Sunday, 7 August 2011
the (slightly) unbroken truth
after last month's shenanigans the mountain bikes have stayed firmly in the shed and it's been a ginger process of getting back on the road bike and seeing what my injured leg can do. all of which has been fine in the main despite not getting to see any of my mtb pals in an age and most likely another month before that starts happening again. i can cycle that much is true but i still can't get down on the bars going uphill without feeling an all too familiar tearing sensation in my right hip.
bothersome but not overcomeable. so, post the graeme obree advice, i get myself a carry freedom trailer, a device of sublime function that has also had the handy side effect that i very much doubt i will ever, ever use panniers again. i took it out last week for a test run (load = all my tools) and met these weegie guys escaping their environment for the loveliness of perthshire. not only could i keep up but they were well impressed by how little it impeded me on the downs or corners. you can feel it on the up - there's no dodging the extra kilos! - but i feel in this mode i should start to work on the belly (the groundwork for which i've put in) and wee beard that seems to characterise the touring cyclist. i may even ditch the clipless pedals and go old school!
so the plan for my return to form is a long half loop up from perth, braemar, cairngorms, down the great glen, around loch eil, down the coast of loch linnhe, into morvern, across to mull, over to oban and then down argyll to meet t at the end of the week in machrihanish for kayak and wave based fun. i do have a return via dunoon but no time to do it. it may be i get there quicker than planned if my leg holds up and i go easy but there's some choice hills along the way that may have a say in that!
today's the day i should've been away but, obviously, there's a severe weather warning and flooding so it looks like a day's delay and a sunday watching of some of t's 'creature feature' dvds on the couch. could be worse!
so what's been done during injury time? the jam making has been lovely and it's generally been berrytastic in the garden. the raspberries haven't done us so well this year (the wild season is just starting so we're not too bothered) but the red currants are a ruby red abundance. the beans and peas are now starting to really go for it so much beaniness in sage, tomato and olive oil. plus the first of the potatoes. we've had what maybe a bit of blight so they're all cut back and we've got all historical on the topic.
having comprehensively binned tv watching this month we've gotten all bookish. i have roasted thru a bunch of kenneth white essays while t has gone margaret atwood daft. she's wheeched thru oryx and drake (loved it), made plans on in the year of the flood, finished alias grace, done some of the poetry and is currently eyeing the blind assassin. all this after atwood's drawing of a bunny! me, my favourite read so far is zachary mason's lost books of the odyssey.
we've spent quite some time gearing up for the next set of outdooriness, keeping our motivation up over the last couple of days by having a good laugh watching some of alastair humphries videos (we highly recommend the tour of shetland on a brompton). we came across alastair via kate and the fact it turning out he was just down the road from us at strathpuffer and have been very taken with his notion of micro adventures. i put it to t that her recent paddle across loch lubnaig was just such. she retorted that it was no such thing. but you did something new and you faced your fears i said. because I WAS IN THE FRONT OF THE CANOE she asserted strongly and with feeling. no matter, the pair of us being out on the water, even if it was just for a short time and even, yes, even if she did have a panic attack it has been one of my top experiences of the year and i have no doubt she'll be back in the kayak in machrihanish (tho only if they really teeny-tiny waves!)