Back in the groove

Today’s picture, kindly sent to me by Tom Elliot, a Langholm exile in South Africa, shows a rather larger cat than the ones that try to eat the birds in my gatden.

tom lion
Not something you see every day round here.

I had been feeling a bit tired yesterday and I had slept badly last night but today, the magic of pedalling when I got on my bike to go round the morning run with Dropscone made me feel invincible.  I haven’t felt so fit for two years and the 20 miles went by in a haze of enjoyment.  I don’t want to make too much of it as we only chipped a minute and a bit off our best time for the year so far but it was wonderful to feel that I wasn’t fighting myself for once.  Sadly, I imagine that this will be a short term phenomenon but it was great to have it at all and to know that it hasn’t disappeared for good.

The pleasure of the ride was enhanced by some welcome sunshine, a nice warm temperature and a helpful wind.  The coffee and scones tasted delicious.  (Details for the curious may be found here).

I took a quick turn round the garden when Dropscone left.  Mrs Tootlepedal was very pleased to discover this fuchsia flowering at the back of a bed.  She has grown it from a cutting and it doesn’t seem to have suffered the same damage as the other one which she grew from the same plant.


A bee visits a rudbeckia
Cosmos in grass
This little clump is still charming Mrs Tootlepedal who likes these cosmos most of all
I favour the louder planting.  Three colours of phlox and a campanula.
chaffinch attack
I was a witness to gratuitous violence.

When I went in, instead of a shower, I had a bath in an effort to pass the good feelings in my legs on to my back but it wasn’t listening.  It is gradually getting better but only very gradually.

After lunch, I went off to the tourist information point but was it was more of a tourist information pointless as none came.  Fortunately Sandy dropped in for a chat so between him and the crossword, the time passed pleasantly enough.  I went for an ice cream and a sit by the river afterwards.  The Ewes Water was rather cloudy, perhaps due to some disturbance further up stream, but it didn’t deter this duck from getting its hair wet.

duck diving

I spotted a grey wagtail….

grey wagtail

…and a black headed gull.

black headed gull

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal summoned me to the veg garden.  She had dug up her main crop Hungarian potatoes.

Hungarian potatoes

She showed me a single potato on the kitchen scales.

big potatoes
A fraction under one pound.

After some more weighing and some hard work with pencil and paper…

potato sums

….she arrived at a grand total of 29 lbs for the crop from her six seed potatoes.  That is what I would call a really grand total.  She had one or two for her tea and they taste good too. The variety is Sarpo Axona

While I was in the veg garden, I admired the rich growth of mustard which she is growing as a green manure on the ground where the early potatoes were.


It always amazes me as a non gardener to see things that grow this quickly.

I went and mowed two lawns as my contribution to the welfare of the garden.  They are still looking good.  We will remember this summer for a long time.

We are eating the few plums at a rate of one a day.  They are really tasty and combined with the autumn fruiting raspberries…

plum and rasp

…we are not short of treats just now.

I was hoping that the sun would bring out the coloured butterflies but there were none.  Even my neighbour’s buddleia could only attract white ones.


A day that started with a good pedal ended with an excellent tootle as Susan and I went down to Carlisle to play with our recorder group.  A pedal and a tootle is what days were made for.

A chaffinch yet again makes it as flying bird of the day.  I sometimes wonder if it is always the same chaffinch but I can’t tell.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Back in the groove

  1. Glad to hear you’re feeling good on the bike, TP. Here’s one from left field for you – have you ever considered cutting out gluten from your diet? Or reducing it? I just had a client raving about how great his joints feel now that he is gluten free. I have no idea about this, other than his ravings, mind you.

  2. Good to hear that your legs are felling better, maybe that feeling will work its way up to your back soon.

    I’m surprised that the gull wasn’t the flying bird of the day, but it would probably upset the chaffinch if it was displaced from its place of honor.

  3. Delighted to hear that you felt so energetic on the morning run and had a good tootle in the evening.
    Congratulations to Mrs Tootlepedal for the excellent potato crop.

  4. Wow that’s a wonderful potato crop yield. There’s nothing more satisfying than having fruits and veggies from your own garden, and you’re certainly blessed with some beauties. Wonderful work, Mrs. Tootle!

  5. Thrilled that you felt so good cycling yesterday, even if momentary it must be a great treat. Wonderful potatoes, I hate getting my hands dirty so don’t try to grow anything here alas.

  6. Beautiful pictures! I especially enjoy the bumble bee. I also thought that the potatoes were baby pigs for a second haha. But it’s a good picture no matter how poor my eyesight is 🙂

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