• Charli

Big Sky

L and I made a plan to go for a bike ride yesterday. L attends Spin classes at least once a week and is pretty fit, however, being on a bike in real time as it were, is quite a different thing.

I need not have worried, after our initial wobble on the driveway, we headed out of North Berwick intent on having lunch at The Old Clubhouse in Gullane, and quickly established a good pace.

However, prior to leaving the safety of the red chip pebbles, I had my father’s voice rising in my ears about doing a bike check! Um, well I sprayed a bit of oil over the chains, pumped up the tyres as best I could and loaded the pannier with a puncture repair kit and pump.

Off we set and, having left the outskirts of North Berwick, turned left along the B1345, then right and headed towards Fenton Barns, West Fenton, Muirfield, Luffness, Aberlady and Gullane.

After a delicious warm mixed grain and halloumi salad at The Old Clubhouse (‘You can have bread or chips with that”) we decided to retrace our wheels and add a few miles on top of that. In total we cycled 23 miles in about 2hrs and burned 900 calories – according to a map-your-cycle-type-App.

I should think that the delicious Malaysian butternut squash and lentil curry with cauliflower ‘rice’ followed by BB Brownies (Hemsley and Hemsley), 1 or 2 glasses of Gin Fizz: Prosecco + Edinburgh Gin Rhubard and Ginger liqueur soon put those calories back on, but it was all worth it. Although tired today, largely from sitting up too late and having the 3am drouth, yesterday was the best Sunday I have had for quite some time.

Today is the start of National Stationery week – so many happy days I have spent perusing Paperchase and John Lewis, drooling over pens, notebooks, post-it notes, highlighters, felt pens. I have the proof in my ‘office’, and many still unused….

When L+T were preparing for exams one of our favourite activities was to go shopping and choose just the right paper and pens for highlighting, writing and re-writing notes . Of course it didn’t stop there – multi-coloured tags for ease of reference had to be got and at least one reasonable quality pen.

In my last teaching post I used a mini iPad for note taking because the authority supported their use and had a secure system set up. I would put documents in Dropbox or send them via email and store them on the server. It was a good system which worked for me. However, in my current role I am not able to do this and have resorted to using pen and paper. I was given a beautiful leather writing wallet some 26 years ago and shamefully it has sat on a shelf, loved but unseen, and filled with pages and pages of poems, ponderings and diary entries.

I have reclaimed it, have quality A4 lined paper and love choosing which pen to use depending on my mood. I have found that I can write with green without my glasses on and still read what I have written, probably because I have mild scotopic sensitivity.

It has been freezing today and I was completely under-dressed for the hail storms, and biting wind, having opted for bare feet in black patent pumps, cropped trousers, T-shirt and thin cardigan. This decision was made after watching an amazing sunrise – I do love living on the East – and feeling the warmth in the sun. As I write I am wearing thick socks, a thick jumper and jeans. The sky is blue and Jack needs a poo so I will wrap up even warmer and take him out.

Big Sky – a poem

Wide eyes, a big surprise, sunset and sunrise.

so many hues of yellow and blue, but cold

the snow fell today and the leaves yearn to unfold

from under their protective fleeces,

but frost is still a threat, so they’ll remain covered yet.

So many skies, through city walls, and mountain passes,

over oceans and plains of wild grasses.

One Big Sky curls around us now I feel you close and yet so far.

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