Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If it looks like Custard, tastes like Custard...

Hello Campers, now up to Blog 5.
Another two weeks, still on foreign shores, still rolling with the punches.

Plenty to report, so I'll start with the latest news first. Last week I returned to Poole Hospital for my final report, expecting to get the all clear to start biking......and this is where this blog title comes in. If it looks like Custard and tastes like is CUSTARD!

My biking blues continue. The kind doctors at Poole say if I am a computer worker I can go back to work, but if I am a touring cyclist (joke) another 6 weeks off the saddle, so realistically my 6 month cycle tour is rapidly turning to custard. After much internal gnashing of teeth, beating myself up etc, etc. there is no other way but to find another way. At least I'm not in NZ experiencing frosty days, as currently the south of England is in a 30 deg heatwave, and I much prefer the heat.

So let's review Jimu's travels these last two weeks.

Thinking I would be needing the bike soon, I returned to Southampton to get Mike, a fellow Warmshowers contact, to check out the bike for me. First problem was that I'd forgotten that I had chained the bike to several things in Pete's shed and I'd left the key back in Dorset, so we had to get all the bits (including the bike) taken outside the shed to grind off the padlock.

Getting the bike back to Mike's place and talking through the various options and changes I could make, to make it easier for me to return to biking was not easy. Firstly the cycle shops do not stock the sort of parts I may need and I cannot physically look at anything. Secondly Mike had some experience with trailers, saying possibly the Bob trailer contributed to my accident, and also the drop bars not so suited to shoulder recovery. Mike's advice was that the wheels on my bike would not take a lot of heavy touring weight, suggesting a  different trailer for a more stable option.  He had a local bike shop across the road, and less than 100 meters from his house was where the accident actually happened. It's all rather difficult,  so now I know the value of having all your gear properly sorted out and tested months in advance and taking this with you on any trip. A very important hard won lesson, I certainly paid the price. Still need to prepare myself and the bike for cycle touring again, hopefully in September???

This was what caught my eye as I walked into Southampton, something you'll not see in Nelson.

So with that I headed to the Jazz Day and to meet my cousin Richard in the Cambridge area, in the lovely village of Over. And what an area this is, less than 100 yards from his home is this thatched cottage, it was such a pleasure to wander around on some of the many public walkways taking photos.

This is the charm of rural England,  many thatched cottages, wheat fields, with public walkways right through them, the River Ouse, close and interesting with my first look at the locks system and canal boats.

And lots of minature wildlife to record.

The above photos are of the Banded Demoiselle. 

While this one is of the Azure Damsonfly, and  jolly hard to photograph, all done without a tripod.

And all this only 8 miles way from the tourist, cycling, and educational  mecca of Cambridge. Incidentally the local bus (double decker) takes 50 minutes to travel those 8 miles. I sat on the top deck, front seat charging up my iPhone from the power plug on the bus.

The Jazz festival was a huge affair, with mass groups and reading and playing more or less straight off the cuff. In the centre of Cambridge there happened to be a busking festival, and I talked to Mario Morris all about it. A smooth performer, the only street theatre/magic person, as the rest were musicians.
I learnt a lot from his performance and attitude, and when chatting to him afterwards. He also runs a busking school with a book and DVDs available here

So back onto the streets of Cambridge, many tourists around and I tried to capture some of the character of Cambridge. Never realized before that the river Cam goes through Cambridge, hence the name.

Early morning before the hordes arrive. 

Oh to be in England now that summer is here.

 The buildings are pretty amazing also.


The variety of cheeses from all over Europe and UK at the Town Square market was fabulous. I selected and choose only three. My favourite was the Norwegian Gjetost cheese, a very distilled cheese that is the closest thing to fudge.

Having heard from friends in UK about Ely Cathedral, I spent an amazing afternoon taking a tour and wandering around both the Catherdral and the town of Ely. Going by the number of photos I took, Ely is one of the many highlights of this current trip. Here are a few of 'em.

And some shots of the inside, which was staggering. I took a tour called the Octagon tour, a full hour journey around the upper regions of the central tower constructed of wood (Oak) and lead, constructed after 1322s when the central tower collapsed. 

This was where I was up on this roof, and even the panels facing into that light chamber, you can see below in more photos.

John the tour guide.

The carved ridge piece in Stone commands this view.

In the adjoining Lady Chapel

These are the huge painted doors as below.
(note the clown with the hat)

This is the floor in the Lady Chapel

 This cross depicts the trilogy, Father, Son and Holy Ghost
(strange term that)
A walking meditation maze is in the floor of the entrance way.
Pretty amazing really.
The Main Door is solid oak with hand forged hinges and decorations.

 I was very impressed by this very old building which seemed to have a contemporary edge to it with modern sculptures, a choir singing, with modern brochures and guided tours, all easily fitting into the religous nature of the building.

And out in the village more photos

Back into Cambridge, feeling now up to giving the streets a blow with my Saxes.

In spite of there just being a Busking event in Cambridge, I was moved on three times, and was issued with  a guide to Busking in Cambridge (Code of Practise), which basically said, we like buskers, but no, no, no.
So I took the train to London and had another go in the linking tunnels of Kings Cross Station, where once again I was moved on by London's Transport Police. One of them was also a horn player, so I just got a warning! 

So to leave you on a sobering photo, should be easy, this is my shoulder.

Six screws plus the plate. The doc says sometimes they remove the plate after 6 months, charming. I think I'll pass on that one.

A couple more of my drawings.

So now I'm looking at travelling without a bike and have got a trolley bag set up making it easier to take my sax and amp onto trains and buses, and to walk into town centers. Testing has shown not much difference in the money in the hat with or without the amp, though it does give me variety and I am seriously thinking about going wild on London's South Bank. I've come too far not to!

I used to really love custard, not so sure now, but apple crumble, rhubarb tart, bread and butter pudding, etc would not be the same without custard.

Next week's plans are to visit UK's largest sax shop and finnaly see my sax mates in Rugby for the long awaited Buskermania event I was heading for way back in May.

It's not long till Christine arrives from NZ for a month's touring and we're both looking forward to this.
Plently options and places to explore.
Cheers and Ciao
Stay safe and ka kite ano!


Little My said...

You've taken me right back to when I lived in Cambridge and bought my first sax in Wood, Wind and Reed (an excellent shop). I love your photos, and I hope your shoulder mends well so you can cycle again soon.

Lovely blog, thank you.

Sue said...

A jolly good read - I do enjoy your blogs. Hope the Buskmania goes well too. Best Wishes, Sue

Anonymous said...

Интернет пишется с большой буквы внутри предложения, если что. И сотые не с точкой, а с запятой. Это по стандарту. А так неплохо все, просто вэри гуд!