7.30am I have fed the scrapings from morning porridge onto the grass for the blackbirds. A task now done in the dark, rattling the spoon and calling out to them. I need to start the walk now to be in place for the geese moving from their roost. Not quite 2’c and the rain is hitting my coat and hat with an icy ping. Just a few miles away on our local mountains this is the first snow of the year.
I am not quite in the place I wanted to be when the first skein can be heard. I do a quick count, 100. The next skein stretches horizon to horizon and quickly another row of V’s. There are thousands of geese now. I am too slow to photograph them or record their calls but you never do it justice so best left for the zen camera. Yesterday would have been amazing, clear yet dark enough for a nail thin sliver of moon and venus together in the south. Today is going to be one of those days that never gets light.
It is now almost 6 weeks since my operation and I have managed 3 rides on the bike so far. I had set myself two targets, one of which I missed. To climb our highest mountain, the one we can see from the window of our home and yet have not even been to in the 2 years we have lived here. The chosen day was miserable enough to not even try the reserve walk up Screel Hill, the hill that overlooks us. A small hill, but so close to the coast as to dominate the view for miles. Today you could not see it. So, we borrowed a dog, packed a flask and headed for the coast. Walking is now almost pain free.
Not so cycling and certainly not swimming, both of which I have now done and returned from to stretch out on the sofa, wondering if I have overdone things. The second ride was long at about 30 miles, but even in heavy rain was unmissable as this was goal number 2. Corsock village winter fayre is a place to meet all of your friends whose paths you have failed to cross since the last one.
It is too cold for much chat. Just enough time for 2 slices of cake and a coffee and a dozen greetings. Back on the bike and on with both front and back light, both needed at midday. You wince when you pay for the best kit. Today it is worth every penny not to puncture or break down and stay warm and dry enough.
30 miles or there abouts. I have not bothered with the Garmin and that guess will do. The swelling around the incision has failed to budge and only 2 pairs of trousers fit. But here is what Dr Bike does. After showering the button feels easier, less of a lump. What I hoped for has worked. Getting the blood pumping, the muscles moving and the heart beating has shifted things.
I have biked about 50 or so miles this week. The first ride had me feeling nauseous with anxiety as I walked to the shed and ride 3 still began with nerves. I am back though. I feel 20 years older and 2 stone heavier which is horrid, but it is great to be back riding the roads of Galloway. I came in under the 6 week target, it still catches me out with pains that I don’t expect, but I am a cyclist again. I raked the leaves on the path to the top of the garden and found the first shoots of the spring bulbs already through. Time to walk and ride the forest trails, to be stealthy to pick your days till spring.