Today’s picture shows the new floor laid in the B & B bathroom.
Dropscone went off to play golf again today so there was no pressure on me to do a morning pedal. After a leisurely breakfast, I spent some time putting a week of the E &L into the database. Then I went out into the garden to see what was what. Mrs Tootlepedal was erecting a second pea fortress to keep the sparrows at bay and I lent a hand. We also tied up as many of the raspberry canes as the gales had left us. The vegetable garden is looking a bit like Alacatraz at the moment.
You can see two pea fortresses, a runner bean frame, a gooseberry castle and a blackcurrant citadel. We just hope all the construction work pays off. As Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out as we were working, you can buy frozen peas and jam at a very reasonable price without going to all this trouble. But it just not the same, is it?
The grain crop which grows from the seeds dropped from the feeders by the birds is looking very healthy. We got three drop scones from the flour that we made last year and we hope to get more this year.
I usually take close up pictures of flowers or else crop the frames in the photo editor so today, for a change, I have left the full frames that I shot.
After lunch, I was waylaid by the temptation of watching Andy Murray battle his way through the first couple of sets of his match in Paris. He always strikes me as a typical Scot in as much as however brilliant he is, he is always aware of the possibility of failure. You need to have a confidence that is alien to us, if you wish to be a great champion in events that have a big mental element. I see him as another Colin Montgomery at the moment, a superb player haunted by the many ways it is possible to lose.
I tore myself away and put on my cycling gear in the hope of avoiding some menacing black clouds that were hanging about. Just before I went, I saw this sparrow going through the hoop.
I got the slow bike out and went round the morning run in the afternoon and the wrong way just to show that I am either a rebel or bored.
Unlike the other day when I was out with Mrs Tootlepedal and got rained on, this time I enjoyed dry weather the whole way round even though I could see heavy rain showers in action in every direction. On my way round, I saw two lapwings trying desperately to drive off a crow from their nest. I tried to get a good shot but this blurry effort was the best I could do.
As I went on, the weather looked more and more threatening.
The roads are lined with wild flowers at the moment as you can see. When I got down to the Esk valley, I saw this bank of trees in the sunlight set against the black clouds behind.
Near Canonbie, I was struck by a swathe of what are probably campions where a wood had recently been cut down.
Nearby, sitting on a bench in a sheltered spot in a wood, were two old gentlemen who are part of a trio whom Dropscone and I frequently pass on our morning run.
I asked them whether they had been there since the early morning but they told me that this was their second visit of the day to their retreat. They are famous as they were featured in our local paper last year and are well used to the public glare.
I stopped on the old A7 north of Canonbie to admire the bridge over the Byre Burn. It was built in the days when local skills were useful.
Looking over the bridge, you get a fine view of the Esk.
As I went past the new Auchenrivock diversion on the old A7 again, I was pleased to see that the bluebells which were such a feature of the woods here in the old days, had survived the disruption.
The wind had picked up a lot since I set out and I had quite a battle to get home against it. Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been at work, was undeterred by my experience and immediately set out to go round a 13 mile circuit of her own. While she was out, I prepared an egg curry for our tea and after I had eaten this, I went off to the Archive Centre with Sandy and Jean. As usual, after a couple of hours of hard work, we refreshed both body and spirit at the Douglas Hotel. I look forward to our Thursday nights out.