Making the best of it

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who has just visited Melbourne on his way to New Zealand.  He met Gog and Magog, two striking fellows, there.

gog and magog

The casting of a magic incantation using my physiotherapist’s name had proved to be singularly ineffective so I decided to stop sitting around moaning and start to be a bit more active today (but keep the moaning up too).

Although I didn’t feel up to the challenge of riding with Dropscone, I did get out on my bike and do a gentle fourteen mile trip after breakfast.  On my way out, I met both Mrs Tootlepedal returning from a combined pedal and manure collection and Dropscone who was near the end of   the traditional morning run.  We arranged to meet for coffee and scones at the usual time.

It was cool but pleasant and the light was very good.  Getting on and off the bike to take pictures is rather irksome at the moment but the juxtaposition of a gate and a gnarly tree made me stop regardless.

Gate near Barnglieshead

I usually tinker about with my photos just for my own enjoyment but the light was so nice today that this one comes straight from the camera untouched by the editor.

Dropscone’s scones were well up to his usual standard and the Peruvian coffee beans ground up well so the day got off to an excellent start.

Next on the menu was a phone call to book an appointment with my physio for Wednesday and, with the inevitable miracle cure now in the offing, I ignored the hip and set about mowing the middle lawn and doing a little dead heading.  I followed that up by making a pan of lentil soup for lunch and felt a lot better spiritually for having been a bit more active than of late.

I took the camera into the garden to note some signs of the changing season during the day.

rose hip

michalemas daisy



The garden is still busy with bees…

bee on cosmos

…but we have seen no colourful butterflies to speak of yet.

We have a contrasting set of lilies on the go.

day lily


water lily

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden but when I suggested a visit to the Moorland bird feeders after lunch, she laid down her trowel and jumped into the car.   When we got to the feeders, she took one look at the lack of bird action and announced that she was going to walk home by way of the monument on the top of Whita Hill.

Whita Hill

You can just see the monument on the top right hand end of the ridge.

This was the last I saw of her.

Mrs T on Whita

I stayed at the feeders for half an hour in case she found the going too hard underfoot but when she didn’t return to the car, I went home.  (The bird action was indeed very dull and I hadn’t troubled my camera while I was watching not much happening.)

When I got home, I walked up to a viewpoint from where I could see Whita Hill and had a look to see if I could spot her with my binoculars.

Whita Hill
Her route was along the ridge from right to left

There was no sign of her so I went home and had a cup of tea and worried just a bit.  She had no phone, no walking pole and no snack and I had no idea of her exact route.  If she didn’t return in good time, there was no chance that I would be able to walk up the hill to have a look for her so I was beginning to wonder whether we had given this jaunt the consideration that it deserved.

I was relieved when the back door rattled but it turned out to be Mike Tinker who was politely coming round to ask about the state of my hip and not Mrs Tootlepedal at all.  After Mike left, I had another peer at the hill with my binoculars from an upstairs window but drew a blank.  Fortunately the back door rattled once again and this time it was the walker herself.

She had had a wonderful walk with a constant accompaniment of various birds of prey.  A quad bike track had made route finding easy and the temperature was perfect for a bit of fairly strenuous walking.  She had reflected as she had been walking along that a phone would have been a good idea and that she would have liked to have had her walking pole with her on the steep descent down the face of the hill from the monument but these thoughts had not detracted from her enjoyment.  She is a hardy woman.

Young people will have been amazed  to learn that she had managed to walk the two and a half miles home over the hill without the aid of any additional hydration at all.  Some people can’t even leave the house these days with a bottle of water in their hand such is the power of the publicity of the bottled water companies.  Over tea with Mike, while I was waiting for Mrs Tootlepedal to return, we wondered how I had been able to run twenty mile hill races in my youth without a bottle of water in sight.  Quite easily, was the answer of course.

After a cup of tea, Mrs Tootlepedal got back to work in the garden and I was so pleased to see her back safely that I celebrated by mowing the front lawn.

