Monumental tour

Today’s picture is another from my brother.  It shows the Erewash canal running through Long Eaton beside a road.  I think that it gives the place a continental feel.

Erewash Canal

Our B&B guests were on the road early but I rose late.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I idled about, occasionally looking out of the window.

Chaffinches were heaped up outside
blue tit
A blue tit looked for a spare seat.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from church and shortly afterwards Dropscone appeared bearing some eponymous drop scones.  He had been round the morning run and got a soaking on the way for his trouble.  His drop scones went down very well with a cup or two of Kenyan coffee.  He has a permanently dodgy ankle for which he wears a support and as you always have to buy a pair even though you only need one, he brought round his unused support to see if I would find it useful.  This was a kind thought and would perhaps have been useful if he and I didn’t both have the dodgy ankle on our left leg.

We have a glut of broad beans at present so Dropscone went away clutching a bagful, plotting to hide them in some flavourful dish so that those at home wouldn’t know what they were eating.

When Dropscone left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I took a turn round the garden.

The sun came out and a marigold responded.


The biggest cosmos flower in the garden

We have got a large number of white butterflies flitting round the garden at present.  I saw this one on a cosmos and was surprised that it could seemingly fly quite normally even with a damaged wing.


In the back border, a lone iris is blooming long after the others have gone.


There are more bees than ever about.  This one was enjoying the white phlox.


I made a bowl of bean soup with some more of the  bean glut and it turned out very well.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I ate the bean soup for our lunch, accompanied by some sour dough bread and goat’s cheese.   (The advances in culinary skills over the past 200 years mean nothing to us.)

After lunch, we set out for a large garden centre to the west of Carlisle as Mrs Tootlepedal was hoping to add some more colourful phlox to the garden display.  Sadly, there was no phlox to be had when we got there (not even for ready money) and we left disappointed.

To cheer ourselves up, we headed for the Solway shore near Brough by Sands.

Looking across the firth to the Dumfriesshire hills

Behind us the weather looked very threatening.

threatening weatherWe went into Brough and headed out towards the salt marsh to visit a monument erected to mark the spot where Edward the First, King of England, died of dysentery on his way to invade Scotland in 1307.

We parked the car and with a nervous look at the black clouds behind us, walked down a lane towards the monument.

lying sheep

The fact that the sheep in the field beside the lane had all keeled over didn’t give us much confidence that we were going to avoid getting wet but we plugged on.

The monument is bigger than it looked from a distance.

King Edward monument

History might have been different if Edward hadn’t died here.  His son came north to teach the Scots a lesson some years later and got a thorough thrashing at Bannockburn.

There is an inscription on the monument:

edward monument inscription

This is a metal copy of the original inscription carved into the stones of the monument.  I am hoping that my sister Mary will provide a translation for me as she is a Latin scholar.

The sky was still very dark behind us but we got back to the car in sunshine.

monument at Brough
Even the sheep had stood up

We passed a field of barley on our way.


It is very densely planted as you can see and by coincidence I heard a framer on the TV later in the evening saying that this close planting helps to keep weeds under control.  There must have been insects about as a small flock of swallows were sweeping low across the crop.


The bad weather seemed to have passed us by and headed for Carlisle.

bad weather

We met a cyclist who was sitting admiring the view at the top of the lane and he told us that he had rung home to find that a downpour had hit Carlisle and caused the drains there to flood, so we had been very lucky.

We got home, still in fine weather, and after a while decided to go for a short cycle ride to see if we could get a picture of the bridge that isn’t there.

I put on my new cycling glasses…


…and they went satisfyingly dark in the bright sunshine.    However this was not of much use because by the time we had got three miles up the road, it had started to rain and things were looking very gloomy so we cut our losses and raced back home with a strong wind behind us.  The glasses seemed to do the required job as I could see where I was going and read my bike computer.  I hope for a longer test soon.

My ankle stood up to the light workout well and weather permitting, I shall go out again tomorrow.

A flying chaffinch ends this post.

flying chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Monumental tour

    1. They don’t change very quickly. As a cyclist you would like to have ones that change instantly when you go into a tree lined shadowy section of road at speed but the optician says that that is too much to hope for. They certainly change quickly enough that you could walk indoors without bumping into things.

  1. I agree with you about the canal picture, it looks very like the ones you took in France on your last trip there. Enjoyed the pictures on your trip South especially the historical information. The beans that you brought south last weekend were much enjoyed by your city relations.

  2. Love the glasses! Any chance they will be in Nimes? A little bird took a break from devouring my blueberries to suggest just that. I’ll be there (looks like the blogosphere is converging on Gerry) and it would be great fun to get to meet up! I can’t find an email for you, so I’ve made this rather public post, hope that is ok.Mine is snmcycling!

  3. I saw a butterfly with a tattered wing on Sunday, not quite as tattered as yours but I did wonder how it happened. It seems strange that a king would die in such an exposed place in the middle of a field of dysentery, I wonder why he didn’t stay at home when he was ill 🙂

    1. It took a long time to travel north then. He got ill when he arrived in Carlisle. It’s a lesson not to go invading Scotland although it was really just a dispute between one set of Norman landowners and another.

      1. One of these days! Working in travel I seem to spend most of my time visiting exotic locations, somehow Scotland just hasn’t featured yet

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