Monday, August 18, 2008

Football v swimming

Having said all of that yesterday, Rebecca Adlington has been receiving £12 000 per annum as a full-time athlete. Compared to footballers' salaries that's not a lot. In fact, as payment for swimming 350 lengths of her local pool twice a day, it's not a lot. And, yes, she'll make rather more now she's got a gold medal, but even so.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sport or politics?

Editorial from today's New York Times - I found it refreshing.

'So be it. We like to root for the home team as much as anyone. But with the federal budget deep in the red, the economy in the doldrums, a broken military in need of repair, and enormous unmet domestic needs, we can think of a lot better places to invest federal resources than in building a sports machine. Let some rich benefactors augment the $130-million-a-year budget of the United States Olympic Committee.

And if international respect is the goal, a collaborative, less arrogant diplomacy would help a lot more than winning medals.

If we are looking to invest in sports, we would be wiser to spend money on daily gym classes and after-school athletic programs. That would not produce a large crop of Olympians, but it would help combat the growing obesity epidemic among American youngsters and yield health benefits worth more than Olympic gold.'

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Foxton Locks and Canal

7th August 2008

Marta and I walked along the canal from Debdale Wharf to Foxton Locks, had lunch and walked back. Then we drove to Saddington Reservoir.

Saddington Reservoir - small, out of the way.

An earlier walk.

6th August

Ingarsby - Quenby - Botany Bay

These gates show that the land belongs to Quenby Hall.
They have a fine herd of organic English long-horns - cows with downward-sloping horns, which can end up almost circular, and markings that give their faces a rather surprised expression.
Under the main drive to Quenby Hall - dated 1777
The Hall itself, high on a hill, monarch of all it surveys. They claim that Stilton Cheese originates here. It is also the site of a lost mediaeval village.
A ha-ha. Can't have a wall spoiling the view from the big house.
Through the cornfield
The farm at Cold Newton Lodge

The railway bridge in Ingarsby.

Head for the hills?

Another Leicestershire walk and its wildife.

Church with open bell-tower at Stonton Wyville.
A useful signpost.

Heading for the hills The trig point - the mighty peak is conquered.

The trees have looked like this nearly all summer.

Never go out without a forage bag. Not where I expected to see New Forest Ponies.From the bridge we saw these plants, and masses of blackberries - nowhere near ripe yet
Private fishing lake, with water-lilies, dragonflies, and moorhens walking on the lily pads.

Bullocks on the approach to Thorpe Langton.
Over the footbridge and on to the field road to Stonton Wyville.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gone swimming

The dive into the water,
arms poised against the ears,
enticed by it, slice into it,
this alien element
where we breathe out the bubbles below,
where we draw in the air above .
The glide of it, the slide of it,
the sensation of flying through water
The trust of it, the thrust of it,
the feeling of floating through space.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy new August

...and the garlic water is not a lot of good on its own. Snails eat beans as fast as they grow. No sloth in their breeding or eating habits. Beanstalk Jack, what was your secret?
Come on out Mr Pigog, and bring back the thrushes too.
Or perhaps we could dress Shelby cat in a smock and hat, give her a crook, and employ her as a snailherd, to lead them away.