European crime fiction, back on the mountain bike, and autumn leaves and seas

For those of you who enjoy crime fiction, as I do, there’s a wee treat available for us at the moment. It comes in two versions. Firstly, a downloadable (worldwide) series on Radio 4 – don’t do what I did and download the episodes from the bottom – just do the Omnibus download. Secondly, a very good article by Mark Lawson in The Guardian at the weekend, which looks at crime fiction ” From Holmes and Poirot to Montalbano and the rise of Scandi-noir”. So, if you’ve restricted your crime fiction to North America e.g. George Pelecanos (one of my favourites) or Australia e.g. Peter Temple (another favourite) then widen your horizons.

Now that autumn is nearly gone, it’s back on the mountain bike on a Saturday morning at 8am for me and my cycling mates. Gone is the light road bike on which you can glide up hills and zip along the flat road. Mountain bikes are heavier and sturdier, and this is what you need when you go offroad. As I’ve said before, here in Scotland, we have open access to farm tracks, hillsides and routes created recently for windfarms. When you go off road, you expect to go slower and to feel the drag of grass, earth, stone and mud under your wheels, which are twice the size of your road bike. Of course, you get stuck in a rutted farm track and your bike slides one way and you go the other. You get back on again and cycle – if you can. Great stuff.

The autumn leaves are now at their peak of dazzling colour in this part of the world. Of course, it won’t last. A hard frost and a stiff wind will strip the trees of the last leaves which desperately hang on and display their dying splendour. The first photo below shows Edinburgh on a misty autumn day, with the trees desperately trying to lift the gloom. the 2nd photo was taken on a sunnier day at Gifford, a village about 13 miles (21K) from Dunbar. We also get high tides at this time of the year and there is nothing better than to watch the sparkling white waves rush to the shore and contrast with the very blue sea. The 3rd photo shows the high tide taken from the back of our house. More on my Photopeach page – use full screen at bottom right for best effect. (Winterfield promenade is on the other side of Dunbar from our house. The balustrade is a recent addition to our house).

A misty autumn day in Edinburgh

Autumn in Gifford

High tide in Dunbar


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