Another unseasonably fine but very welcome day greeted us this morning and Dropscone and I enjoyed a pleasant run round the morning route. We weren’t quite as fast as yesterday but we were fast enough to be able to enjoy our coffee and cake.
While we were eating our cake, I saw this blue tit on the feeder.
As Dropscone left to go home, I went out with him and saw our usual blackbird on the lawn.
The blackbirds are the calmest birds in the garden. This dunnock started legging it across the lawn with his worm as soon as he saw me.
I had just had time to check if the frogs were still about….
…when the phone rang. I nipped in to answer it and was given a stern command from John Ritchie to go along and photograph Dropscone’s bike which had been run over. I went along the road and saw Dropscone and another man eyeing the bike.
This was what they were looking at.
It transpired that the bloke in the picture above had moved out to pass a stationary minibus, decided he couldn’t do it and reversed his car back without warning over the bike and poor old Dropscone too. Dropscone had been bashed on the elbow, the knee and the leg and his foot had ended up under the wheel of the car. The car hadn’t got off scot free either.
All in all, it had been very lucky that no worse injuries had been suffered. I went and got the Kangoo and gave Dropscone and his bike a lift home. I rang up later in the day to see how he was and he told me that he was a bit stiff and sore. My sympathy was sharply moderated when he also revealed that he had managed to play nine holes of golf. We’ll have to see how he is tomorrow. He sent me a picture of the gash on his leg but public decency prevents me from publishing it. Not the gash, the leg.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been out at work while all this excitement had been going on. On her return, undeterred by Dropscone’s disaster, we had a quick lunch and set out for Talkin Tarn with the bikes in the back of the Kangoo for an afternoon pedal in England.
Our route was a 13.6 mile circuit with one sharp climb near the start and then a long downhill, followed by a flat section and then, inevitably a 3.5 mile steady climb back to Talkin Tarn. We crossed under the Carlisle-Newcastle railway line soon after the start.
Shortly after the viaduct, we saw the keep out notices and the barbed wire fences that have spoiled one of the local woods. This was a popular walking area but has been recently bought by a local businessman for pheasant shooting and the walkers have been told to go away. We passed some very fine buildings, both old and new on our journey but we most enjoyed this fortified farmhouse overlooking the River Irthing at Newby.
We passed Carlisle airport soon afterwards and then crossed the River Irthing again and headed back through Brampton to Talkin Tarn. On our way we passed under the Brampton by-pass.
We had to stop at the level crossing just before Talkin Tarn and I got out the camera hoping to catch the Carlisle train in passing. A huge diesel engine appeared instead.
It turned out to be attached to a second engine and they thundered across the crossing. I was expecting a long trail of wagons behind them but there were only two.
I wondered if this was perhaps something like nuclear material being transported. Two engines for two containers seemed a lot otherwise. Anyway, we crossed the crossing and just made it to the cafe at the tarn before it closed. There we enjoyed a cup of tea and a fancy while admiring the watery view.
I have been complaining recently about the murk that has hovered over the Solway plain and things have got so bad that even people in London have noticed and the poor conditions have finally made it on to the national news. Certainly, we had a very restricted view today.
As we finished our tea, there was an ominous rumble of thunder but it came to nothing and we enjoyed a peaceful drive home.
In the evening, in the absence of Sandy who had gone to Haddington, Jean came round to the house and we put two weeks of the E & L into the database and followed it by a refined cup of tea rather than our customary beer and whisky in the Douglas. A change is as good as a rest, as they say….but a cup of tea is not as good as two pints of Deuchars.