Head down

Today’s picture is from Brighton to which my sister Mary has paid a visit. It doesn’t look as though it was a day for sunbathing.

Brighton 005

I got up determined to get some work done and quite surprised myself by doing some.  I went up the the archive centre to do a little housekeeping there and then returned home and put a week of the E & L into the database. I was so worn out by this unaccustomed activity that I had to pause for a cup of coffee.  Between times, I rushed out into the garden to scare off the ungrateful little sparrows who were chomping up the newly laid grass seed.  We have put more layers of anti-sparrow netting down and, at the moment, it looks as though it is working.

The day was variable with sunshine one moment and rain the next so after lunch, taking advantage of a good spell, Mrs Tootlepedal  cut back a neighbour’s pyrocanthus for her.

Mrs Tootlepedal concentrating on the job in hand

I took the camera out into the garden while the sun was shining. We continue to have a good number of bees about which is very encouraging considering the gloomy reports of the death of bees generally.

bee on Jacob's Ladder
A bee on a Jacob's Ladder
bee on nasturtium
A bee on a nasturtium
bee on nicotiana
A bee on a nicotiana

And just in case you think I am cheating, these are three different bees.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s petunias have not done at all well this year but her begonias are very striking.


There was no sign of the seven ducklings when I looked at the dam but the white duck was there.


Mrs Tootlepedal asked me to take a picture of the nasturtiums against the house wall as she enjoys the contrasts in colour.


Then I put the camera and instead put my lightweight rain jacket in my backpack and set off up the Wauchope road with one eye on the road and the other on the rain clouds. I had to stop after a couple of miles to put the rain jacket on when the rain started to patter down. I was intending to turn round and go home if it got too heavy but although it started to hammer down on the top of Callister Hill, I kept going because I reckoned that the wind was strong enough to blow the shower by. This turned out to be the case and soon I was cycling along in sunshine. There were still stormy looking clouds around so I didn’t stay out too long and went by Waterbeck, Gair, Chapelknowe and (with the strong wind behimd me by now) through Glenzier to the Canonbie by-pass and so home up the A7 cycle path.

I had my new little camera with me and stopped to take a picture of a donkey at Glenzier.

I think that there's something appealing about a donkey.

Just before I got to  Langholm, I took two opportunities to take pictures of the River Esk.


Esk from Skippers
It looks peaceful here, sheltered from the wind

I had set my heart on bringing my total for September so far up to a hundred miles but because of the rain, I was two miles short so I went up the Wauchope road for a mile and back to bring my distance up to the required 31 miles. The wind and rain had dampened my enthusiasm for fast pedalling and I took a little over two hours for the journey.

I cooked a venison stew for my tea using among other things some fine carrots from the garden. We have always been troubled by carrot root fly and this is the first year for some time that Mrs Tootlepedal has grown successful carrots by keeping them under cloches for much longer than usual.  I also used a red pepper from the greenhouse. I have found them really easy to grow with none of the worries associated with tomatoes and their many diseases.  The venison is farmed nearby and makes a good stew with the added benefit that it cooks quickly.

While it was cooking, I put another week of the E&L into the database. I have been very slack about this recently and will have to work hard to catch up with the indexers who march relentlessly on. There was letter in one of the editions I put in today from 1880 talking about setting up a Langholm Museum and by coincidence, this subject was raised at the meeting here last Wednesday so this is a discussion that has been going on for 130 years with no outcome. It may well go on for another 130 years.

Our new flat screen telly gives a us a very good picture indeed and as if to celebrate this, they broadcast a very good programme on Jane Austen on it this evening.

I was hoping to play a little golf soon to keep my hand in but Dropscone tells me that the course is absolutely sodden at the moment and as I write this, the rain is pouring down again so maybe I will have to wait a while. He tells me that he has bought a new cycle helmet so I am looking forward to having his company again for cycling and coffee in the near future. He is feeling a bit pallid at the moment as he is recovering from his first ever visit to IKEA to help furnish a flat for his younger daughter at University.  I know exactly how he feels. Going to IKEA is much like being a sheep in the mart at Longtown.

I only had time for one bird feeder picture today.

various tits
Taken in one of the rainy spells

I leave you with another of Mrs Tootlepedal’s nasturtiums.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

9 thoughts on “Head down

  1. Loved the donkey, the Esk and the bees. Glad Dropscone is almost back to cycling, IKEA, what a horrible place!

  2. I like the donkey too. Re a museum in Langholm – I have also brought up this subject recently and wondered very seriously why we do not have one. I have visited the one in Hawick in Wilton Park and found it so interesting. Now that we have the Langholm Heritage DVD with the excellent photographs and commentary on the mills, a disply of old looms and other mill items would be an excellent visitor attraction.

  3. The problem with a museum is it would never pay for itself therefore it would be a constant drain on money. It is a nice idea but the financial logistics are almost impossible to make it happen.

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