Fringe benefits

Today’s picture features a St Andrews Cross in the sky above Cumbria this afternoon.

St andrews cross

The dry, sunny but chilly weather continued today with the early morning being particularly chilly.  Luckily I had arranged to go cycling with Dropscone rather later than usual so it had warmed up a bit by then.

The first order of the day was to go to the producers’ market and buy my  usual ration of fish, cheese and venison mince.  While I was doing this,  Mrs Tootlepedal was once again trying to sell raffle tickets to raise money for the hanging baskets in the town.  When I had made my purchases, I went home and changed into my warmest cycling gear.  Since it was a weekend, Dropscone and I ignored the standard morning run and took a different route, going over Callister and down to Waterbeck and back.  The wind was behind as we went out and had dropped by the time we headed for home so that was very satisfactory.

I had taken my little camera with me but as we hadn’t seen anything of note on our trip,  I made do with a picture of Dropscone enjoying one of his own scones over a cup of coffee when we got back.

He was still looking particularly cheerful as a result of winning his golf competition on Thursday.

As he left, Mrs Tootlepedal returned from a quiet morning’s raffling and after some token gardening for her and a look out of the window for me…

Siskins, siskins everywhere.

…we had a quick lunch, put the bikes in the car and set out for a jaunt.  We had been looking at a book of cycle routes in Cumbria and were attracted by the idea of doing one of them.  As they were mostly about 30 miles long and included several steep climbs, I produced a heavily modified version of one of them which was based on Cockermouth, a town on the very northern fringe of the Lake District.

The drive to Cockermouth was very pleasant and the town seemed very busy when we got there.  It turned out that they were having their biannual fair and as a result we got free parking which was an unexpected bonus.

The route we had selected was only about 12 miles long but still had a hilly start.  Once we were up this first hilly section, we had a series of fine views of the Lake District hills as we pedalled along.  The sun was out, the wind was light and the narrow roads which we were on were very quiet and lined with wild flowers so we didn’t mind the subsequent ups and downs at all.  There was hardly a flat 400yards in the whole trip.

These are some of the views taken by the little camera which finds it hard to cope with big scenery.

Lake district hills

Lake district hills

A typical road on our journey

Big tree
Mrs T was struck by this big tree. Its size can be gauged by seeing her cycling under its branches.

More hills

Bridge over the Cocker
When we came down from our little hill, we crossed the River Cocker on this fine bridge
Looking towards Buttermere
Looking towards Buttermere

When we got back to Cockermouth, the town was full of people in costume walking away from the Market Place and we discovered that the festivities for the afternoon had just finished.  This group of devilish Morris dancers told us that they were going to perform in Keswick tomorrow which wasn’t much good to us.

Morris dancers
Notice the dainty bells on their knees

In the absence of community fun, we consoled ourselves with a cup of tea and a toasted fruit loaf slice or two.  Since we were so close to the actual Lake District, it seemed a pity not to see a lake so we drove home down by way of Bassenthwaite Lake and Keswick.

Bass lake
A little church on the opposite shore of the lake was bathed in sunshine.
It rested under Skiddaw, at just over 3000ft, one of the highest peaks in England.
Bass Lake
Looking south down the Lake

The drive home was uneventful and the combination of scenic drive and cycle made it a splendid day out, especially as, although it was a bank holiday, we weren’t troubled by traffic either when we were driving or cycling.

I will have to see tomorrow how the joints have taken this dual cycling but at present, the gentle speeds of both outings have left me feeling fine.

I was hoping to take a final picture of the bright moon tonight but as I write, just after midnight, it is covered by thin cloud.  If I wake up in the night, as I often do, I will have another look.

The chaffinch of the day is a bit of a cheat as it is a duck landing in Bassenthwaite Lake with a splash rather than a garden bird flying.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

8 thoughts on “Fringe benefits

  1. Lovely photos on the small camera and glad you managed 2 bike rides, I hope with no ill effect.

  2. Well, it that’s the little camera having trouble with the scenery I can’t imagine how lovely the pictures would be with the big camera!! Today’s photos are absolutely beautiful and remind me how much I enjoy hills and lakes. Glad you had a good day out and hope the joints are good today.

  3. I never tire of looking at that landscape. Perhaps I am like the little camera, wide-eyed and overwhelmed! I thought it did very well.

    Mrs. T’s tree is a glorious thing. It seems that the stone wall was built to accommodate the tree. Someone must have cared about it a lot to go to that much trouble.

    I like that bridge, too, and I particularly like the photo, with Mrs. T giving it scale and humanity and the wheelbarrow adding a grace note.

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