Monthly Archives: December 2012

Friday 21st December 2012.

It’s not raining! So a walk down Radcliffe was done and a (mobile) picture, or two, taken over the (ASDA) by-pass. It was, also, quite warm while walking.(?)
Today is, more or less, the Winter Solstice and so from now it is going to get lighter as the Earth/Sun malarky is moving toward summer and not away from it.
The Mayan ‘End of Time’ fiasco has passed and so they got it wrong. But, hey, they didn’t do too badly considering they only had carved stones and bows and arrows to tinker with. We’ve got computers and heaven knows what and we’re still as thick as two short planks!

Thursday 20th December 2012.

A wet, rainy Radcliffe this morning and, being almost at the solstice, it was very dark till very late. During the summer bike outings I was out and back in by eight o’clock, without the need for any bike-lights. Today the pitch darkness lasted until well after eight. And the rain is bucketing down.
It’s the kind of weather that makes you realise how handy a car, any car, is. Which is why many car adverts feature ‘you’, in a nice, safe, warm, soft, car-interior, with ‘your kids’ strapped safely into crash-proof chairs that are covered in warming, colourfull little duvets. While, outside the car, the rain (or worse) pours or sleets hatefully down. Strangely, sixty years ago, when I walked to school every day through rain, hail, sleet or snow, I was never harmed by weather. Ten years later, and on a variety of bikes, I was out winter or summer, sun or snow, on two wheels and without any health problems. Today, getting soaked is irksome as getting dry wastes time, but it is no bother, whether walking or biking, and I’m no more prone to colds and flu’ than anyone else – maybe, now I think about it, less so.
So, as the rain still pours, I won’t be flapping around trying to lose a small fortune on a metal-box with wheels just yet. And, if I ever do it’ll have nothing to do with our weather. Which, as always in the north of England, despite what you might read, is cold and wet in winter, but warmer and wet in summer.
And a car, any car, can do little about that.

Wednesday 19th December 2012.

It’s cold but not freezing at the moment and a walk out is on the cards. But, in a few days it’s the winter solstice – around the 21st of December – and from there it starts to go lighter. It was very dark just then and now, as a walk was envisaged, it’s started to rain. So I’ll hang-on for a bit.

Tuesday 18th December 2012.

A bright Tuesday morning, but it is cold. It looks great outside but, really, riding a bike, for the elderly, might not be a good idea on such days. Even walking, when there’s ice about, is tricky when you’re getting-on a bit.
But, don’t despair. For even on such days there is that slow and laborious transport mode known as – The Bus. Couple with this the useful Bus Pass and off you go!
It’s not a ‘perfect’ means of A to B’ing – our local service travels three or four miles to get to our town centre which is about a mile away if you walk. And it stops at every lamp-post. But, hey ho, who’s rushing?
And, cost-effectively, it’s one hundred percent. Which means that; unlike general motoring, you’ve still got a little cash, to actually buy something, after your journey!

Sunday 16th December 2012.

It looked, outside, okay for the bike this morning. But no. There were evil patches of ice on the tarmac and a walk for a picture was done instead.
There were thick mists in the hollows and, in the sun, they can look arty in photographs. Many, many, class photographers take pictures of mists in between trees and that, at the moment.
But not many take photographs of mists, in between electricity pylons. You don’t notice them when you’re actually taking the picture.
But, then again, they are there and that is the present ‘landscape’ looking from a farm lane.
One day, and one day soon perhaps, those fields will simply be a wind, rather than horse and cow, farm. Which means that, yes, we’ve got a few milli-amps to keep your laptop in juice, but you can’t get a carton of milk at any price!
And a picture of a field, even with a pylon, is a rarity.

Saturday 15th December 2012.

An older picture yet again, one taken when there was, at least, a little sun. This morning, though, the non-stop rain of yesterday continues.
Which usually ensures, as winter warms-up a degree at this time, that we get a wet rather than a white Christmas. And then, afterwards, when folk must return to work, (to pay for it all) we get the road-clogging snow falls.
For all the pedestrian or infernally-combusted workers/non-workers this is bad enough, but for the geriatrics it’s a nightmare! Snow and ice, in the north of England, is never foot or bicycle friendly, and rain, although not as bad, makes excursions outside miserable. Unless of course getting soaked is entirely intentional, as when taking outdoor photographs for instance.
So, again, the dilemma, for the aged, this morning, was: Go out and get soaked, and appear the senile lunatic, or, stay in and be deemed ‘a lazy old sod…’
Mind you, the rain’s eased off…and the bike is ever-ready…

Friday 14th December 2012.

An older picture again – it’s pouring-down here and shops had to be visited.
By bus.
But, when you’re the only folk on one, it does make you wonder.
So it was a far more urban walk this morning; part of it extremely exercising too, as it involved carting heavy items that were frozen, through the cold and quite heavy rain.

Thursday 13th December 2012.

Cold, but very sunny at about nine-ish, okay for a walk along the icy lanes.
It’s too icy for the bike so ‘on foot’ is best and, as everything is frozen solid, a walk around the normally muddy, far banks of Elton Reservoir might be possible. (without wellingtons or a canoe!)
The reservoir, at the Radcliffe end, is pretty well frozen over, but, at the Bury end, hundreds of birds feed by the banks.
The path, around here, is frozen, so care is needed at the ups and downs – which can be steep in places. The footbridge is frosty – slippery.
A reasonable two to three mile hike along lanes and then rough, open land. It’s heavy going though, even when frozen, but dry, in summer, a walk all the way around the reservoir is a favourite with the people-walkers.

Wednesday 12th December 2012.

Another picture taken, along the lanes, yesterday. It’s much the same today – cold and dull. But a walk out may be taken later.
Meantime another geriatric ‘alienator’ is being done for a few minutes; that of smoking a pipe.
It’s best not to go into the pro’s and con’s of smoking here, but a pipe, for the aged smoker, is cheap and doesn’t rely on inhaling copious clouds of smoke to be effective. Yet, if faced with the yearly contest of two solid weeks at (say) Disneyland in Florida, or, a pipe of tobacco, there is no contest for the elderly!
It’s great to actually give-up the weed totally, especially for the old, but, then again, rather than the disruptive jaunt, halfway across the globe, just to get rid of a shedload of cash, there are such things as guitars to buy.
Which is yet another alienator!
But, it’s great fun, especially if you stick-up a youtube website and upload a few songs.
Upload The Beast In Me, (Lowe) in Johnny Cash style, and you’re really cookin’!