Today’s guest picture shows a fine view from the hills towards Valencia taken by my brother on his recent visit to Spain.
The day started with another breakfast in St Pancras, this time as part of the farewell to my younger son and his wife on their way back to Edinburgh.
Then we went to Vauxhall Station to meet my daughter and embark on an adventure. The view from the platform at Vauxhall showed another fine day and some of the hideous architecture which disfigures the London skyline.
Our aim was a cycle tour round Richmond Park. Annie had done this before and steered us to a very good cycle hire place where we were soon equipped with comfortable bikes.
There is a well surfaced shared used path which runs round the perimeter of the park and we followed this. It was a delightful route with plenty to see as we pedalled round.
We soon met one of the resident herds of deer…
….and Mr Grumpy’s London cousin.
…and some mouldering fungus on one of the many fine trees in the park.
It seems to be the policy of the park managers to leave fallen trees where they lie but trim off all small branches so all round our route there were lots of trees on the ground.
It is probably environmentally sound but in early March with little growth about, it gave parts of the park a rather bleak air.
We had arranged to meet Mrs Tootlepedal’s nephew at the upmarket tea room in this fine house…
…for some midday refreshment but as it didn’t allow either bikes or dogs (the nephew had his dog with him), we had to settled for a less posh place outside the gate. This wasn’t too bad as it provided a very tasty sausage in a bun which kept me going round the rest of the ride.
There was only one hill on the circuit and the ladies of the party ascended this in fine style. They were still full of beans at the summit.
We got back to the bike hire centre with two minutes of our hire time in hand which impressed the man in the kiosk a lot.
After that we walked and took a train and walked again until we come to the home of the parents of Annie’s partner. They restored us with tea and tasty biscuits and we had enough strength to walk round to Annie’s house and admire her eucalyptus tree which was blown over during the recent gales.
She is waiting for a tree specialist to come to remove it but as there are so many fallen trees after the gales, it may be some time before it goes.
Then it was bus and underground train again to get back to the hotel for a quick feet up before going our later this evening with my two London based sisters for the last meal of a very social few days. We return to Langholm tomorrow.
No time for a flying bird today.