Getting the best out of the day

Today’s picture is a blue tit on the bird feeder blue tit

A look at the weather forecast last night had told me that an early start to any bicycling round Langholm today would be a good idea. This proved to be correct and an 8.30 start got me round the morning run before a persistent drizzle set in. I had got the speedy bike back from the bike doctor who said that he could hear no clicking noises so I was anxious to give it a try to see if this was true. To my great relief, the clicking noises seems to have gone. I can only assume that when Kevin took the hub to bits a day or two ago, some tiny fragment of dirt was removed too. I shall keep my fingers crossed in the hope that the noise doesn’t return too soon.

I had a bath after my ride and then a quick lunch in the shape of a tomato and cheese sandwich. The quick lunch was so that we could pack the bikes in the Kangoo and get off to Hawick. Mrs Tootlepedal had expressed a wish for a strenuous pedal and we had agreed on a 20 mile route starting and finishing in Hawick and taking in some new roads that neither of us had cycled on before.The weather forecast had suggested that Hawick was the best bet for dodging the rain.

It was raining quite hard when we left and it continued to drizzle down all the way to Hawick and we were considering scrapping the whole idea. We got the bikes out in the car park and after a bit of havering, we set off up the Newcastleton road. It was cold and windy but it wasn’t actually raining by the time we started. The first five miles were up hill all the way and into the fresh breeze.  It was hard work.

The hill from Stobs Castle
Mrs Tootlepedal grinding up the steep hill from Stobs Castle

At the top of this hill, we turned left onto a new road to us which we had neither cycled or driven along before. It doesn’t look anything special when you start along it.


It is all pleasant cycling country but after another three miles of steady uphill, we were rewarded by splendid views almost in a complete circle. We will certainly come back when the weather is better to enjoy them in full.

The Eildons to the northeast
Ruberslaw in front of us
The Cheviots
The Cheviots to the southeast

We had climbed 180 metres over eight miles to get here but it was definitely worth it, even on this gloomy day. Mrs Tootlepdal particularly enjoyed the next mile which was pretty well straight and at a very nice nice downhill angle.

The downhill section
The downhill section

She touched 30 mph while free wheeling which to her is cycling heaven. We turned onto the Bonchester Bridge-Hawick road for a mile and we were buzzed by an  enthusiast flying a radio controlled plane in very windy conditions on the top of a ridge. We soon turned off and enjoyed a good swoop downhill into Denholm.

Here we crossed the Teviot and turned to follow it back into Hawick.

The Teviot below Denholm

The five miles back into Hawick were hard work into the breeze again and up and down endless little hills. However, we made it and rewarded ourselves with a visit to the cafe in the new Sainsburys in the town. Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed the special cream tea , while I had a slice of cake with more calories than you could count in it. We did a little shopping while we in the place and under the supervision of a kind lady, we used the customer check out. We were impressed by the range of goods on offer which are unavailable in Langholm and may be tempted to go back now and then in spite of my objections to supermarkets in general.

It started to pour with rain on the road back to Langholm but soon after we arrived home it stopped so in the end we certainly got the best of the day as Dropscone told me that it had been raining in Langholm almost all day.

There were no new flowers out to photograph but fortunately, the bird feeders were very busy in the evening.

chaffinch flying sparrow
A chaffinch is threatened by a sparrow
A siskin proves to be a careless eater
collared dove
A collared dove is a beneficiary as it picks up the pieces
flying chaffinch
A chaffinch executes a handbrake turn
unmoved chaffinch
This female chaffinch is unmoved by flapping
chaffinch flying sparrow
A sparrow who hasn't realised that the feeder has only one usable side
chaffinch toehold
A chaffinch gets a literal toe hold on the feeder
female chaffinch toehold
A female chaffinch gets a toe hold too
snarling greenfinch
A snarling greenfinch. It's not easy to snarl with your mouth full.
greenfinch flying sparrow
A greenfinch ignores a fluttering sparrow
two greenfinches
My favourite greenfinch posture

I expect to sleep quite well tonight after 40 miles in the saddle.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

One thought on “Getting the best out of the day

  1. Hope you slept well as expected. Lovely views and great birds in action. I took the collared dove for my collection.

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