Monday, 14 July 2008

How to make friends and influence people

...well I can say it's not by taking her indoors for a bike ride. This weekend I should have been at an Arts and Crafts Fair selling my wares. But I wasn't and so bit of a loose weekend ahead. And so as with all good things lets begin with Sunday afternoon.

Below you find our hero and blogger, Border Reiver resting on a stone plinth, twixt Stalbridge and Sturminster Newton in the fair county of Dorset. Just 3 miles to go and the sinues were rearing to go. Her indoors wasn't quite as bouncy, though the lure of a chicken dinner to follow, had a miraculous effect on her stamina. Today though funny walks are in evident and pain where pain is hard to relieve apparently.

Let me take you back an hour or so before. Blowing the froth off a cup of tea while dunking a macaroon, I heard the immortal words, "lets go for a bike ride". Considering this was July 13th and that phrase hadn't been ushered before this year I ignored it. "Go on, blow up the tyres and lets do the Halter Path to Sturminster Newton"

Now BR in his day was a bit long distance cyclist, 25 miles after work, legs like egg-whisks was nothing unusual. All road cycling mind you, though I did go mountain biking once right across Cheviot and the Ingram Valley one weekend with two hardened mountain bikers and vowed never to do it again after standing at the top of a track and being at the bottom about 600 feet below the hill 5 minutes later. Don't use the brakes they said, just feel alive..... I felt so alive my life passed by me faster than the bracken and mud. I knew I was alive, my heart was pounding somewhere near my ears.

But after blowing up the tyres we were ready to head off into the hills.
Are you sure you wish to do the Halter Path? It will be muddy and difficult, and you're not used to cycling off tarmac. Yes I'll be fine......

Is it much further to more tarmac? Not far pet, just another mile. Lets look at this nice river and pretend we're having fun.

But eventually we reached our goal and Sturminster Mill, for a stop, before the 6 miles back home, to that roast chicken lunch.

But being on the bikes once again reinforced the amount of wildlife that can be seen on the move. Such as this Short Winged Conehead, Conocephalus dorsalis, and a very rough looking and worn Ringlet.

The ride also brought out a couple of Herons, and at one point a very playful weasel which would have provided a wonderful photo, if my memory card on the camera hadn't been full just at that point. Best laid plans and all that. And of course other insects, such as this hoverfly on Greater Knapweed and a seven spot ladybird on a cultivar in a garden.

Finally on the way home last night down Burrington Coombe I stopped to photo the wild goats, well to be accurate the re-introduced feral goats on the slopes. Not great photos as the light was fading, so I may post some more another day. Good to see them though, there to keep the scrub under check, and maintain the wild feel of the Coombe, which was the inspiration for the Hymn, "Rock of Ages"

So in the words of Pepys, "and so to bed"


  1. How funny you should go to Sturminster Mill. We have a great big painting of it in our hall that was owned by my husband's godfather (the previous owner of our house). My husband used to go fishing there as a small boy. I loved the bike ride (tell "her indoors" that I know exactly how she feels... bike saddles manage to touch places other things never touch! I'm sure she will know what I mean... very painful!) I bet it was great seeing the weasel. Shame you didn't get the photo... technology is a bugger sometimes! Jane

  2. I just had to pick myself up off the floor, I was laughing that hard. You are a riot!! I daresay you have her indoors in fits of laughter all the time, lol. Great pictures by the way.

  3. Lovely blog today...I'm beginning to feel sympathy for the long suffering Mrs B R !

  4. Hi Jane, Oldcrow and Goosey, her indoors may well agree with you, she has such a hard life with me.... but then I'm sure I'm worth it, ha ha.

    I've just had a thought while replying to your comments, one thing I've never looked at there are signs of Otter, which makes me think, another trip soon for just that purpose.