Categories
Uncategorized

Ignorance is bliss

In the handmade gaps within everyday-life, I’ve recently been in Africa, both ancient and modern.  I’ve been escaping into another world created by Wilbur Smith.  I’ve read most of his books, OK they may be a tad shallow but hey they’re entertaining and exciting.  (I s’pose his reads are rather like a dream, detailed and gripping, but without sub-conscious / substance…  I had a corker last night, but that’s another story).  I am still away with the pharies but hope to finish this current dalliance soon.

While commuting recently, passions were again stirred (*trying to not get agitated again*) by other road-users’ *@%”$* ignorance.  As you’re probably aware it was recently very foggy –  the number of vehicles without lights on at 8am on fog-bound country roads was ridiculous!  Combine that with people driving while speaking on handheld phones, again on fog-bound country bends – ignorant!  I’m not going to get into the 5% of vehicles that don’t allow due-room for cyclists while passing them – inconsiderate and dangerous.  Unless I’m mistaken, ignorance is a key trait here.
I have recently been pricked by the proverb “ignorance is bliss” and (again) the idea of “opiates” (in the sense of anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the feelings).
Indeed, we all too readily ignore that which is beyond our perception or conception. We all enjoy a moment of bliss?
I believe the phrase “ignorance is bliss” originates from eighteenth-century poet Thomas Gray’s “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College”  where he plays with ideas of innocence and adulthood…   “Where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise.’”
Other learned quotations:
“The happiest life consists in ignorance, Before you learn to grieve and to rejoice.”
“From ignorance our comfort flows, The only wretched are the wise.”
“Since knowledge is but sorrow’s spy, ‘Twere better not to know.”

I find that music, food, art, knowledge and other opiates  (as well as coffee and cheese) can all be stimulating and creative, however they can also act as a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance.

The ignorant might excuse themselves with the notion of innocence?

Ignorant? innocent? bliss? contentment? enchantment? joy? beatitude? well-being…

Heaven help us all!?

Categories
Uncategorized

Time to snap?

Had to stop and snap the sunrise.

Thankfully the sun rises (or the UK turns in view of the sun) each morning. It also sets equally regular.

Here in the UK, energy is given and time to rest is given. The weather and clouds might confuse matters at time but it’s still there.

It was once written:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to   be born   and a time to   die
   a time to   plant   and a time to   uproot
a time to   kill   and a time to   heal
   a time to   tear down   and a time to   build
a time to   weep   and a time to   laugh
   a time to   mourn   and a time to   dance
a time to   scatter stones   and a time to   gather   them, 
   a time to   embrace   and a time to   refrain   from embracing, 
a time to   search   and a time to   give up
   a time to   keep   and a time to   throw away
a time to   tear   and a time to   mend
   a time to   be silent   and a time to   speak
a time to   love   and a time to   hate
   a time for   war   and a time for   peace..

Hummm….

Categories
Uncategorized

I was lost, but now am found

“I was lost, but now am found” said my banana.
(pronounced in the Cornish manner ba-na-na, with the ‘a’ as in jam)

The mystery of the lost banana was solved this morning, as mid-commute I spotted it lost and forlorn on the wayside. It must have dropped out of my pannier yesterday!  I got to work convinced that I packed it and was baffled by its desertion.

I muse that:

We guide our baggage through both well and less travelled pathways…

We believe that we packed the baggage, we control the tiller… and know the map…

We are ‘guided’ by soft hegemony and cultural info-tainment…

But still our banana’s can fall from our backpacks and confound, amaze and hopefully cause us to reassess our predicament?

However, I am still blind I see.

PS. Today’s banana was energizing.

15-facts-you-probably-didn’t-know-about-bananas

Categories
Uncategorized

Cycling with Endomondo again…

So, 2012… here we go again, WET and WINDY this morning.
Ride home not too bad: cycling 6.92 miles in 31m:22s

via My Cycle Workout.

Which way would you go? And why?

On my commute yesterday, reluctantly, I had reason to take another trip through suburban leicester rather than my usual rural route, as the crow (or barn owl) flies.
You’ll be aware of my previous reaction to the experience of this specific suburban cycling route.  However, having ridden this route again, I still have the same opinions…
But I was led to think….


In life generally, I guess it’s my nature to generally take the easier more pleasurable option. Surely would it not be madness not to?

My usual choice, is relatively comfortable; I enjoy flowing familiarity with negligible hurdles and man-made encounters. It is raw, spatial and rich in the spirit of something ‘natural’ (?)… It’s relatively smooth and takes me where I intend to go… skirting intriguing worlds and lives with little incident… yes, it does have has it’s unforeseen encounters but it’s a an enjoyable option.