During the day, several colourful birds caught my eye.  One was a regualr visitor which I have put in for those who like perching birds…


…but the next two are less regular visitors at the moment.

A greenfinch
A goldfinch

The last is a hopeful blackbird which was dogging Mrs Tootlepedal’s footsteps as she dug out some peonies in the hope of some freshly turned worms.


In the evening, I went up to Isabel’s where I enjoyed playing some trios with her and Mike.

My policy of not trying to make my hip better worked very well.  It didn’t make my hip any better but it didn’t make it worse and I had a much more enjoyable day.  The sunnier weather helped of course.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin homing in on the feeder.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Making the best of it

  1. I rarely carry water on hikes, but I do make sure that I drink some before. It’s too bad that Mrs. T wasn’t carrying a camera up there. When your hip gets better you’ll have to join her on the next hike.
    I like the shots of the gnarly tree and gate, and the hopeful black bird.

  2. I admire Mrs. T’s pluck, but my motto has become better safe than sorry. That’s mostly due to kayaking with people who don’t know how to keep them above water, and running into hikers that manage to get lost on mark trails. I’m one of those people that need water when it’s hot out, much above room temperature is hot to me. I used to have a 2 quart (2 L) canteen that I carried, now I carry several bottles of water. But you won’t find mine along the trails, I always bring them home.

    1. It was a pleasantly cool day here and she was only walking a short distance. Your temperatures seem to be much more extreme than ours. If I was carrying the same amount of kit that you carry, I would need whisky not water.

  3. I am glad that your more active day didn’t make your hip any worse. I would have been worried too about Mrs T but luckily all turned out well. Thanks for the perching birds, the brightly coloured flowers and I do so agree with your remarks about the amount of water carried about these days. I never have a bottle on my person and rarely have one in the flat either.

  4. Well done Mrs Tootlepedal, glad you got home safely, without phone or water!
    Hope the physio appointment is helpful. Lovely perching bird pictures.

  5. I share your views re. water bottles. I was mystified by the apparent inability to make it through a 55 minute class without a bottle of water . . .

  6. I enjoyed your rant! I am amazed at people who swig water during concerts and even during church services. I hardly ever take water with me when I go out though I could have done with it recently when one of my car tyres burst on a very hot day and I had to wait over two hours to be rescued. The perching and flying birds are good to look at and the gnarly tree and gate a perfect picture.

    1. As I said in the rant this fad was backed up by a lot of pseudo science gobbledygook from the PR firms of bottled water companies recycled by journalists with nothing better to do.

  7. You are managing amazingly well and so is Mrs Tootlepedal. I tend to leave my refillable water bottle in the car because it’s too much to carry and by the time I get thirsty I am on my way back. Also there is the problem of not wanting to wander off and squat behind a bush somewhere that keeps my thirst in check. Love the gate & gnarly tree.

  8. The Mrs. had a nice jaunt there, even sans water! I tend to drink water before going on a hike, only carrying water if it’s an all-day affair. The most annoying thing about water bottles is when people discard them along the path.

  9. I’m glad Mrs T returned safely although I would say a phone is a good idea in future. As for water, I do carry a refillable water bottle on longer, summer walks but it’s water from the tap.

  10. They had quite a tap water scare in our hometown while we were away on vacation. It seemed there had been some noxious toxin created by an algae bloom and everyone in the metro Toledo OH area and outlying suburbs with city water were told not to drink it, cook with it, bath in it or wash dishes with it. (Boiling would make the toxin worse.) We were quite glad to be hundreds of miles away from the panic that ensued in all the local stores as people rioted for bottled water. Also were glad that our home is on a well and we didn’t have to be concerned about our son, dogs and house sitter!

    Your guest photos have been very good the last few posts I’ve caught up with and I meant to say in one of my prior comments that I loved that Jeeve’s bench! Your gnarly tree and gate is wonderful, and I love the greenfinch!

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: