Holiday Haiku 8

Another day dawns
cold and windy once again.
Still the sunshine hides.


Holiday Haiku 7

Hill snow

Snow on the high peaks.
Cold, the frost during the night.
Midday sun so warm.

Holiday Haiku 6 + Elfje

Bright red, the poppies
growing among the field crops.
How they catch the eye.

Poppies were a constant feature of our time away travelling through France and Spain. They inspired both the above Haiku and the Elfje below. I couldn’t decide which version I preferred so have shared both.

bright red,
growing among crops
in the roadside fields.

Holiday Tanka 1

Through the pine forest
the wind swirls, dancing, singing
her own wild music.
The trees sway to the rhythm
of the ancient earthly song.

Holiday Haiku 5

Les oiseaux chantent.
C’est la chanson du matin.
Nouvelle, la page blanche.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This is my first ever attempt to write a Haiku in French (or any language other than English). You will see it is about the dawn chorus – yes I know that in French it should be ‘le choeur de l’aube’ but that doesn’t fit the required syllable count. A rough translation, which also doesn’t work in English, is:

The birds are singing.
It is the dawn chorus.
A new blank page.

I was also hoping to try writing one in Spanish but the syllable count defeated me when, for example, the 1 syllable word ‘spring’ becomes the 4 syllables of ‘primavera’ and almost fills a line what can you do? I am sure native speakers no doubt have found a way – do they adhere to the 17 syllable rule?

Tandem Club National Rally

Monday ride snack stop

We have just got back from a week at the Tandem Club National Rally at Kirkby Londsdale on the edge of the Lake District. I don’t think I have ever seen so many tandems in one place before. The event was well organised and the company friendly. It was just a shame about the weather! Predominantly it was wet. It was also not very warm, sometimes windy and very hilly – but then you expect the hills in that area. We had hoped to take two tandems, our George Longstaff tourer and the lightweight one that my husband recently built up from a frame purchased at a bike auction but in the end we had to leave the new one behind as we could only get one on the bike rack and the new one hadn’t had enough shake-down trials for us to consider it reliable enough – maybe next time, when we’ve solved the carriage problem!

Tuesday tandem talk at cafe stop

There were planned rides for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with a choice of routes of varying length but it didn’t matter which rides you did or which day you did them, you could please yourself. The rides were not led so you started when you liked and took as long as you liked, with GPX files or print-outs of the route to follow. That said it was helpful to start around the same sort of time and stick to the routes for the day as then you could be fairly sure of finding company along the way. We opted for the shorter rides as daily rides of  up to 30+ miles on such hilly terrain was enough for us! Rides for the real enthusiasts could be 60+ miles. Many of the other participants that we met there had electric assist tandems, but not us. Hubby is now quite seriously considering this option as we did get rather left behind on the hills when in company with a couple with electric assist.

I won’t get into describing all the routes here but they were well varied, heading out in all directions including to the coast or simply looping around the Lune River valley. Unfortunately, due to the inclement weather it was almost impossible to go out without getting a bit wet and the forecast for Thursday and Friday looked particularly bad. Wednesday had no planned rides but many people still went out to do their own thing, including us, rather than have a rest day in view of the bad forecast to come. We opted for a short 18 mile route of our own devising avoiding too many hills in order to give the legs a bit of a rest. We were back by lunch time, which is just as well as it soon started raining. We saw many returning tandems later on with very soaked and bedraggled riders!

View across the valley

Sadly the effect of the weather meant that several people packed up and went home early, and I must admit that I did feel very sorry for those that were in little two-man tents! (We were in our Motorhome of course.) Surprisingly, despite getting wet almost every day many of the tent campers stuck it out for the week. Where they put their wet clobber and how they got it dry I can’t imagine. We stayed to see what transpired weather-wise on the Thursday, but declined to go out as it started to rain heavily by mid-morning and eventually we decided to come home a day early, on Friday.

This report may sound a bit like doom and gloom but actually we enjoyed ourselves very much and met some interesting like-minded people. Kirby Lonsdale is a lovely little town and the surrounding scenery was wonderful. The photo above shows the view from our Motorhome, on a higher terrace. It is certainly an event we will consider doing again sometime. The venue varies from year to year and hopefully so does the weather.

Holiday Haiku 4

Mountain waterfall



Mountain stream cascades
tumbling down the rocky slope,
never looking back.

Holiday Haiku 3

Underneath the branch
tree creeper hangs upside down.
A different world view.

Holiday Haiku 2

Cherry Trees in blossom

Beside the water
cherry trees shed their blossom.
Dreams drift downriver.

Holiday Haiku 1

The golden sun hides
behind gossamer cloud veil.
A young bride’s shy smile.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I’m off again tomorrow, just for a week this time but again with little WiFi access, so next week’s post are being scheduled in advance, along with (in a couple of cases) photos of the scene that inspired them. We are going to the National Tandem Club Rally which we have never been to before and I shall tell you about it on my return.

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