Today’s picture shows the new grass, now fully incorporated into the middle lawn. The picture was taken yesterday when the sun was out.
In contrast to the weather in the picture from yesterday, today started out wet and miserable. Dropscone didn’t want to have to listen to me complaining about getting soaked so we gave the morning pedal a miss. I used the time to take my speedy bike down to the bike shop where Levi fitted a new mudguard in no time.
When I got back, the rain had stopped but I noticed that the dam behind the house was quite full so I went down to the river to see how things were.
There was plenty of water in the rivers but nothing sensational so I went home again and took a picture of our resident duck in the dam behind the house on the way.
The lack of exciting, photographable floods has been very disappointing, considering how wet the weather has been. That’s another thing to write to the prime minister about along with saving our cheap and efficient health service from Americanisation. I have written to one of our noble lords about that but he hasn’t replied.
Although the rain had stopped, it remained dull for the rest of the day and so I did not spend much time with the camera in hand. I noticed that another of the persistent cornflowers had popped its head up.
There’s something about these flowers that really appeals to me. I’m not sure what it is as they are not very spectacular. I suppose it must be the colour.
I did try to catch some mores shots of the various tits in flight but with no success. You need quite good light to get the shutter speed fast enough to freeze the little blighters in the air.
After lunch, I took the new mudguard out for a spin. Today there was less wind than there has been and it was coming from behind me as I went off up the Wauchope road. The difference was remarkable. Although the wind behind wasn’t very strong, the absence of a brisk headwind meant that I arrived at Grange Quarry, the ten mile mark, twenty minutes faster than I did the last time. That was an improvement of 5 mph on my average speed. Instead of taking interesting photos, I spent the return journey trying to get my average up to 16 mph. I made a diversion down to Waterbeck on my way back and I got it up to 16.2 mph there but the effort of climbing over Callister against the light wind was too much for me and I only achieved 15.8 mph for the 24 miles. If the road was flatter I would go faster but it wouldn’t be nearly such grand country to cycle around so I am not complaining.
I was looking out of the kitchen window when I was making a cup of tea later on when I was struck by a contrast in colours.
Mrs Tootlepedal still had the marrow that she was going to enter in the abandoned Langholm Show and she used half of it to make three individual marrow thatched cottage pies. They resembled an iron age round house (the marrow cut in rings) with a mashed potato conical roof. Inside, the pie was filled with the remains of last night’s mince and the result was first class. We are going to enter the recipe in any competition we can find for the most original use of yesterday’s mince.
In the evening we took Granny to a concert at the Buccleuch Centre. It was a touring show offering a selection of Irish music and dance. As usual with these things, the music was ridiculously loud but once I had got over that, I settled down to thoroughly enjoy the show. The dancing was first rate and the music was of the sort that sets the toe tapping. There was in my opinion, and that of Mrs Tootlepedal and her mother, a little too much music and a little too little dancing but we all had a really good night out. The immense vigour of the dancers left us all feeling exhausted.
When I put today’s route into my cycle log, I realised that I have now cycled more distance this year than ever before in one year in my life. I must be careful not to do too much in the remaining two months or it will be hard to beat next year.
The late flowering fuchsia has now fully made up for lost time.
On the Archiving front, Sandy, our photographic expert has successfully managed to find a firm that can and will transfer a set of 8mm films that we were given into a digital format. This is good news and I would ask any local readers of the blog who know of 8mm or super 8 film taken in Langholm in the 1950s, 60s and 70s (or before) that might be of interest to the Archive Group, to get in touch with me or Sandy.