The cycling is becoming more and more enjoyable since I purchased the new bike and I’ve been steadily clocking up the miles each week. I’ve also taken up a keen interest in the weather forecasts since the Cannondale arrived - if there is even the smallest chance of rain the old bike is fetched out of the garage for the day! So far I’ve managed a total of 415 rain-free miles on the new Bad Boy! My total distance for the year has now reached 1455 miles, so I’m well on target to reach my goal of 2500 miles by the end of the year. As well as cycling to work and back each day I’ve also been out for three longer rides since my last blog post. The first ride was a steady 20 miles, the second a more respectable 30 miles and then, last Sunday, I got a bit carried away and rode for 60 miles! As you can tell, I’m getting on rather well with the Cannondale!
A couple of weeks ago Lynda and I decided at the last minute to go and see The Bad Shepherds play in Derby. I’d never seen them before, only heard one track of theirs (via the internet) and didn’t really know what to expect. What a choice of gig for a Friday night! In fact, a great choice for ANY night! The Bad Shepherds are Andy Dinan (fiddle), Troy Donockley (Uillean pipes, cittern, whistles, vocals), Maartin Allcock (twelve string guitar, bass, vocals) and Adrian Edmondson (vocals and “trash mandolin”). The first three may not be too well known to many readers of this blog but Adrian Edmondson most certainly will be, as the violent punk rocker Vyvian in the 1980’s comedy series The Young Ones.
The band play a set that is made up of cover songs, almost entirely 70’s and 80’s punk songs. The twist - they play them all in a “folk music” style! Yes, it sounds strange, crazy even, BUT it works! The gig was brilliant and I’m already making plans to go and see The Bad Shepherds again soon!
The Bad Shepherds.
My birding has run out of fuel somewhat and I’ve “hit the wall”! Since we returned from the RSPB long weekend away I’ve only been out with my ’bins and ’scope twice within my 10-mile zone. The dreaded “been there, done that” syndrome I suffered with a few years ago has returned. I just can’t seem to get excited about chasing around after birds at the moment. I have added five more ticks to the year list though... Common Scoter at Foremark Reservoir on May 1st. Garden Warbler and Turtle Dove, again at Foremark but on May 24th and then later on the same day I added Garganey and Hobby at Willington. The “10-Mile List” now stands at 130 species. All I need to do over the next 6 months is find another 7 new species and I’ll have bettered last year's total. Sounds easy when you look at it like that but I reckon it’s going to be rather more challenging!
Yesterday, Lynda and I went with the Derby RSPB Group to Bempton and also Flamborough. The number of birds seen wasn’t too impressive but I didn’t mind because I got to see Puffins! No matter what level you enjoy birds at Puffins can never fail to make your day better, they’re THE comics of the bird world I reckon. I just love ’em!
A combination of the excellent viewing facilities and also the use of my ’scope meant that photos of the sea birds were reasonably easy to obtain. The results could have been even better if the weather had been kinder to us. Cloud and occasional rain showers tried to dampen things down a little.
Later in the week I’ll try and post a few photos from around the garden... just so Sarah can see what we’ve been up to out there so far this year! If I’m not too busy that is!