Back to the real world

Today’s picture is another from my sister Mary from one of her walks. It shows the magnificent house at Knole Park in Kent.

Knole Park, Sevenoaks

The glorious weather continued today but we were all a bit shattered after yesterday so we had a late breakfast. While the others were getting up, I took the camera into the garden.

cosmos and hawkweed
The cosmos are producing very large flowers.
cosmos mixed
The patch of cosmos planting didn't turn out as mixed as Mrs Tootlepedal hoped
The pinks have exceeded expectations
This knapweed lurked in the shadows but was still visited by a bee
blazing crocosmia
The crocosmia by the front lawn was ablaze in the early sunshine

After breakfast, we went with our visitors to the producers market in the sports hall where under the supervision of Mrs Tootlepedal, I purchased fish, venison and soap thus catering for the inner and outer man in one go.

Alistair and Clare went with Mrs Tootlepedal to explore the delights of Latimer’s while I made a fresh batch of soup for lunch. After lunch, a great shopping expedition to Carlisle was planned but that seemed too exciting for me so I stayed at home to make some dough for pizza bases for our tea.

The sparrows are making use of the new fatball fortress. Here we see one with a beak full getting ready to enjoy eating it in a nearby bush.


After the dough was made, I got out the speedy bike and set out to fill in the time till the shoppers returned. I went to Dunnabie, Waterbeck, Middlebie and Ecclefechan to start with. The council have done good work in resurfacing some of the worst bits of the roads on this route so the pedalling was very pleasant in the warm sunshine. There was a cooling breeze in my face but I still  went at a gentle pace so as to get neither too hot nor worn out.

From Ecclefechan I headed towards Hoddam Castle, stopping at Hoddam Cross to take a picture of the ruined church there.

Hoddam CrossThe original church at this spot in the middle of nowhere, was built to provide a central church for three parishes at a time of a shortage of ministers. The present church was built in 1815 and burnt down in 1975.

I crossed the river Annan at Hoddam and headed for the town of Annan where I crossed the river again.

river Annan
The River Annan at Annan

From Annan I went up to Chapelcross and then down to Eastriggs. From there I stuck mostly to the main roads to take me back to Langholm through Gretna with the wind behind by now. The trip was a pleasing 50 miles at a gentle pace with only one brief stop to eat a snack.

As I was going along the road to Longtown I met a family going to Lands End on two tandems, a parent and youngish child on each. I greatly admired their courage.

I had stopped for a banana as they went on their way.

When I got home, I felt perky enough to mow the front lawn. It is looking very good after its recent weed and feed. The shoppers had got back before me and my son Alistair had taken a couple of pictures of the sparrows at the fat balls.

sparrows feeding

sparrows in numbers

We had pizza for tea and followed it up with another game of cards and an early bed.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

4 thoughts on “Back to the real world

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