Sunday, 23 February 2014

Back on the Bike

I'm soooo glad to see some Spring and blue skies,and was so glad to get back on the bike again yesterday after weeks of not cycling.

I've been going to the gym (ugh) and jogging in the rain. (I hate jogging so much it doesn't matter if I do it in rain or shine).  In fact, as I jogged slowly down the road recently, feeling like a human sack of potatoes as usual, I slipped on a kerb and fell onto a parked car. I don't think I dented it but I twisted my shoulder. It's still hurting, so I've started to wonder if the statins I take are affecting the muscles, so I've stopped the statins. I hope that's OK to do.  All that lack of exercise means my weight's crept up too so it's back on the lettuce leaves again. And there are also problems at work ....

Despite these niggles, I'm definitely counting blessings. A close family member fell ill abroad in early January, and has just managed to get home in an air ambulance. He is far from better, but we are so pleased he was well enough to leave the foreign ICU and travel home, and it's much easier now he isn't thousands of miles away. 

The twins are adorable and I'm secretly sure I already know which one will be the boss, but I'm trying really hard not to typecast them when they're only 2 weeks old. I'm having fun planning the children's storybook launch, too.

Back on the bike again, the day before yesterday,  I was delighted to pass this display of crocuses at Embankment Gardens. 

I was on my way to a good exhibition  at Two Temple Place, about normally unseen curiosities from the museums of Cambridge. The picture below shows a very old snakes and ladders board from India in mahogany and mother-of-pearl. It seems they've played the game in India for over 800 years - I never knew it was so exotic. How I would love to own this board.

I also liked this statue from the Nicobar Islands. It's over a century old, and apparently it was a life sized charm to protect the local chief's wife against illness spirits. When she died of an illness, though, the family chucked the statue out in disgust. Luckily it was rescued by a Royal Navy commander, who took it back to Cambridge.

There are all kinds of intriguing things in the (free) show, which is on till April 27.  If you click the link, you'll see more of Two Temple Place.  Even most Londoners don't know about this Victorian mansion at the Inns of Court which used to belong to billionaire Lord Astor. It only opens to the public in February, March and April.each year.  I was very taken with this particular interior door, which leads from the grand salon. 

Talking of doors, when I cycled through Clerkenwell yesterday, I spotted a dog which might have been grateful for any door at all.  It had to use the window if it wanted to see what was going on in the world, and was watching everyone go by with great interest

I thought it looked rather fetching draped in that lace curtain. 


  1. Hope your shoulder is feeling better soon.
    Love the photo of the dog! Great catch
    Spring in the UK while its still winter here. I know when and if I am a tourist, this will be the time of the year I'd want to tour the UK. I'm big on the main attractions when visiting a foreign land, see the ants (outdoors), and the sound of wind through pine trees (or whatever trees are around).

  2. The spring-like photos are wonderful. I especially appreciate them because there's no such thing as spring here in west Texas. It goes directly from winter to summer. My favorite of all the photos is the dog emmerging from the window. I hope he's friendly.....

    I'm so sorry to hear about your shoulder injury, but I heartily applaud you for jogging and going to the gym. Physical excercise and I don't get along......I used to love walking, but there's no place to safely walk where I presently live. I'll either get attacked by roaming pit bulls or perish from the thick Texas dust (*sigh*).

  3. I would love to see a yard of blooming crocus; a tree of blooming blossoms. I would love to see the end of winter. The great blue herons are back at the rookery this week, and they know spring is coming and it's nest tidying time. Thanks for the cheerful pictures.

  4. London is so full of intriguing places. I think my favourite is Postman's Park with its memorial tiles.

  5. It's a great photograph of the dog, Jenny. I hope your shoulder gets better quickly... are you sure about giving up the statins?

  6. Love that dog photo - a competition winner I'd say! I've passed on the info about the exhibition to an interested family member- Thank you. How lovely to see the crocuses too.

  7. Having had two frozen shoulders - if it isn't better, it might be an idea to get it checked out - and if the doctor can't help, it's worth finding a physio. Shoulders can be b*ggers to heal!

    But that snakes and ladders board is wonderful! Somewhere there must be an ancient dice, and counters!

  8. Glad you feel well enough to get out on your bike once again. Interesting you attribute the possibility of statins affecting your muscles, I'd stopped taking mine because of nightly leg muscle cramps, and it's definitely making a difference - who knows.
    Lovely, lovely photos of those crocuses - so pretty.
    I've just been over to see your children's book blogspot, thanks for putting the link in, it's such a wonderful project - congratulations to you for all your work so far :D)
    You've also shown us another curious museum in Two Temple Place - I really enjoyed knowing about it and will pop over for a further look on the link you provided.
    Finally, I too loved seeing that "doggie in the window" - awww, he'd love to be out running around :D)
    Cheers now and thanks again for a post chock-full of goodies!

