Grass, sand, seat posts, Zulus and Russian spies


Bournemouth beach – those pushchairs/baby buggies certainly leave some tracks

Tuesday it was off to Bournemouth again to check that the recent bad weather had caused any problems (it hadn’t) and to see if I could mow the lawn for the first time this year (I could).

It had thawed quickly and the roads were clear so I went by the cross-country route, through the ancient city of Salisbury – more famous recently for the (alleged) nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy. I wasn’t worried about that … I only had the windows firmly wound up because it was cold – honestly.


No one likes litter but those little bits of paper can really mess up a beach like almost nothing else I can think of

The road goes through Tidworth – a garrison town on the edge of Salisbury Plain, near Stonehenge. There has been a lot of recent building and I passed ‘Rorke’s Drift Road’, which is new. I get the military connection but it did seem a bit incongruous.

I don’t suppose that Rorke’s Drift is very famous outside the UK, but in 1879 it was the scene of an attack, by 4,000 Zulu warriors, on a British depot/hospital manned by a garrison of 150. After 12 hours, up to 400 Zulus were dead, along with 17 British soldiers and the Zulus withdrew.

Possibly, people might remember the 1964 Michael Caine film ‘Zulu’ that tells the story.

Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana (where the nearby British garrison was largely wiped out in a Zulu attack just before the one at Rorke’s Drift) are well worth a visit if you find yourself in KwaZulu-Natal.

My guess is that there isn’t an ‘Isandlwana Close’ in Tidworth.

Anyway …

… on Wednesday I felt a small niggle in my left knee (weights or mowing, I assume) but it eased and Mrs O and I went for a long walk, and then it was back to the turbo for an hour and 27.9 miles (44.9km).

I went to put the saddle up a bit – but the post is seized in the seat tube. Another avoidable job to be done – why is it so hard to remember to move seat posts every now and then?



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