Why I dislike off road cyclers…

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We decided to go to Cannock Chase for the day, and headed for the Wildlife Trust’s Visitor Centre.  Being Sunday it was packed with families, mainly playing in the playground on the swings and such.  So having chatted to the woman inside we aimed for Penkridge Bank by car.  It was clear that this walk was also favoured by bike riders.  The sun warmed the April air a treat, and we set off with our camera’s looking for adders curled up asleep amongst the bracken.  So, as we set off our eyes are scanning the undergrowth aside the path, but all I can see is discarded rubbish.  We continue the walk weaving through the trees, grasses and heather, I am looking for something of interest to photograph.  I like to take pictures of things that I think would take an interesting picture, sometimes arty, sometimes a different view of something historic.  The longer we walk the more despondent I felt.  The amount of rubbish increased the further we walked.

I am stunned at the way people fail to see what damage they do the area with their bad habits.  As we walk the pattern of litter becomes apparent.  Probably the biggest offenders to littering are young men off-road cycling.  Discarded plastic bottles of power drinks, empty Snickers wrappers (for quick energy intake) are littered along the path that they follow.  Summer has not yet covered up the rubbish, so it felt somewhat desolate, this public area of beauty.  When the get back after the miles riding this rough terrain, they strap their bikes onto the back of their sports cars, or load them into transit vans and leave without a second thought to what they have left behind.  Why should they, their goggled eyes are only facing the track in front and not the rubbish they discard, they are not there for the peace and natural beauty, they are only there to beat their personal best that their toned muscles can endure.

These are my days of enjoying myself, of forgetting my health problems, and of being stress free, experiencing a lovely, quiet life whilst I am able.  Having to see how little others care what they do upsets me.

Amongst the litter I saw plastic sheeting, 33 Captain Morgan bottles with the labels removed, Burger King coffee cup, burnt tyre, shattered glass, burnt wire, polystyrene burger box, carrier bags, curry bag, beer bottles, and sweet and crisp bags.  What is wrong with people?

Men on bicycles ride non-stop, they have a route and know how many miles it is that they ride, they drink water; power drinks and throw the bottles, when they need some energy there is nothing better than a chocolate bar such as Snickers with peanuts and chocolate.

A small selection of discarded rubbish

A small selection of discarded rubbish

This is less than half of what I captured on my camera.

We shall not be returning to this part of Cannock Chase but the area that is less frequented by bikers and walkers.

When my daughter was small, all of my pockets and bag were always full of rubbish ready to place in a bin when we saw one, or taken home.  She would not dream of dropping litter spoiling the countryside or towns and remains the same today as an adult.

The question remains, who brought these people up to think it is okay to drop litter wherever they feel like it?

Where have all the ditches gone?

ImageDriving around the countryside I was thinking about the recent floods that turned the fields into lakes forcing livestock into small corners of slightly higher ground. Lakes that have ruined the winter crops for the farmers.

We crossed the Swarkestone Causeway which was built in the 13th century to cross the river and its surrounding marshes. It is the longest stone bridge in England and is listed Grade I.  The marshes have been turned into fields over the years, but retain a large pond area at the end of each field near the bridge.  The ponds where the ducks swim and live amongst the  reeds are usually full.

This got me thinking about managing land and farming throughout history.  Have you noticed that the ditches have disappeared?  Hedgerows have been ripped out to increase the areas of crops and grazing.  I remember as a child ditches being waterways for water, we would play in ditches, jump across ditches, and accepted that there were ditches everywhere.  I have grown up with ditches being drainage channels, so how come farmers these days fail to maintain them.  It seems to me that farming has become ‘industrialized’, taken from the farmers own hands and given back to them with the ‘new methods’.  I know that I do not have the experience to judge how farming has moved away from the land towards textbook working, so can only state what I see and how I think about it.   Some hedges are not maintained and grow up into sparse bushes and trees that no longer form a firm boundary.  Ditches are no longer cleared each year allowing the water to drain, fill and flow.  I don’t know how much these things impact on waterlogged fields but maybe they help towards drainage.  I know the impact on wildlife has been high, with the loss of habitat.  Ponds, and ditches, have been part of our landscape for a few hundred years before land was taken from the commoners and given over to private ownership filling in the ditches to increase their productive area.  Ditches around alongside the hedges remained and were maintained.

How has modern farming changed the usability of the land in light of weather changes outside of our control?

A few ditches have been dredged but not enough, rivers have not been dredged and left to silt up so that water draining off the land raises the level of the rivers which burst their banks.

When did we stop managing the land that has been managed for hundreds of years.  Do we feel we know better than the simple farming people of history?

As I say, I these are only my observations and Imagethoughts without expertise.

Fibro body day

I have fibro body this week, my right shoulder is painful when I bend my head forward, I have pain in my wrists, my lower back and the end joints of my middle fingers.  All of my fingers are beginning to hurt when I bend my fingers into my palms, and the bend gets less as time goes on.  On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain is 8.5.  I have been very tired and have been asleep by 10pm then waking only once at 3.30am I slept heavily till morning, but when I wake up I am still tired, the night has not refreshed me.  On Wednesday I found Hydrotherapy too painful and left the pool early.  I think that I am having an extreme bout of Fibro at the moment but it will subside.