An alternative choice is a way populated with life in abundance. Much of what you’ll find is in either in need of care and attention, badly designed, or both. It’s past is evident, daily life and common culture are stamped on walls and faces. You’ll encounter raw humanity… ‘warts and all’, but also what you find is rich in living lives, both sweet and sour.

Do Robert Frost’s thoughts apply? Challenge? Avoidance? Survival? Common Sense?


Which way would you go? And why?

Categories
Uncategorized

Look local first!

After unsuccessfully visiting two larger city cycle shops this morning, I popped into the ‘small on the outside, big on the inside’ local town shop. I was after a quality chargeable front light for my bike – for commuting daily using unlit country lanes.
It’s fine immersing yourself in the supposedly ‘this is what you need, ‘cos this is want everyone else has’ on the interweb, but perhaps ‘real’ life is more… real, amenable, alive…?

  • The first large Half-auto store I passed; which adversities “For everything to do with bikes…”; didn’t have ANY rechargeable lights and what it had was relatively basic and arguably not suitable.
  • The second shop (an old standard of Nottingham origins) was helpful and informative and although they could order some (can’t we call) didn’t stock ANY rechargeable lights, and again what it had was relatively basic and arguably not suitable.
  • Embarrassingly, my last choice, because I was passing on the way home, (and to be honest I thought it was a big ask for a small shop to stock a large range of accessories) to my surprise had just the thing!

They were welcoming, knowledgable and helpful.
The Serfas ‘True 250’ is just what I was looking for. 


The spec and the price was just right – and having compared it’s credentials further I’m very pleased with it. It was a great to be able to see and try a range of options before I bought.


Thanks Cyclops, I had little faith but next time ‘Cyclops Cycles’ 
Cyclopscycles.co.uk in Syston will be my first choice.

Categories
Bike Uncategorized

A good old crusty loaf!!

With the challenge set after tweeting GBBO’s Holly a fellow Leicestershirianite(?), I set to bashing some dough round!

A good old crusty loaf!
As I pummelled the dough I was reminded of the muppet in the white van that terrorised me on the way home the other day.
I was in ‘my space’ on the road, with a car in front of me, and they (the white van) seemed to have had a bad day and were not happy (i guess) that I was in front of them? Sor-rry! Revving their engine and blasting their horn behind me, they followed me for a good 900 yards unable to get by. They did eventually overtake me when there was room, and broke infront of me as if to make a point. It left me a tad shaken and seriously wondering if all this cycling malarky was worth it!?
Yes, on the way home a few dozen drivers race-off accelerating away like missled lemmings after being inconvenienced for 10 seconds! Oh I do hope they get there in time!!
But cycling IS worth the occasional encounter with a ready-sliced roadster! Life is worth living. Breath is worth breathing! Time is worth spending! Bread is worth cutting!
I do wonder why so many people are in such a rush to get somewhere? Life’s too short to get their early!
Driving home from work used to take me 25 minutes. Riding takes me 35.
OK some may think I’m a bit of a crusty old loaf for cycling to work but take if from me – it tastes good!!!
Ta Holly!

Velocipeding

I have been cycling to & fro’ work now week-dailysince March, 7 miles each way.
My cycling log

http://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=tMNs2h6sPHg&width=950&height=600

At rough tally, I guess I’ve saved 14 miles of fuel a daythat’s ~£1.35×2 for a 7mpl car. That’s ~£54 a month. Hummm…  I have bought a bike & various bits & pieces,which really needs a year of cycling to offset. But the above is still a nicemonthly fuel saving, and extra exercise costs (time & money) not are required.

Health benefits: perhaps immeasurable – Last year I toyed with swimming twice a week at lunch times but although initially enjoyable after 6-7 months the novelty wore off (you don’t get a nice view and you can’t listen to podcasts while swimming). Generally I encountered as little exercise as possible. Now that I cycle, I see good aerobic activity twice a day. The daily endorphin hits are invaluable. The dailyexperience is arguably also more constructive than a similar trip in a car/bus and cerebrally, thoughts and feelings get a more intense workout. The experience is arguably exhilarating and elevating,depending on your psychological position/attitude in the road-spacesocial-class struggle – this does need to be kept in check.
Today we had a beautiful fresh morning for the journey in – I’ve started to take aslightly easier pace (today helped by ‘Hothouse Flowers’ in the headset)… and when it’s dry I’m wearing less clothing, this helps with the ‘afterglow’ when I reach my destination. Less sweat! Thanks Dave.
However, the commute home last night… drenchchchchched!  Greatriding in the rain rain rain really is invigorating, but I ended up a drowned rat. Water/windproof top kept mytorso dry but my head, shoes, socks and longcycle-trousers absolutely sodden. Fun fun!