Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who was visiting the Olympic Park in east London. It has been revamped as a public park after the Olympics. I really liked this picture because you often see implausibly delightful realisations by architects of what their groundworks will look like but in this case, the reality looks as wonderful as the plans.
We were up early to wave Mrs Tootlepedal off on her weekly trip to Edinburgh to visit Matilda. I am going to join in on these trips as soon as Matilda learns to cycle and I can then do something useful.
After she had gone, Annie and I had breakfast, where the table was brightened by a set of Icelandic poppies coming into flower in a vase.
Outside, the oriental poppies had their heads up to welcome a sunny day at last.
We went up to the town to visit the photo exhibition and see that all was well.
After a pause for coffee and cake at home again, we set off in beautiful sunshine for a little pedal to the manure mine. Our target was not to collect manure but to walk along the short path beside the river. We could hear a squirrel squeaking in agitation as we walked through the trees but it remained invisible. We walked to the end of the path and enjoyed the the clearing at the corner.
We were unable to get past the gate into the field on our way back without taking another photo of it.
I have taken several pictures of this gate but as Annie pointed out, Van Gogh painted more than one sunflower and nobody complained.
The trees by the stile into the wood were full of interest.
We cycled home and Annie packed her case as today was the last day of her visit. We had a walk round the garden before lunch.
I tried to find some undamaged irises to keep Mrs Tootlepedal happy.
She has a good variety.
The days of the azaleas and rhododendrons are coming to an end and the days of the roses are just beginning.
Outside the back door, Mrs Tootlepedal has a bed of grasses mixed with orange hawkweed which she likes a lot. The first of the orange hawkweed appeared today…
…but it will take a bit of time before the bed looks as it should.
There were frogs in the pond…
….young starlings on the lawn….
….small flying creatures on every side….
…and far too many plums on the plum tree. In view of this, Annie and I spent some time nipping off some of the surplus plums. There are so many that if they are all left, the branches will break under their weight as they ripen. This heavy crop is in marked contrast to the apples. The three espaliers had plenty of blossoms but they have hardly any fruit at all. I thought that there were enough pollinators about when the flowers were out but I was obviously wrong and should have been out with my little paintbrush doing some hand pollination.
After lunch, there was just time to mow a lawn before I had to go off to do my stint in the tourist information point at the Kilngreen and Annie had to get ready to catch the bus to Carlisle to connect with her train to London.
It has been a very good visit and we hope to see her again before too long.
At the TIP, I had four visitors in two hours and Sandy, who was minding the photo exhibition in the Town Hall, had fourteen in four hours. Neither of us felt that we had been as busy as we could have wished.
At shutting up time, Sandy walked up to the Kilngreen and we said hello to a mallard…
..and walked across the Castleholm to the Jubilee Bridge. There we parted company as Sandy went home on foot and I cycled back by road as the path round the Scholar’s Field is closed temporarily.
It was such a lovely day still that although I felt a bit tired, it seemed like a crime not to go cycling. I got my cycling shorts on and set off to go to Waterbeck at a gentle speed. The only downside to cycling on a warm evening in June is the amount of flying insects that one can meet and get pinged by in passing. Tonight was not too bad but you have to be careful not to swan about with your mouth wide open in these conditions.
I had time to watch the father blackbird singing just outside the nest…
…have a shower and make my tea and eat it before first Mrs Tootlepedal arrived safely home and then Mike and Alison came round too. It had been a hot and busy day for us all but Alison and I managed to play some enjoyable music and then we all caught up with the news of the day.
I am glad to have made the best of a sunny day as the forecast is back to rain for the next few days.
The non flying flowers of the day are the Candelabra Primulas taken from a distance. You can see that they need more space and they will get it. The yellow flowers will be disappeared too.
Postscript: There has been a lot of talk in cycling circles of mountains in Italy, events to come in the High Alps and great climbs in Yorkshire at the start of the Tour De France so I thought it apposite to include my picture of the Pyranees seen this afternoon in Langhom.
Those cycling shorts have a lot to answer for.