Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 22, 2017

A better week

Despite the weather this week, I have managed many more miles than in recent weeks.

Ex-hurricane hit the British Isles on Monday , but we live in the North East and Monday morning dawned dry and not too windy. So arising at 6.00am, we had a decent 12 miles ride around through Thornaby and back into Stockton.


About 15 minutes downstream, it was very still as the light intensified and we could see the steam from the cooling towers rising straight up into the air.


I haven’t pushed myself to ride everyday and so it was Wednesday before I went out again. Mind you, on Tuesday we had strong winds and the weirdest sky . I didn’t get any photos but the sky was affected by apparently sand blowing in from the Sahara desert and smoke from the wild fires in Portugal. Lots of people did post of the yellow/orange sky and the sun an orange /red ball in the sky.

Wednesday, saw another early ride and again the winds had died down but we were warned that another storm system was due to hit. Again we were largely protected and so on Friday afternoon  we had a ride up to Stewarts park where I saw things I haven’t before . We took paths that were new to us.

I also discovered a small pond in there too. Imagine , I have lived here nearly 40 years and haven’t seen this previously. The ducks were used to being fed and came quaking up begging for food. Fortunately, another lady has some .


Saturday, again dawned dry if blowy. We knew it was predicted to come from the south, so headed off into the wind up through Nunthorpe and Great Ayton and along to Guisborough. As soon as we turned in Great Ayton, we could feel the wind on our backs. So good to have a following wind helping you along.

I stopped to fabric shop in Leven Crafts to get a few small bits for a project and then we were off again and I have to say, considering my dismal efforts these past few weeks, I managed all the hills. Woohoo!!  We rode up to Errington Woods and the coast was laid before us. It is so sad that the remnants of the old steel works are still lying unused.

From there, it was back down the hill,  reaching speeds of  over 33 mph. That’s when I pulled the brakes on  as I was getting scared. We turned on to Plantation Road and along to Kirkleatham Hall.  I was so surprised to see these peacocks and hens and just loved the colours of the male birds.


I have felt a bit better. I don’t know if that’s because I have my hospital appointment come through. I still have some low grade pain but I can cope with that and the nausea has gone.

Our friends fly back from the mission to the UK tomorrow so I can show the landscape quilt I made for them. Its to remind them of the grey days here in the North East, that they have come to love. Well I don’t know about the weather, but they love the people.



So my mileage this week was 64.8 miles and the YTD  mileage is 2735.6 miles.  I am getting there.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 15, 2017

Blood Tests

Well its been another week with little cycling  and I am getting a bit fed up. I did go for blood tests last Monday and pleased to report that they were all fine and my BP was good too. Isn’t it a bit annoying though that I still have some symptoms. I suggested maybe a virus would account for the fatigue and I told the doctor not to suggest it was my age. I think he was a bit afraid to say that after I told him my normal cycling regimen for a usual morning and we laughed about it. He said it had gone on a bit too long for a virus and he is sending me to see a uro-gyneacologist  at the hospital. When that will be I am unsure but as the blood test results are OK , I will push myself a little bit. I feel so much happier when cycling. Maybe I need a different saddle to protect my nether region.

The knitting is going well and I am on the sleeves now. I did have to email the pattern book company who I have to say were very good about answering and so I am now knitting the sleeves . I have also finished a wall quilt but wont post about that as its recipients will leave for the USA after next Sunday.

Cycling miles 18.1 miles YTD 2670.8 milesP1010042


Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 8, 2017

Still not 100%


I took a turn for the worse and so haven’t done much cycling in the past 2 weeks. The antibiotics I was given have worked but I still do not feel up to par. I haven’t been lazy doing nothing though. I have still managed to work , albeit, at a lesser number of hours and I have been knitting.

When I have been out cycling , it has been early in the day and I got some photos that I like.

This is looking downstream from the Infinity bridge over the river Tees.

P1010036This is looking upstream towards Stockton. I do like how the lights shine in the early morning pre-dawn light.

I have been knitting a cardigan from a pattern I bought in Norway. Unfortunately for me, it is written in Norweigan but I am managing to knit and translate, after a fashion and this is my progress so far. It is knit using a circular needle and will then be cut up the middles. I know it sounds really scary but I will use a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to keep it secure.


We had a ride into town yesterday and saw the African Children’s choir doing a street performance. These children gave a wonderful performance of singing and dancing in an effort to raise funds to build schools so that all children can have an education. We here in Europe don’t always appreciate the schooling that we have.

The children also gave performances at the LDS churches in Billingham and Newton Aycliffe. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to the perfume sensitivities I have but friends say they were sensational. The young lady in the navy jacket had a beautiful voice.

After that we had a ride along the river to Stockton and back. The river levels were really low and I wonder if this is due to being the day after the Harvest Moon?

