Restful day

Today’s picture was taken on the A7 going up the valley towards Mosspaul.


camera bookAfter a busy day yesterday for Mrs Tootlepedal with walking and dancing and for me with a round of golf, we rose late and enjoyed a breakfast in the early morning sunshine. By coincidence, Mrs Tootlepedal took this picture over the breakfast table of me studying the handbook for my new mini camera camera bookwhile almost simultaneously, I took this picture of her (using my new mini camera) studying the handbook for her camera.  We both discovered many wonderful capabilities which the cameras have and which we will never use. I wonder if I will ever feel the need to adjust the white balance to reflect the particular type of strip light in the room. Probably I should but probably I won’t.

After all this early excitement, Mrs Tootlepedal retired upstairs for a light snooze before a pantomime rehearsal while I took an age to get into my cycling kit. In the end I got ready, had an early lunch and set out in glorious sunshine but a chilly northerly breeze up the A7 towards Hawick. I was well wrapped up and felt no chill but the breeze was sufficiently strong to make a speedy effort unwise so I pedalled gently up the road, stopping from time to time to take a photograph.

Fiddleton TollThis is the toll house at Fiddleton, 8 miles north of Langholm. The right to collect tolls at these toll bars was sold at public auction once  a year in the Crown Hotel in Langholm in the nineteenth century. The road to Hermitage Castle leaves the A7 just behind the toll house. The picture at the top of the page was taken a mile further on up the hill towards the county boundary. hill sideThis is the hill on the left of the road taken at the same spot. I was unable to capture just how steep these gentle looking hills really are as the camera flattens everything out but it shows some greenness still left in the countryside.

MosspaulAt the top of the hill, ten and a bit miles north of Langholm, is the Mosspaul Hotel, once described on its publicity as a cyclists’ hotel. It sits right on the county boundary and also on this part of Scotland’s east west watershed. Everything behind flows into the Solway Firth and everything ahead into the North Sea. sign

There is a sign welcoming you to the Scottish Borders at the hotel and it is obviously written by someone of great good sense as you will see if you click on the picture to enlarge it.

Once over the col, I headed down the hill towards Teviotdale. At the bottom of the hill, just before the road meets the Teviot Water, I turned left to Carlenrig and paid a visit to Johnny Armstrong’s grave which is marked by a simple stone.

GraveJohn Armstrong of Gilnockie  was a famous border reiver. A plunderer and cattle-thief, he operated in the early 16th century. Like his fellow reivers, he raided into England when Scotland was in the ascendancy, and would change allegiances as power shifted. He led a band of a hundred and sixty men, despite having no income from rents. In 1530, Armstrong was captured by  King James V. The king had promised him safe conduct, but he was hanged with 36 of his men at Carlenrig chapel. Perhaps the best way to think of him is as a 16th century equivalent of a Somali pirate.

carlenrigI crossed back over the burn and rejoined the A7 to complete my 15 mile outward journey. As I had hoped, the wind gave me a good push back to Langholm and I hadn’t time to stop and take any pictures as I whizzed along.

Once home, I enjoyed a good bath while reading a Dick Francis novel and then, in the evening, made a very bad attempt at cooking toad-in-the-hole for tea. Next time I will get Mrs Tootlepedal to make it. I have posted a couple of the pictures Mrs Tootlepedal took yesterday on her walk to Old Irvine and back on to her page. Also included is a 3am celebrity paparazzi shot of her at last night’s  do in Carlisle.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

3 thoughts on “Restful day

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