Hope - seeing the blue sky through the raindrops
Very much images of our current lockdown and the #stayathome message.
The last “H” in Hammersmith?
Looking at the aerials and satellite dishes on the rooftops and chimneys during an exercise walk around Hammersmith and Fulham. We’ve learnt to ignore them but they are an iconic feature of our vernacular urban architecture.
Morning mist on the River Thames for my exercise walk between Barnes and Putney shortly after sun rise. The water is unusually still at high water with the lack of boat traffic in the lockdown.
I rediscovered my rowing ergometer in the last lockdown (ie November 2020). I’ve not been using it for some while and it’s just been gathering dust. It turns out that after my mildly obsessive work in my home gym during the previous lockdowns that I’m now strong enough to use the rower again.
There are of course niggles and strains to work around. But getting the kit on and selecting “just row” on the monitor gets me into the sports zone very nicely, concentrating on my stroke style and counting mindlessly.
I bought it in the 1980s for exactly that, now in this period of lockdown it’s great that I can again use it to lose myself in the sport and exertion. These days I’m being careful not to go all-out, though a short sprint finish is always fun and leaves the body xinging nicely.
The skies, shapes and notoriously sticky South Downs mud from my hike to and around Castle Hill Nature Reserve in the South Downs National Park in Sussex. A day hike out from my support bubble mate’s home. I’ve been thinking of doing a set about Mud for a while and this day out provided an opportunity.
Sort of disappointing, this quaff. Nothing wrong but I had hoped for better though not the stratospheric grandeur of a great bottle of a nearby Château Haut-Brion. Nonetheless, Château Loudenne is one of the classic producers of the Médoc, the vineyards sloping gently down over gravelly ground to the banks of the Gironde Estuary.
As a child on family camping holidays, we used to visit this area between Saint-Yzans-de-Médoc and the better-known village of St. Estèphe both to buy wines for my Father’s cellar and to fly kites at the windy bank of the wide Gironde.
I can only imagine what vin-en-vrac my Father would have come back with for our campsite meals under the pine forests camped at Arcachon. Chateau Loudenne’s sea horse “hippocampe” graphic of that generation of marketing is a reminder of the Bassin d’Arcachon where the sea-horse thrive, one of several marine zoological curiosities of interest to my Father’s academic research at La Station biologique d’Arcachon in the 1960’s.
Oare Creek, Faversham
Faversham is one of the Cinque Ports I’ve heard about but never before visited. It’s famous for the Shepherd Neame brewery, the umbrella factory and the abbey but infamous for its pirates. I could have lingered in Faversham but my schedule needed me to move on. Next, I drove across Graveney Marshes to Seasalter, then Sandwich and Deal on my roadtrip round the Kent coast.
Col du Lautaret (2057 m.)
Col du Galibier (2642 m.)
Ride to the Alps day 2: aiming for the Col de l’Iseran, at 2770 m. it’s said to be highest paved road pass in Europe.