Elapsed time

Today’s picture features two highly decorative London ducks spotted by my daughter Annie some time ago but only forwarded to me recently.


This morning did not quite go to plan.  Dropscone and I set out to go round the morning run in pleasantly dry, warm but cloudy weather.  I had my new GPS counter with me and was anxious to set a base time for the circuit which I could use as a comparison in later rides.  It allows me to stop at road junctions (of which there are many on the route) without adding to the time taken by pedalling and in the end offers me my ride time and my elapsed time which counts all the stops.

Dropscone was in his smoothest pedalling mood and this allowed me to control my breathing well and I was really enjoying myself and we were posting an excellent average until not only did some time elapse but Dropscone elapsed too. The cause of his downfall was the misfortune of meeting a white van coming round a blind corner on a very narrow road when he was riding just behind me.  I managed to squeeze past on the verge but was too busy trying not to fall off to shout a warning and by the time he looked up, the van was upon him with no way round.    When I looked round, Dropscone was on the tarmac and the van was bearing down on him.  Luckily the driver was not on his mobile phone and managed to come to halt actually touching Dropscone but not running him over.

I feared the worst but miraculously not only was Dropscone’s new bike unharmed but Dropscone himself was able to get up with no more damage than a bruised hip and shoulder.  Even more amazingly, he got back on the bike and pedalled back to Langholm with me.  He is truly one of Britain’s hardy sons.  This all only happened because I had asked if we could set off half an hour earlier than usual so I felt rather guilty.

A quick visit to the doctor confirmed that there was nothing broken and I last saw him clutching a pack of frozen sausages to his bruised shoulder on medical advice.

The details of the ride with the elapsed time may be seen on the Garmin page:  morning run

After all this excitement, I collected myself together and went up to the town to check on the opening of the photo exhibition.  It opened at ten 0’clock and this was the reason for the early start for our cycle ride.  I went to check whether the person who was doing the tourist information duty which is based in the gallery  had any questions.  They had none but this was because they weren’t there so I had to sit in their place for an unexpected three hours minding the exhibition and doling out information to a couple of tourists.  I went out and bought another newspaper with a good crossword and a delicious packet of biscuits and managed to pass the time quite happily.

All this meant that I wasn’t able to take a photo until the afternoon.  I took one which I combined with another taken later on to show how well some large flowers have survived the wind and the rain.

peony and poppy

…but I didn’t have the opportunity to take any more because a message on the answer-phone had told me that all was in place to collect my new lens from the shop in Carlisle.  Mrs Tootlepedal is always up for a trip to Carlisle so after lunch we set off.  While Mrs Tootlepedal went off to buy some clothes, I went to the shop.  The salesman surprisingly increased his original offer for the lens involved in the trade in when he saw that it had been well looked after.  Clutching my new lens in my hot little hand, we went home and I fitted it to the camera.  It worked.  Here is the first photo that I took with it.

bird feeder

It is not a great picture but by this time the day had got very overcast and the light was poor.  I took one or two more.

young sparrow
A young sparrow tries a fat ball
An old sparrow looks on
A duunock looks at the poor quality of the middle lawn in despair.
blue tit
A blue tit looks around
A siskin shows me that the feeder needs repairing.

I even took a flower photo with it.

flag iris
A flag iris nearly fully  out.

All in all, I was very pleased with my purchase.  It is much heavier than my old lens so I will have to use it sparingly or make more use of my tripod.  For the technically minded it is a AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm 1:2.8GII ED and I bought it with a AF-S Teleconverter TC-20EIII 2x which means that it can act as a 400mm lens if I need it to.  I know that you will be interested to learn that the teleconverter is aspherical.  All this means that my children should now have greatly reduced expectations of being left anything in my will as they were not cheap.

I put it away because of the poor light and took my little lens out to look at flowers.  The garden has got something new as often as not when I look.

hawkweed and grass
Mrs Tootlepedal’s mini meadow of hawkweed and pheasant tail grass is coming on well.
The lupin has found some friends
A very dark iris has appeared
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me this is a Scotch Burnet rose
Someone had switched the lights on in the nectaroscordum
The alliums are going over but are still spectacular
bee on cornflower
The garden is full of bees which is encouraging.  We just need a few butterflies.

