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Monday 11 Jan 2021. Virus Challenge

I know corona virus is all around us, but these are not tough days, these are challenging days. These are some of the most challenging days we have ever known. The challenge of course is to stay fit and sane, so that you are ready for when things finally perk up. Think warm spring sunshine, a pint in one hand. You know you can do it, take it one day at a time.

From Littlebury Green I set off clockwise up the hill heading for the Royston road. I needed a breather by the time I got to the radio-tower at the top of the hill. Too much turkey and Christmas pud I suppose. I took a photo and thought, ‘I wonder why those aerials are all different shapes. I bet there are people for whom that is fascinating’. And sure, enough there are fans of radio-towers. You can buy a list of them or download the android app (mastdata), then visit them and tick them off. There are 2342 authentic ones around the country and websites for enthusiasts who add annotated photos and leave comments. I have included one such here.

My local tower. The thing I like most about it is that you know you are finally at the top of the hill.

Somebody is out there making your mobile phone work. Please be grateful in a number of ways.

LTE is ‘long term evolution’ for the uninitiated, a step in our journey to 5G.  My wife didn’t find anything about this surprising. She simply said, ‘I know, I have dated men like than’.

The route was like this:

It’s always a relief to encounter fellow club members on the ride. It means you have got the right day, no mean feat during lock-down. And that you are on the right route, very reassuring when you are as bad at routes as me. I was well into the ride and feeling pigeon poetry coming on before meeting Alan. Very soon Julia and Graham past me. A little later Lawrence and I cycled on, within the rules, for much of the rest of the trip.

Both Rod and Lawrence had close encounters with lorries carrying straw, which are a common hazard this time of year. Either they cover the road with slimy straw or retain some of it on their trailers and push you off the road instead. Likewise, Andrew had the customary 4 by 4 encounter.

Just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean it’s safe of course.  

Club members were able to avail themselves of a new charity box. We raised £60 which I think is commendable for a cold Monday.

We received doctor’s notes to be excused ‘physical education’ from Deborah, who planned to ride but was too tired after Samaritan’s work in the night and Martin with a case of digging-man’s-back. Brian had a good long ride which only overlapped with ours for a very few miles. Those attending in a more conventional sense were Andrew, Rod, Charles, Geoff, Graham, Alan, Lawrence, Maurice. It was a great pleasure to see you all and to know that you are all up for the ‘I’ll still be here after this bloody virus’ challenge.

Since I know some of you are parents with ‘returning’ off-spring I thought I would share with you the following story. It started with a mystery. My son who lives in the other half of the house, beyond the conservatory, would walk through into the main house, use the facilities then return to his domain. Puzzled I eventually enquired why, since there is a bathroom and toilet in his self-contained area. The reply was, ‘well sometimes it smells, and I am working all the time over there’. Yes, I thought that’s why you are an economist. That’s the way most big businesses behave.  

Next Thursday’s ride will be on Friday. As if I weren’t already sufficiently disorientated. By way of retaliation I finish with more pigeon poetry, which various club members have assured me is indeed, very bad. Well here you go, you deserve it.

Pigeon. Early life and career.

I grew up in the North with green fields aplenty
And won my first race by the time I was twenty
Talented they said, contact a pigeon fancier
With wind in my ears what I heard was ‘financier’

To London I went, fine place for a young pigeon
So much money to make, no time for religion
With pigeons of all types, race was no barrier
Did business with fantails, homing and carrier

I know making money is a pursuit sometimes vulgar
Still they built me a tall perch in a square called Trafalgar
With grey sky above me, some dreary Admiral below
Doing business was easy for this bird in the know

They came crying help! for my business is blighted
You’re a smart pigeon, so clever, farsighted 
Being able to see things from great elevation
I got rich doing deals between business and nation

I retired to Essex where the sky is much bluer
With big fields of grain and where people are fewer
Enjoying apple buds in the spring and grain in the fall
Being a healthy old pigeon is no trouble at all

3 replies on “Monday 11 Jan 2021. Virus Challenge”

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