Take these chains

Today’s flower is a crocus. We are nearly at the flower season.crocus

Things are looking up. I have been able to cycle on 10 out of the last eleven days, crocuses are creeping up in the garden and my back doesn’t hurt at all. It is probable that not playing golf and not going for walks in the hills with Mrs Tootlepedal have played quite a large part in my back not hurting. This is disappointing because I enjoyed the walk round Calfield Rig and I like the social side of playing golf. I will probably still play an odd round now and again but the pleasure in not having a sore back is so great that giving up golf does become a real possibility again. (I have given up golf many times for many reasons, most of them because I am a rotten golfer.)

In the morning, I went down to Longtown with Mrs Tootlepedal to get a new chain for my speedy bike and we saw Chuck crossing the Canonbie by-pass as he went  round the morning ride on his own. I bought a chain for quite a large sum of money and then we went on to Aldi in Carlisle because they had a good offer on garden seeds. While we were there, we got the car washed in the car wash next door, a thing we have never done before.

After lunch, when we got home, I fitted the new chain and went round the morning run (in the afternoon by now) by myself. In contrast to yesterday, I felt really well and got round in the standard time for the first time this year (15mph). I went so slowly round the corner where I got the first puncture on Monday that I had time to stop and take a couple of pictures.

ride
A very characteristic tree

ride
Looking down the road past the Bloch Well

The Bloch (or  Blough) Well is a mineral spring which in the nineteenth century even merited consideration as a tourist destination. Nothing came of it.

During the day, I was visited  by Doctor Barlow of the Moorland Project who stood in amazement at the flocks of siskins in the garden. She nets garden birds for ringing and says that her garden, only a few hundred yards away from ours, is full of blue tits. She hopes she will be able to come and net birds in our garden next week.

The sunny weather made it possible to get some quite sharp pictures of birds in flight….

goldfinch flying siskin
A goldfinch sees off a siskin

flying siskin goldfinch
A siskin confronts a goldfinch

goldfinch
A goldfinch making off with a seed

goldfinch
A goldfinch literally hangs around while chaos envelops the feeder

goldfinch
This time a goldfinch confronts a greenfinch

flying chaffinch siskin
A chaffinch sees off a siskin

The birds are relentless in their feeder activity but every now and a again there is a moment of peace. This rotund siskin sat for sat calmly for several  minutes thinking about this and that.

…and this one sat while I was in the drive no more that three metres away.

siskin

Mrs Tootlepedal went to work in the afternoon and I did some work on the BGA website and also looked at my sister Susan’s family website which gets ever more stuffed with interesting material. For my tea, I made a curry out of my left over lamb stew which proved to be a big mistake, as it was very horrible but I ate it anyway because I was getting ready to go out to the Archive Centre. We got through some good work and then enjoyed a couple of pints in the Douglas which rounded off an excellent day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

3 thoughts on “Take these chains

  1. So glad to read that you had a good day for once and that your back doesn’t hurt at all, wonderful!

    Bird photographs right up to your best and interesting to read the different species in gardens not all that far away.

  2. Glad that you are seeing the first signs of spring and that conditions have been good for your cycling.
    You might be interested to know that I am following your blog while on route to The Sunshine State. We drove 1030 kms yesterday.. the weather was very kind to us so we made excellent progress. We are now in Staunton, Virginia and our car is looking very scruffy, covered as it is with the detritus of a Canadian winter. They salt our roads heavily and the car soon an armour of mucky gunk! Must get to a car-wash too. The weather here is nice and mild ( no snow at all)and all our car’s American cousins are looking clean and spiffy. Can’t let him be shown up. Heading now for St. Augustine, Florida but probably won’t get there today.

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