Going round in circles

Today’s picture, sent to me by Bruce, shows his wife and faithful dog perched precariously in that limbo which is neither in England or Scotland.

bridge at Kershope

We had another wall to wall day of sunshine today and as the wind was slightly less rigorous than yesterday, it felt a little more pleasant to be out.  I wanted to let the day warm up a bit before cycling and Dropscone was agreeable to a later start so we forwent the usual coffee and scones and started out on our pedal at coffee time instead.   This gave me some time to walk around the garden first.

A dunnock thought that eating food was more important than flying away and let me get very close.
raspberry bed
The raspberry bed was looking well tended after Mrs Tootlepedal’s ministrations yesterday.

When I went back in, the bramblings soon gathered under the feeder.


I was feeling quite perky when Dropscone arrived so we went for a rather more generous ride than our usual morning effort.  We headed up to and over Callister and then went down to Gair and on to Chapelknowe, using fourteen miles of  the route that was used by the Tour of Britain before last.  We were probably going a bit slower than the pros.

These first fourteen miles had the benefit of the wind behind by and large but the fourteen miles home by way of Canonbie weren’t too bad at all. Then  as Dropscone remarked, anything would have felt better than the stiff winds of Sunday and Monday.  This was not a hilly ride which was lucky.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was in active mode and suggested a cycle ride so I kept my cycling gear on, had a couple of slices of toast and raspberry jam (home made of course), took a quick glance out of the window…

A tower of chaffinches
A tower of chaffinches

…got out the slower bike and pedalled off with her.  She had chosen a pretty strenuous little ten mile route, another circle, this time to the north.  A stiff climb in the first mile or so made me quite happy to stop and take a picture as I had put sandycam in my back pocket for this ride.


Our route led us mostly through unforested country but there is a new track beside the wall in the top right of the picture so I imagine that new forestry planting is on its way.

While I paused to take the picture, Mrs Tootlepedal shot off down the  other side of the hill we had just climbed.

Mrs Tootlepedal

I followed on as best as I could.  Our route took us past James Ewart’s racehorse exercise track which seems to sprout more railings every time I go past it.


It is set in a sheltered corner of the valley.


We crossed the River Esk and puffed up the hill to Henwell.  I have certainly taken a picture of the cottage here before but it is one of my favourite views so I make no apology for taking another one today.


Once we gained the summit of the Col du Sorbie (175m) we stopped to admire a low flying military transport plane. ..

aeroplane over Ewes

…and the expansive view of the Ewes valley.

Ewes Valley

From here it was all downhill  (well, nearly) until we reached home.

There was a brief pause for a cup of tea and a sustaining biscuit before we went off to collect some manure from Mrs Tootlepedal’s manure mine.

While she delved, I took a couple of pictures.

A gate in a sylvan setting
A gate in a sylvan setting
open gate
I looked back through a gate which I photographed last week.

Ever thoughtful, Mrs Tootlepedal collected a special bucket of prime muck to give to our friend Mike Tinker because it was his birthday and there can be no better present for a gardener than a bucket of well rotted farm manure.

We took the rest of her collection home and put it to good use.  Here we can see the gardener fettling up the strawberry bed.  I am hoping to be able to make plenty of jam this year.

strawberry bed

And so the day had slipped away having fun and it was soon time to go to Carlisle for some recorder playing. Dropscone had told me that Susan has a heavy cold and is not well enough to come so I had to drive myself down this week.  The playing was as enjoyable as ever.  We are playing a very short programme as part of a church choir concert in Langholm in April and we have decided what to play and we had a useful practice of the three pieces before going on to play just for fun.

Jenny, our hostess, had a young  German guest staying with her.  He had come over from Lille in France to buy one of her late husband’s collection of lutes.  I suppose there probably isn’t exactly a flood of good second hand lutes on the market and he seemed very pleased with his purchase.  He also put us to shame with his excellent command of English.  He was very impressed by our post-tootling cups of tea and biscuits.

In between the pedalling and the tootling, I did notice a flying chaffinch in the sun.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Going round in circles

  1. Yes, a very long ride and a full day! I am most impressed with Mrs Tootlepedal’s efforts with the manure, and she deserves an excellent crop of vegetable and fruit in due course. Glad the music making went well.

  2. Great shots today, Tom, but I must confess that my favorite is of Mrs. Tootlepedal in the garden prepping for spring!

    (BTW, ‘IF’ we move, then I think I will take a hint from the widths and lengths of your raised beds too, mine are a bit too wide at 4ft…)

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