Today’s guest picture, sent to me by a proud parent, shows Maisie, Langholm’s gift to New Zealand, being very pleased to be exactly three years old. Her grandfather was round for a cup of tea today but hadn’t seen the picture because his electricity was off.
It was a fine day when we woke up and I had great plans for a swift pedal on my speedy bike over hill and dale and then being back before the forecast rain started and in plentyn of time to entertain our guest. When it dawned on me that the speedy bike was in the care of the local bike shop, I changed my plan to a slow pedal on the slow bike over fewer hills and dales after a sociable breakfast with our guest.
This did mean that I hadn’t gone more than a mile before it started to rain. The more determinedly I pedalled onwards, the harder it rained. By the time that I got to Canonbie after six miles, the roads were running like rivers. Fortunately, as I turned to come home, the rain eased off and by the time that I was halfway back to Langholm, the sun was out, everything was green and I was drying off.
So in spite of the rain, I thoroughly enjoyed my slow pedal.
The ladies were hard at work in the garden when I got home and I wandered round admiring their work and taking a picture or two.
There was geometry galore.
I looked at two flowers of my favourite rose and it is hard to believe that one will lead to the other in the space of a day or two.
My attempt to catch the neatness of a pale blue lupin was interrupted.
After a splendid lunch of green lentil soup and local cheeses, we set out with Pat for a short motor tour and a walk. The car took us to the Rashiel road end where we admired the wild Irises which were growing in profusion.
This is just a small part of the picture. I didn’t have a wide enough lens to catch the whole scene.
We drove back on to the Claygate road, a lot drier now than when I had pedalled along it earlier, and then went down to the Hollows. Here we parked the car and walked back along the old road…
…as far as Byreburnfoot, where we admired the view of the Esk from the bridge.
We left the Esk behind and walked up the track beside the Byreburn as far as the junction with the road to Priorhill at the top of the track. The bank on the far side of the river here was glowing with buttercups.
And my eye was caught by a wild rose near the bridge.
We retraced our footsteps back down the track and then to the car, keeping our eyes out for interest on our way.
The prize went to Mrs Tootlepedal who spotted an orchid at one point during our excursion. She wants me not to say where we saw it, so I shan’t.
I should have a mowed a lawn when we got home but the cycling and walking were quite enough for my knees for the day so I contented myself with a final garden shot….
…and went in to have a cup of tea and a sit down.
We rounded off the day with an excellent meal at the Douglas Hotel (courtesy of Pat) and a late evening viewing of the International Space Station as it trundled across the sky above the house once again. I say it trundled because that is how it appears as it goes sedately and silently over our heads but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is travelling around the world at 17,000 mph and completes 15 orbits a day. It will go over us again in an hour and a half. Some trundling.
My ISS photography has not improved. I was using bulb mode with a tripod but I had great difficulty in getting everything set up before the thing had moved out of shot and in the end, I had to prop the tripod up with my wobbly hand. Still practice makes perfect and Mrs Tootlepedal gets an e-mail to tell her when and where it will be visible so I will try to be better prepared next time (and not so near a street lamp).
Here is the flying object of the day.