Morality of cycling, kittiwakes and laugh out loud radio

Now this may seem like an unnecessary exercise in navel gazing, but I was out on my bike and listening to the sociology orientated Thinking Allowed podcast (available worldwide and highly recommended), and the topic was the Morality of Cycling. Intriguing – and diverting as this was a hilly ride – what could it be about? The answer was that a study was done about cycling in London and there were 2 important findings. Firstly, in terms of morality, almost everyone interview agree that cycling was a very positive activity – good for the body, mind and possibly the soul. So far so good, I’m thinking, as I reach the crest of a hill. Hold on James – the second finding was that cyclists were good for, well … not very much. Most respondents thought that cyclists were over aggressive, rude and (here’s the morality) rule breakers e.g. ignoring traffic signals. The obvious answer would appear to have cycling but no cyclists. I’m not sure that people in the country lanes I travel would agree, as most give a friendly wave and – in the current awful weather we’ve had here recently – have a look of astonishment/pity/wonder.

Kittiwakes have featured before on this blog and my annual attempt to capture the perfect parent and child (I’d say Madonna but I can’t tell a female from a male kittiwake) picture at Dunbar Harbour continues. I’ve put in 2 pictures from those taken last week below. When I was growing up in Dunbar, you could climb up to the top of the castle ruins and get up close to the kittiwake nest. Nowadays, the castle steps are closed for health and safety reasons, so so I clamber up the railings to get as close as I can -without threatening the birds -and use my extra zoom lens.

One of my favourite radio programmes – again available worldwide – is I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. A warning – this may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you like puns and wacky definitions, this may appeal. An example: At the beginning of the last show to which I listened, there was a reference to a conference in the 1200s to decide a new calendar. It was decided to have 365 units of 24 hours in a year, but the committee could not decide what to call the 24 hours. They debated for 3 weeks but still could not decide, so in the end they decided to call it a day!

Kittiwakes at Dunbar Harbour

Kittiwake chick


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