Sunday, 4 June 2017

super saturday

Another week of cycling 12 miles to do 8hrs work and 12 home. I was a zombie by Saturday and really looking forwards to the pleasant forecast and few relaxing miles down the coast. No racing. No hassle. And so it turned out to be. Everything (all the resident creatures) seemed to be out and about, enjoying the good weather.

On the way to the van we pass this door along the road which is in an attractive (very hipster) state of distress. I know this because it resembles the Port of Leith Bar front which has had a facelift: instead of putting a layer of paint on top of the PoL they just scraped the old stuff off and left it "distressed." And it looks quite nice. Inside it has had quite a makeover and will prob sell overpriced craft beers. A few folk were lamenting this on facebook saying it was being deprived of it's character and characters and being gentrified for/by hipsters. If that means fewer prostitutes and fighting drunks giving the evils, fewer unlikely unwashed looking individuals with knives in their pockets and addicts propping up the bar, then it gets my vote. I'm sure there are still plenty other venues in Leith where you can get shitfaced, mugged and an std in the same afternoon.

this was about the fourth peloton we passed

Falko's had a new brass section since we were last in. Caroline the coffee wasn't there so our coffees didn't arrive as I got to the front of the queue. Instead I had to order them and they came in suspiciously small cups, though the same price. This resolved the following day - the cup size - Caroline was still absent. Not sure if their mutual absence was related or coincidental. The coffee was Twin Peaks good.

We parked at the beach car park (for swim later) then ran the usual route, stopping where some flamboyant poppies were sunning themselves near Saltcoats Steading.

Some new planks inserted at regular intervals across the bridge to enchantment. There are about 5 or 6 sets of them just in case you feel comfortable walking your dog past the first couple. Since there is no shortage of dog walking spots locally I think it is fine to have a no dog policy here where dogs might disturb nesting birds etc. There are plenty of dog-poop-polybags hanging in trees and off fences all the way along the coast, so nice to have a shit-free area here, where the land is carefully managed.

there is so much ectoplasm on Marl Loch the gulls can stand on it

also delightful yellow flags

When we went over to photograph the yellow flowers we realised the place was buzzing with damselflies which were mostly procreating. The ones below in my hand were extricated from a spiders web. No spider about but they were stuck fast so I tried to unravel them a bit after taking a photo. You can see other flies caught up too. Not sure if I helped.

damsels in distress

unable to find out what this is
might be a stonefly, a clearwing, a sawfly, an ichneumon or something else

And this wee dude was far too fast to get a decent photo.
By this time Mary had run on and I was already pushing
how long I could stay there looking for friends!

The skylarks and meadow pipits filled the day with their songs.

I took dozens of pics of them and most were tiny dots or just blank sky. We disagreed on what they might be singing about: I was suggesting it was a welcoming and friendly hello, Mary thought the reverse. It probably wasn't for our benefit but territorial or procreational.

Mary did a headstand

photo Mary

Down the other end of the beach we picked up the pace.

Eider chicks

omg,ullane beach

Just shy of the beach car park Mary drew my attention to 2 deer who were young and not as skittish as their elders. They continued grazing while keeping an eye on us. They were close enough to get a couple of fine pics. 

Mary ran on to the van but I stopped to take a photo of this deer. Now it looked a lot more cautious or alarmed and I felt guilty about moving closer for more pics. Then it turned and bounded slowly away as did the young calf with it. (Ears just visible in the photo above.) We had been wondering about the lack of deer clusters off the JMW earlier and I suspect this (young vulnerable animals in the family groups) was maybe the reason.

near the beach Mary took a photo of this Silver-ground Carpet moth.
She donated it to me because I was impressed at how well the photo came out.

loving it(?)

So we took towels and stuff with a idea to immerse tired and weary legs (Mary's) in the cooling water. Neither of us could be bothered with wet suits and sure enough the water was quite warm. Actually by quite warm I mean it wasn't shockingly cold; just fridge-like cold - mildly unpleasant until the limb immersed gets a bit numb, allowing for 10mins "swimming" before hypothermia sets in. Mary felt a paddle was sufficient. I didn't like to commit to anything but found very slow immersion up to the nipples, then back out, then introduction of splashing to warn the heart not to freak out and stop suddenly, kind of did the trick. Then a few blissful moments of swimming, albeit the red warning lights of brain frost were flashing and sirens were going off. 

After pretending to swim for a few strokes I approached the shallows to get out. Then realised I hadn't started my gps and my open water swim function was reading 0mph and 0distance. So I bleeped it on and went back out just so I could get a modest trail heading out to sea. Ten minutes later I was running up to the Berlingo where I found to my delight Mary's blue towelling thing to wear while removing wet shorts without exposing myself in the car park. The Biz. Dreams of a Transition Mat have been traded in for a large towelling whatever. Like a warm bear hug. 

Somehow we managed not to visit the Gullane Superfry but got cups of tea from Gannets' deli and snacks from the co-op. Very relaxing day out.

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