Category Archives: naked lady

The Challenge – day 3: The Reader’s Wife (or the Naked Truth)

Rachel (RachelSquirrel) has challenged me, not a cycling challenge as such but a photograph and writing one.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!

Looking back to the Hopetoun Moument (top left), with a closer-up view

Looking back to the Hopetoun Moument (top left), with a closer-up view

Today I was with the B-Spokes, an assorted group of gentlemen (occasionally), mainly retired, who  met up for a coffee stop, interrupted on either side by a cycle ride, today 40+ miles.

As we wound our way along I was thinking of the tale I could spin. I passed & photographed the tower – the Hopetoun Monument, which was  “erected to the memory of the Great and Good John, Fourth Earl of Hopetoun by his affectionate and grateful tenantry in East Lothian” (oh yeh?) as it says on the plaque on the side. You can climb up a fabby spiral worn stone staircase to the top with amazing views from the hill to the sea and the Southern Highlands on a good day.

We then popped into the Bothy in Aberlady for our obligatory coffee stop (with a chocolate brownie in my case). On our way out of the village we passed the gate above and I stopped to take the photo. I was reminded of a strange incident from many years back.

I had been training for the ’70 Wild Miles’, an event up near Glencoe in the Highlands. It consisted of a cycle ride of 47 hilly miles down to Taynault on Loch Etive, a sea canoe for 10 miles to the head of the Loch and a run of 13 miles, with 1,000 feet of ascent back up to the head of Glencoe. Running is not my strong point so I obviously needed to get some miles in.

The night before there had been a programme on the gogglebox about ‘Reader’s Wives’. For those not in the know the girly magazines used to have a feature showing photos of ‘ordinary’ married women divesting themselves of clothing and appearing in prrint.

It was a wild, chilly November evening and I was dropped off at that gate to run the few miles back home (it was early in my training plan). I set off up the path running along the field edge, seeing the tower behind gradually getting larger on the horizon. About a mile or so in, I spotted a couple some way ahead in the field just a wee bit off the path. As I got fairly near I realised it was a man and a woman. I also realised the man had a camera on a tripod aimed at the woman with the tower in the background. I suddenly realised that the lady(?) was naked. So advance or retreat? I had been spotted so I carried on past them, gave a cheery wave and a greeting and continued on my way. As I ran I ruminated on this strange meeting, the symbolism of the priapic tower not being totally lost on me, the fact that I seldom saw folk on these runs, plus such a chilly, windy evening to be baring all, so a triple surprise.

Were they influenced by the programme the night before or was it just chance? Anyway, as they say down south “nowt so strange as folk”.

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A 1/2 Naked Lady . . . .

Getting to know the cheetahs with my granddaughter at Nambiti, S Africa

Getting to know the cheetahs with my granddaughter at Nambiti, S Africa

I had been thinking of writing about some my strange meetings on my bike when I read Jean writing about her encounter with storks (http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/behold-a-stork-sightings-during-cycling-trip/).

This has nudged me into looking back a bit at some of my wildlife encounters.

I’ve always worked in the outdoors, canoeing, mountaineering, climbing, skiing, sailing, travelling so have had some pretty amazing happenings, including bears in USA, wild boar, monkeys & huge lammergeier in Nepal, foxes high up in the Alps, a field full of hedgehogs sniffing round my bivvy bag in Norway, stroking cheetahs in S Africa, deer, eagles, capercaillie & a shrew running around the snow in Scotland, being ‘buzzed’ by an owl while riding my motorbike at night and more. But I was thinking more of stuff I’ve come across in my bike wanderings.

Some have been sweet & unthreatening – a shrew dashing across the road in front of my wheels, a weasel running across and diving into the hedge beside me, a hare skelping up the road ahead at a vast rate of knots before wheeling into a gap somewhere.

Others have been a bit more hairy, going along at speed then a couple of deer suddenly clattering on to the road in front & very, very close, their hoofs raising sparks on the tarmac as they tried, successfully to wheel round & scamper off, just missing me. Another deer careering through the woods beside me at over 25 mph for 1/2 mile before turning away. What looked like a piece of wood rolling across the road in front of me, till I realised there was no wind and it was an adder, the only poisonous snake we have her in Britain. Bites or stings or just bruises from insects of various sizes pinging in to me.

But what is probably the most memorable and exciting?

One sunset ride I was down in 1st gear slowly climbing up one of our little steep climbs at about 15%, The road was a narrow with steep banks, trees and bushes above. Suddenly a large animal popped out on the way ahead a few metres away. It was a large male badger. I thought ‘Ah, it’s seen me, it’ll just turn away’. I couldn’t stop anyway or turn round – not wide enough. I was also aware that badgers have very powerful teeth. So – committed. The badger turned a bit more & started trundling down the hill towards me. Oh !@£$%&(@!!. What could I do, just carry on, no other real option really. Just a metre in front the brox decided enough was enough, or I just wasn’t very interesting. It wandered up the bank and off into the undergrowth. I grunted past it with a bit of relief and wonder at the magic of it all.

So what about the 1/2 naked lady?

 

I’ll just have to leave it for another time I suppose.

A Rose by Any Other Name . . . . . . . . .

Up in the Lammermuirs, Scotland

Up in the Lammermuirs, Scotland

What’s in a name?

I’m not sure, but I do enjoy giving my rides a special name rather than ‘Tuesday ride’ or ‘Morning ride”. Sometimes the name is descriptive, sometimes a little poetic and sometimes just plain daft. Not sure if my cycling friends enjoy them (though some do), but it is a wee bit of fun. A local friend who I cycle with has started naming his rides after the shape of the ride on the map, this also leads to a bit of entertainment and banter.

So what are these names? Here’s a wee selection from recent ones, earlier ones first:

‘ Wi’ the B-Spokes – coffee & scones, but still no sprinkles’

‘The best laid lack of plans’

‘Enough gravel for 1,000,000 grouse gizzards’

‘Wild Dunbar & Mike’

‘B-Spokes Tuesday & Jelly Legs’

‘Talks wi ‘pals + thorn and shrew’

‘1/2 century difference and wet, wet, wet’

‘Deluge & 1/2 naked lady’

‘Oer the Hill wi’ Nicky’

‘Blown over the hill – sort of’

So, are you the ‘morning ride’ variety or do you spice up life a little?

Wedding Roses

Wedding Roses