Just near the bridge there is a very large mud bank.

So only 49.1 miles cycled since last update and YTD 2652.7 miles



Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 24, 2017

Back to Work

This week saw me get back into the swing of things.  Early, before 6.00am, saw us arising and getting out on a short ride. I cant believe just how much fitness can be lost in a few short weeks and a bout of illness . Still we had a 6.5 miles ride on Monday and Tuesday and I shaved 6 minutes off the time on Tuesday. We were able to get a slightly longer ride in on Wednesday and the days are really shortening now. I forgot to take my camera so had to rely on the phone to try to get the sunrise colours.


20170920_053839293_iOS A short while later the sky overhead was a stunning pink colour. So beautiful. Most people were probably still in bed so wouldn’t have seen it.

The other weekdays were so full of work that I couldn’t take the time to ride so was glad when the weather was reasonable. We decided on a ride of about 30 miles.  The festival of thrift was on this weekend near Redcar and so as they blocked the cycle track with stalls last year, we decided not to go that  way.

We rode up through Nunthorpe and on along to Great Ayton and turned on the back rode through Little Ayton and on to Easby where we turned right to Stokesley. We were passed by a number of fast riding roadies but that didn’t bother us. We got at my pace.  We found that Stokesley  had its own show on and the High Street would be one giant fair with rides and fortune tellers. The raod was only open until 12.00pm and would than be shut off. Still it was only about 10,00am so plenty of time.

We had sort of discussed the route but even after nearly 46 years of very happy marriage , we still don’t always communicate effectively. We reached the turning for Seamer in Tame Bridge and I thought that is where we would turn and then ride up the hill before turning along to Hutton Rudby.   DH thought we were riding to Hutton Rudby and then coming back to Seamer. As it was I rode to Hutton Rudby and he rode up towards Seamer and we met on the  small back road.  He thought I was having a strop. I wasn’t really just wanted to go his way and he wanted to go the way I thought.

This road has lovely rolling hills, just right if you get the gearing correct. Someone has put a bench and there are a couple of inscriptions on it to William and Jonathon Stott. There are also a couple of planter boxes  so I think this must be a special place for this family. The bench is so welcome at the top of a hill.

We stopped for a warm drink and a biscuit and when we were sitting we saw a mature lady walking up the hill pushing her bicycle. We had  been passed by a few roadies and I noticed one with a number on. This lady also had a number and it turned out she was on a Sportive but had no idea where she was  and there was no-one riding with her. She gave us a description of where she had been and we believe it was near Ingleby Greenhow  and then up the steep. very poorly surfaced hill to the carpark at Clay Bank. There was a feed station here and they had told her it was all downhill from there. I couldn’t help but laugh and say they had lied to her . The hills to follow on the way back to Nunthorpe weren’t as steep but they were hills all the same. She did say she had travelled up from Harrogate for this but I don’t think she was really enjoying herself.  She had a heavy bike that she had bought second hand and she has started to compete in triathlons as she is really a swimmer.

We rode back down through Hilton and on through Stockton where we saw these birds flocking onto the replica ship that Captain Cook sailed to Australia in. I am not sure what they are but wonder if they are starlings?20170923_112213296_iOS


I have also made this small quilt for my friend K who had a baby boy 10 days ago. She was delighted with it. It wasn’t heirloom quality but more to be used and she had it with her at church today.


Mileage for this week 55.1 miles                        YTD 2603.6 miles







Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 15, 2017

Waffling On

Today, our last full day  was beautiful and sunny.  Kjell needed to visit his friend who has been living with cancer  for 30 years and had some bad news yesterday.  We walked down into town with Gerdur and tried to visit  the local museum. Tried was the operative word  as it was closed and so was the glass works.  Everything seems to have closed now the children are back at school. I did call into the woolshop though to discuss a pattern but I have done very well reading it and had it correct. The lady was impressed with my ability  to read Norweigan but I said it’s because I know how to knit.

Still we had a lovely walk in the park  and along the river. Autumn colours are showing here too.

Eventually, we arrived at Lake Mosja  and the ferry was closed too.

We walked back into town and had wonderful icecream at a chocolate shop. We had apple pie ice cream that tasted exactly of said pie. Wish I could bring some home.

Then we walked back up the hill, passing the emptied swimming pool –  it too has been drained for winter but it was rather hot in the sun this afternoon.

Gerdur had bought fish for our evening meal and then she made waffles with more ice cream and home made red currant sauce. Yummy.

We could never have imagined 11 years ago , that a chance meeting on a campsite would have resulted in a lasting friendship.  Thank you our friends.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 15, 2017

Across the Mountains

We were out being driven across the mountains today and we were really lucky to have good weather for a change.  I took lots of photographs  so please forgive me if there are too many.

