Monday, 30 April 2012

Hi anyone who chooses to read this blog. I have taken ages to get around to doing it, because I really hadn't a clue what to call it, and decided on three of the things I like doing. I also like knitting and crochet and painting but I couldn't think of a suitable title which involved all of them. I must admit to being a bit confused about it all, so please excuse if I've left anything out.

I am a retired, slightly eccentric person who cycles and anything unusual. I am a volunteer ranger for Sustrans, the charity which covers many paths in the UK forming a network, which involves looking after an area of the Transpennine Trail vaguely between Widnes and Heatley Lymm. Recently, I've not done much for various reasons, one of which was a trapped nerve/sciatica which made me quite grumpy and whilst it didn't affect the cycling, it did affect most other things I did, making everything take longer than usual.

I've also not a great deal to write about. I don't do anything exciting, am not a brilliant cook and don't have any more moneysaving ideas than most, other than to shop in charity shops and Aldi/Lidl when I'm near one of them. I love reading other peoples' blogs, particularly the frugal ones and the knitting and crochet ones are regular reads. I would love to do such beautiful work like Lucy from Attic24 and Little Tin Bird but have a go anyway and made quite a few Christmas presents last year.

The recent bad weather seems to have curtailed my cycling activities although I did cycle to the town on Friday as I had an appointment and it's easier to cycle in than going by car. Also cheaper, even I did get the train back. My railcard enabled me to get 1/3 off the fare though. I've recently discovered by buying a three year senior railcard, I save £19. I cycled to the shopping centre today and had to take a couple of puffs of the inhaler, as the asthma has kicked in suddenly, in a minor sort of way.

Last year I participated in the women's cycling event Cycletta, with Victoria Pendleton cycling with us. Hopefully I will enter it this year so had better get my bike legs out, they've been lazy over the last few months. It is around 25 miles based from Tatton Park. I really enjoyed it and it was great to see so many women out challenging themselves, some of whom were really raw beginners and were complete stars to complete it.

My poor Beetle hasn't been out for a couple of weeks. It is blown around with the wind. I've been using the bike when dry. I've found in the loft a pair of lederhosen and a Bavarian woolen cape with hood, which I used to make my long-suffering son wear when he was a very small child. Poor him. I am going to place them on the back window of the Beetle. Although I've had this for almost three years, the poor thing hasn't had a name. I don't like referring to cars as 'he' or 'she' or 'name', even though they might have one. It seems vaguely pretentious somehow. However, I'd like it to have a name, but I'd still refer to it as "the Beetle". I'm thinking of Brünhild, out of the tale of Das Nibelungenlied.

Have been reading Anita Brookner's "A Private View" about a bachelor, newly retired, who lives a very standard life in London in a mansion flat, planning to travel with a friend on retirement. Sadly his friend dies and his life is momentarily changed with the advent of a young woman taking up residence in the building. There is a lot of description in this rather typical Anita Brookner book, some of it you tend to skip over.

I'm going to try to download some photos, which were scanned from prints, for Shirley Goode, from The Goode Life, whose blog I read. They are of The Golden Ball, at Snatchem's End, showing how the pub is cut off with the tide coming in up the river. Press Gangs used to come up the river and snatch men drinking in the pub, to take them for their ships. The quality is not very good, as the photos are from the late 90s.

I hope you like them Shirley.

Do, please excuse my inexperience at this blogging. I will have another go at a later date, when I've got something to write about, not just blathering like I've done above.