Overcast and showery skies
give way to evening sunshine,
but still the strong wind blows.

The Gateway

Almost at the top of the hill
the well set-back gateway
provides the ideal place to stop,
to lean the tandem against the fence,
enjoy the view, have a swig or two
of juice from our bottles and munch
a Brunch Bar, while taking a breather
after our efforts.

It is hard to believe the village
we have climbed above is so close.
Here an uninterrupted panorama
of open fields spreads all around.
We listen to the gentle lowing of cattle,
the distant bleating of sheep
and the sound of bird song.

This peaceful spot
tempts us to linger longer but
with the steepest part of the climb done
reluctantly we pedal on.


The unexpected jingle
of an ice-cream van
somewhere not so far away,
brings promises of summer
and some normality
to these crazy times we live in.

Late Frosts

Late frosts
and delicate new leaves
are damaged.

Today is so cold.
Warm weather will return they say.
The leaves; will they recover?


As Lockdown eases
and more places open up
I can’t help wonder…

Another Day

A cold, drying wind.
Another day without rain.
I water the plants.

VE and P de C

VE & P de C RideYesterday, as you are probably all aware, was the anniversary of VE Day, and celebrations were taking place all over the UK with the planned celebration Street Parties being reduced to people sitting in their front gardens having their own private ‘street party’ while waving to those across the way or passing by on their exercise allowance; all due to coronavirus lockdown.

At this time of year we would usually have been in Spain visiting our daughter and taking part in a classic cycling event with her – the Pedals de Clip (P de C of the title) which would have taken place this weekend, with the classic ride on Sunday.  It is an event I have reported here in previous years but this year the event was obviously cancelled, as was our trip to Spain.

Yesterday morning our daughter phoned to say that the P de C organisers had been in touch and were asking all those who would have attended the event to do their own private ‘Pedals de Clip’ ride and send in photos of themselves out on their classic bikes, wearing the kit they would have worn for the official ride. Becky asked me to send a photo to her which she would then send in with her own and asked specifically that we try to produce one that looked particularly British rather than Spanish so that hers and ours combined would be P de C across the miles or some such.

This was where the two events came together in a sort of symbiosis. There is no point in us having a ‘street party’ in our front garden, where we live we wouldn’t see anyone! So we could celebrate VE Day and the P de C by riding out on our classic ‘Freddie Grubb’ bikes in our Retro Team GB cycling kit, that we would have worn at the Pedals de Clip, looking very patriotic while cycling through our local small town where all the UK flags were flying, very British! Youngest son Chris was despatched with the camera to do the photoshoot – see photo above.

We then continued on for a short ride of about 9.5 miles (nowhere near as long as the Pedals de Clip would have been) while being cheered and waved at by the front garden ‘street party’ goers that we passed in much the way that on-lookers would have cheered the P de C participants. Thus we ‘killed two birds with one stone’ as the saying goes and had a wonderfully different sort of local ride past friends and neighbours who thought we were being terribly patriotic.


Turn Back

Seighford Ford
Down by the ford
too deep to cycle through,
we take the footbridge;
no need to turn back.


Planting out strawberries,
anticipating future
lovely juicy fruit.

May Day

purple lilac,
delicate forget-me-nots
and bright red azaleas;
just some of the garden colour
greeting this dull May Day.

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