Sunday, 18 October 2020

Coffee, cake and donkeys

tanhouse farm donkeys

I have been out on the mountain bike during the week, the roads are so rough, it isn't pleasant on the road bike.

On Wednesday the oven partially packed up. The fan heater failed and tripped the main house circuit breaker. I reset it and the oven appeared to start cooking again. I returned thirty minutes later to find cold food; the fan was working, but no heat. I cooked using using normal, slower, mode. This meant I went out for my ride later. Less traffic but very dark in some parts. I went a bit off-road to really test my light (Cycliq 12). 

The lowest power setting was just enough for me, but not for the camera. Just a dull circle of light was picked up by the sensor. Under streetlights it was better, but the quality was still poor. It was set to its lowest resolution, for the next ride I changed both settings to high.


I think it did pretty well, to me it seemed brighter, certainly enough to see the path ahead.

Saturday was a return to the road bike, with Oxted CC. It was lead by a pair on a tandem. It may be slower going up hill, but it quickly picks up speed going down.

tan house farm tandem

We went to Tanhouse Farm; they have donkeys. Food and drink was served from a small cabin, and a barn had been converted to provide very spacious seating.

Phil arrived at the Tatsfield bus stop to meet Matt and I on Sunday. He spoilt us again; revealing homemade French fancies. Not made by him, I must add. His daughter had been inspired by Bake Off. Very tasty they were.

French fancies at tatsfield bus stop


Sunday, 11 October 2020

Where have all the people gone?

Where have all the people gone
 
My photography is going in a new direction.

I feel I am moving away from portraits and people photography in general. This year I did a family commission, a studio shoot in March, and one in August.  

A project with Janice and Saskia is moving along, and a plan for a shoot with Eddy motorcycle consultants is in its early stages.

I have focused instead on the photography for my posts. I think of an idea; type away at it during the week and the challenge is to produce an interesting picture to head the page. And maybe some from the rides I have done, this is getting more difficult. A limited number of locations and routes is testing my creativity. A positive spin would be that it's also pushing me to ride to new places, and think differently.

I might investigate the genre of architectural street: gritty black and white, light and dark, shapes.

I find it hard to translate the vision I have to the camera. It will come with practice.

A colleague at work - Xavier - is also an avid photographer; we are now challenging each other to become more creative. I set the first subject, the title of this post. His reply was colour contrast. I haven't found the target for my camera yet.

Would my readers like to suggest a topic?


Sunday, 4 October 2020

Gone cycling

Gone cycling

I watched the last episode of Gone Fishing with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse last week, and I thought of Matt and I sat at various bus stops, churchyards and cafes. Drinking tea is our angling.

We don't really care what people think of us, or if they understand the simple pleasure of meeting every week. 

Sometimes we talk serious subjects, almost nothing, stupid topics, or laugh with and at each other.

We have differing views on somethings, agree on others, change our minds or just agree to disagree.

I hope we never take the meetings for granted. 

I must admit it took a little time to readjust after they started again, I was use to solo bike rides. Stopping and talking was unusual.

At first I couldn't settle down, I don't know why but I was eager to get on the bike again. I think maybe because I always had in my mind needing to get back for Marcia. The carers are visiting again, so I can slow down.

I'm not sure if we'll go back to meeting at the green and cycling together to our tea drinking location, or if it will be solo rides to the designated place. Either seems to work, and doesn't feel odd.

Doing our own thing feels okay, Saturday we ride alone most of the time, coming together on Sunday. 

Lining up group rides give me extra to look forward to, life is still fairly solitary. 

Two bad days this week.

dormant farming
Phone got wet and died during this ride.

into the woods 
Fell off bike after this pic was taken, causing a stiff hip
 
coffee at the velo barn
A cafe and a bike shop.

Avoided the worst of the rain on Saturday, for a coffee and slice of cake at the Velo Barn near Westerham.

The storm stepped up a level on Sunday, Matt and I decided to ride routes local to our houses rather than meet as arranged. I did just over ten miles of the circuit I do after work. My hands were freezing, hopefully the gloves I have on order will be the last piece of the puzzle needed to make winter riding comfortable