Another new visitor

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my son Alistair and shows the little girl that makes Mrs Tootlepedal a grandmother.   Our best wishes go to Alistair and his wife Clare.  We hope to go to visit mother and baby quite soon.


The arrival of our grandchild was a much more complicated affair than we had all hoped for and we are waiting for further reports from the hospital before allowing our joy to be unconfined.

Meanwhile we carried on.

I went out on the morning run with Dropscone but on this occasion we had to call for the assistance of the MTRS (see footnote)  when Dropscone got a puncture at the farthest extent of our circuit.  We have had so few punctures over the years that neither of us was carrying a spare tube on this occasion.  In a heartless way, I left him to wait for the broom wagon and cycled on by myself.  We managed to reassemble just in time for coffee and scones.

The sunny weather was still with us and although the wind was quite brisk, it wasn’t chilly as well and for the first time this year, I was dressed a bit too warmly for the conditions.

While I had a shower after coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a short pedal herself.  She combined this with a bit of roadside litter clearing as she went along.  The appetite of motorists for throwing rubbish out of their windows is insatiable.

A new tulip turned up today to add to the collection.


It was joined b y a very attractive anemone.


The existing tulips weren’t to be outshone though.


I never failed to be amazed by the tremendous variety there is among flowers of the same family.

After lunch, Sandy appeared and we set off in the car with Mrs Tootlepedal to show her one of our favourite walks.  We went to Hagg-on-Esk and walked back along the bank of the River Esk to Irvine House following the fishermen’s path.  Mrs Tootlepedal was captivated by the walk.  Even though most of the trees are not in leaf, the scene was still charming.

Esk near IrvineHouse

Esk near IrvineHouse

Esk near IrvineHouse

We were hoping to see some birds as we went along and we were not disappointed.

There were goosanders swimming…


…goosanders standing…


…and goosanders flying off before I could get a decent shot.


There were dippers standing on rocks beside the river…


…and in the middle of the river…


…and flying off before I could get a decent shot.


Sensible people were using binoculars to enjoy the scene…..

Sandy and Mrs Tootlepedal
Sandy and Mrs Tootlepedal bird watching

…and not trying to take pictures with a lens that is too heavy for hand held shots.  Still, I enjoyed myself a lot while trying.

Part of the paths goes past some well shaded damp rocks and I wondered what this prolific growth on one of the rock faces might be.


We got home tired but happy and had a reviving cup of tea and a biscuit.  (I should mention that the biscuits which often appear in this blog are almost always out of a packet of 600 individually wrapped rather small caramelised biscuits of the sort which you often get given free with a cup of coffee in a cafe.  They stay remarkably crisp in their wrapping for months.  Mrs Tootlepedal bought them for me for my birthday.  A present that keeps on giving)

After Sandy went home, we went out into the garden.

A lithodara has come into bloom and was attracting bees.


I weeded the strawberry bed, added a little growmore and then covered the soil with a mulch of home-made compost.  Mrs Tootlepedal paid a visit to her manure mine and when she returned, she topped the bed off with a light covering of manure.  The gooseberries got some manure too and I am already looking forward to the coming of the soft fruit season.

While we were working, there was a tremendous squabble between three male blackbirds.  It was quite an ongoing feud but as soon as I went in for my camera, they stopped fighting and disappeared.  As soon as I put it away, they came out and started again.

I had to be content with the female of the species in the evening sun.

blackbird on bench

Meanwhile, we are keeping our fingers crossed that Clare makes a swift recovery from her very hard labour and that we can go up and see her, Alistair and the baby in the very near future.

Mrs Tootlepedal had hoped that being a granny would save her from being shoved off any buses but research into the lyrics reveals that she is still in danger.  She is disappointed.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.


*MTRS = The Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service, an invaluable resource for the stranded cyclist.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Another new visitor

  1. Do hope you have reassuring news soon about Clare. So sorry she had such a bad time. Your granddaughter looks fabulous though just as a new great niece should.

    Loved the river scenes and your garden flowers.

  2. Congratulations to both Mr. & Mrs. Tootlepedal on becoming Grandparents. Please pass on our best wishes to Clare and Alastair and we hope she recovers very quickly. Grandchildren are just wonderful and of course when you have had enough of them you just hand them back to their parents.
    Best Wishes from Gavin & Gaye

  3. Congratulations on the beautiful new addition to your family. Also good wishes to the new mother for a speedy recovery.

  4. Many congratulations on your new addition to the family. I hope her mum is fine again ASAP. I bet you and Mrs T are itching to see her. Fantastic pictures, as always. I really like the goosanders, (unlike fishermen), and dipper. A grand Siskin, too. I’ll take a stab at Lunularia cruciata for your unknown?

  5. Congratulations on becoming new grandparents. I hope your daughter in law has an easy time of her recovery.
    I think your unknown plant on the damp rocks looks a lot like the great scented liverwort (Conocephalum conicum), but I’m not sure that it grows there. The shots of the river are great to see.

  6. I’m sorry to hear that your celebrations about becoming grandparents are tempered by worry about your daughter-in-law – hope all is well soon. Have you started looking at very, very small bicycles yet? Perhaps a tiny wee garden spade?

  7. Congratulations to you both! I can see one of those kiddie seats on your bikes 🙂 start them early I say. Beautiful photos of the river birds and forestry as well.

  8. Ah, what exciting news about the baby. I hope all is well with the new parents in short order.

    I’d never heard of the song before, but my daddie’s mammie wouldn’t have permitted any such foolishness on a bus.

  9. Congratulations on becoming a grandpa and to Mrs T of course. I hope all turns out well. Grandchildren are the best, mainly because you can give them back when you’ve had enough. Pity the birds were so uncooperative on your walk.

  10. What a lovely picture. Congratulations on becoming grandparents. Do hope Clare is progressing well.

  11. Congratulations on the new grandchild and best wishes to her parents and hopes for a quick recovery! Now I will have grandchild envy along with photography envy as my married kids are set on not giving me any. 😦 I keep saying I need to find one to “adopt”.

    Lovely landscapes in this post. I quite enjoyed going on the walk with you and Mrs. T and Sandy!

  12. congratulations on your grandchild and the baby blackbird in your photo.. ( that is a juvenile blackbird not an adult ‘female’.. I’m guessing your nest has fledged?

  13. Congratulations to you and Mrs T on the birth of your granddaughter. I hope your daughter-in-law recovers very soon. That lovely walk by the river must be so soothing. I also enjoyed the song!

  14. My goodness what a fine baby girl, and that little nose, so perfect. My best wishes for a quick recovery for Clare, and for a flood of unconfined joy for you all.

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