Cycling woes, Olympics are over and agapanthus

There are many joys of cycling – the fresh air, the lush countryside of East Lothian, where the harvest has just started, and making it up steep hills. On the downside, there is a Sod’s Law of cycling which I recently proved to be correct i.e. if there is going to be a downpour on your cycle ride, it will happen at the furthest point in your cycle. Last week, I set off in the dry, although there was a haar coming in off the sea. I got to Cockburnspath (pr Co-burnspath or Co-path), about 18k into my route and the rain came down – serious rain, taking no prisoners. I was soaked in one minute, with a small river falling off my helmet. At least it was warm(ish) rain. A few days later, I was out to do some proper hills and I had cycled up through the bonnie village of Garvald, then up a steep hill to Nunraw Abbey, down the other side and, half way up the next steep hill – my chain broke. I don’t have a repair tool, so I phoned my wife to come and get me, once I’d  walked up to the top of the hill to get a signal. Very annoying – especially as I was doing very well on the hills and had a few more to do.

So, farewell the 2012 Olympics in London – some very exciting events at the cycling and athletics, some so called sports which mainly consisted of loud music and an audience of posers (Grumpy old man’s views?) Some great photos e.g. Graeme Robertson’s Guardian pictures. There seems to be no doubt that this has made the UK a happier place for a while, but claims of a sporting legacy i.e. and increase in people participating in sport seem exaggerated.

Agapanthus – from the Greek meaning the flower of love – is a favourite plant of mine. The picture below shows the beautiful blue colour of the flower buds and it’s an outstanding plant in bud and in full flower. This South African import is now a lot more common in the UK than it used to be. It’s very common in Australia. This photo of the Agapanthus was taken at the National Trust’s Polesden Lacey property on my visit to the Olympics. The 2nd photo shows the front of the house under a partly louring sky and there are also extensive grounds, and real countryside walks on the property.


Polesden Lacey


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