New Year's Day Walk (a day late)

I would like to have had a little traditional walk on New Year's Day but the weather was not on my side yesterday. Even less on my side was my entire body and brain which was crashing and throwing up for a second day running. It was a pretty disastrous New Year for me. However, today was much improved - I finally woke without pain (though my knose and sinuses are still clogged) and the weather was stunning, crisp and sunny. I started slowly with some general cleaning and sorting and removal of the various vomit receptacle I'd appropriated over the previous couple of days. This cleaning was also a sort of pre-emptive DIY procrastination which I find myself doing when I have more than one project to achieve. It results in me only just starting various tasks in the hope that having started them I'll have broken the back of the effort and the rest is simply finishing off. (For example, two of the kitchen cupboard doors are now without their failing wood-effect skin).

After lunch I finally mustered enough motivation to get outside into the glorious day - yet another warm new year, warm enough to eat al fresco as it happens. I took the car out north to to hunt for a source of horse manure that I'd caught wind of - the Bridge Farm Riding School. I found it north of Cottenham and, after helping the owner locate a rogue chicken, I was shown a veritable quagmire of horse poo. "Take as much as you want, come morning, noon and night, tell all your friends" was the rather encouraging instructions. I loaded two bags of the driest materials into my boot and headed north again to a potential walk I'd seen on the map.

So here we are at the walk. Starting from the Twentypence Marina I walked East atop the levy on the north bank of the Great Ouse. I'd suggest the 'Great' is debatable - more a disappointing Cam. It was only about two kilometres to the A10 which I used to cross over the river to the South bank's levy and back along another public footpath. It was a nice walk, reminiscent of those along the River Severn, and in glorious winter sun which thankfully stayed aloft all the way back.
PS. Something went funny with my phone camera as I took the first photo, which has turned out rather like an historical artefact.

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
The levy along the Great Ouse, C. 1900

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
The Ouse, not as great as the Severn, only just about flowing

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
In a flat landscape you can't see for miles - those trees on the horizon are Wilburton only 3 km away.

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
I came across an scattering of these shells, I assume fresh water shellfish collected by birds.

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
Self portrait against the levy (which was dry)

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
Much of the local architecture can best be described as "demoralising"

River Oose. © Nick Bailey
These pony/donkey/horses were somewhere between friendly and incredibly menacing


Orion Moto G3 Case Mod

This evening has been rather successful. I finally got round to attempting this modification of my Moto G3 (3rd Generation) case. I had been planning to simply drill some random holes all over it to let the yellow shine through the otherwise rather dominant black case. But then I realised that I could make a pattern out of the holes. Rather nicely, Orion (which happens to be my favourite constellation) fitted really rather nicely. Win for me.

Moto G3 Case Orion Mod. © Nick Bailey
My Moto G Case Orion Modification

Moto G3 Case. © Nick Bailey
Before, just a black case on my Moto G3

Moto G3. © Nick Bailey
Behind the case is a rather stunning yellow body


Bike Maintenance Sucess: Delicious

What a relief - my bike maintenance worked a treat. After months exposed to the elements and without the exactly correct tools for the job, I managed to reassemble my spare rear axle, attach the new cassette and fit the new chain. My bike feels like new. It is so easy to forget how solid a drive-chain should feel on a road bike as the parts gradually become worn. I often think that the whole thing about chains being worn is just an excuse that bike shops use to add the cost of a new chain. But no, a new chain really is the business.


New Shimano Freehub for R500 Wheel

I disassembled my spare rear axel many months ago when I found that the free hub had cracked. I eventually got round to buying a new free hub (nearly as much as a whole wheel - damn this capitalism) and now, eventually eventually getting round to re-assembling the thing. Of course that meant I had forgotten how I disassembled it. Thankfully youtube to the rescue:

Ha! In writing this HTML I've had to teach Chrome to accept the misspelling: center. Damn doublethink.


Sungkyunkwan Univeristy Logo on the Earth

. © Nick Bailey
Alaköl Audani bearing a very close resemblance to the Sungkyunkwan University Logo
I was browsing the Earth as you do (or at least as I do) following this tweet from Tim Peake on board the ISS:
A Tweet by Tim Peake
Tims tweet

While trying to locate those mountains I zoomed in on a rather intriguing formation which looked like a bit of human engineering - it was indeed a river delta which has been massively utilised for farming right in the far reaches of the east of Kazakhstan near the border with China. I then realised that the formation looked quite like a ginkgo leaf which is the logo for my Father-in-law's university in South Korea - Sungkyunkwan (also the oldest). Sadly when I checked the logo online I realised that the land formation is instead the mirror reflection of the logo. Here they are side by side. For your interest the geographic coordinates are: 46.040012N, 81.036736E near the town of Alaköl Audani
Sungkyunkwan University Logo. © Nick Bailey
Alaköl Audani bearing a very close resemblance to the Sungkyunkwan University Logo