"The cure for this ill is not to sit still
And frowst with a book by the fire.
But take a large hoe and a shovel also
And dig 'til you gently perspire"
The hoe and shovel did not inspire so I very reluctantly dragged the bicycle from the garage and set out against a 40 mile per hour westerly wind across country. The sky was heavy, overcast with scudding grey clouds, but no rain.
As I rode down towards the Marsh the sun succeeded in giving a brief flash of light, which I managed to take advantage of for a picture:
Then it disappeared as quickly as it came and I slogged some 10 miles across the bleak flats against the wind to a remote garden centre with a good cafe. Warmth and calm. Toasted, buttered teacake and good coffee.
Then back on the bike and making the turn towards home resulted in the wind now being behind me. Exhilaration! The bike flew with the utter silence of no air past the ears, reminding me of Masefield's lines from "The Everlasting Mercy":
"Along a dim road, on and on,
Knowing again the bursting glows
The mating hare in April knows.
Who tingles to the pads with mirth
At being the swiftest thing on earth."
I took a lane where I know the first primroses bloom in Spring - usually in late February. My reward for making the effort today was the sight, sheltered from wind and frosts and facing any sun, of the first, solitary clump of the year - in January, no less!
I got home tired and tingling after some 25 miles of blowing weather, ("Better than mortar, brick and putty / Is God's house on a blowing day" - origin of quote, anyone?) the "Black Dog" having been lost on the way somewhere (he has not caught up with me again yet!)
Thanks Kipling - just the right medicine.