  9. Well, the last photo really captured my attention. I wonder if he ever brings down the curtains? I hate being ill on travel and I am certain it takes longer to get well then when one is home surrounded by familiar noises, smells and things.

  10. How nice to get back on the bike, much better than jogging!
    Two Temple place is a place I have never heard off, although Astor, and his wife, was famous enough. It looks quite a place.
    Thinking of your relative.

  11. I love the photo of the crocuses - they seem like such courageous flowers, coming up so early in the spring when the weather is often still questionable.

    I'll be the second one to question your giving up the statins...have you talked to your doctor? Statins often do have side effects, but you shouldn't stop taking them without your doctor's advice. S/he may want to prescribe something different instead.

    And with exercise, it's best to pick something you enjoy doing. If you hate jogging, pick walking. I know, easier said than done. :-) At least you are back on your bike now. Biking is something I couldn't do or wouldn't enjoy. You are lucky that you can do that in London. Most American cities are not biker friendly.

  12. I'm back on the lettuce leaves, too, and crabby about it every day--except when I see results.

    You should write down your guesses about the twins' personalities and then tuck your thoughts into an envelope which they are given on their 18th birthday!

  13. Struggling to get my comment completed here--so you're either going to have three from me or just this any rate, I was here!

  14. Jogging isn't my favorite either, so i hope you get to be on the bike as much as you want, and that your shoulder feels better quickly.

    London is so amazing, there's always more to discover about it.

    Happy Spring!

  15. I love the dog photo at the end. But I'm deeply disturbed by the breasts on that statue.

  16. Hope you are on the mend along with your family member!
    Aw spring, you are so close but not here yet. In fact, they are calling for more snow :o(

  17. Lucky you! Spring has already arrived at the Embankment Gardens, sigh. All these are lovely, but that last one is my favorite of all:)

  18. Egads- I do hope your shoulder mends soon. Good for you for exercising, and hopefully no more mishaps. Congratulations on the twins!!! What joy- and loved the pictures!

  19. Some wonderful and interesting things in this post jenny - gorgeous images too. That dog-in-window, brilliant!
    I'm jolly impressed that you CAN jog Jenny, but oh dear take care of that shoulder and stay on the bike and off your feet!
    Pleased for you to hear 'family member' is home safe and sound. It's a serious worry when one's relatives are ill and far from home.
    How exciting planning for the launch too!

  20. Sorry to hear about the shoulder, Jenny, and I also find these little incidents show down the exercise routine, and on goes the weight! Onward ever onward... Love that blossoming tree - is it apple? and the crocuses are gorgeous, something we'd never see here. Two Temple Place looks fascinating, like so much in London. I wish I could go back there! And the dog, quite bridal really with that lace curtain :)

  21. It wasn't too bad that your shoulder wasn't hurt so much. Crocuses look like harbingers of spring. The gorgeous door and the charming dog make me happy. Thank you for your precious moments.

  22. Hello Jenny,

    It is so lovely to feel that Spring is in the air. And, so it is here too in Budapest which is unseasonably green and free of snow. Your pictures have captured the hope that comes with the first flush of flowers and, as you say, this does make one count one's blessings.

    The exhibition at Two Temple Place looks to be most intriguing, not least of which because of the building itself. Yes, we too covet the Snakes and Ladders board. Moving the pieces with such a sense of history would be quite an experience!

    Jogging and the Gym are definitely not for us but lettuce leaves are the order of the day here too. With the sun pouring through the windows, skimpy summer clothing seems only a breath needs must!

    We have missed you!

  23. What an intriguing exhibtion! I had not heard of Two Temple Place before, but if I ever happen to be in London at that time of the year, I will make sure to visit.
    The "bridal" dog reminds me of our old big black cat Moritz, who used to sit on the window sill just like that, with the curtain draped over his neck and back.

  24. I lived in London for 53 years but I never heard of 2 Temple Place! Some interesting things. I had no idea snakes and ladders was so historic - that board is wonderful. And what an extraordinary statue. Did they really have earholes like that? And such pendulous breasts?

    Judging by the worn windowsill, the dog has spent quite a lot of time in that particular lookout spot!

  25. You fit a lot into your bike trip and I enjoyed it all from right here in my chair. The dog is so cute looking out that window draped in lace.


  26. I hope your shoulder is getting better. Wow, love to see crocuses flowering in the yard. Spring is surely just around the corner! The dog on the window must be so brave and smart! Thank you for sharing those photos inspiring me!!
    Have a wonderful week.