We set of from Gjovik  and headed westward up to Fargernes and we made a lot of stops for looking at nature in its splendid early autumn beauty.  On the way we stopped at Holjarast  to view some ancient rock carvings.  These have been coloured with red paint but the notice said this will not continue as they believe it contributes to further deterioration of the images.


Then we turned northward across the high mountains.  This year the snow has not disappeared  because  it has been unusually cool. The autumn colours are beautiful up there .

We even saw some bilberries still growing there  above the treeline.


It was cool up there and I was glad we hadn’t had to cycle up here. This was across the Valedres area and we has our first cake stop so Kjell could have his coffee.


As we descended  and lost height , the countryside became more green and less yellow/orange .  On one of the stops  , we met a Germany couple and I was pleased to have a chat with them. The lady was a supreme that I could speak to her in her own language.

We stopped at Lemonsjoen and had our main meal. It was really a nice place and I enjoyed sea trout while DHL had chicken and chips. My meal was very Norweigan.


After this we headed back to the 257 which then joins the E6 which is a toll road. Just before  that we stopped  at this pair of old churches  – all wooden.

There was also a Commonwealth war grave  for a young man killed in 1940. Private  Fletcher was with the Sherwood Forest regiment.

The E6 is a toll road  and we asked about how it was charged and the car is tagged and a bill is sent once a month. We drove back through Lillehamer but it was  almost 8.00 pm when we got back to Gjovik.


Forgot to mention that in the restaurant  ,there were quilts hanging on the walls but I will just show one.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 13, 2017

Museum Visiting

Today we drove north from Gjovik  and crossed Lake Mosja and drove across to Elverum  about an hours drive sober could visit a national nature museum, the Skog museum.

If you don’t like to see stuffed animals please don’t read any further.


There was every variety of wild life on display and I know this has become  politically incorrect in the UK but this is a different culture and mindset.


In addition to animals and birds , there was all about the development of knives and how they are made.



There was also some interesting  carvings and we decided this piece was not all done from the same block of wood.


The individual pieces couldn’t be moved though.

I liked the installation that tried to show the development of cells and this lighted tree.


The museum has a nice cafe where we had  a lunch. Mostly it was older people in there but also what appeared to be a work group. I don’t miss those days and prefer to be self employed rather than have to follow company rules.

There were also some nice statues of local wild life.


After this we drove to another couple of places,  a sports centre and another museum but both were closed.  The sports centre looks like an upside down viking boat  that holds a large ice rink but it won’t open again until October . I couldn’t take photos  of it as I couldn’t get far enough away.


We did stop near the lake on the Hammer side and then went along to Brumunddall where it was another  stop for cake! ! The lady who served us came to chat when she had finished her shift. I admired her cardigan and we chatted knitting for a short while.


I don’t think I would have felt so sleepy if I had been cycling but at least today we didn’t get soaked on the rain.

These were a few of the other things that caught my eye- bicycle flower displays and interesting manhole covers.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 12, 2017

Norway Visit

Eleven years ago , we were cycling through Norway on the North Sea Cycle Route and had the very good fortune to meet Kjell, who had just started on the same route and thus began a friendship that we have maintained over the years

He invited us to stay and do after a bit of a stressful flight we arrived late on Saturday.  Unfortunately,  the weather isn’t playing fair, but we are having a lovely time.

On Sunday,  we were invited to a large family gathering for the confirmation if his great nephew. It was a lovely occasion and lots of the people  were in national costume.

These buna , which is what these are called are very traditional  and we’re made by hand over 50 years ago by this lady’said mother and she made them for all 4 of her daughters. They are often passed down in families  from one generation to the next. I was saying to Mary that her buna was different. She told me that she has passed hers on to her grand daughter and she had a “fantasy buna ” made by a designer from Trondheim.  The apron part in lighter lavender colour was handprinted.  She told me it is much lighter to wear and not as heavy as the traditional woollen buna. Mary us on the left and her daughter is on the right in her traditional costume.

There was a dinner after to which we were kindly invited. We had a chance to mix with a lot of family and friends .This was held in what we would call a church hall next to the church in which our friends were married 50 years ago.

Sunday lived up to its name and was sunny  but Monday was very rainy. We had a walk down into Gjovik to have cake and a drink. It was interesting to see some of the  street furniture that they have.

I also went and bought some super wash wool and a pattern for a new jacket.  I will hopefully complete this over the next few months.  We also met a friend of Kjell too and he enjoyed his time to talk English with us.

We also went into a supermarket and it was interesting to compare what is on the shelves and the prices were about double English prices.

