Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 16, 2022

Shingles update

Well I am pleased to say that the medication I was given , slowed down the spread of the shingles blisters. I now feel well again but still have pain along the course of the nerve. The blisters have crusted over and are drying out well. Funnily enough, the worst of the pain is not where there were any blisters.

I did a lot of sleeping earlier in the week and was well looked after by DH and DS’s who cooked and cleaned. By Friday, DH needed to go across to our chapel which is about 3miles across town so I said I would cycle with him.

We came back a slightly different way and so I managed 7 miles. There was no increase in pain so on Saturday afternoon, when it had warmed up a little , we went out again as there were a few groceries I wanted to pick up. I have to say the air left raw so we weren’t out for long and so in managed 14 miles for the week.

YTD 29 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 9, 2022


Not the sort that go on American roofs but the painful viral infection that mainly affects the over 50’s who had chickenpox as children.

Well , we did have a short ride on Monday 3rd January as I forgot it was a bank holiday and had a few appointments. When I got home , there was some sun so we rode along the river . Only 10 miles but little did I know that would be it for the rest of the week.

Tuesday I was busy working all day and on Wednesday when DH suggested a ride I declined as I felt a bit ‘Off Colour’. Nothing specific but a bit of ache that I thought might be the start of a kidney infection

It wasn’t until I got undressed for bed that I saw the beginning of the rash. Drat! I recognised what it probably was. Thank goodness for our NHS. I phoned and got though to a receptionist who emailed me so I could send a photo of said rash. Within an hour , I was talking to a nurse who confirmed my suspicions. Medication was then despatched from the pharmacy we use and I started on painkillers and an antiviral.

I am doing ok but still have pain but it looks like the rash is calming down. No working for me, and I am resting up. I have changed my tickets to get to Portugal until early February so hopefully I will be well enough to go.

YTD 15 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 2, 2022

Welcome 2022

Well , the first day of the new year dawned dry and there was a little sun.

DH and DS1 had some work to sort out a rear view camera on the car and so I went off for a short ride, solo. I couldn’t be long because of a commitment to visit family at noon.

Needing to feel more prepared for my hoped for trip to Portugal, I set off on my Dahon. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty windy with gusts of 30 mph so it was a fairly slow ride, but I took it at my own pace.

Só, along and around the local cemetery / nature reserve and then into Albert Park. There were lots of people out walking because of the very mild weather. It was lovely to call out “ happy new year” and get a pleasant response from most.

I looked for the only cygnet that survived from the 2021 brood but could see it. Also I recently saw a heron there too but not there.

I was so enjoying the ride, that I stopped to take off my jacket, as I was sweating, and rode on further , up to what locally is called Devil’s bridge. It’s just a little bridge across a stream and I have no idea why.

I turned for home then and found my men folk had finished there work so it was time for a quick shower and off visiting.


Later in the day, at the table, I saw this ladybird on our table. I think the warmer weather, has brought it out.

YTD 5.5 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 31, 2021

Farewell 2021

It’s been a busy couple of weeks but not a huge amount of cycling. However, before Christmas I celebrated my 71st birthday. What did I do near the solstice? Well this ‘vintage’ woman camped out.

I have a very good cycle and camping friend who is as … what is the word… Bonkers!! The lovely C has her very own field and wood with a composting toilet that she built. I saw her painting a millennium mile post some weeks back and asked her if she fancied a night under the stars. Well, we didn’t see any stars but did have a great night of laughter despite the rain.

C pitching her tent
My new Alpkit Ordus 2 tent.

The new tent was quick and easy to erect and kept all of the rain out. It weighs less than 1.4Kgs including my home made ground sheet. I bought it for a present to myself and I have flights to go to Portugal at the back end of January 2022. Who knows what will happen tomorrow with rising Covid infections both her in the UK and Portugal but I live in hope.

Well wrapped up against the cold and wet

We enjoyed a lovely quiet Christmas hosting a few special guests and the weather was awful so we didn’t get in as many rides as I had hoped. Days and days of rain has resulted in rising river levels but the winds are also a bit unpleasant.

I have sorted out my equipment as I will be using my Dahon folding bicycle. I will be meeting up with an Irish lady friend who has a Brompton. We decided to use these bicycles as it will allow us greater flexibility if the weather or winds are a problem. It seems that the climate truly is changing far faster than has been predicted.

