The Annual Cycle

Having managed to avoid most of the cyclists on the annual 50 mile fundraiser yesterday, whilst enjoying my longer, and mere 25 mile route, at the usual pace of the snail, I managed to ease the muscles with my double-loop circuit this morning, perhaps 15 miles or so, on a day without the intereference of wind.  I walked the last mile, having  caught up with a couple of friends out dog-walking, and enjoying each other’s company with both children safely delivered to school.  One may have thought that they would have been hand-in-hand in this rare moment of unencumbered togetherness, but no, as with me advancing years brings cycnicism.  Mr Dod-Walker was more intent in breaking in a new pair of wellies and do they had a muddy route ahead with a ford over the river.  New wellies straight from the box are just plain wrong.  But there is no excuse for Mrs Dog-Walker, just into her fourth decade and far too young for that cynical thing, surely romance is not all gone, especially at that age?  The younger pup is only a few days into his education and for another few weeks will be released after only three hours.  So pup-less time is still a novelty and each minute is precious.  No point therefore in wasting it with slush, even when you can walk together.  Still not be long until their time together is doubled,  but presumably the need to muck out stables will take priority.

After returning from my jaunt I picked up a couple of messages this morning, both assuming that I had ventured north alone, sans gamelawallah, over the weekend.  I did think about and a better weather forecast may have encouraged me along the way but by the time I had given up completely on The Jeweller melancholoy had set in, and it was an afternoon at the footie, for a rare Saturday league victory, and one away from home by the sea in Ayrshire, rueing the lack of dark glasses and sun hat.  Perhaps lonesome thoughts come with the persona, but I decided to save the limited funds earmarked for the venture, perhaps for better use later, perhaps alone.  Time methinks to refresh my queries on the writing weekends in Jerusalem or Istanbul.

Noticeable this morning though, was the start of the annual cycle.  The roads were busy, not with middle aged men in lycra, but with the the bluster of youth, down turning to feather, and the call of the sun.  Yes the swallows and the house martins were active, swooping from overhead wires to scrape inches above the tarmac, hurtling from hedgerows as wings and strength are prepared for the journey that lies ahead.  Suddenly the end of August closes in on us, and the house martins will depart for sun in the south.

In the garden the birds are very busy, though the usual crop of tits and finches seems to have been displaced by sparrows aplenty.  Fledglings are taking to the wing and each passing day sees more feather than fluff on the feeders.  On the ground the solitary chicken waits for dropped seeds, terrorising the cat that longs for a juvenile within pouncing range.  Like an old man on a bike, his elasticity is lone gone, and his range much reduced, evidenced by rabbits and moles aplenty, where once they hid.  It has long been time to replenish the chickens, and a new hutch awaits stock arriving, but the cat, now that’s a sore one, and he may not take kindly to being usurped by a youngster.

In these parts many are taking to breeding their cats, for there is money in kittens these days.  Gone are the days of giving a kitten a good home and relieving someone of the burden.  There are moggies aplenty, and litters of pups too, all commanding prices akin to a tank of petrol.  For the annual cycle seems to more of a bandwagon.  I think I’ll stick to my daily cycle, and to the wildlife all around.  Now, how do I get to Istanbul?

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