Tuesday has also been rainy and we walked up hills to see Kjell’s brother who is renovating a house to move into. Then we walked further uphill to a coffee shop but we were disappointed as it was closed , so no cake.   The view from there house will be beautiful.

The rain became very heavy and as we walked back it eased off and we were glad to be back to have cake and hot chocolate at home.

I will say here that I am picking up on some of the language and have decided that I can get the accent for Norway much more easily than for Holland.   The  successful  has just made an appearance.  Woo hoo.  Let’s hope it stays a while,



Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 3, 2017

No Cycling

Unfortunately, I had to go to visit a doctor as the cystitis developed into a full blown Urinary Tract Infection – UTI – and I was prescribed an antibiotic. I am feeling a lot better but still not up to cycling so sorry , no bike talk for now.

I did go to a quilt show though and this was the winning triptych. I did wonder if there should have been another though. Still it was beautifully done.

This one really caught my eye as it looks like circles but on closer inspection, it isnt.


P1000771 It is all straight sided piecing but the quilting gives the illusion of circles. Very clever and I love the spread of colour that makes your eyes go all over it.


I realised I love the brighter coloured quilts and this one caught my eye. I wouldn’t make one like this as I am not into applique very much but love the individual motifs .


It was nice to see a traditional Durham Strippy which is   what used to be made in the North Country. I once attended a workshop with Dorothy Osler  who was a wonderful maker of this type of quilt. I quickly realised it wasn’t for me but I can still appreciate those who make them.

This 2nd place quilt was also a stunner and I love the applique and quilting.


The colours are so bright and parrot-like and I love the quilting tooP1000789


The final quilt to catch my eye was on one of the stalls selling machine embroidery software. I don’t have such a machine but I love the sentiment of this one.


There was no cycling for me but DH came down with me and put his folder in the car and then once in Harrogate , he headed off across to Ripley to try out part of the Nidderdale Greenway before cycling back to our home in the Boro. Unfortunately, his tech stuff wasn’t working all the time but we know it must have been between 60-65 miles. He said cycling on the A61 wasn’t nice but then if I had been with him , he wouldn’t have been on that road anyway . Hopefully a bit of cycling soon but then off to Norway next weekend.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 30, 2017

Wonderful Northumberland part 4

We knew we would have  a longer  day so we were up at first light and packed and away by 7.30am after me cooking eggs again. Just the thing to set me up.

It was a little cool and overcast at first but we soon warmed up enough to have to take long sleeved tops off. We followed NCN1 along towards Craster and along to Howick passing the Howick Hall and then through Longhoughton and down to Boulmer.

As you can see from the photos the wind had increased in strength, unfortunately into our faces. Fortunately, there is an open public convenience here and this was the first of many visits on the ride home.

We rode along through Alnmouth and then on the track to Amble we met and older woman running with her dog. She told us this was her last long run before she runs the Great North Run in September 10th. She was doing really well. Just shows us oldies can still do things. The views above Alnmouth are really lovely.

Once in Amble I was desperate for the loo again and a café owner kindly let me use their facilities, all the public conveniences being shuttered and locked . I know there are financial constraints but surely on a bank holiday Monday, they want to encourage tourism? Why not open the public loos?

So it was off again and past the Commonwealth Graves cemetery  and along to Low Hauxley and then retraced the way to Druridge Bay  and Cresswell. Again, desperate for the loo. I realised that this was the start of cystitis, a condition I haven’t had in well over 30 years. Still, I wasn’t about to give up , so an ice cream and a loo break and off again.

I began drinking lots of water as I knew to keep the condition worsening, I needed to keep the kidneys flushing through.  Near Cambois  , the sun was shining and we had a bite to eat and carried on. We passed a lad having a can  outside a house. He called over to us as he also cycles. Would I be brave enough to ask to use the loo? Yes and he kindly agreed. Shall we say , it was a lad’s house and not even his. He told us it was his mate’s house. I think the alcohol had loosened his tongue a bit as he wanted to talk even more but we needed to get on. He did suggest getting some cranberry juice so we managed to buy some in Blyth.

I knew where our next stop would be – Ridley park in Blyth and we stopped there again. It was even more crowded than on Friday and the ice cream seller was doing a roaring trade with families out for the day.

Riding down to Seaton Sluice, the track was packed with families out for the day and the going was slow. Again , more shuttered public conveniences. Surely , it wasn’t only me who might need to go?  It was even more crowded as we got to Whitley Bay and there were some road works too so it was on to the road for part of the way.

I was never so relieved to get back to my cousin’s home.  We packed the car and drove home having completed another 52.4 miles.

As a note I was able to get some medication from the local pharmacy yesterday and after the second dose I began to feel a little better. Today, when I am writing I am feeling a lot better than yesterday.

So the total trip was 172 miles


Mileage YTD 2548.5 miles.







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