Today’s picture is another look at a flamboyant yellow rose.yellow rose

A day or two ago, as we were pedalling along, Dropscone observed as an aside in relation to some other matter, that since we were regular cyclists, it was highly likely that we would fall off some day. He didn’t expect it it to be so soon. We were negotiating the fallen tree on the cycle path on the old A7 during our usual morning run when he hit a slippery pile of rotten leaves and the bike disappeared under him. He landed heavily but was able to get up and very bravely continue the remaining 19 miles of the circuit.

After coffee and scones, he was still able, to my amazement, to get on his bike and pedal home. He had scraped his hip and elbow, bruised his shoulder and hurt his ribs. He went to the doctor in the afternoon to check whether he had broken his ribs but the report was cartilage trouble rather than a break. This was good news but by this time he was in great trouble with a muscle tear in his calf and had to retire to bed and watch the Tour de France. This makes his ability to ride round the morning run all the more remarkable. He is a tough fellow.  I hope he recovers soon.

Mrs Tootlepedal missed all this excitement as she spent the morning doing community gardening with a couple of other good citizens.

I took most of the Heritage DVDs that Jean had copied to the Langholm Initiative office and then took the rest to the paper shop so exiles returning for the Common Riding would have the opportunity to get one.

We arrived home simultaneously and took a wander round the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal was justifiably proud of the work that had gone into clearing the beds on either side of this path.

cleared path

I was once again amazed by the prolific clematis on the veg garden hedge. It gets better every day.

clematis wall

Lurking in a temporary home in a nearby vegetable bed is this very pretty geranium, a present from a workmate.

geranium gift

Also in among the vegetables is this striking white lupin.

white lupin

While I was in that end of the garden, I took this shot of a collection of flowers on the warm end of the spectrum.

reds and oranges
Hawkweed, spirea, roses and crocosmia

While we were in the vegetable garden, Mrs Tootlepedal noticed that the gooseberry bush was under attack from sawfly again so we spent quite a lot of time picking hundreds of these dratted nuisances off the leaves before they ate the lot. I fear that we will have to do the same again tomorrow.

There were still plenty of useful things  buzzing about too.

diving insect

pale astrantia
This long lasting astrantia is very popular with bees

Under the walnut tree, a privet is just coming into flower.


 And this stock is one of many plants adding colour to the fronts of beds.

bedding plant

Mrs Tootlepedal is often tempted to purchase a plant if she goes into a garden centre and she recently purchased this pink which was on offer at an unreasonably low price. It looks like exceptional value.


After lunch, I spent the first part of the afternoon removing and cleaning the chain of my speedy bike. Since I obtained a handy tool for taking the chain off, I have been doing this quite regularly and it is surprising how much dirt the chain picks up in a short period. I am led to believe that cleaning the chain will prolong the life of the chain and the front and rear sprockets as well so it should be time well spent. It certainly keeps the gear shift system working well.

After putting the bike away, I was overwhelmed by the pathetic cries of the lawn for care and attention so I gave the middle lawn a light going over with the scarifier with a mowing to follow. Although it makes the lawn look a little rough for a day or two, I find scarifying is very rewarding and I feel that the little electric scarifier that I bought a year or two ago does a better job than I could do with a conventional lawn rake.

Because the conditions were ideal (no sun, no rain, no wind, grass dry, earth moist), I gave the front lawn a dose of weed and feed. It doesn’t get the sun that the middle lawn gets and it always look a bit thin as a result. I am hoping the weed part of the dose will set the encroaching pearlwort back.

After all this excitement, I went in and watched the final kilometres of the climb up the Alpe d’Huez, which turned out to be gripping viewing.

In the evening, I played some sonatas with Mrs Tinker and there were moments when we were in good form and it sounded like real music. My sister Mary told us when she visited us recently, that she plays in a string quartet where the cellist is over ninety and still playing well. I hope that I can go on playing for a good few years yet myself because there are few things nicer than being able to sit down with a friend in your own front room and play first class music. We particularly enjoyed a piece by the British composer William Williams tonight.

While I was cooking my tea, I took time out to watch the sparrows approaching the feeder in various ways.

sparrow one leg
On one leg
sparrow shouting
In full voice
sparrow face to face
With a friend


hanging sparrow
..upside down

Before I got one, I used to think a bit poorly of people who always carried cameras.  Why didn’t they just look at things and enjoy them, I asked myself. Now I have one of my own, I realise that having a camera actually makes me look at things that I wouldn’t even have noticed before. I used to think an astilbe was rather a dull plant but now it looks a bit magical to me.

white astilbe

I would never have noticed these spirea leaves either.

spirea leaves

I even sometimes think about what cycle route would give me the opportunity to pass through countryside worth photographing where in times past I would have just had my nose stuck on the road.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “Catastrophe

  1. Dropscone definitely knows how to persevere, doesn’t he? Was he not the victim of some misfortune last year – a damaged bike, if memory serves?

  2. Ouch! That sounded painful!
    Your pictures are wonderful as usual. I especially liked the bird hanging on with one leg! Very neat picture!

  3. Poor Dropscone, I do hope he makes a speedy recovery.

    Sorry about the sawfly, what a nuisance!

    I liked the sparrows and your comments.

    You didn’t take a picture of your newly tended front lawn, perhaps in the next blog?

  4. Thanks for the kind words, that is the 5th serious crash and one or two small ones.
    As golf is my main sport I will have to consider taking it a bit easier.
    The ribs are sore but I can cope with them. The missing skin will heal but the muscle in the upper leg is the biggest problem.

  5. Very sorry to hear about Dropscone’s fall – very stoical to continue the ride. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

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