew so tall that birds nests easily outnumbered the remaining inhabitants.

Home buyers are constant improvers. They want to show off their assets and impress others of their taste and wealth. Even if it means borrowing against their assets to do so. In the absence of home buyers the DIY and furniture stores suffer. Foreign money bought up all the DIY outlets and stripped away all the "interesting" stuff. To be replaced with highly profitable, identical bubble packs on identical racks. So another branch suffers steady decline, a complete lack of choice and far fewer skilled staff are required or retained.

Builders suffer too and many vans and offices vanished from the daily scene. Once thriving garages and workshops find their customer base becomes smaller and much more demanding. The obvious crooks go first but the trend is always downwards.

Meanwhile the politicooze, on their private 1st Class, neo-Louis 14th, non-stop, gravy train, play their endless games of musical chairs. And play their parts as talking heads with the mutually parasitic media. The politicooze has no answers to life's real problems. Religion, outside the alien invader's ghettos, had no new new answers either. So the Danes voted with their feet but forgot to turn off the central heating boilers. All either superstition could ever offer were the same, old simplistic lies. As they endlessly hiked their own salaries and fiddled their expenses to maintain their crooked and/or deluded egos. I find it best to ignore them in the interests of what remains of my sanity. I was never much one for celebrity worship.

If you still adhere to any semblance of what passes for modern reality then I suggest you simply move to another country. And then see how important the News from Home actually seems. But remember, you are far more likely to die on the roads than from any "breaking news."

What you do with your own body is <cough> largely your own business. Just don't expect me to pick up the tab when your shit hits assorted fans simultaneously. Exercise of mind and body requires an expectation of some suffering. But at least you know, with every fiber of your being, that you are still alive! If everybody else, on Earth, is put there as an example to others... then why the hell would you copy any of them? Least of all me! 😎

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