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.
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:
She was concentrating hard.
Her cycle helmet looks a bit out of place in the horsey world as she slows down to greet the photographer.
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.
He headed off after the pony drivers and I followed at a safe distance. The travellers met and passed safely on a long straight.
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.
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.
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…
…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.
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.