Spend time on top of a hill
I live in an awkward spot, neither valley nor hill. In fact, it is halfway up a hole left by the quarrymen who dug through diluvial loam and through white and fawn sandstone to reach the Tilgate Stone that would resurface the roads. Our house was built at the top of the dip in 1870 and my aim this month was to climb up the steep hill to the top of St James Road on a bike without gears (my bike has no gears).
I was aided in this by quitting smoking on 3rd January. No more violent coughing and wheezing as I walk up West Hill to the Old Town. Instead, I am breathing free. But that is a big adventure and I am here to talk about my microadventure. So . . .
I asked my landlord to unlock the garden shed. I wobbled onto my bike and felt for the peddles. I first travelled down the hill, picking up speed. Into town and along the sea front. When I felt I had my cycle-legs about me, I jumped off the bike. I walked up Queens Road. I wasn't going to have the regulars at Zar Zar Bar laugh their heads off as I struggled past them. I waited until I was at the bottom of my road. Then I mounted the bike again. I set off up the hill, hup, two, three, four, hup two, three, four. I was halfway and it was getting harder. It was too far. Hup, two, hup two. I know it is bad for the bike and I tried to resist, but then I stood up and I used all my strength to push the peddles, hup, two, hup two. I was doing it, I was nearly there. I reached the top. Woo! I leapt off the bike and stood at the top of St James Road trying to get my breath back, desperate for water, desperate for rest.
I couldn't have done that in December.
February challenge: wildlife spotting
I’m excited to hear what everyone gets up to for this one - recording birdsong, trying their hand at wildlife photography or drawing, setting aside an hour in a local park or garden to watch the fauna, learning to identify new insects, going on a special trip or safari, looking out the window . . . there are loads of options.
I am personally hoping to see a live badger in the wild. I’ve been hoping to do that since we moved to the UK three years ago and have so far been unsuccessful, so I might need to put a bit more effort into my spotting. But that’s exactly what this challenge is for!