Last night Mr Hs said ‘We will get up early and go out to Birmingham Today we are going out to the Museum and to the camera shop’; Mr Hs would like to treat himself to a new camera when the boat sells.  It will make the difficulties of saying goodbye to an era that was his life-saver a positive thing to do.  However, this morning when I said we were going out, he asked me where we were going.  I find it hard to tell when someone is joking or not, and I especially do not ‘get’ Mr Hs’ dry joking sense of humour at times.  I wish people wouldn’t joke that way because it confuses me.  I think this has been a lifelong problem for me because it is a Dyspraxic train trait only now it feels more of a problem.  I encouraged him to think about it – use it or lose it; and eventually he said Birmingham, then that we needed coal.  If he is not faking not remembering then we have a problem between us because it would appear that his memory is worse than mine!

I am finding that as I write I cannot remember what I have written before, I don’t remember the details, the words, or the subject.  This means quite possibly and probably I may be repeating what I have already said because it would be ridiculous to re-read everything I have written each time I write some more.

Playing around with my photographs reminds me I need to lose some weight!

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Books

Image We walked a short way at Shugborough Estate the other day, It was a mixture of bright sunshine and dull sky.  It was bitter outside but still.

I think I may have migraine today I feel….slightly jittery inside, I have a headache and I feel nauseous.  I have had more lately than I have had for a while.

I was musing through my bookmarked sites this morning and spent some time on Goodreads.  I love books and have probably read thousands throughout my lifetime.  These days I find I am not able to read more than one book at a time, and when I do I have to keep reading it regularly at a steady pace because I forget who the characters are.  The complexity of the links between the characters become confusion if they are not explained when they are introduced.  I used to be able work out the relationships and connection between the characters which becomes frustrating because I am constantly having to re read parts to get them.  This is a shame as I have so many books lined up to read!  Currently I am reading The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti which promises to be an excellent story with lots of characters whose connections are important.  The names which are not English are unfamiliar to me which will make it slightly harder to remember, but I am excited to read this book.

Am I a pensioner now with the recent changes? who knows.

19/02/13 

Today I am 60.

I have washed up, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned and washed out the cats litter tray, I have undertaken the mammoth task of hoovering up all the paper cat litter bits that they walk out with them.  At 2.30pm we got wrapped up and armed with his new GPS gadget Mr Hs and I walked out of the marina and turned left to do some geocaching nearby.  Having got down onto the towpath we walked towards the first nearest cache, but it seems that the GPS system is so complicated that it was taking a while to understand.  Whilst Mr Hs was working out how accurate his GPS toy was I walked 300 metres further down the towpath and finally found my first cache, yippee!  I wrote the date and mrs hsg on the list and replaced it.  On to the next one back down the towpath, this time Mr Hs found it in a hole in a piece of concrete, dripping with water.  The walk back was torturous both Mr Hs and I had not walked this far for several months and joints and muscles were screaming that maybe we had walked too far!  The birdsong as we walked was stupendous, both noisy and beautiful announcing that spring is just around the corner.  I can’t wait to take the boat out knowing that there is no reason to hurry back.

18/02/13 – We got up early and trundled off to Burton Treatment Centre for my eye check up appointment, only to find I had somehow mixed up the days in my head and the appointment is next Monday.  I knew my appointment was on the 25th but simply did not seem to connect the day being the 18th.  Mr Hs said several times that he must remember to write this down to tell the memory clinic.  Ok wrong day, but it got us up out of bed and out.

Irritable..

IMG_6099Lately I notice that anything I say is not quite right and has be adjusted, or has to be embellishes with a greater knowledge than mine.  It irritates the hell out of me not because of Alzheimers but because it is belittling and I find it difficult to bite my tongue and not say anything rather than start a dialogue that would not be productive to either of us.  He is angry with me.

I have always found it hard to be impressed by people, I think that my childhood taught me that the wise words by Maya Angelou was the only thing that mattered, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

If someone tells me something new, or adds to what I have said I listen and enjoy the extra knowledge, but when someone challenges a simple statement to try and show that it was incorrect by changing the context, then I feel irritated.  Maybe the fact that I have developed these life changing illnesses frustrates or is the focus of disappointment.  When we attend the next appointment at the memory clinic, Mr Hs will be expected to record any changes…irritability, ‘oh yes’, he can say ‘she is more irritable’, and no one will ask me why.    But I can write it down.

Moving on….

Took my final note into work and let them know I am not coming back, they have replaced me already but hey, I don’t care.  It was lovely to see all my friends at work and catch up with them, I did not realise how much I was missed.    The bosses hugged me and talked about what I will be doing now, took my keys off me and left.  I hunted around for my possessions which some had been put into bin bags, some things just stuffed into the cupboard.  After I left the building I felt…free!

I have started to write my story/book, who knows whether it will be of interest to anyone, but I am enjoying spending an hour a day writing and as the snow lays heavy outside and there is nothing we need to go out for at present it gives me lots of time.

Mr Hs wants to go out as he hates just sitting about, as I am up and down cooking and making some cards I feel that I am not wasting my time.  Perhaps we need to get our new muckboots out of the car and go out….