Dahon Speed TR

The yellow bag holds my tent and it was a little low so when I got back home I tried a different arrangement.

Holding the tent higher

The sun came out on Thursday so we got a nice ride in going to Darlington and taking roads we haven’t used previously in Darlington. Then we rode past the cafe in Sadberge but did not go in as we are both trying to loose the small amount of weigh we have gained at Christmas. From here , we rode the ups and downs to Great Stainton and on to Stillington before riding to Thorpe Thewles and home. That was a good 40 miles .

River Tees
The metal sheep in their Christmas outfits at Sadberge

Só , despite all the difficulties of 2021, we have managed to stay well.

Total distance cycled during 2021 is 4293 miles including our Golden Wedding tour and a trip to the Outer Hebrides. All in all a good year.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 19, 2021

Fifty years and counting

This week we celebrated fifty years of very happy marriage.

The early part of the week had stunningly beautiful sunsets.

Sky on fire

We managed a ride on Thursday I’m glorious sunshine but it was chilly. We rode up through Great Aston and then along through Easby to Ingleby Greenhow. We usually have a stop here for refreshments but it was too cold to sit. We continued along through Great Broughton and Stokesley

Onwards to climb the hill to Seamer and then a decent back through Thornton and Stainton so I could go and take a photo of a post box crochet topper I had noticed driving past.

Yarn bombing brings a smile

Friday , we had business to attend to so by the time we got back the fog had descended into the valley. It’s one of the reasons people from Teesside are known as Smoggies. It used to be awful when there was lots of polluting industry.

So Saturday, was thick fog so DH suggested we go over to the chapel to lay out fabric backing for a quilt I have been making all year. The top is finished but it needs laying up and quilting.

50 years ago the foyer was filled with family and friends to witness our wedding.

Saturday, saw DH helping me to do a sliding wedge to get a diagonal seam on too narrow fabric.

All in all a good week. Thank goodness we did our Golden Wedding tour in the summer.

June trip

This week 26 miles and YTD 4231 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 12, 2021

More stormy weather

Early in the week, Storm Barra hit but it wasn’t too bad compared to storm Arwen. However, I am so sad to learn of the massive tornadoes that hit the southern USA resulting in a rising death toll as winds over 250mph hit them. Surely people will realise that climate changing rapidly is occurring.

We only got out cycling once but didn’t go too far from home. Actually, it was just across to Sadberge to enjoy toasties in the community cafe. We took a slightly longer route there and then back through Middleton one Row and Yarm home.

So this week 33 miles adding up to YTD 4205 miles

Me in the cafe. Not a flattering photo
Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 5, 2021

More Wintery Weather

After the devastating storm of last weekend, the winds remained gusty for most of the week but I was working so no cycling in the early part of the week.

I was out of bed at 5am and glanced out of the window. Dry and no snow. At 6am , it couldn’t have been more different.

Early morning snow.

I had spent some time during the week making a small gift to take to my quilt group. It is a place to put pins, needles, small scissors and threads and folds up neatly to keep it all contained. Super for using on the arm of a chair or table when hand sewing

Sewing kit

My son took me across as I wasn’t too keen to drive on the snowy , icy roads. I was correct, there was chaos on the roads .

In show and tell my Star Wars quilt was much admired which pleased me. The numbers at quilt group were much reduced and I had to leave early for a medication review. The nurse was delighted when she weighed me and I am 10 kgs lighter than the last recording in 2008!!

The snow cleared fairly quickly but left cold, windy raw feeling weather. We did get short rides in over Friday and Saturday . Just close to home, along the river but different ways over both days. We did include getting in shopping too. We thought we might extend the ride a bit on Saturday, but as rain started in Stockton , we decided to head home. So this week was only 25 miles. YTD 4172 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 28, 2021

Storm Arwen

Even though the storm didn’t hit until Friday, the weather combined with working put paid to much cycling this week. I did manage 10 miles though.

I put the time to good use though and finished up this quilt I am making for friends who needed to sell their Star Wars collection. I collected the fabric a few months ago and didn’t really want to cut it up small so used a split nine patch to keep the fabric in large pieces. A thoroughly enjoyable way to ride out the storm.

