Dodging the rain

Today’s picture, sent by Gavin who is on a wet walk in the Peal District, shows the Peak Forest Canal basin at Buxworth.  I particularly like canals so it gets in at full size..

Peak Forest canal Buxworth

Once again the worst of the weather seems to have given us the go by.  My recorder playing friend Sue, who lives only a few miles south of us, has some very wet pictures on her facebook page, one of which appeared in her local paper.   I am hoping that she will let me put it here.

The only rain today came just when we were thinking of cycling so we stopped thinking of cycling and thought of coffee and scones instead.  Dropscone was telling me that he had just played three games of competitive golf in two days and was beginning to think that he too might not be quite so young as he once was as the third game turned out to be not quite up to his usual standard to say the least.

I was entertained by this blue tit nibbling on the peanuts while I was eating Drop’s scones.

blue tit

After coffee, it had dried up enough to let me mow the front lawn and to begin to clip the chessman.  I was using the electrical hedge clipper for this task but not for long, as some fool cut through the cable with the clipper.  Luckily the fool was saved from harm by the very efficient cut out switch on the cable extension.   I continued with the hand shears and managed not to lop off any limbs.  A triumph.

The roses forced me to get the camera out.


And there was more blue too.

You can’t get much bluer than that

Dropscone had encouraged me to go out with the camera in the afternoon to make a break from siskins and flowers so I took his advice as I usually do and went to Canonbie in the car.  After my failed trip to see sand martins at Broomholm with Sandy a week or two ago, Mike Tinker had told me that there were sand martins to be seen on the Esk past the church there so I thought I would see if he was right.

I went past the church and came to the Dead Neuk…

A fisherman tries his luck at the Dead Neuk
A fisherman tries his luck at the Dead Neuk

…so called because it was the scene of a terrible boating tragedy when churchgoers crossing the river in spate were drowned.  It was quite peaceful today, although the river was running full after yesterday’s heavy showers.

A bit further along the bank of the river, my eye was caught by small flitting objects.  Of course Mike Tinker was right.  He is a doctor.  There were sand martins everywhere.

sand martins
They are very small and nippy. Click on the picture to see an enlarged version.

I was sitting opposite a very nice riverside dwelling…

Canonbie riverside

…and the view down the river was equally good…


…so it was no pain at all to sit on my coat on the grass and watch the martins giving a flying exhibition for me.

I noticed a fine set of steps at the south end of the reach…


…so I climbed up them, waved goodbye to the river…

The Esk on its way south, having cleared the sandstone cliffs of the Dead Neuk

.. and walked through fields and woods on a selection of rather muddy and overgrown paths with splendid ramblers’ gates at intervals until I met a road which took me down to the old railway viaduct across the Liddel Water. This marks the boundary between England and Scotland.

Riddings Viaduct
On the far side of the viaduct was the junction for the Langholm branch line

I clambered up onto the railway and walked along to the north end of the viaduct.

A fence to stop people crossing it with a hole made by people with better heads for height than me. I went no further.

I made my way back to the road and headed back to Canonbie.  At the top of the hill, I could look down the Esk Valley and see the trees marking the course of the river.

Esk valley looking south from Brighton Wood

On my way back to the car, I came first to one of the toll houses on the old turnpike roads.

Priorhill Tollbar
I don’t know if this is the original toll house. The road went from Annan to Jedburgh.

Then I passed my old school, which on looking at it I think may well hold some sort of record for the number of roofs on a single building.

Canonbie Primary School

We made scale models of the school one year in Primary 6/7 and they were very complicated as you can imagine and required a lot of practical mathematics.  The little buildings on the front left and right of the picture are the old outside toilets.  When I went to the school in 1981 there was still a boys’ playground and a girls’ playground.  The pupils huddled under the big shed in the foreground on wet days and probably still do.

On my walk, I passed Canonbie Church three times…

Canonbie Church

So here you see it from the front, the side and the back.

I drove home for a cup of tea and watched as much of Andy Murray’s match as I could bear before turning it off and waiting for the result to be declared.  I saw the last part of the second set when his service was superb and all of the third set when he couldn’t get a first serve in a all.  It is hard work watching tennis.

By coincidence another British player, Jonny Marray,  has got to a Wimbledon Final in the same year.  He is playing in the men’s doubles with a Dane, Freddie Nielsen, whose grandfather got to the singles finals twice in fifties. In any other year this pair would be big news, especially as they beat the almost invincible Bryan brothers in the semis  but this year they may be a bit overshadowed.

Heavy rain is forecast overnight but judging by the hit rate of the forecasts over the last three days, I think I’ll hang the washing out.

Today’s chaffinch is a sparrow.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

10 thoughts on “Dodging the rain

  1. Loved all the ‘out and about’ pictures as well as the colourful flowers. More canal pictures too would be nice.

    1. That’s very kind of you. I am glad that you enjoy the blog. I am an old curmudgeon so please don’t be disappointed if I decline any award.

    1. I think that falling into a canal on your way to a Co-op shoe shop must count as the height of authentic retro experience. I like the way that toffs can change names to suit themselves. We have a village called Glenzier and it is rumoured that our local Duchess had it changed to Evertown because she didn’t like the name. Everyone calls it Glenzier.

      1. I guess it’s no different than some of the Southern states here. When you cross into Texas or Mississippi, you know you have switched countries–I mean, states!

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