Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Cycling

Up to 13,266.5 plus a 1.7 mile drop-out one morning, meaning 327.3 + 1.7 = 329 miles in generally dry, often very mild, but occasionally windy weather. Well up on last year's 255.1, and not just because there's an extra mile or so on the commute, at least on the more pleasant morning route. And last Monday, I even did the long route via Dry Drayton (which was flooded) and Oakington.

Just like last year, the mud and grime (especially that picked up when I'd hoped that the bridleway would be frozen solid, but it wasn't -- at least the forging through the flood washed a lot of it away) have chewed through the chain I put on at the start of December, so that will need replacing next weekend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Basking in October sunshine

At her annual check-up in October, our old cat Jemima had lost weight over the year; not too surprising for a cat in her teens -- so when she pestered for more food, I was happy to indulge her, and let her scavenge our left-overs as well. Having never been a particularly sociable cat, she would at last come and purr aggressively at me for treats when I was busy in the kitchen -- and at the start of last month, when I was feeling unwell, and had made baked potato with butter and cheese as an emollient meal for a dodgy tummy, she even climbed on the bed and tried to steal my dinner from the plate.

Then on Boxing Day, I found her collapsed by the living room radiator, and wasn't sure if she'd make it through the night. But in the morning she had recovered enough to wobble out to the pond for a drink, and eat a little, so when a stop-over at the vets for rehydration had seemed to restore her equilibrium, and they couldn't find anything obvious like kidney or thyroid, so we were given steroids for her to take, and a bag of kibble for delicate stomachs, which she appreciated greatly.

Ten days of that later, she was perking up, and gaining weight, and the vet was pleased with her progress. Then she started to get absent-minded in the middle of her meals and on Sunday morning, after the normal morning care call for my wife, I went downstairs to get everyone breakfast -- and she was nowhere to be found. At that point I thought she had decided it was her time, and had gone out to find somewhere to curl up in, out of the way.

Then Monday morning, she was there in the living room, standing by the radiator, before going to curl up in her basket. By the end of the evening, she was in an uncomfortable looking twisted pose, trying to groom herself, and not making a good job of it. So this morning I called the vets, and took her in. I'm not sure how much ahead of nature the intervention came, but it would have eased her passage.

A few years ago

She outlasted her brother by a decade, but was never the people cat he was. The only times I ever could touch her were on the vet's examination table, or if, in later years, she was seriously fast asleep, and then would merely tolerate being stroked or brushed. Still, she was a mighty hunter, taking squirrels in her youth and pigeons until just a few years ago.

Friday, January 01, 2016

December/Year-End cycling

With the continuing wet and, more often, very windy weather, not a great month -- little inclination to go out and make miles during the holiday week. The year ended with only the winter bike getting used (despite a catastrophic rear-wheel failure at the start of the month), so the numbers were 12939.2, 2689.7 and 6.1 giving 230.5 for the month.

Comparing the start-of-year numbers 11040.7, 890.7 and N/A, that gives 3703.6 miles metered on my bikes, plus 374.1 off-meter for a total of 4077.7 miles, about 150 miles down on last year; hit partly by worse weather over the summer, and so no long rides for the fun of it in July or August because the good weather meant catching up in the garden instead, and less cycle-commuting in the last few weeks of the year due to stormy weather.

And if I did about 100 miles more on the winter/shopping bike, that probably has to do with the shopping being year-round.