My flute pupil Luke was at a school concert so didn’t come for a lesson tonight.  While I was putting things away, there was a commotion outside.  An unknown dog had invaded the garden and refused to come to hand.  A phone called established the identity of the owner and he came to collect it.  A fiercer and more fearsome beast to have your garden would be hard to imagine.


After tea, I went out to play with Mike and Isabel and we very much enjoyed playing a trio for oboe, cello and piano by J J Quantz.  I played the oboe part on a tenor recorder and it went very well.  We played played a selection of other pieces and had a good evening.  In a moment of madness, Isabel has promised to try to teach me to sing and I have been given a book of early Italian operatic arias to practise.  This will lead to tears (mine and Isabel’s) but I am going to give it a real go.

In the dim light, my new lens had a go at a flying bird of the day.  It will get better with practice too.

flying chaffinch




















Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Elapsed time

  1. Sorry to hear the bairns are disinhertitet but as long as we get some more good photos thon’s their look oot. Onst ye get the hing o’ it, ye’ll be fair chuffed. 😀

  2. I hope your riding partner is still ship shape tomorrow and has no lasting pain. The new lens seems to be good and sharp. That dark colored iris is outstanding. I’ve never seen a flower come that close to black.

  3. Poor Dropscone! So glad he was mostly unscathed. I’ve decided the bike I get will be a tractor version of a mountain bike. As long as my permanent vertigo doesn’t take a turn for the worse and sned me on my head. 😉

  4. I’m very glad to hear that your cycling close call seems to have caused no lasting injury. The modern carbon fiber bikes are much tougher than many people give them credit for. Dropscone is no slouch either, it appears.

  5. From what I’ve heard about the drivers of the white vans, you’re both very lucky not to have been injured or killed.

    Congratulations on your new lens, it looks like a winner so far.

  6. Glad no one was seriously hurt by the van and that the bees seem to have found your garden at last. Here’s wishing you some butterflies 🙂

  7. Well, what an exciting day. Very sorry indeed to hear about Dropscone’s accident and hope he will soon recover from his injuries.
    Delighted to hear you have your new lens.
    I have fond memories of playing music by Quantz. Hope the singing lessons go well.

  8. Quite a harrowing day but I was I was glad to hear no lasting damage was done. The new lens is producing some excellent results but then it must with all those complicated letters and numbers attached to it. Too bad about the kids expectations!
    Please pass on my good wishes to Isabel. She was one of my teachers at the Infant School and I thought she was perfect! If Miss Jeffrey said or did it, then it had to be right. And in my opinion she sang like an angel so you are in good hands.

  9. Glad to hear Dropscone suffered little damage. I really enjoy your photos and your life sounds so serenely interesting. It’s what I’d love for my future….if retirement is ever an option…. 😉

  10. Glad to hear that your biking tour ended well! Love Mrs T’s orange hawkweed meadow. Some years ago we passed an orange colored roadside with flowers we’d never seen before. A few days later we returned with a shovel and dug some flower up and planted them in the garden and now we have a hawkweed meadow of our own. That probably wasn’t a proper behaviour and perhaps not even allowed, but we love and enjoy our hawkweeds.

  11. There is maybe one piece of good advice I could pass on regarding Garmin’s if you are going to make your rides public on the internet. That is to start your device a little way after you leave home and and stop it a little way before you reach home as otherwise its makes handy little map to any unscrupulous person out there as to where there is a bike lurking in the garage/shed.
    Call me paranoid if you like but better safe than sorry.. I had to have it pointed out to me as well..
    Great post though, never a dull moment in your life it seems.. !!

    1. It was very alarming for me as I saw the van heading for the prostrate Dropscone and even more from his point of view but all’s well that ends well.

      1. I think I missed how he ended up prostrate in the first place. Trying and failing (or flailing) to avoid the vehicle he saw coming? Hubby is back on the bike today after his several week hiatus because of a leg infection. I never relax till he is home. People are nuts out there.

      2. Meeting a van coming round a blind corner on a narrow road and not being able to get his feet unclipped in time. Generally motorists are very good round here. Luckily the van wasn’t going too fast but it was a close thing.

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