Popped In

Just popped in
to let you know
I’ll be off-line
for a week or so!

See you again the week after next.



Unable to sleep.
In the darkness my thoughts whirl.
A storm-tossed vessel.

Lone Magpie


Magpie (Photo by Adrian Pingstone via Wikipedia)

A lone magpie visited my bird feeding station this morning. It brought to mind the traditional rhyme about magpies:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl and
Four for a boy.
Five for silver,
Six for gold and
Seven for a secret
that’s never told.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This has been recorded as a most beautifully haunting song by The Unthanks on their ‘Mount the Air’ album.
Sorry, I can’t share the video here but check it out on YouTube.
Search ‘The Unthanks – Magpie’.

Bright Spots

bright spots
of Autumn colour
liven up the garden.


Today I was due to go to the dentist – at the joke time of 2.30pm believe it or not! This was for a treatment resulting from a routine check-up a couple of months ago. I was about to get ready to go, in plenty of time to ensure I wouldn’t be late, when the phone rang cancelling my appointment. Apparently my dentist was taken ill this morning and had to go home. This puts me in mind of a similar incident that happened to my husband recently.

He had been to visit the Doctor’s, seeing a Locum who was on duty, who had then referred him to the hospital telling him he would be treated as a priority and should hear about an appointment within a fortnight. This meant that we had to postpone our proposed two-weeks holiday in the West Country at the end of last month. He duly received notification of a cancellation in the second of the two weeks and booked in. He took himself along for the appointment to be greeted by a rather confused looking receptionist who eventually explained that the cancellation had occurred not because a patient had cancelled, as we had thought, but because the Consultant had been taken ill and gone home.

The receptionist was very apologetic and asked him to wait while she tried to find someone else to see him. It turned out that there was no-one available so he left the hospital. As he was crossing the car park his phone rang. It was the centralised hospital appointment service, where the confusion had obviously arisen, with a profuse apology and offering him another appointment, which he has since attended.

These things happen, probably more often than we realise, but I have to say I am thankful that, unlike my husband, I hadn’t made the seven mile car journey to the dental surgery before I found out. I have rescheduled, but I have a sneaky feeling this will be during the time that we will be away, having rescheduled our trip to the West Country (and for which I haven’t made a note of the dates) – oh well, I can always cancel!


Local Supermarket
going downhill fast,
unstocked shelves appearing –
the shape of things to come?

Serene Swan

Out for a bike ride,
legs pumping, up, down, up down.
Serene swan swimming.

(Written after my bike ride on Monday.)

Admitting Defeat

A while back my husband, ‘the boss,’ decided that he was going to challenge himself to cycle a minimum of 100 miles a month as a way of keeping fit after his mild heart attack a couple of years ago. I decided to take the challenge on board too and as we usually cycle together it wouldn’t be a problem.

Now, 100 miles doesn’t seem much in a month, many people do that and more in a week or even in a day, but we are no longer in the first flush of youth and, as I say, this is the minimum – we frequently do more. While this isn’t a competition between us it has, over time become something of a game. He sometimes goes out without me when I have something else to do and gains some miles, so I sneak out when he is otherwise occupied and overtake his distance, he then goes out and beats my total and so on – it’s a bit of good humoured fun whilst keeping us fit.

This month the weather has been not the best and we have been busy with other things so cycling had not had the same degree of focus, we were struggling to make up our minimum mileage. As at the beginning of last week I was only up to about 87.5 miles. The boss, on the other hand, having managed to get out a few times without me, had a 20 mile advantage.

So last Monday I went out on my own while he had a hospital appointment and I cycled just over 14 miles, bringing me within spitting distance of his 20 mile lead. When I got home he was already back, was fitting new tyres on one of his bikes and preparing to go out for a ride to ‘test’ it (his excuse). He did 11 miles, thus taking back much of my gain. Having it in mind that I needed to only do about 6 or 7 miles to catch up I went out on Saturday. In showery weather I rode 8.5 miles, returning home rather chilly and damp but feeling confident that I was somewhere near his total now that I had nudged over the 100 mile target.

At this point there was only two days left until the end of September and the weather forecast was still not good. Then we both realised our mathematical mistake – we had forgotten to add on hubby’s 11 mile test ride to his overall total. Once again he was the best part of 20 miles ahead of me. Was it game over?

Yesterday was a wash-out, no way I was going out in that, but this morning, oh joy of joys, the sun was shining, the sky was covered with fluffy clouds with a fair amount of blue showing – I was going out on the bike and what’s more it was warm, I could wear shorts rather than the three-quarter or full length tights I had worn for the last couple of weeks.

Planning a route was tricky, I prefer to avoid busy main roads but after all the recent rain the small country lanes were a no-no, bound to be full of muddy puddles and ruts. I needed a compromise route on better roads but not major ones. Route planned, off I went. I have a cycle computer which I usually keep set to time and speed rather than distance, which is hubby’s choice so that he knows how far he has travelled. I like to keep a check on time as normally I want to need to know that I am not out longer than I can spare the time for. I did need to get back today as I had a fair amount to do since we are going away tomorrow for a few days!  I had momentarily thought of adding on another short loop at the end of my ride but decided against it. When I got home however I rued my decision. What I estimated was probably about a 13-14 mile route turned out to only be just over 11 miles,  bringing my total for the month up to 121.6 miles with no time left to do any more. Hubby’s total is around 128 miles and I have had to admit defeat. However, tomorrow is the start of another month….

Gilding Effect

Leaves begin to turn
a dull yellow and brown.
The gilding effect of sunshine
drowned by clouds and rain.

First Geese

First geese of the season,
heard before seen.
Such a noise,
calling to each other,
flying overhead
in ‘V’ formation.

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