Today’s picture comes from Monterey, CA and was sent to me by Dropscone’s niece, Hilary, who was on a visit. I’m not going swimming there.
The first thing to say about today’s post is that there really are too many pictures in it but my defence is that it is my diary and I had a very picturesque day.
It was a grey and drizzly day and Dropscone had to go off cycling without me as Mrs Tootlepedal and I were on a mission. I had time to fill the feeder and catch a chaffinch looking sad that we were leaving…
…before we left. Our destination was the old A6 south of Carlisle and we were looking for a longish hill.
We parked at the top and walked down to join this group of people at the half way point. It was wet. Nevertheless the people waiting were in good humour.
The reason for standing around half way up a hill in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain was the imminent arrival of the Tour of Britain cycle race. Its coming was heralded by waves of police motorcyclists.
It really was very wet.
Finally, a sight of something that wasn’t a police motorcycle….
At the back of the break, one fellow was pushing the rules a bit.
A few minutes later, there was a stir at the bottom of the hill where the route joined it from a small side road.
And soon the whole road was full of cyclists as the peleton whizzed up the hill towards us.
The black and blue jerseys of the Sky team were well to the fore as usual but Mrs Tootlepedal was looking out for the rainbow jersey of world champion Mark Cavendish.
Opera buffs sing the praises of Cav and Pag but we were there to see Cav and Brad…
They were looking so cheerful in the awful weather because the team car had just told them that they were going to appear in Tootlepedal’s blog. Actually, for the few seconds that they were going past us, the rain stopped and let me get the camera out safely.
Just behind, urgent repairs were being made.
They were done so quickly that the rider had rejoined the pack almost as soon as it was past us.
A couple of stragglers were pushing hard to get back in contact.
And then the whole cortège swept away over the top of the hill…
…and disappeared into even worse rain that before. We followed on sedately in the car as far as a handy garden centre (called the Garden of Eden as it is near the River Eden) which has a nice tea room where we had our morning coffee and a toasted tea cake.
What could make the day better after that? One thing was the glorious sunshine that greeted us when we got back to Langholm.
We got back in time for a bite of lunch and then there was more fun as Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Hoddom and I went off to the dentist. My dentist is a keen cyclist and was sad that he couldn’t have got a day off to follow the tour. I am sure that many of his patients were equally sad but I had a good visit and left smiling.
One of the consolations of waiting for your appointment to start is the good stock of up to date cycling magazines in the waiting room.
I had had to fill the feeder again when I got back from the cycling and there was the usual traffic moments later.
The contrast with the morning’s weather couldn’t have been greater. The sun was so bright that in the next picture, the camera is able to freeze all motion out of a busy scene.
But even the quickness of the camera couldn’t take the action out of the the next scene.
When I got back from the dentist, I had a quick wander round the garden.
And I was very pleased to see a pair of starlings. We haven’t seen many this summer.
The white potentilla asked politely to be put in as a complement to yesterday’s array of yellow potentillas.
Then, since it was so sunny, I went in to get changed for a bike ride. I did take a moment to be amazed by the birds.
I got the fairly speedy bike out and cycled the 21 miles to Waterbeck and back. There was a brisk wind from the north west and in spite of the sun, I was glad that I had a good layer of warm clothes on. I pedalled gently and stopped to take a few pictures. This is one of my favourite views. It shows the road to Winterhope.
Perhaps one of the reasons that I like this view is that it gives me an excuse to stop half way up the hill and take a quick breather while I get the camera out.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned and kindly made me a cup of tea. While I waited for it to cool down, I sat for a moment in the garden and admired the enormous number of circulating insects.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to a meeting about our choir. The bloke who has been taking it had looked a bit too good to be true and sadly so it turned out and we are looking for a new leader. It’s a pity because he was very good at making us enjoy our singing.
No flying bird today as there have been quite enough pictures.