International cycling

Today’s picture shows an  interesting cake which Dropscone picked up for an extremely modest price when coming through Hawick yesterday evening.  I thought that it looked unnervingly like a set of frogs peering out of a very muddy pond which may have affected my ability to truly enjoy my slice.


Freezing temperatures again put paid to morning cycling but I put the time to good use by marking up a table of golf fixtures for putting onto Dropscone’s BGA website and putting some more of the newspaper index into the database.  This took me until the great man himself arrived for a cup of coffee bringing the cake with him.   The cake certainly contained enough calories to keep us cycling for several weeks and Mrs Tootlepedal had a taste and pronounced it very good.

A chaffinch watched from the plum tree as we nibbled and sipped.


It was another brilliantly sunny day so after coffee, I finished off entering the week of the index and then set off for a walk in the sunshine.  I left the river behind today and walked up the hill behind our house before heading along a track towards a wood.

Track and bench
You don’t have to look hard to find a bench to rest on when walking on the paths and tracks round Langholm.
I spotted this thrush (or possibly a fieldfare)  in one of the fields beside the track.
There were sheds a plenty in the small fields.
After passing the fields, I reached the wood.

I followed the track down through the woods, crossed the Becks Burn and emerged into the sunshine again on the other side.

Gate and tree

At this stage, the battery on my camera gave out and you are spared all the other interesting pictures that I might have taken on my walk home.  In fact, I was lucky and didn’t see anything very exciting so I wasn’t too sad about the battery.

I had a look round the garden for new flowers when I got home but had to settle on this exuberantly red rhubarb sprout for my splash of colour.

I am looking forward to some rhubarb crumble.

Mrs Tootlepedal is in cycling mode at the moment so after lunch (and a quick look at the birds)…

wood pigeon
A woodpigeon shows off a delicate palette of colours
chaffinch dropping seed
A staggered chaffinch drops a seed.
It really was a good sunny day.

…we packed the bikes into the back of the Kangoo and drove down to Longtown, just over the border into England.  We were going to do a circular route in largely flat country.

We started by adding to my recent collection of churches by passing the substantial parish church at Arthuret.

Arthuret Church
Built in 1609

For those interested in history, I append a snippet from a Wikipedia article on Arthuret:

The site of the church overlooks the site of the Battle of Arfderydd, which appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini and also the Annales Cambriae in the year 573. The battle took place very early in the reign of the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, (patron of St. Kentigern, and Myrddin’s supposed brother-in-law), between the Warlord Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio and his cousins Peredur and Gwrgi, Princes of either Ebrauc (Modern York), or possibly from Gwynedd. In this battle, Gwenddoleu loses his life, and it is not known if one of his brothers, Nudd and Caw, survived to succeed him as king of Arfderydd afterwards.

I hope that is clear.

We pedalled on and took a cycle path along an old railway line which took us over the river Lyne…


…on this bridge

Lyne bridge

This track is part of National Cycle Route 7 and one of the few off road cycle tracks suitable for ordinary bicycles in our vicinity.

We got to the end of the brief track and pedalled on across the A7 where we  had to face an annoying wind for the next seven miles.

I noticed an elegant summer house in a garden at Alstonby…

summer house

…and once we had crossed the Brampton road and back over the river Lyne again, I could see Kirklinton Church on the other side of the river.

Kirklinton Church

The road wound along the top of a small escarpment above the river through some very pretty country and if it hadn’t been for the nagging wind in our faces, it would have been cycling heaven.  An especially nice shack caught my eye…


It shared a field with a brown object.

It turned out to be a very shaggy pony on closer examination.
..and it had a friend too.

Other livestock was available.

Donkey and windmill
A donkey waiting for Don Quixote to turn up.

There were a great many very pretty mature trees beside the road as we cycled on and I stopped to take a shot of Mrs Tootlepedal passing a typical specimen.

Nice tree

Mercifully, the last three miles were slightly downhill, with the wind now behind us and we completed the twelve mile circuit in good style.  However, Mrs Tootlepedal was slightly miffed to find that we had arrived after the cafes in Longtown had closed.  Bad planning.

We enjoyed the change from our usual routes and if the weather is good, we hope to extend our cycling to other new areas in the spring.

In the evening, Susan came and fetched me and we went to Carlisle for our recorder group session.  We were five tonight and we played well which made the music more enjoyable than ever and rounded off an excellent day for me.  Mrs Tootlepedal had gone to the pictures in the Buccleuch Centre with two friends while I was tootling and had a good time watching a film of an extravagant concert in Maastricht by Andre Rieu which she had enjoyed a great deal.  He is a real crowd pleaser.

The flying bird of the day was another chaffinch (surprise, surprise) caught in the shadows before the sun got round to the feeder.


P.S. I took this half moon in the early evening yesterday and forgot to put it in.  I thought it was worth a post.

half moon











Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “International cycling

  1. First I must say the rhubarb looks like Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors. And second, here in PA we have energy choice. We can choose our energy suppliers. I am excited to say our home is now powered by wind. All our electricity is generated by wind turbines. Slowly turning green!

    1. I am keeping a cautious eye on the rhubarb in case it eats anybody before I eat it.

      The windmill power is excellent. We are struggling to get wind turbines installed in the face of a vociferous campaign against them. The government has never managed to get a grip on energy policy and our country is too heavily populated to allow a free for all in supplying green energy.

  2. beautiful and interesting as always.. I love the little hairy ponies, and the photo of the woods especially.

  3. That cake looks very like a ring of Chelsea buns that haven’t been split after baking – I love Chelsea Buns (baking and eating ;)) and am feeling quite peckish now 🙂

    Wonderful selection of photo’s as always.

  4. Your mention and picture of sprouting rhubarb, brought back memories for me. When I was a boy between 8 and 11 years old, my dad used to send me out with a bucket and spade to follow horses and carts to gather the manure they left on the streets of our council estate, to bring back and spread on our rhubarb patch, at the bottom of our garden. Sounds very Dickensian I know, but it was between 1957 and 1961. I hated following the coal, milk, rag and bone, and vegetable mens’ carts, because the reward was a bucketful of smelly horse manure. BUT! I loved the stewed rhubarb, crumble and tarts, all with custard, my mum made. Thanks for evoking these memories for me, I really enjoyed your post and its photos. Cheers.

  5. Lovely shot of the wood, and I liked the ponies too. Glad you had such a pleasant ride in the sunshine.

  6. Great captures, such variety! Really loved the first chaffinch in the plum tree, the woodpigeon, and the gate & fence with the tree in the background. I’d loved to hug the hairy pony, so cute!

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