These days we are better insulated. Our homes are warmer and we can pile on cold-defying clothes. We can enjoy the mercurial landscape, the frosty tableaux, the rural hoar frost ..... the floods.
I ventured out on the bike recently for a 20 mile spin - it looked pleasant enough - a hint of sunshine even - but the wind... oh my lord - it was fierce. A roaring gale, powerful enough to fell trees and send water the wrong way - up stream. The sky was the colour of fresh liver as I headed out on my usual route - but with an additional loop to take in the climb up to Bosworth. The wind was unrelenting - vicious, strong and forceful. It was laughable how it was able to hold me back, despite all my efforts and pressure on the pedals I couldn't move forward. The effect, combined with the cold left my fingers and feet numb.
As I struggled, laboured, up into Newton Burgoland I heard a dull crash - I thought it might be a car crash or a tree falling - as I approached the junction to Swepstone I could see what it was - the fingerpost had been blown over, the earth at the base black, rich and fresh. It sat, wedged on the grassy bank - I paused to take a photo before soldiering on.
|The fallen sign|
As I struggle back up the final hill towards home I think about those men in the trenches, on the front line, the mud, the stench, the death. My generation has had it easy really. Suddenly the ride seems different. I might be struggling, hurting, tired - but it could be worse.