A cycle, a sortie and a song

Today’s picture comes from my brother and shows Calke Abbey.   It doesn’t look like an abbey because it isn’t one.  It is a grand house built on the site of an old abbey.

Calke Abbey

It was a good day for a morning pedal with a balmy temperature of 4°C and no signs of ice.  I was expecting Dropscone to turn up but it turned out that he had other business and I was left to go round the morning run on my own.  It was just as well that I was on my own because I was not very consistent as I pedalled along.  I was fine of the flat but every time that I came to a hill, my legs turned into wobbly custard and I struggled badly.  I think it is just a product of the cold weather which affects my chest so that I don’t breathe as well as I should and consequently have no reserves of energy when it comes to a bit of pushing.

Still it was a very calm and dry day, there was no traffic on the back roads, the views were good and I got round safely so I am not going to complain.

Sandy came round for coffee after I got back and then helped to put another week of the newspaper index into the database which was very useful.

He went off to get his lunch and I ate mine and then took my first photo of the day through the kitchen window.  The goldfinches are still being rude to the chaffinches.

goldfinch and chaffinch

The chaffinch doesn’t look too upset though.

After lunch, Sandy reappeared and we went down to the Hollows.  When I had cycled through on the morning run, I had thought it might be worth a photographic visit.

Because of the couple of very calm days since the first frost came, many trees have still good a good complement of leaves on board and the walk along the old A7 from Hollows Bridge….

Hollows Bridge

To the Byreburnfoot bridge….


…was very agreeable.  The light was pretty poor and got worse while we walked but we had tripods with us so we were able to take a snap or two on our way.

old A7
Between the bridges
The Byreburnfoot bridge
Autumn Leaves
As I said, there were still a lot of leaves on the trees.


The big house beyond the bridge is now an upmarket B&B and the owner is doing his best to get businesses in Langholm and Eskdale to work together to encourage more visitors and provide things for them to see and do when they get here.  I hope he succeeds as it is a place well worth visiting.

This bridge was the limit of our short walk as the light was getting very poor and the paths into the woods looked very gloomy.

Fairy Loup

On our way back, we saw a glimpse of the Hollows Bridge.  This would have made a fine composition and we regretted that it was obscured by trees.

Hollows Bridge

If I had several hours to spare, I could magically photoshop them all away.

Hollows Bridge

Some quick  work got rid of a few branches but much more work would have been needed to do a good job than I had time for as I had to have an early tea and go round to Masonic Lodge where the choir meets to have a practice with the other tenors.

We had a useful session and we have all got disks with three of our songs on to warble along with in the privacy of our own homes.  We had a good sing when the full choir appeared, or at least as many of them who hadn’t been put off by the closing of the High Street to all traffic from eight o’clock and overnight.  I did a bit of conducting in the second half of the practice and was very alarmed when I looked up from the score to find a member of the choir looking at me.  I’m not used to that at all.  Who knows, maybe we will start singing in time next.

A curiously contorted chaffinch is flying bird of the day.







Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “A cycle, a sortie and a song

    1. It was sharp and I can’t explain why is was better than the other pictures. I use a very shallow depth of field and rely on the birds to fly into exactly the right spot which they rarely do.

  1. Loved your walk in the trees with Sandy. I agree with the first comment, the owner of the B&B should your blog to promote the area. You would make a great tourist advertisement..

      1. Hi, I’m still tootling about, mainly to and from work. No micro adventure as yet, nor sadly on the horizon, everything just gets in the way. Got some new winter gear, tools and winter tyres coming in a few days, after joining my employer’s cyclescheme. My trusty Pioneer needs a good service/overhaul, new brake pads, and the gears aren’t performing too great. I’m cycling to work this evening to start a run of night shifts ( till Monday morning ), so I’d best have a look at them now. All the best.

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