Oh happy day

Today’s picture shows Mrs Tootlepedal departing for a cycle ride in the afternoon. This indicates a marked change for the better in the weather as she is mostly  a fair weather pedaller.Mrs Tootlepedal

The day started, as a day ought to, with a morning cycle ride with Dropscone. We didn’t go on our normal route as it climbs a fair bit and is sheltered in places and I was still a bit worried by lingering icy patches. As a result we went up the A7 to the Mosspaul Hotel and back which gives us our usual distance of 21 miles. Although it was a delight to be out, the ride wasn’t one of unalloyed pleasure. The trip up the hill was fine, a gentle wind at our back and the morning mist clearing as we went. The trip back down the hill was another kettle of fish altogether as the ‘gentle wind’ at our back turned out to have been a 20mph stiff breeze (no wonder the trip up the hill had been so pleasant) and the rain started almost as soon as we had turned. While being passed by a few lorries is not too bad when you can hear them coming and the road is dry, it is a different matter entirely when they roar up out of the wind, giving you a buffet with their bow wave and soaking you with their wash. We had to hang on to the handlebars quite strongly if we passed any gaps in the hedges. We were only a minute faster back down the hill than we we were up.

back on the bikes

Mrs Tootlepedal took this picture of us on our return. As Dropscone said, we were only looking so cheery because we had stopped cycling. Still,after a coffee and a slice of toast and marmalade, we considered the ride to have been most enjoyable throughout. The marmalade was good too.



After the rather quiet bird day yesterday, the flocks were back in force today and I have put an album on Picasa because I took too many pictures to put them all on the blog. You can see it here.

I’ll stick a couple in here as a taster.

A brambling and a goldfinch
A brambling and a goldfinch

That’s not a combination I have photographed before, or at least I don’t think I have.

hanging about
The plum tree was very busy

There’s bramblings, goldfinches, a chaffinch and a greenfinch in the picture.

frantic activity 2
A brambling has words with a goldfinch

All right, that was three, I’m sorry.

In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal went for a five mile cycle round Potholm and, surprisingly to me, reported that the roads and tracks were quite free of ice. This was her first ride for some time and she enjoyed it thoroughly. While she was out, I settled down to put another week of the E&L into the database. (For new readers, the Langholm Archive Group are producing an index to our local paper, the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser, and the results can be seen, among other stuff, at www.langholmarchive.com)

After this, Bruce came round and we recorded the final part of his narration for the Langholm Railway section of the DVD for the Heritage Trail. I am making steady progress with this and have been able to slot in a recollection of early train rides by Dropscone.  If any of our more mature local readers have recollections of the railway that they would like to share, don’t hesitate to let me know.

In the evening, we entertained Dr and Mrs Tinker and once again I enjoyed tootling a couple of Handel sonatas with Mrs Tinker at the electric harpsichord. Superior people may turn up their noses a bit at electronic keyboards but there is no way I could afford a harpsichord or find the space for it so without the keyboard, there would be no sonatas….and it saves a lot on piano tuning too.

The evening finished with a glass of wine and conversation, thus ending a really good day all round.

…oh and one last look at the birds.

The bramblings are learning to stand still if they want their pictures taken.

P.S. Dropscone would like to point out to Joyce that we turned at the Mosspaul Hotel but we didn’t go in….and I would like to add that I also made blackcurrant jam this summer.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

3 thoughts on “Oh happy day

  1. More beautiful bird pictures Tom. I’m very impressed also with your abilities with the computer! I love taking pictures but get totally frustrated with trying to put them in the computer, get them out of the computer, edit them and know where on earth I have put them. I have two cameras , a little Sony Cybershot which I love and a Canon SLR which I hate because I don’t know how to use it properly. I have just received two books from Amazon which I am hoping might help me unravel the mystery.
    Your DVD for the Heritage Trail sounds very interesting. Is this going to be for sale eventually? I have many happy childhood memories of taking the “Langholm Bogie tae Carl”. It was always a celebration unless it was to go to get my eyes tested at the Infirmary. For some inexplicable reason there was a display case full of surgical instruments in the waiting room and I was always quite certain that some of them were about to be used on me! It was always a great relief when I escaped with only a prescription for new glasses.
    One last thought….. if Dropscone and Tootlepedal HAD paid a visit to Mosspaul Hotel they might not have minded the weather at all and the passing lorries wouldn’t have seemed half as menacing!

    1. I am glad you like the bird pictures. I find Picasa quite useful for keeping track of photos. It rifles through your computer and tells you where all your photos are. It also has some easy-to-use editing facilities.

      On the Mosspaul front, we might have been much more menacing to the passing lorries though.

  2. Well done for getting out on your bike. I specially liked the first photograph on the blog and have added it to my collection.

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