Today’s picture continues the record of the riotous celebrations of Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday. After yesterday’s birthday porridge, today we saw the official birthday cake. No expense has been spared.
Mrs Tootlepedal would like to thank all those kind commenters who wished her a happy birthday and to tell them that she did indeed have a happy birthday.
The weather finally relented and we got a day that was well up to the seasonal norm as far as temperature went so I took the opportunity to stretch my cycling legs a little. Dropscone arrived after breakfast and we set off round the morning run the wrong way until we got to Glenzier hall. There our ways parted, as he continued round the morning run and I headed off to the west.
The distance that shows between the start and finish on my Garmin map on the left (click on it to visit the route) was created by an absent minded failure to start recording until we had gone nearly three miles.
Where possible, I kept to fairly main roads as there is quite a lot of hedge cutting going on at the moment and cycling over thorn hedge clippings is not recommended. On the more busy roads, the cars soon sweep away the cuttings. As it turned out, even the little lanes were clear of peril and I had an untroubled ride.
The wind was very light and the temperature just into double figures and my only problem was being slightly overdressed. Once you have got used to putting on several layers for cold weather pedalling, it is hard to persuade yourself to take some off again.
On my way back, I passed the blacksmith’s shop at Gretna…
…and was too polite to photograph a happy couple as they walked across the courtyard with only a single friend in tow. A busy looking photographer with a fancy flash trotted across the road and followed them into the cottage so I expect he makes a reasonable living from the wedding business.
There is still a morsel of autumn colour left here and there…
…and a welcome bit of new surface on this back road near Gretna.
I stopped in a lay-by opposite Hollows Tower to eat a final piece of cake and took the opportunity to add to my many pictures of the tower while I chewed.
I had only three or four miles of busy main road left at this point.
In all, the trip came to 43 miles and thanks to adopting a steady speed, I got home in good order.
I had a moment to look out of the window and saw a robin looking back at me.
After lunch, Sandy and I went up to the Moorland feeders where Cat Barlow was ringing birds again. We were hoping to meet some interesting birds in the nets but although there were plenty of birds in them, they were mostly old friends and quite a few had already been ringed.
There was a single tree sparrow among the coal and great tits.
They are handsome birds and easily distinguished from house sparrows by being a lot browner on the head and having a dark patch under the eyes.
A greenfinch showed off its elegant tail feathers for us.
And it is always a pleasure to meet a robin.
It wasn’t a great photo opportunity because apart from the routine roll call of birds, the light was fading fast too. This did give Sandy the notion to go and stand in a field.
He was trying to capture this dramatic cloudscape.
There were fine clouds to be seen on every side.
But it wasn’t long before it got too gloomy….
…and we headed for home and a cup of tea.
In the evening, we went off to our usual choir practice and at last we have been given a list of items for our upcoming concerts. We can sing most of them quite well. We are going to visit churches in two neighbouring villages which are happy to use our concerts as a fund raiser for both them and us. This is mutually beneficial and it has the added bonus for us that our hosts will work their hardest to get a get audience in.
We are also going to make a guest appearance at a concert by our town brass band so we will be busy.
I am trying to get my conducting arms under control and only knocked my stand over once tonight which is a big improvement.
Amidst the flurry of activity, I did find time to catch a flying chaffinch of the day.