Pedalling by proxy

Today’s guest picture was very kindly sent to me by Steve, the author of the There and Back Again blog, much missed since he discontinued it.  The handsome bridge in the picture is on the Manassas Battlefield and crosses Bull Run Creek, the site of the first major battle of the American Civil War (July, 1861).  It was built in 1825.

Bull Run Creek

I was continuing to tread very gently as my sore hip improved and I was pleased to be able to spend some quiet time tickling Matilda’s toes in the morning.  Matilda seemed reasonably pleased too.


She was taken to visit some neighbours in the splendid perambulator in which her father had been pushed around as a baby while I was visiting the local producers’ market to stock up on provisions..  I was able to persuade my son to give her an extra push when I got back so that I could take a picture of him pushing his baby in his own pram.

Alistair, Matilda and pram

I should say that Mrs Tootlepedal has been carefully looking after the pram for 35 years precisely for this moment.

The visit to Langholm  was Matilda’s first journey out of Edinburgh and as she didn’t want her parents to get too tired or over excited, she took them off home in the middle of the morning.

This left me with time to wander about the garden to see what yesterday’s stormy weather had done.

ligularia and delphinium
It had left the ligularia untouched but had dished the delphiniums.

In general the garden had got off fairly lightly although the taller plants were noticeably tilted to the side.

These lilies, deep in the back border, were in very good condition.

And two clematis plants were equally well sheltered.


cosmos and geranium
Low lying plants like these, a cosmos and a geranium, had survived well.
And a new poppy had actually come out in spite of the weather.

The poppy repaid closer examination.


Although the showier roses are looking a bit bedraggled, the moss rose is doing well and the appropriately named Special Grandma is flourishing, well sheltered from the wind.


While I was looking at the flowers, the cries of swifts racing across the sky above the garden made me look up.

These aerobatic specialists are great birds to watch.

Slower birds were to be seen.  I was just sympathising with this blackbird’s loss of a leg….

one legged blackbird

…when it put its other leg down and flew off laughing at having fooled me.

I took a traditional chaffinch in the plum tree shot for my sister Susan who enjoys a picture of a perching bird.

chaffinch in plum tree

We had some new potatoes from the garden with a salad for lunch and then Granny, Mrs Tootlepedal and I sat down to watch the first stage of the Tour de France on the telly.  The weather was good outside and it was my intention to watch for a bit and then go for a pedal myself but as the stage was going through country in Yorkshire that we knew quite well, it was even more interesting to watch than usual and before I knew it, several hours had gone by and we had watched the whole stage from start to finish.

The unexpected rest had done me a lot of good and for the first time for a good few days I was pain free when I stood up.  I was so pleased that I went out and mowed the middle lawn…..and was still pain free when I finished.

There had been a sharp shower while the cycling was on but it turned into a pleasantly sunny and calm evening so I got the camera out again.

There were birds about….

dunnock and blue tit
A dunnock and a young blue tit

…and flowers too.

day lily
The day lilies have been doing very well.

Mrs Tootlepedal has planted out some marigolds from a packet of mixed seeds.


Usually by this time of year, the leaves of our Solomon’s Seal will have been stripped by hordes of sawfly caterpillars but this evening, I could only find one at work.

solomon's seal

The new potatoes are so good that we had some more with our tea.

I am hoping to get back on the bike tomorrow.

The capture of a  flying chaffinch rounded off a very good day.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Pedalling by proxy

  1. Thank you, as always, for the free publicity. One of these days I’m going to get my big break! I was looking for you and Mrs. Tootlepedal along the TdF route (after all, Yorkshire is just down the street from Langholm), but I now see you have far more entertaining diversions planned.

    And thank you for explaining what “pram” stands for. I shall add that to my ever increasing vocabulary.

    1. It would have been hard to spot us among the million other people who turned out to watch the caravan go by. Having Granny with us made it hard to see a good way to go down to the reality.

  2. We watched the start of the tour as well from much further away 🙂 I love the Tour de France more than any other sport as you get treated to all the beautiful scenery and buildings from many different angles and it is all so beautiful. I love the announcers as well. I feel sad for the poor delphiniums. Maybe they would benefit from a trellis or some wire to be tied against?

    1. We haven’t got the energy or room to prop up everything that needs to be popped up so I think that delphiniums will be replaced by something better suited to windy weather.

      The tour is wonderful viewing. I thought that they did Yorkshire justice.

  3. Lovely picture of beautiful Matilda and a very nice one of her father pushing the pram!
    Glad hip better and that you enjoyed watching the Tour de France.

  4. How lovely to see Matilda in her Dad’s old pram. They don’t make them like that any more and I’d bear very surprised if any of the modern prams lasted so well.

  5. Oh my word, is that a mosquito or other small bug inside the poppy?? I had to go back several times for a closer look. Incredible photos today! So glad you are feeling better – pain wise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: