Bike before, Car now.

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, car, or bike?

When I was young I could cycle forty miles in three hours (including hills). We once did a hundred mile reliability trial in five and a half hours, we used a tandem. The one we rode on was two bikes welded together. One of the chain wheels was on back to front so a pedal unwound and fell off during the ride.

After I sustained an injury we got a car because my bike was damaged in the accident. It went in to be fixed and the shop lost it! I don’t  drive much or very far now. In fact I travel less than I did when we cycled. Most places we go to are only a few miles away unless we go on holiday. I drove less than a thousand miles last year, so I guess my carbon footprint must be low.

No, I don’t use the train. If you go anywhere from Stoke-on-Trent on the train it’s hard to find one that comes back late in the evening so you either can’t spend a long time away or you have to come back the next day. We are also bypassed by the West Coast main line I think…. Bad for a city! Bus? Yes sometimes, but it depends again if there is a bus back and the routes keep getting changed or cancelled. And planes? Are you kidding…. Too scared.

Waiting for coffee

Hubby yesterday, we had gone over to Middleport pottery so I could draw with the Stoke on Trent Urban Sketchers group. We decided to grab a cup of coffee but the cafe was very crowded and I’ve just got over a cold and didn’t want to catch another or worse. I decided to sit at one of the big round tables outside and so took the opportunity to draw my hubby and the canal and view behind him. The pointy thing about a third of the way in on the right is a church steeple but my ink brush wasn’t thin enough to get a point on it! Anyway I was pleased with the results.


Green leaves are good for you, full of vitamins and minerals…. Don’t over cook them. Cabbages are lovely but they do smell. My hubby says they have mercaptans, a compound with a hydrogen and sulphur compound in them and Di methyl and tri methyl sulphide compounds. Sulphur is one of the essential elements in DNA and RNA, I’m not sure which amino acid it is in but they include Adenine, Guanine, Cytosene, Thiamine in DNA and Urasyl in RNA. (I learned this from my O level biology).

Thinking of school reminds me of school dinners and the cabbage smell from the kitchens! The cabbage was cooked till it was a wet soggy mess… Not hard to chew, but not nice.

Some plants and animals actually live on Sulphur compounds deep in caves and deep in the oceans because there is no light for photosynthesis. They can have anaerobic metabolisms if there is a lack of oxygen. Then the caves they are in can become acidic.

This was part of a discussion with my hubby, he’s the scientist, it’s interesting to talk things through. I do find things fascinating. (if any of this is wrong please tell me in the comments, I am not a scientist).

Mothers Day

Gone but I remember you. It’s been a few years, but on Mother’s day I wish you were still here. I could tell you my news, how things had been. You would be stern but fair, or happy and pleased. No matter what, you would try and help with problems. You cared about things.

Mothers (and Fathers) who have passed away are still remembered. It’s always a tug on my heart when the day comes round and I can’t buy her flowers or get each of them a card, a thank you for their care and support. I will try to keep those memories, to keep her in my mind, today and in future.


Step through the portal and walk into another time, another continent perhaps?

That was the challenge she faced one night on the way home from visiting friends. The dark was split by a hole or tunnel glowing with blue white light and paved with what appeared to be stone. A gentle voice emanated from the apparition. ‘Choose your destiny’ it whispered, ‘travel in the fourth dimension to wherever you wish’.

She thought about it. Gift or curse?, ‘One Question’, she asked. ‘Can I return back to here, to now?’ ‘I cannot answer your question’ said the voice. ‘That would depend on if this time continuum continues in its present condition’.

‘Nah!’ she said, ‘not a chance’, and walked away…

Confidence, what’s that?

How would you rate your confidence level?

Yes, OK, I do have reasonable confidence levels after years of lacking it. I think you do become more confident as you get older and more experienced. But (and there is always a sneaky but in there) it can easily be knocked because I sometimes over think things, and then worry and anxiety knock my confidence.

Why? At various times I’ve been bullied in my life, and that makes you question what you are doing. It’s hard to give a robust explanation if the person bullying you is your manager. Then the ability to think things through is an advantage, to realise that you haven’t got it wrong, but it can knock your confidence.

Another thing is the feeling of imposter syndrome. When you get a job and then wonder why you feel confused by how you actually got there? So many responsibilities, and I’m doing it? Having to think up reasons why someone can get permission to do one thing, or be denied another? Get it right and the feeling of elation can give your confidence a boost.

But writing? Looking back at this I’m confident I’ve used too many clichés! Oh to be young with all the massive confidence people have these days? No, I think expecting everything to be wonderful all the time is a mistake. We have to learn from them to grow more confident.


A barge called Lothlorien

Holiday or daily living, canal barges offer accommodation ‘off the grid’. A friend of ours had one for about five years while he was living on his own. It was an old wooden boat, about seventy two foot long, and had a massive lifeboat engine powering it that was started with a huge starting handle like on an old car! It took many turns of the handle to fire up the engine.

His barge was a wooden Hull, so every year he took it into dry dock to recaulk the gaps between the wooden boards. If he didn’t the boats planks would let in water. It was lovely in the summer, but cold and damp in the winter, especially on foggy days.

The photo of a metal hulled boat was taken today on the Trent and Mersey canal.