A bit of a ruin

Today’s guest picture, sent to Mrs Tootlepedal by an ex work colleague Anne, shows a hummingbird hawkmoth in her garden. It is not a fantastic picture and you can just make out the moth visiting a flower but it was fantastic for Anne to see such a rare moth.

hummingbird hawkmoth

I was in a cycling mood again today as the forecast was good and it would have been a pity not to make use of such a fine opportunity.  A certain amount of early morning stiffness afetr yesterday’s 60 miles meant that I didn’t get off very early and as a result it was quite warm before I started.  Not wishing to boil what little brain I have left, I opted for a gentle pedal along  quiet back roads away from any long hills.

quiet back road
A typical road on my journey today.  Quiet and flat.

I was cycling through farmland for most of the journey and the views were very easy on the eye.

farmland view

One of the features of our back roads, on both sides of the border, is the occasional large tree growing in a hedge.  Here’s one in Scotland…

tree in hedge

…and here’s one in England.

tree in hedge

I had my first refreshment stop at Rigg in the shade of the village hall there.  It has a very decorative window.

Mansfield Hall

From Rigg, I headed south into England.

I passed a number of small churches during the day.  This one is at Blackford where I stopped to eat another of John’s  excellent filled rolls which were my basic fuel for the day.

Blackford Church

I was eating my roll outside the church because I had intended to enjoy a bowl of soup and a coffee inside the pub in Rockcliffe and made a special diversion to get there only to find that it was closed on a Monday.

After my roll, I crossed the A7 and reached the Longtown to Brampton road. On a whim I took another short diversion to visit Kirklinton Hall.  This was advertised on a sign as having a house and garden to visit.  The house is handsome…..

Kirklinton Hall

…undoubtedly handsome…..

Kirklinton Hall

….but a ruin and you can get into it.  The garden will perhaps look very nice in about three years.  It did have a decorative pigsty with a decorative pig (if you are a pig fancier)…


…but the best thing about it was that you could purchase a cup of tea and a slice of cake if you wished.  I wished.

I was thinking of putting a few hills into the ride on my way home from the Hall but my legs broke out into mutinous muttering -“It’s all right for him but it’s us that has to do the work.” – so I listened to them and passing a goose….


…and a charming bridge…


…I headed back to the main road to Longtown and then pedalled home through Canonbie and the bike path along the A7.

There were plenty of flowers in the verge all the way round the ride.

Delicate pink blossom near Gretna…

Near Gretna

This vibrant ragwort was growing on the banking of the M6 motorway…


These were at Hagg-on-Esk.

Wild flowers

The bike path is in need of TLC…

A7 bike path

…but I was pleased to use it as it meant that I was near the end of the ride.

I had covered 53 miles by the time that I had got home and after a day in the hot sunshine, I was pleased to get inside and have a drink of water.

I was back out again to mow the front lawn before too long and I  had a look round the garden while I was there.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s mixed packet of marigold seeds is proving to be very good value.

The day lilies continue to delight….

day lily

…and a siskin sat on the feeder quite unperturbed as I walked past.


It was soon time for Luke’s flute lesson.  When I was preparing for the lesson, my music reading software worked very well and I was able to scan the piano part in and get the computer to play an accompaniment for a Gavotte by Handel after about five minutes work.  Luke sight read his part well.

After a nourishing tea of macaroni cheese cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel to round off a good day of pedalling and tootling.

The flying bird of the day is a well fed chaffinch.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “A bit of a ruin

    1. Slow and steady does the trick. The great thing about cycling, once you have reached a certain stage of fitness, is that there is not much difference between twenty and fifty miles as the bicycle does all the load bearing unlike walking.

  1. I’m glad that you paused long enough on your ride to shoot a few photos for us to admire! I know that I’ve said this before, but I’d take up cycling if I had the beautiful countryside to ride through that you do.

  2. As always, lively photos. Kirklinton Hall looks rather spooky. How is it a pig still lives in the ruins? And you could purchase tea? In America, if there were a pig and a teahouse then most certainly admission would be charged to inspect the ruins!

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