Saturday, 17 February 2018

Irises and Injury

So, yet again, most of the day was wasted thanks to a four hour afternoon sleep. I don't know why this is happening so much now. It was raining when I drfited off, and a beautiful late afternoon when I woke.

I felt I couldn't waste it, so off on a run I went, a lovely pre sunset one in a beautiful light, but I felt so horribly stiff and slow and chesty as well. I kept going. I kept chugging on gently but it never felt right and in the end just before 5km I felt my right calf go.

Grrrrr grrrr grrrrr. It happens every so often, I musn't have stretched enough before I ran.

Just feel a bit useless at the moment.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.02.18

Friday, 16 February 2018

Realistic Illustration

I'm no artist at all, but my sister tells me my sketches and doodles have a certain character, presumably in the same way that Stalin had a certain character. I've not done any proper sketching over the winter, largely as t's been rather colder than the last couple and my hands go purple and agonising as soon as the temperature drops below zero.

So, for your pleasure I give you these entirely lifelike and realistic illustrations of the birds I see every day.

I can only hope you like them.


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 16.02.18

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Glory of Raleigh

It is quite a fad, I think, but I think it is easy to see why people get seduced by the old style beauty of steel bicycles; their simple slim uncluttered frames, and the way their paint glitters more than it ever can on an aluminium or carbon frame.

Whenever I see a Raleigh bicycle of this nature, it always makes me feel proud - probably the greatest thing Nottingham ever produced. There was a fantastic documentary on BBC4 about the history of the company and its Nottingham factory, and the skilled tradesmen who worked there. I love the heron logo. I love that these bicycles once ruled the world from this county.

So, it gives me great joy to see old Raleigh bicycles at work. Even if leaving a steel bike out in the rain is a bit of a heartbreaker.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.02.18

Monday, 12 February 2018

Just a Twilight Run

Haven't done any deep twilight runs this winter - I haven't run enough, and usually when I have a 4 hour sleep in the afternoon as I did again today, I'm normally too exhausted to move.

Today however, I managed a 5km gentle jaunt through a dark yet not scary cemetery, along a violetly reflective lake dotted with the featureless silhouettes of waterfowl.

It was very quiet, very cold, and very peaceful.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.02.18

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Doh a Deer...

I was out walking along the cycle path, a couple pf miles out of town by the old British Gypsum place which now seems to be home to a French company making washbasins and toilets for the luxury market. I had just gone past the little section of woodland where occasionally Polish folk set up little encampments and tents.

No-one there at the moment, but the rubbish and filth still is, sadly. 

I had decided against crossing the land where a certain member of a certain community had threatened me last year - I could see there was a bonfire and that someone might be around. So I took the turn off onto the road.

I had been listening to Desert Island Discs where the guest, a mixed race composer and double bassist had been of how her Nigerian father had first taught her music by singing "Twinkle Twinkle" at her, and that she had then got into "The Sound of Music" in a big way, and that would be her next choice.

And right at the moment that Julie Andrews sang "Doh a deer, a female deer" a female muntjack deer, about the size of an alsation dog, suddenly skittered across the path directly in front of me, about 5 metres away!

I thought it might have been a roe deer at first, but the longer flashing white tail rather than white bum of the roe indicated it was a muntjac, a species I've never seen before. 

I was thrilled to see it - they've been reported in town before but I've never seen one.

It topped even seeing three egrets on the BLue Lake now, and 6 goosander as well!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.02.18

Saturday, 10 February 2018

The Castle where King John Died

I've had another of my exhausted low energy Saturdays - too late out of bed, too slow to get moving, too lazy to run. A write off day, I suppose, the sort of day where I get really angry with myself for wasting it. However, it was so grey and cold, I don't think there was much to miss.

I did manage to attempt to sell the old retro tabletop games consoles I had. They both worked after 35 years - dear old Scramble and Firefox F7 - but they weren't in the best nick. One of them had had small sisterly hands scratching on the screen, which is a pity because as the rest of the console was in good working order means that she had reduced its potential value from forty pounds to zero. Firefox didn't get very much either, but I've not got the skills to fix them and eBay them myself.

They are gone for pennies. Doesn't matter, I need to get rid of stuff.

While I was waiting for the valuation, I took myself down the castle to see if there was anything I hadn't seen before. They've put a few new signs up, clarifying that King John died here because he had a very draughty bedroom with a profound lack of floor. There was also the old library, now a wedding venue with a noble past as a building provided by a philanthropist.

I love libraries. Free books! Who can't love that.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 10.02.18

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Canoe Funs

You do see plenty of canoeing in town...well not in town exactly, that would be silly, but on the river in town. Mainly however, they are to be found over the other side of the stone bridge playing in the rough water by the weir.

This time, they were playing on the castle side of Millgate bridge, and playing was the word. They were practicing fancy ways of entering the water, which is why they were all on land, rather than in the waer when I first saw them.

One chap entered the water with a dramatic 360 roll and an enormous splash. Another canoeist nosed into the water like a dying gannet.

Above on the bridge, a small crowd cheered encouragement. It all looked tremendous fun, but tremendously cold. Rolling into the water looked less my idea of a good time and more my idea of hypothermia crossed with Weil's disease.

Think I will stick to running and cycling.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.02.18

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Rest of the Weekend Pictorial

So, aside from the bird shots, I was able to deploy my mobile phone camera to take shots of the stuff less likely to run or fly away.

The fungus was particularly fascinating, to come across the vivid orange colour sticking up from a log next to the lake was really quite something, thought it was a rotting piece of fruit to start with.

The bad weather has put a bit of a hold on the crocuses, but soon the familiar purple and white carpets will start reappearing on the cemetery lawns. The aconite is now at peak, but it won't last long. Already one or two of the flowers are starting to go over.

The great tits were feeding off my fat ball feeder, and being incredibly loud in general first thing - the repetitive call of "DEEEEE-DOOOO" ringing out over the garden.

Did a 6.5km run today, including a 27.50 5km, but my chest felt as tight as anything in the cold.


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 05.02.18

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Great Birds Today!

So, a bright if very cold day, a long walk to be had. I wasn't going to make the mistake I made last time and forget my camera, my proper camera, my big camera, my bridge camera.

It was very worth it. There were a lot of birds at the cemetery and on the Blue Lake today. 30-50 very busy redwing, a goldcrest feeding off a gravestone, the new little egret on its island, and a cormorant sailing by.

The flowers were beautiful too, but more of those later. I'm just glad I've got some ok, if as ever rather soft looking bird shots.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.02.18