Star Wars quilt

I enjoyed the machine quilting on my Janome 8200, which I do free hand rather like using a stationary pencil and drawing by moving the paper beneath the pencil point.

Free machine quilting in the borders

Different patterns

I have achieved YTD 4147 miles so far. Let’s hope I can get more in before the year end

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 21, 2021

Unusually good November weather

This week came as a nice surprise considering the awful weather we have been experiencing so I was able to make the most of it and I was able to cycle on 5 days . Admittedly, the shortest was only 7 miles but there were other days when the rides were about 20 miles.

One of the shorter rides took us past a tree with a beautiful golden carpet and I loved the colour combination with DH’s jacket.

autumn colour

Thursday was glorious and we got away from home by 9.30am and cycled along the river . DH got 2 phone calls and so I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos of the autumn foliage there too.

Dh had asked where I wanted to go. To be honest , I haven’t ridden longer distances since being in the Hebrides and so I suggested Eppleby. The shortest route there and back would be 49 miles and I made the proposal that if I tired too soon we could cut it short.

However, i was pleased to make it there using a route through Long Newton and then down to Darlington before going through Stapleton and Cleasby to Manfield and then into Eppleby.

The village shop was open and there were other cyclists there. We called in and got some of their delicious fruit scones before returning back to the B 6275 and down into Piercebridge, By now the sun was shining brightly and so we decided to stop in the enclosure of the East Gate of the old roman fort that stoop here about 2000 years ago.

Piercebridge roman remains

There was a nice bench in the far corner and so it was here we enjoyed cheese toasties and hot chocolate before wolfing down the scones as well. There were a few dog walkers came in but because of the pits, they stayed away. In roman times, those pits were apparently part of the defences and would be hiding sharpened defence spears covered in undergrowth to catch invaders. A nasty death.

We returned by riding up trough Ulnaby ad onto the Staindrop road back into Darlington through Cockerton. Then it was down through the town and I am pleased to say the track into Middleton St George has been really improved with a good surface all the way to the main road before riding to Long Newton. Then it was back home having ridden 52 miles.

So tis weeks mileage is 105 miles making YTD 4137 miles. I am well pleased with that. Don’t know what next week will bring as poor weather is apparently forecast. Get out and ride when you can.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 14, 2021

Topping 4000 miles

Well, I was determined that I would get 40 miles in during this week to get my 4000 miles in for the year. Monday morning was dry and I went out solo in the early dawn. I only did 7 miles but it was a start.

Mostly , it was just chipping away with small mileages .

On Friday, I went with DS1 to Cyclesense in Tadcaster. He had some handlebars to pick up. He has had them on order for a long time – thanks in part to Brexit- so I had a mooch about. I saw this unusual bicycle and thought of my friend Pip who is well over 6’5” tall.

36” wheels
Bicycle info

On Thursday , we had a morning ride exploring some local routes in Stockton. I didn’t want to be too far from home as I had an appointment to meet up with an old friend I haven’t seen in about 50 years. We were volunteer lifeguards back in the 1960’s and through social media got in touch. His wife had to come down to Stockton to have some medical treatment so we arranged to meet at Morrison’s which was nearby. I rode over on my Dahon as I could put it in the trolley locker by folding it in half. Although only a short visit as her treatment was completed quickly, we did enjoy some catching up and reminiscing about our youth. Awww how the years fly by. Do things while you can.

So Saturday was fairly mild and not too windy so off we went. I did take the stove and gas but forgot the frying pan to make the cheese toasties- duh!

We rode across to Thornaby for me to pick up a sewing machine part for me and then went on a local route to Stockton from where we headed along on another track we haven’t used too much towards Redmarshall and then up to Stillington. We carried on along quiet roads towards Gt Stainton . I find it strange that sometimes, because we approach somewhere from a different direction I don’t recognise where we are. We went through the village and down the bank intending to go to Sadberge. However, we took a wrong turn and as we approached Little Stainton, realised we had taken a wrong turn.

However, we stopped in Bishopton for hot chocolate and a biscuit but saved the sandwich for home. It was lovely to sit and enjoy the autumn sun and tree colours despite the leaves everywhere.

Bishopton war memorial and golden trees

So from here we returned home and had our cheese toasties.

So this week I rode 73 miles making YTD 4033 miles.

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