Today’s picture is from my sister Susan’s recent visit to Cyprus where she saw many antiquities like this.
Our summer in early spring continued for another day today but as Dropscone was away on family business, I took the opportunity to have a lazy morning and recover from cycling 300 miles in 16 days with one day off. This is not a lot by last year’s standards but it is a lot more than I have been able to do so far this year and I was feeling the effect.
I did have the strength to go out into the garden and wander around while Mrs Tootlepedal beavered away with trowel and hoe.
Inside the house the sun is doing its job too. Mrs Tootlepedal received a gift of an amaryllis from Margaret, one of our neighbours and it had been sitting looking uninterested on a windowsill until this burst of sunshine brought it into bloom.
Birds were few and far between again and I had to snap one when I could.
Greenfinches were back.
I did manage to sieve another bucket of compost and have nearly emptied one of the bins. In spite of her morning of hard work, Mrs Tootlepedal was keen to go for a cycle ride and by the time we had eaten lunch, my energy levels were sufficiently high for me to go with her.
Pausing only to catch two chaffinches in flight…
…we set off at a very sensible pace up the Wauchope road. Thanks to the mellow weather, I was clad in a natty pair of shorts and several people fainted as we pedalled through the town but we got up to the Kerr wood without misadventure and, once there, we set out on the new road after throwing the bikes over a locked gate.
It was a minor adventure because we didn’t know how far the road went and in spite of appearances the surface was very rough. The road has been built up so much that it is quite nerve wracking to cycle near the edge as there is a drop of over a metre in places. The first part, as you can see, rises gently and we stopped at the top of the hill to take a breather and admire the view. This wasn’t very great because once again, it was a very hazy day but we could see the road stretched out in front of us.
We bumped and bobbled along and once again the appeal of off road cycling as a hobby escaped me. It seems somehow perverse to take a machine that works so well on smooth tarmac and deliberately joggle your internal organs up and down while going rather slowly. Chacun á son gout.
The road makers have more or less obliterated the original green road that ran here, though we did notice the vestiges of one of the old stone bridges.
The road turned out to go the whole way to Old Irving and so we pedalled on down to the A7 to make our way home. We saw three buzzards in some sort of flying competition near the farm.
It was good to be back on tarmac and to have a tree or two to look at as we pedalled.
We plunged under the new road to get to the old A7 and the cycle track.
We dallied for a moment by the Esk to enjoy the view and watch a pair of oyster catchers and I was enraged to see a pair of goosanders swim serenely by knowing that I hadn’t got the good camera with me. I could hear them chuckling as they paddled off.
Our trip turned out to be a round ten miles and apart from the bumpy surface of the new road, it was a real treat to be out in the country on such a lovely day.
I had felt pretty good after I got warmed up on the journey but I had to retire for a little lie down when we got back while Mrs Tootlepedal continued in active vein, cutting the back grass and collecting yet more manure from Liz’s manure mine. Things should grow well this year.
I got up and picked up the good camera. There was an item in the papers today about how the starling population seems to be declining sharply in Britain but we still have a few round the garden.
At the smaller end of the food chain, the pond is full of skating bugs.
Some chaffinches appeared as the evening drew on.
After tea, I went to the Archive Centre with Sandy. Jean had toothache and couldn’t join us. Sandy made up a new set of pictures for the window display and I am so old that I appeared in one of them looking remarkably slim. I put a week of the E and L into the database and we are now up to the second half of 1882. There was an epidemic that year and we are recording many infant and child deaths which always makes us grateful for our present universal free health service.
We enjoyed a pint of Deuchars after work and agreed to meet during next week, as Sandy is on holiday, to do some extra work on digitised home movies which we have been given.
I managed to find a chaffinch of the day in the evening sunshine.