Sunday 30 April 2017

More Nature at the Cricket Ground

Another day, another practice match...

Unlike the poor first yeam yesterday, who had a friendly in freezing temperatures and a strong wind, we had it merely chilly, albeit with a wind blasting in that made it rather off putting to bowl in.

We batted first, and rather disappointed to be out in at 10 after my stunning 17 not out last week, I took in my customary walk around the ground to see what I might find.

What I was most pleased to find, in a blossoming tree at the castle side of the ground, was a pair of greenfinch pottling about. Greenfinch are only recovering slowly after the devastating plague that seemed to wipe out at least 70% of their numbers, so to find a hopefully nesting pair at our ground was fantastic.

I heard, but didn't see an oystercatcher, and other than fast moving geese and ducks  hurtling over riding on the winds, birds and especially raptors were having a day off. However, the ground plants like speedwell, ground ivy and white flowering nettle were attracting the odd bee. I wonder if I found some bugle at one point too.

So, after my nature expedition, I went back to the pavilion, and tried to convince a new Kiwi player to get out there and have a go. He's very handsome, built like a lifeguard and is first XV player at the rugby club.

Something tells me he'll be pretty good.

Anyway, I didn't get to dazzle with my batting, but I'll keep working on it.

Bowling wise I was lively, unlucky, and cursed by the full toss disease that bothered me last year. GRrrrrr!!!! I hate it! It makes me look hopeless!

And like so many things in my life, I have no idea what causes it.

No matter, our team won the game, there was tea, there was a BBQ, there was my fat stomach...All is ok!


All text and imagess are copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.04.17

Saturday 29 April 2017

ID these White Flowers?

Came across these yesterday while out on my usual run, a fast 7km in 40 minutes.

Consulting on twitter makes me think they might be Star of Bethlehems.

Well, I've had a busy sort of few days, running around trying to get bikes fixed and all sorts. My main bike is fixed but needs a bit of manual moving of he chain. I tried to fix my old and very crappy bike so I could ride it into work, terrible thing though it is, that punctured on the way bike but now my stepfather very kindly bought some bits for it as I've had to shell out 43 quid on mine.

Got another cricket warm up game tomorrow, went down to watch the first team play today and ran 25 laps round the ground while doing so - 10km in all - while being raced by other players' children.

There's been other pretties to see too, and next door's very cheeky cats are always entertaining...being caught in the garden and then rolling around on their backs to look cute so you don't tell them off.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.04.17

Thursday 27 April 2017

Out on my new Decathlon Kalenji Run Actives

Having done probably over 1000km and more likely 2000km on my old Kalenji trail runners, and my New Balance road shoes, I finally decided to get a new pair of running shoes.

It wasn't the distance they'd done that bothered me, rather 1) The smell and 2) That I've worn through the toes on both pairs.

The toe thing brings me on to one reason I'm a fan of Decathlon stuff - their £12.99 black trail running shoes enabled me to run my first marathon - off road at that - AND it took me longer to go through the toes on these than any other running shoe I've owned. It was therefore not much of a stretch to go for Decathlon shoes again.

I tend to think that a lot of sports gear is fetishised, that only really expensive kit is any good and "You get what you pay for" blah blah. Well, my commuting bike is a secondhand Decathlon Rockrider 5.1 from 2007 that cost me £45, my running stuff is mostly Decathlon kit, and I dress in Primark.

I am all the style! I am also pretty poor.

Basically I chose these Kalenji Run Active Grip Shoes because I figured as a road / trail hybrid they'd do for my main running routes, which are a mix of road and light trail in the main, until winter.

I've now taken them out on a mixture of terrain - road, dirt, gravel and farmland, and they are very comfortable - despite me only taking a 9 in normal shoes and 10 in trainers usually,  the 10.5 is fine for my running in although I find the fact that due to the company's continental origins, I presume, they only do UK half sizes! But the extra 0.5 gives you a margin for heat and swelling.

I even had a bit of wet and snow to test them out in as well. But not enough to test the waterproofing, which I'm guessing is pretty minimal.

Although the sole is not as hard as the Kalenji full on trail runners, it is still quite stiff, and the one problem I seemed to have that on wet tarmac, this leads to them feeling a little bit slippery. I wonder if that will ease as the "newness" of the sole is worn away.

They look pretty good, but they aren't going to win any prizes for styling.

At £23.99 they aren't as good value as the amazing Kalenji Ekiden Run One trail shoes (Amazing for £12.99) which now seem to be sold at £19.99 in a newer model, but they are still cheap for a shoe I suspect you could do a marathon in. They seem to have better laces than the Run Ones as well, which often struggled to stay done up for more than a mile without quadruple knotting them!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.04.17 and these opinions are my own. Decathlon haven't supplied me anything, although I wish they bloody well would. Rucksack? Bike? Come on guys!

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Amazing News - The Tour of Britain comes to Newark

I noticed on a tweet yesterday that the route of the TOur of Britain cycle race had been released, and had a look at the dinky little map to see if any of the stages came anywhere near here.

It was a sort of gradual zooming in to realisation as I looked at the undetailed map.

At first I thought "Yeah, that looks pretty close on the map. Might be coming to Nottingham again."

I then looked down to the list of stages beneath. "Stage 4 - Mansfield to Newark - 175km".

Holy Bloody Moly. I nearly died. Newark's largest ever sporting event. Ever. Olympic and world champions are going to be screaming through town, and then maybe going for a coffee at Rumbles Cafe (LOL). Owain Doull....Mark Cavendish...Greg van Avermaet....maybe even Peter Sagan!

Well we won't know the riders for a while yet, but if Mr Sagan, cycling's biggest superstar appears in Newark it will be amazing.

I've actually put a guide to what seems to be the final run in according to the route on the TOB website - not fixed yet apparently.

The race will come into town from Coddington direction - this means the Peleton will be screaming down 400m of 1 in 8 Beacon Hill at a speed of probably 70kmh AT LEAST. This is about 4.5km from the finish.

Over the railway bridge at the bottom, and it's a flat out kilmometre to a 80 degree left turn, this might be a bit tricky, before the race drags up the slight slope to the castle roundabout.

There then follows a short 200 metre run along Castlegate, before what looks like a very awkward right turn into Millgate. We are about 1.5 km from the finish here.

Halfway along Millgate the road begins to drag up again - but I can't see anyone being able to attack of that incline - before the race turns onto Farndon Road.

A quick blast over the River Devon, and you enter the finshing straight about 600 metres from the line.

I'm guessing the race village will be Sconce Park.

So excited! See you on September 6th.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.04.17

Monday 24 April 2017

Flies, Flowers, and a Shift into Cold

The temperature noticeably dropped sharply today, as forecast, and the odd splash of rain fell.

The skies have no cleared, and the gritters are out on the roads. In late April. I am still on holiday, and the cold weather will not keep me indoors. Although having to wait for a new bike wheel and trainers from Decathlon may do that tomorrow.

I had a 10km run today on my new usual route across the fields to Hawton village, on the way flushing up a very large and very pale looking buzzard. This one had a lot of pale markings on the upper wing, which I got a good view of as it struggled to gain height from the hedge in which it was sitting before I crashed by with my characteristic lack of subtlety.

Elsewhere there seems to be what I think is herb robert starting to emerge in damp areas, the cemetery is just full of flowers, and although there weren't many insects about in the cold a big drone fly gave me a good little photo opp as it sat on a leaf.

I still haven't done a big expedition this time off. The temperature and the state of my bike doesn't really allow this.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.04.17