First we got a week of glorious, uninterrupted sunshine.
Then, over the weekend, we got two days of crazy strong easterly winds with a mix of sunshine, cloud, and sleet.
Today, and for rest of the week, we’re back to the normal British spring time weather of grey gloomy clouds.
The changeover reminded me of old TV sets. When we switched channels, there was a brief period of electronic noise before the new channel started playing. The weekend’s crazy weather was like that electronic noise while switching the weather channels.
The BBC has an article with photos of celebrities in front of the Taj Mahal over the decades. The thing that caught my eye was how the sky is nearly never blue in the recent photos. While the yellowing of the Taj’s marble is well documented, the slow yellowing of our sky is well known but rarely discussed (GDP growth trumps everything else).
Here are the photos, chronologically arranged:
1966, George Harrison
2001, Aussie cricket team
2016, Kate & William
Of course this set is in no way representative. They are too few data points. All susceptible to the weather on the day, the camera settings, and the post processing.
There is also a bit of confirmation bias on my part. I’ve noticed, sadly, the disappearance of blue day skies and starry night skies for over two decades. And I probably looked at the photos to confirm that.
But this also gives an idea that this may not be the worst approach. There are probably billions of photos shared of the Taj on social media every year. We could create a program that scans for them, dates them, filters out the outliers, and then analysis the trend of sky colour (and Taj’s marble colour) over time. Time to put all that social media oversharing to good use :)
My first thought was, ‘Can I afford it?’ Checked the website. It’s £79 to confirm my spot. That’s 2x what the London marathon entry costs. I’d take the London marathon over this any day, even without the price difference. But I don’t have a spot in the London marathon; I have a spot in this. Also, I’ve run the London marathon twice but never ridden this event. R has ridden this twice and used to suggest that I will enjoy it.
Checking the registration price was not to decide if I should pay the entry fee. I had already made that decision. I’ll pay. The price check was to see how big the hole would be.
The entry fee isn’t the big expense for this ride. Maintaining and fuelling the bike and the body through the wear and tear of training will cost a lot more. Maybe I can go all indie and start experimenting with home-made food on rides. I fully plan to employ R as my free bike mechanic—given her training and access to tools in her job. The event is in August, so I can delay starting training till after the Paris marathon in April. That delay will help since then I don’t need a lot of winter riding gear. My one cycling jacket and one long tights should suffice for the few cold rides I’ll suffer.
Writing this down has helped calm the anxiety a bit. It’s doable. It’ll be a stretch on the money, time and energy, but it’s doable.
I am strongly in the remain camp when it comes to Brexit. Even though I don’t use social media, my well-known position on this topic means that I live in a sort of IRL filter bubble—I don’t know many people who are strongly pro-Brexit. I know a few soft Brexit supporters, I know a few agnostics and waverers, and I know a lot of remainers. I don’t know many strongly pro-Brexit supporters.
I have followed Brian’s blog for nearly a decade now. I discovered him as a regular commentator on another cyclist’s blog. He used to mostly blog about his cycle rides. Brian recently posted his views on Brexit. He is a strong supporter of Brexit; he hints at his reasons in the post.
It is illuminating for me to read the view of the other side—not what the Leave leaders spout, but what the leave supporters on the ground believe.
Please note: I will not comment or debate on viability or correctness of his views. They are his views and he is entitled to them, just as I am to mine. If anyone reading this post wants to debate with him, please be courteous.
Remember the horn effect: just because his views are different from ours in one small sphere of life, doesn’t make him different or bad in any other aspect.