  27. Sorry to hear of your stumble! London is full of hidden treasures - the ancient livery halls in the City are well worth a visit if they are still opening to the public (they used to open just occasional days, ticket only - I know this because I used to sell the tickets!). Love your dog in the window.

  28. awwwww nice day, field of Crocuses, and darling doggie in the window !
    Perfect !

    cheers, parsnip

  29. Another lovely Jenny post full of interesting places and things to see, but I have to confess the dog standing in the window really does it for me. I wonder how often that lace curtain needs washing! I've also been looking at your last post of the rain storm and the streets of Bermondsey. The photos are just stunning Jenny. They are worth publishing more widely. I love them all, but especially the first one of the darkening sky and the lovely coloured houses. Gorgeous!

  30. Hi Jenny. I must wish your shoulder better too. I went to an exhibition at Two Temple Place once and was so impressed by the building and its decor that the exhibition was not as memorable. I remember a cuple of tapestries and I think it was all about the pre-Rahaelites, but I wouldn't swear to it.

  31. That certainly is some front door! It looks like it would need a couple of strong men to open and shut it! No wonder the dog escapes by the window...or thinks about doing so.

    I walked into a car once...when walking home from school. I was looking at something behind me...I have no memory of what took my attention, but the next thing I knew I was up the back end of a car! I looked around sheepishly hoping no one had seen was right outside one of the town's local pubs. Full of embarrassment, I put my head down and hurriedly continued on my way. I didn't hurt myself except for my pride. The car escaped harm, too.

    Everything and everyone would be in danger if I hopped on a bike these it's best I don't!

    I hope your shoulder is a lot better now, Jenny.

    Great post and pics as usual. Thanks. :)

  32. I will always argue that Japan has the most beautiful autumn in all the world, but I'm equally convinced that England gets the first prize for spring. Good luck with the shoulder, the work issues and the lettuce leaves! ^^

  33. I've always felt that jogging is an extremely dangerous sport. I do hope you're feeling better soon. I love the crocuses, I have some rather weedy looking white ones, but I think it's the orange that look so joyous! Have a happy week. Jane xx

  34. Thank you for the comments, and I've taken the good advice from wiser people than me, and re-started the statins. I talked to the trainer at the gym today and he gave me some good advice. I've wanted to go to some of the livery halls for ages, Marianne. I don't believe I have ever been to one although I've been to the halls at grays inn and Lincolns Inn, don't know if those count! . There are indeed so many treasures in London. Parsnip and Susan, I really should have thought of "the doggie in the window" phrase for the headline. Missed an opportunity there...
    It was a nice dog, I think not very young, and I got the impression that it often stood there, not just the scraped paint on the window sill, Nick.
    I will continue my comments soon.......

  35. Had to stop commenting there as someone was at the door! Yes, Jane, I know so many people with injuries caused by jogging and when I was younger it did one of my knees in for years so was an excuse to give up for a long while, hehheh... Adullamite, I always enjoy your bike trips, they're the sort I like to do, just to go and see what there is to see.
    Darla, Meike and Patricia, I didn't think of the dog being draped in lace but now I think of it that's really what caught my eye. (When I take a photo, I just snap it without thinking why.) Meike, they have a different exhibition every winter, wish I 'd seen the last two.
    Jane and Lance, how nice to see you back, and I will check out your blog in the hopes of seeing something of Spring in Budapest!
    Oh Bonnie, more snow, that sounds just horrible!!!! We haven't had any this year but I was just looking at pictures of last year and thinking how miserable it was right up until March.
    Thank you Jocelyn, two of your comments got through, can't comment boxes be annoying, I just tried to leave a comment on someone's blog and the form blanked out three times. I still don't know if my comment got through. I
    I think I've almost reached my word limit on this box so I'll continue commenting soon.

  36. Oh I'm sorry about your fall, it sounds nasty. I agree jogging is a bore. Ha I almost wrote blogging is a bore. :D I also need to lose some weight. I'm eating low calorie meals and they really are horrible. :D

  37. Glad your family member made it home! Can hardly wait to see more pics of the twins.
    Good luck with the biking and lettuce leaves. You always have such interesting things to show us. :)

  38. ha. the pups is cute...and looks like its wearing a dress a
    what a cool exhibit as well...i love old ornate doors like that....
    they tell a story

  39. What a great find to catch that dog at the window! So much to love here -- a fabulous museum, good news on your relative, whom I hope continues to improve, grins on the twins and much more. And also have to tell you I loved your post about the rain. Sounds like such a communal experience! I was on a loaner computer and for whatever reason, couldn't choose a profile to comment with on blogs without a pop-up page so it cut down my commenting a lot! (Even though I was logged into google. I'll never get the computer!). So, I missed that, but back in the saddle and happy to be catching up.

