Today’s picture was sent by my younger son and daughter-in-law who are in Boston on holiday.
We had, as the title suggests, wall to wall sunshine today. There absolutely wasn’t a cloud in the sky and for most of the day there wasn’t much wind either. It may be three or four weeks late but this was spring at its springiest and very welcome indeed.
It was pretty cool first thing after a clear night so I dillied and dallied after our guests had gone until the temperature had warmed up a bit. I spent a little time looking out of the kitchen window of course….
…but in the end I got going. The sky was blue, the hedges green and the air was full of bird song. I passed curlews, blackbirds, chaffinches, larks, peacocks…..peacocks? Well, just one peacock.
I had a pliable route plan depending on how I felt but a few miles of cycling along roads like this…
…made me feel very good. I was also cycling into what wind there was which gave me hopes of a wind assisted return to Langholm so I kept pedalling on through, Waterbeck, Middlebie, Ecclefechan and Hoddom until I got to Dalton.
I stopped to check the time and have a snack at Ecclefechan.
At Dalton, I turned and headed down to Annan and the Solway shore. I crossed the river Annan twice, first at Hoddom and then in Annan itself.
Once through Annan, the wind was at my back and obligingly increased in strength so I was able to nip along quite smartly. It all felt so good that I made a short diversion to Brow Houses just to enjoy the sight of the Solway with the tide fully in.
As I went through Gretna, I had to slow down to pass an unusual vehicle with care.
The friendly wind pushed me home through Canonbie where Ii crossed the Esk. Later in the day I would cross the Esk again but this time by car at Longtown.
Life must have been hard work for travellers before all these handsome bridges were built.
I had a slightly worrying twinge in my left calf muscle as I pedalled along but it didn’t get worse if I didn’t push too hard. Luckily by the time it started hurting, the road was mostly flat so I ignored it and arrived home having completed 54 miles at a shade over 14 mph.
Mrs Tootlepedal had had a busy day while I was out, visiting garden events on the Buccleuch Centre (she bought some leeks) and an art gallery in the High Street (she nearly bought a painting but not quite). When I arrived she had already planted out the leeks and was busy on other tasks in the garden.
The garden looked very cheerful in the sunshine.
There are still some new tulips coming out.
And I was more than happy to see some bee sized bees at work on the apples and broad beans.
A little frog lay basking on the traditional lily pad in the pond.
And a redpoll and siskin glowed in the sun.
It was such a lovely evening that I rang Sandy up and we drove down to Longtown to introduce Mrs Tootlepedal to a very nice riverside walk which Sandy had shown me a month or so ago.
The willows beside the river where in flower.
Our walk took us along the river bank and then round a set of ponds. I was surprised not to see more water birds about but the whole area is so pretty that it was a pleasure to wander around even without snapping away at birds all the time.
There were two swans in one of the ponds.
Mrs Tootlepedal thoroughly enjoyed her walk, as did Sandy and I but I was more than ready for a little sit down and some food by the time we got home.
One milestone was reached today. Ever since Mrs Tootlepedal was a nun in the local production of the Sound of Music in March, she has been beavering away at an embroidery giving a nun’s eye view of the song, “Climb every mountain.” You will no doubt recall the injunction to climb every mountain, ford every stream and follow every rainbow. Here is her realisation of that dream. ( I have put it in at a good size so that those interested in needlework can click on it for a better view.)
The sharp eyed will notice a thread hanging on the left hand side of the picture and although Mrs Tootlepedal told me that she had definitely finished it, she now tells me that she has put some more French knots in since I took the photo.
It will be hard to get a better day than today.
The flying bird of the day was a gull which we met on our walk.