The Wizard of Oz

Today’s picture was sent to me by my sister Mary.  It has been very hot indeed in London and it looks as though the majority of the population of that great city were out dangling their toes in the water at Parliament Hill Fields on Sunday.

The large lake, Parliament Hill Fields

I didn’t have time to dangle anything this morning as Dropscone appeared on schedule for a morning pedal.  As there are currently a set of temporary traffic lights on the Town Bridge, we decided to go off in the opposite direction and enjoyed an uninterrupted visit to Waterbeck.

There was a light breeze in our face on the way out and, luckily for us, it didn’t get any stronger until we turned for home when it picked up quite a bit and was most helpful.  Our general pace was modest although we enjoyed a burst of speed over the last five and a half miles home which were downhill and with the wind behind us.  We hit 35 mph coming down Callister which is quite fast enough for two old men.

Over coffee and scones, I learnt about Dropscone’s latest golfing victory.  He is in a rich vein of form at the moment.  He also told me that he had been out twice on the bike over the weekend so he has had a busy time.

After he left, I got myself cleaned and smartened up and went up to the High Street to meet a most important visitor who was coming from Edinburgh by bus.

This was Meg, the mother of Julie Goyder whose blog I have followed with laughter, sorrow, sympathy, pride and many emotions in between over the past few years.  Meg had come all the way from Australia just to visit Wauchope Cottage and we were honoured.  She was also fitting in an attendance at her granddaughter’s wedding in Peebles so that was convenient for her.

We got her safely installed in the B&B rooms and then Sandy arrived. He too had a cup of coffee and he and I walked round the garden.  There was plenty to look at.

Danish Flags

The Danish Flag poppies may go over quickly but more arrive with commendable speed.

Rosa Mundi
The rosa mundi was looking very cheerful
Rosa Wren
A new rose, Rosa Wren, has made an appearance.
day lily
I hope that that this is the first of many day lilies
The cosmos plants will soon be out all round the garden.

Meg had brought us a gift from Julie in Australia.  It is a bottle stopper and came in a bag that told us all we needed to know about it.

Julie's gift
We were very touched by her kind thought.

Meg is making light of a fractured pelvis and several fractures in her left arm which she sustained in a fall from her bike.  When she had got settled, she went off on foot to visit the High Street and get a bit of lunch.

While she was out, I spent a little time bird watching.  There were several close encounters of the bird kind.

bird encounters

A greenfinch gave things a sideways look.


And a family of sparrows tucked in at the fat ball cafeteria.


Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work and when Meg returned, she went for a short rest while I mowed the front lawn.  Then I took Meg for a motor tour of the area.  We went across the hill to Newcastleton, passing Sandy who was hen harrier watching by the roadside, and returned by way of a fleeting visit to Hermitage castle…

Hermitage Castle…and back down the A7.  I was too busy acting as a tour guide to take any pictures of the trip but the countryside was looking at its best and Meg got a really good  short tour of the western border country of Scotland.

Once back home, she took a walk round the garden and then retired to write up her diary while I finished the task of turning the compost from bin B to bin A and trimmed  a short section of hedge.  I had another camera tour of the garden.  In places, there are literally masses of flowers.

A spirea.
A white potentilla
The weigela by the road has never looked better.

And another new iris has appeared.

I like white plants that grow in shady corners.

I did some shopping and then Mrs Tootlepedal returned from work and prepared a splendid roast chicken evening meal for which Meg joined us.  The chicken was garnished with potatoes, turnip and broad beans from the garden, as we are just reaching the home grown vegetable part of the year.  We polished the meal off with strawberries, ice cream and cream and I fear that all this may have put the Tootlepedal diet plan somewhat into reverse.  It was worth it.

It has been a really good day as it was very nice to meet a real life person from the world of the blogs that I read and to have some flesh put upon Julie’s digital  bones.  I expect her ears were burning even so many thousands of miles away.

After our meal, Mrs Tootlepedal took Meg on a tour of the garden and I snatched a picture of them in a rare moment of repose.

Mrs Tootlepedal and Meg
You would never guess that Mrs Tootlepedal hates having her picture taken.

I thought that the evening light would show Crown Princess Margareta up well but the insects had beaten me to it.

rose with flies

The flying bird of the day was one of the sparrow clan.

flying sparrow














Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “The Wizard of Oz

  1. I love the red poppies, have grown them in the past, and am happy to learn their proper name. And what a lovely visit with your blogging friend! How lucky for both of you.

  2. I am so thrilled. Thank you so much for looking after my ma so well. It was so weird seeing her in the photo with Mrs Tootlepedal – very wizard-of-ozish.

  3. How exciting, to have such a visitor must be special indeed. Loved all the garden pictures, as good as Kew if not better in places. Fancy cycling at 35mph, I can’t imagine going so fast on a bike.

  4. A very nice picture of Meg and Mrs Tootlepedal. Lovely roses and lots of colour in your obviously well cared for garden.

  5. Too funny! I was looking at the picture of Mrs. Tootlepedal and thinking, that the other lady in the picture looked so familiar… HA! She is. 😉 Julie mentioned that her mother was traveling there for the wedding, but failed to say (Or, I missed the mention of it) that she was staying with you both at the B&B.

  6. The glimpse of Hermitage Castle is appreciated. Wikipedia informs me that it “has a reputation, both from its history and its appearance, as one of the most sinister and atmospheric in Scotland.” I can’t see the anything sinister in its appearance, myself.

    FYI, your Garmin link for the Warbick trip brought to a page requiring a password.

    1. It is a sinister looking place even if the photos don’t make it look so.

      Someone else told me that about the garmin link too. I don’t know why, it was tagged as open to everyone. Do the other garmin links work?

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