    I know what you mean about the gym. I've been going faithfully to spinning or to walk on the eliptical. I hate it -- can think of lots more fun ways to spend my time. But it's a necessity so off i go!

    Sticky shift key! Happy trails!

  40. Sorry you have had such computer problems Jeanie. Its utterly frustrating. I'm starting to think about getting free of mine a bit more I need to have SOME kind of a rethink anyhow.
    Wow, Lee, I am glad you obviously came to no harm with the car!
    Jocelyn your other comment finally reached me. Wonder what is going on with Blogger!
    Jo , I consulted the guy at the gym yesterday and he said keep moving. I think that's probably right, I did feel better after the gym session. Jeanie, I like to hear of others who hate the gym but go anyhow. Yes, yes, it is useful. In fact I am going to step it up in March, the guy might be able to come here and give T and me some exercises to do at home for 10 mins a day with whatever we have here to use as equipment.
    Jean, I looked at the last two exhibits at Two Temple place and would have liked to go to both of them. But now I can't remember what they were. Duh! I just have too much information to keep in my head :)
    Yes, Brian the dog did look like he was wearing a dress .. well I suppose it might have been a "she" dog :).

  41. I like your eclectic post with so many interesting tidbits like about the door and the statue. I am sorry you fell and hurt your shoulder. I cannot jog as I have arthritis in both knee and it hurts to walk as it is. I love your picture showing all the flowers – what a delight to see this already.

  42. According to Adullamite, biking can be rather hazardous to your health!

  43. oh what flowers......and cute canine fashion!!

  44. What an entertaining and eclectic post Jenny, so sorry to hear of the problems though. I suspect from what I have been told by others that you may feel better without statins?

  45. I'm so jealous of your beautiful weather! and the fact that you jog.... If I jogged to the mailbox, I'd be winded!
    I'm sorry for all the issues going on but the twins sound adorable!

  46. Your photos are lovely and with all the bad weather that you’ve been getting over there I’m glad to see such pretty spring blooms. Is it early this year? We have to wait for a while before we see any in our area. Ouch! Sorry you fell and hurt your shoulder. Hope that feels better soon and am also glad your family member is back and hope his recovery is a swift one. Being home must be a wonderful feeling. Having twins in the family must be fun. I was also fascinated to learn that snakes and ladders have been around for as long as it has and came from India. My mum would play the game with us all the time when we were kids and I too covet that board you showed! The stories you shared were fascinating, and I loved the last shot of the dog draped in the curtain. A really interesting post. Thanks so much and have a great day!

  47. Dear Jenny,

    As always, an articulate and pictorial splendour is on offer on your wonderful blog. Despite the niggles, you see the positives and your attitude refreshes. I know you will continue to maintain the upbeat way as you embrace the positive resources on offer.

    Look after your shoulder and yep, Penny says that's a cute dog!

    With that, I'm on my bike :)

    Be well and smile,


  48. Made me smile reading this post Jenny:) I'm with you on the jogging.. Horrible.. but I also have put on an extra 5 kgs so have decided to turn Aimee's now vacant bedroom into a spare room/gym. There's air conditioning in there, most necessary in 38C .. so the cross trainer will come indoors for the remainder of the hot weather.. good on you, cycling is a brilliant way to keep fit .. had to laugh at the bad luck good luck charm :)

  49. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.
    Your shoulder, hope it has recovered.
    Enjoyed your photos as your cycle.

  50. Jenny, you have a beautiful blog!
    Love the photo of the dog!
    I hope your shoulder gets better very soon.
    Thanks for stopping by my place and for your comment. :)

  51. That’s a interesting place. London has such very special gems which people only find by word-of-mouth.

    Hope your tumble leaves you without lasting pain.

    Aren’t you a busy bee, cycling, jogging, etc. but go easy on the lettuce leaves, they’ll pile on the pounds before you know it.

  52. Another great blog you have. I' ve thoroughly enjoyed all your pictures, and it's nice to see something other than the US landscape. Thanks for stopping by.

  53. I love that Nicobar Islands statue, Jenny! Even with those droopy boobs she still has amazing appeal!

  54. What a marvellous post. You know how fond I am of both cycling and running, so your column is right up my street. I can understand what you write about running. Some days I feel the same. Not today, though. I want to go out for a run today, especially because of the lovely magical moment I experienced a few days ago.

    Cycling in London IS something. I love, it, love it, love it. Beautiful shots as well, as usual. Cute dog! :-)

    Have a great Sunday and week ahead.

  55. I'm on the lettuce leaves with you. Blech.
    And I can't wait to hear more about your grandbabies!

  56. Jenny, so glad you stopped by Carole's Chatter. I've signed up to follow you too. I post about travel once a week and will enjoy your posts. Cheers


Blog Archive