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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Cat on a cold slate roof

“What the…???” Indeed. Fill in the blank. We were truly astonished as we screeched to a halt and stared upwards. I’ve always suspected that cats, like some of their owners, are stone cold crazy, and this - seen as we pedalled our way along the byways of Cumbria - is all the evidence I need.   

We had mixed weather along the Reivers Way (, a 170-mile cycle route that takes you from St Bees, Cumbria, to Tynemouth, through a stretch of sparsely inhabited country where bands of cattle-rustlers used to entertain themselves - and increase their stock - by raiding along the border. ‘Reiver’, I understand, is another word for ‘marauder’.

It has, of course, been a pretty dreadful summer, so we were pleased to have one unequivocally fine spell, which I celebrated by taking this picture of what we used to think of as a typically English summer’s day: a blue sky dotted with fair-weather cumulus.

That was about as good as it got - although, to be honest, most of the rain fell after we’d pitched our tents for the night, so we were able to enjoy one or two sunny lunchtime picnics - albeit in rather soggy meadows…

…or, as here, under a sheltering oak-tree

There’s a lot more to tell about the past week  - including my surprise day out at the Leeds Test Match (cricket, England vs South Africa) the day after we returned - but that can wait until tomorrow. Right now, the kit is drying out, the bikes need to be cleaned, oiled and put away for a few days, and I am bracing myself for… a script-writing job, a bout of promotional activity, a possible US trip - and an awful lot of weeding in the vegetable plot. Meanwhile, the memories go back in the box....

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