Up and down

Today’s guest picture is from an encounter which my daughter Annie had while cycling in Richmond Park with a friend,   The things you see when you live in a city.

richmond park

The day started well here.  After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal was swept up by her instructor and taken off for a driving lesson.  I followed on afterwards in my role of state photographer but before I left the house, I had time to look out of the window.  It is hard to realise that this chubby robin on the ring…


…is the same bird as this smooth operator on the ground but it is.


There is so much food about in the hedges, fields and woods round the town that we are getting a thin selection of visitors at the moment.  The chaffinches keep coming though.


Then it was time to go.  I parked at Wauchope Schoolhouse and waited for the learner driver to appear.  Here she is:

driving with Catriona

She was concentrating hard.

driving with Catriona

Her cycle helmet looks a bit out of place in the horsey world as she slows down to greet the photographer.

Driving with Catriona

Driving with Catriona
Stopping executed successfully, Mrs Tootlepedal and Catriona share a joke as they say in the society magazines.

A portrait of the motive power.


After a chat, Catriona and Mrs Tootlepedal (and Paddy of course) went further down the road towards Langholm and while I was awaiting their return, my eye was caught by movement in the long grass.


It was Dropscone coming round the Morning Run with a valuable knapsack of treacle scones.

Style, speed and nutrition.

He headed off after the pony drivers and I followed at a safe distance.  The travellers met  and passed safely on a long straight.

Blochburn footI could only stop and stare in wonder as they passed at an estimated combined terminal velocity of 12.456 mph.  (Dropscone was pedalling into a terrific gale.)

Since I may not get the chance to catch Mrs Tootlepedal with the reins in hand again, I have taken the liberty of putting an extra shot in here.

driving with Catriona

Leaving the drivers to it, I nipped past Dropscone and got the coffee ready for his arrival.  He said that his ride had been very hard work in the gusting winds and I quite believe it.  The treacle scones were good and as he left, I felt in fine form and considered a pedal later in the day myself.

Meanwhile, there was work to be done and I completed the preparation of the double mounts for two of Dropscone’s sister’s paintings.  I managed to to do this with quite a high standard of care for me and Liz approved of the effect when she came to check on the first one.  Two down and seven to go.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal, who was not wearied from her morning drive, came out for a short pedal up to Wauchope Schoolhouse.  The wind was less gusty than the morning and the pedal was pleasant enough.  I didn’t stop to take any pictures because Mrs Tootlepedal was going too fast, as this blurred shot as we neared home confirms.

Mrs Toot on bike
More practice with the phone camera needed when wearing cycling gloves.

I had taken it very easily on the bike and felt fine when we got home but by the time the evening came, I was feeling quite feeble and I don’t think that I was quite as as ready for even a gentle pedal as I thought that I was.  Still, I felt pretty good for most of the day and that is progress.

I went out to pick some of the wonderful Charles Ross apples…

Charles Ross
Each one a meal in itself.

…and I took the phone with me.  It liked the apples but the poor light defeated my attempt to record some fading colour in the back corner of the garden.

fading colour
An impression

I was going to do another mount in the evening but I thought it wiser to leave it until it could get my full concentration so I had a bath and ate some excellent toad-in-the-hole prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal instead.  As it was followed by blackberry, raspberry and apple crumble, I certainly couldn’t complain about the day’s food intake.

The flying bird is a glimpse of an inevitable chaffinch.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Up and down

  1. I’m glad that you posted a few not so good shots from the phone. I was beginning to think that I had wasted a good deal of money on the camera and lenses I purchased, when a phone would have done just as well as judged by the other shots you’ve posted from it.

    1. It has its merits but like all point and shoots, things have to be right for it to work well.
      I waste a lot of time trying to get it to do things that it just can’t do. I’ll learn.

  2. Splendid to see Mrs T. reins in hand, also loved the robin pictures. Glad you managed a tiny pedal and hope for better things today.

  3. Lovely photos once again. What a beautiful espaliered apple! I’ve just noticed some early flower buds on my Royal Gala and Granny Smith apples. So looking forward to a crispy apple.

  4. This is a lovely post. A find record of your day. Delightful photos of Mrs T taking her driving lesson. You got me there for a minute as I expected it to be a car! Horse and cart much nicer. Such a peaceful spot as Mrs T and Dropscone had the whole road to themselves. You don’t see that often.
    Pleased to hear you are feeling a bit better.

  5. Great shots again – is there no end to Mrs. Tootlepedal’s talents? When she has passed her test I would love to venture out with her to the local co-op!

  6. Wonderful post, as always. I almost feel I am there, watching Mrs. Tootlepedal driving along the country roads. And the thought of treacle scones makes my mouth water!

  7. Splendid photographs of Mrs Tootlepedal – I did wonder what kind of driving lesson it was going to be.
    Those apples look delicious
    Glad you felt up to a ride, and hope next time you will not run out of energy afterwards.

  8. When you said driving lesson I wondered if I had mistaken memory… I thought I had read that she drove into the city/town now and again. The horse driving lesson was a complete surprise! Your photographs of the days events were completely charming, Tom. What a fun post! Although I am sorry to hear that you wore yourself out. Be careful, my friend. 🙂

  9. Good luck to Mrs T with her driving lessons. I should think driving a horse would be way harder than driving a car, at least with a car you have some idea what to expect. 🙂

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