It looks like we are in for several cold and dark days if the weather report has anything to say. Until the end of the month. I feel like life is standing still if I can't go out on my bike and do my daily pictures. Not that my daily pictures are very inspiring any more. I've been doing them for three, or is it four, years now. The regular practice is good, but there are other subjects besides picture with bike. I always say I should get more variety, but haven't done it yet. In a rut.
But perhaps the bleak outlook has given me a bit of a nudge. I am going to make an effort with still life photography again. The light here isn't as good as in the old apartment in Munich. Time to take a stab at using artificial light. I know nothing about it. So I ordered a soft box, not very expensive, and we'll see what I produce. I need props, too. Maybe I'll start with vegetables. Maybe I'll see what e-bay Kleinanzeigen has to offer.
For the moment, I have no props, no attractive vegetables or flowers, just this branch left over from the bouquet that Piroska brought us weeks ago. Using what was at hand, I had fun and it was a start.
I can't believe it's been eight months since I last wrote in my blog. Sometimes I feel I need the blog, sometimes I don't. When I post in Flickr or my various cycling sites, I am usually happy. I almost always have someplace to go with my bicycle shots, either the daily documentation of my rides in Flickr, or writing up our tours in CycleBlaze, or having fun with the bicycle challenges on Cycle365.
Today I have a bunch of pictures that I snapped in my room, all mundane objects that make up my little environment. They have no place on Flickr, and no bicycles here either, at the most my helmet.
I have a lens that I want to get to know better, the Lensbaby Trio 28. That's what I used here, no systematic comparison of anything, just haphazard snaps. The lens has three different optics, the velvet, the twist and the sweet. Each different but I didn't compare. Just snap snap snap.
We don't use our car very often, but yesterday we had to drive to Munich for an emergency dentist appointment for Janos. When we got home and tried to open the garage door, the type that swings up, it wouldn't budge. I turned the key this way and that but to no avail. This morning I called the superintendent of the building and he came immediately, but couldn't fix it. He said we were lucky that the car was outside and not locked away. I didn't bother to explain, but the real problem is that our bikes are locked away, we seldom need the car. Except when there is an emergency dentist appointment like yesterday.
Next I called the building manager who will send a locksmith. I am waiting. It's again a grey and rainy day, the kind we have had too many of this summer. But I wanted to get out for a ride anyway. In the meantime I drink tea.
My first attempts at creating new pages using the tablet were unsuccessful, at the most I succeeded in messing up the whole format of the website and spent the rest of the morning getting it straightened out. I might have to resort to writing my travel journals in the blog. This means the last day comes first,and, well, it's just not a journal. Perhaps I should try again, at the risk of messing up the whole website again. The other option is to write up my bike tours on my computer when we are back home. But I find it very unsatisfactory to try to capture the days in words weeks afterwards. That's what I got the tablet for anyway, so I could write my journals while traveling.
Writing up the trip when we are home takes a lot of time. I spend days at the computer, the words just don't flow. I also spend a lot of time editing my pictures, more than I would on the road where my editing tools on the tab are limited.
Now the technical part, how to add pages and blog posts using my tablet. I discovered I could install an app on the device. Then spent a whole lot more time trying to make the app work. I'm not done yet.
I've almost completed my journal on the aborted bicycle tour to the north. We covered half the kilometers intended before I got sick and we had to return home. Now I'm waiting for the antibiotics to do their thing before I get back on my bike for a longer ride.
I'm eager to be off, the sumer is passing quickly. But there are obstacles, one being that my bike (which I love) might need repairs involving sending the fork in to the manufacturer's for a closer look. Bad luck that I got a bike with a defective suspension fork. This happens so seldom I was told, actually the bike mechanic has never experienced this before and he has sold a lot of Simplons.
To add to our load while traveling, but also to increase the fun, I have invested in a small Samsung Tablet to take along. This will enable me to journal and edit pictures while on th road. If I'm not too tired at night. And if we get back on the road.
A Ramble in the Woods
To beg the question I could just call it a ramble, or maybe a bimble. But I do like the idea that my walks, in the beginning quasi strolls, are becoming a bit more ambitious. I found this definition that I like.
"Walking is the basic activity of placing one step after the next. If you do this for any distance that brings you off your property, you are on a walk. Extended walking, but still leisurely, is a hike, I would say anything over an hour. You go on a hike for the hike’s sake, not to get to some place."
I like it because it classifies my outings in the woods as hikes. Yesterday I took a long walk or rather short hike in the woods at a faster pace and longer than I have been doing so far. In the beginning I dawdled with stops for pictures, but after the first 30 minutes or so I just kept going, only stopping to get my orientation on the maps on my phone.
We have so many raised hides here in the woods. The idea is to keep the deer population under control as they don't have enough natural enemies and multiply too fast for the good of the forest. The deer eat saplings of trees that are important for a healthy forest. An attempt to maintain a balance of nature.
I haven't been on my bike for 11 days. It's been cold and we have had plenty of snowy days, as well. My new year's resolution was to not ride my bike in the cold and I am sticking to it. Not a hard resolution to keep since it isn't that much fun to ride when it's freezing cold. I'll feel comfortable when the temperature gets up past 40°F - at least.
But I have been walking every day that I don't ride. This is a brief summary in pictures of the past week or so.
Tomorrow is the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere, good weather is sure to come. Our weather forecast said so, too, and I hope I will soon be posting pictures of spring blossoms and bicycles.
First the good news - Janos got an appointment for his Covid-19 vaccination! After so much waiting and feeling so discouraged that we have heard absolutely nothing, he received an e-mail informing him that he could come on the following day at 2 p.m. and that he will be vaccinated with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. His follow up shot will be two weeks later. Couldn't be better.
The bad good news - At the Vaccine Center he was told that the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine hadn't been delivered but he could be vaccinated with AstraZeneca. Furthermore his second shot was scheduled for June, that's in three months. AstraZeneca has been making the headlines and has a bad image: Severe side effects, less effectiveness. Without much time to think about it, Janos decided rather AstraZeneca than no vaccine. But his first shot left us both with a feeling of dissatisfaction, not the relief we had expected. (But no side effects by the way)
We are left wondering why Germany has been so exceptionally incompetent and slow in procuring, distributing and implementing the vaccine which could save so many lives.
Now for the bad news - For a long time I have been wondering why I struggle so to catch my breath when I hike, or even just take a walk. It has made walking unpleasant while at the same time I realized I needed the exercise in addition to riding my bike, where I don't get noticeably out of breath. At long last I made an appointment with a pulmonologist. After extensive testing the diagnosis was exercise-induced asthma, a constriction of the airways in the lungs triggered by exercise. I don't wheeze, I don't cough and I don't get asthma attacks, I just don't get enough oxygen. No wonder walking has been such an effort.
The good bad news is it was a great relief to have a name for the condition and better yet a treatment. Asthma inhalers are effective. Already on the first day using the inhaler I noticed a huge difference and the full effectiveness of the medication should develop over three or four weeks.
Again I left the bike in the garage and set out on foot. It was a shorter walk today, just down to the Reismühle and back with Janos. A few drops of rain, gusty wind but warm with the temperature around 14° C.
Just another walk - it's not cold but it's not that nice either. I flipped a figurative coin whether to get on my bike or take a walk. Why the coin said walk I don't know.
It was a longer than usual out-and-back walk along the Würm starting in the park at Schloss Fußberg.
... is up and running again. It is a space for notes on my daily doings - walks, bike rides, photo outings, travel. Thanks for reading.