Today’s picture shows the Tower of London. It comes from the camera of my sister Mary.
It was another of those days which we have become all to used to when, if it wasn’t raining at any one time, it was going to start soon. This put paid to cycling as, at the moment, I am not pedalling if it is raining which means I am not pedalling very much as it seems to rain every day.
As we had B&B guests for the sixth night running, I was able to have a late breakfast yet again with a clear conscience. Mrs Tootlepedal is going south to visit her brother tomorrow and she will be pleased not to have any washing and ironing to do while she is down there. After breakfast, I did a couple of mundane jobs before settling down to a cup of coffee and a good look out of the window. Our homing pigeon has not returned so maybe, fuelled up on our seed, it has set off for its own home.
There were the usual birds about.
Looking for something useful to do, I sharpened the garden shears and clipped three of the box balls. That is six down and four to go for me. Mrs Tootlepedal has a programme of her own which she has completed so I’ll have try to get the last four done while she is away. She was busy transplanting shrubs to improve the back borders.
Doing this and having a lettuce and marmite sandwich seemed to take up a lot of time, though I did find a moment to exchange meaningful glances with a rook…
…admire a rosebud…
…and discover a clematis flower half hidden in an azalea.
Although it was a damp sort of a day, there a good many bees buzzing around the flowers on the weigela next to the hedge.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I both decided that we had had enough of waiting for the sun to shine and that we needed an outing. We got into the Kangoo and set off south. We had hardly left the town before we hit a very heavy rainstorm but it was another passing shower and by the time we had reached Longtown, it had stopped raining.
From Longtown we headed for Penton and parked beside the bridge that forms the boundary between England and Scotland. Looking from the bridge to the north, the country is gentle and the river calm…
…but to the south of the bridge, the Liddel Water runs through a narrowing limestone valley and picks up speed as it goes.
We walked south through dripping woods and scrambled down a slippery path to the water’s edge. The bridge looks impressive from below.
The diagonal line of stone beneath the bridge on the left is not, as it might appear, a concrete ramp but a natural limestone bed running into the water. The angle is accounted for by an anticline which used to be easily visible but can now only be glimpsed through the trees.
This makes for some water features.
We went back up the bank and followed a well maintained path along until another path led down to the river side at a popular swimming spot.
Our walk was interrupted by another fierce shower and we took shelter under a handy but rather inefficient tree. Luckily I had an extra waterproof cover for the camera bag.
The valley here was very steep on the English side.
There were many good views of the river through the trees as we walked along but we thought that if someone with a lot of money had the inclination, he or she could clear some of the woods we walked through and create magnificent scenes.
We got back to the car after a short but very satisfying walk without being too soaked and were happy to set off for home.
We were very pleased with our excursion because we hadn’t been down to the river there since we last took the children swimming there many years ago. Of course we had summers with sunshine back then.
We found that scrambling up and down slippery paths was not the careless joy that it would have been those many years ago and talking to my sister Mary on the phone later in the day, she remarked that one of the penalties of advancing years is that you can’t even jump for joy without worrying about breaking your ankle. Verb sap.
Today’s little flier is a siskin.
Note: I fully realise that many other places both in Britain and the US have recently had much worse weather than us here but you can only moan about the weather you’ve got. I send my sympathy out to those caught by heavy floods on the one hand and forest fires on the other.