Steamed up

Today’s picture was taken especially for the blog by my brother as he pedalled along the Erewash Canal in Nottinghamshire.  Very nice it is too.

Erewash canal

map31july13 Dropscone and I enjoyed a pedal ourselves this morning.  It was a lot cooler than it has been lately but the  absence of any wind made it very pleasant as we cycled across Callister, past Gair and through the farmlands around Chapelknowe and Glenzier. (Click on the map to see the details.)   We were additionally cheered by the fact the the council seems to be busy mending some of the worst sections of the roads.

We went on this slightly longer than normal morning ride because I was keen to do 25 miles to get my total for the month up to 500 miles.  This is the most that I have done in a month since September 2011 and brings my total for the year to 2761 miles.  I am very pleased to have managed this but it compares poorly with the 4888 miles that I had done by this time in 2011.  Judging by how tired I feel, there is little chance of ever getting back to that sort of distance.  All the same, I am enjoying the cycling that I am doing  and I am very pleased to be able to do it thanks to some very effective medicine.

My spreadsheet tells me that I have done 168 miles with Dropscone  at an average of 15 mph, 70 with Mrs Tootlepedal at 9 mph and 263 by myself at 14.5 mph.  The 168 miles with Dropscone probably means that I have eaten 16 of his scones after cycling and as he has brought round treacle scones on at least two non cycling days, that brings the total up to 20.  It’s a good thing to go cycling with a retired baker.

After he left today, I wandered round the garden as usual.  There are pink and blue phlox coming to join the white ones.


And cosmos of many different shades


The rose with many heads is progressing.

rosa princess margareta

It makes dead heading a little tricky.

Shirley poppies are coming in various shades as well.

shirley poppies

Altogether, there is quite a lot of colour in the garden if you know where to look,  Some of it is well hidden.

Lilies in the long grass

Some is quite obvious.

It’s a pity that they didn’t all grow to a nicely matched height.

After lunch we headed off to Carlisle, stopping on the way at the bike shop at Longtown to collect a couple of new pedals for me. Our main task was to pick up a B&B duvet which was being cleaned professionally but Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t like to miss a chance to go to an embroidery shop so after picking up the duvet, we headed into the centre of town.  As we passed under a railway bridge on the way to the car park, we thought we heard the sound of a steam engine on the line above us.  Once through, we looked back.


We had heard a steam locomotive.  It was a Black 5 Stanier

Like the canal at the top of the post, it too had a Nottinghamshire connection.

Sherwood Forester

It puffed off towards the station and was soon followed by its modern equivalent.

The London bound Pendolino

Somewhat astonished by all this, we pulled ourselves together and went off shopping.  The widely held view is that the British town centre is dying but Carlisle people obviously don’t know about this and the town was absolutely hotching with people busy visiting shops.  Carlisle has a broad pedestrianised High Street with room for street cafes and entertainments so that is maybe one reason why people come to it. It still has a good range of shops too.

We got home and as the weather looked a bit threatening, we took the onion crop which we had laid out to dry and hung it in the greenhouse.

onion crop
Part of the crop

Mrs Tootlepedal fears that we might have been a bit hasty in bringing them in and wonders if the crop will keep well.  Time will tell.

I snapped a dahlia which is growing beside the greenhouse while I was there.


The evening got darker and darker and in the end, it started to rain.  I spent some time trying to catch a flying bird before it got too gloomy.  I cheated a bit.

hhoming pigeons at exercise

This was a passing flock of homing pigeons at exercise.

As the month has gone on, the goldfinches have disappeared and the siskins and greenfinches have thinned out considerably and we are left with our most regular visitors, the chaffinches.


One of them obliged for flying bird of the day.










Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

17 thoughts on “Steamed up

    1. It’s roughly equivalent in time to walking the dog every day so it’s good but not awesome. Sadly the line is masked by trees so I couldn’t get a full shot of the locomotive.

  1. I loved the flock of pigeons and the trains. How colourful your garden is as you walk round, it’s a pleasure to dog your footsteps. Well done for cycling all those miles even if you wish you could have gone further.

  2. Are your onions drying on an oven rack? I’ve used one of those as a baking rack for some years – very useful things!

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