Alone on my bike;
my permitted exercise.
For how much longer?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I went out for a bike ride this morning and was pleased to note that, in my neighbourhood at least, people are now obeying the Lockdown rules. At the moment we are allowed one trip out daily for exercise, either alone or in company with another family member, but things may change. The few walkers and other cyclists I saw I was able to give a wide berth. There was not much traffic on the road and thankfully most gave me a lot of room when overtaking as the road was clear – apart from one idiot, who despite having plenty of room to overtake, decided he ought to have my bit of the road and passed only a few inches away. There’s always one!


Romany Caravan

Trundling down the road comes
a barrel-shaped Romany Caravan,
drawn by a horse with its gentle clip-clopping,
holding up the traffic
but no-one really minding
as cars slowly pass, occupants smiling.

Endless Line

Heavy traffic through the town;
an endless line of heavy lorries
moving like snails.
The motorway must be closed.

Public Spirit!

Tree on grass triangleAs I have mentioned before, our house is on a corner plot. On the corner itself is a triangle of grass, separated from our plot by a footpath which runs diagonally across the corner. On the triangle of grass there grows a tree. Actually it could well be a tall shrub as it has multiple trunks and the foliage starts low down, plus it isn’t all that tall by tree standards! I don’t know what species it is.

Because the corner is north facing the tree/shrub grows at an angle leaning out towards the road in order to grab what afternoon sunlight it can. This means that the branches, which at this time of year are laden with bright red berries, dangle over the road, not only obstructing the view round the corner for traffic trying to turn out of our road but also very nearly touching cars, cyclist and other road users as they turn in.

The triangle of grass with the tree belongs to the council and they mow the grass several times a year but they never touch the tree, so each year I go out and do my public-spirited bit by pruning the tree. Over the last few weeks I have been looking at the tree and, noticing that it had once more stretched out over the road, I had been thinking it was time to do something again.

So, yesterday afternoon (in the morning we had been out for a ride on our tandem – this is irrelevant but I add it so you know that the tandem hasn’t been abandoned in the shed!) I took my wheel-barrow and tree pruning tools and lopped off the offending branches. I try to prune only just enough to alleviate the problem. I took the picture at the top of this post after pruning, showing the that the turning is now clear. I’m sorry I forgot to take a ‘before’ picture to show the difference.

Tree branch and berriesThis second picture is a close up of a berry laden branch from a tree of the same species which grows in our garden. Our tree is growing up beside the remains of a stump of another tree that had already been chopped down when we moved here. I believe this one to be self-set, possibly from a berry dropped by a bird from the tree on the grass triangle just over the hedge. There are several such trees in the neighbourhood at varying stages of growth so I think it probably self-sets very readily. If any one can tell me what it is I would be very grateful.


Peace and quiet;
main road out of town
closed for road-works.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I live on a corner plot. Although our front access is on a side road the main road out of our small town, to the County Town some 8 miles away, runs alongside our property. The road is fortunately never excessively busy but there is normally a steady flow of traffic, especially during the morning and evening ‘rush-hours’. A few hundred yards past us, at the top of the hill some new houses are being built and so the road has been closed since last Monday while the access roads and the utilities are installed onto the site. We have another two weeks to go before it re-opens.

I have to say this is something of an inconvenience to the locals as we now have a rather round-a-bout route to get to the next town or the local Motorway junction. I also feel sorry for the fuel station just up the road from us which must now be losing customers at a time when private garages are struggling anyway to compete with the supermarkets. But every cloud has a silver lining – it is so peaceful past our house now, without the fairly constant flow of traffic and heavy lorries, part of me doesn’t want it to re-open at all!

January Joy 5

an oasis of calm
surrounded by protective trees
guarding my peace from traffic noise.


A wilderness of summer green
provides a screen between
the house, the tamed garden
and the main road,
traffic heard but not seen.


Watching traffic; queueing,
slow-moving. Somewhere
up the road I’m guessing
there are roadworks.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
You can read some of my poems in a new e-book, ‘Defying Gravity’, now availalbe to read at:

No Words

Sitting in the garden
in an oasis of calm.
Behind the trees, unseen,
I hear the traffic hum
and I try to write
but no words come.


The satisfying ‘plop’ of the air-lock
marks the fermentation of the home-made wine,
the clock tick-tocks and outside I hear
the whine and hum of traffic;
comforting in the silence.

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