Sandy goes over the top

Today’s guest picture, which was sent to me by my sister Mary, is from her recent visit to Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens with Palm House

The thermometer said that it was rather cool at breakfast time but the air outside was paying no attention to the thermometer and it seemed to be pleasantly warm again as I set off for another short cycle ride.

My fourteen mile loop was taken at a very leisurely pace and enlivened by meeting another retired teacher who was doing a different fourteen mile loop in the opposite direction.  We stooped for a chat before going our separate ways.   I also passed a retired butcher  getting a bit of good pedalling exercise on my way back.   I was expecting to see a retired baker as well but it turned out that Dropscone had abandoned the Morning Run for a more extensive circuit to the north of the town.   Mrs Tootlepedal, who was combining cycling with manure collecting again had met him.

The roads were teeming with elderly cyclists.

Dropscone came round for coffee and reported that his golfing troubles are, temporarily at least, in abeyance.  He is going off to a competition soon and that will be the real test.

I didn’t find much time for taking photographs today and new flowers in the garden are scarce at the moment so I settled for two more pairs.

….and the beasts.

No birds were in co-operative mood and as I didn’t have the time or the patience to stand in front of the kitchen window when nothing was happening, there are no bird pictures today at all.

I spent some time taking even more unripe plums off the plum tree and throwing them away.  The crops is so heavy that we fear that it will break the branches and ruin the tree.  We must have picked off at least a hundred plums but there are plenty left.


I was just wondering what to do after lunch, when a phone call from the bike shop arrived to tell me that my slow bike was ready to collect.  It had been in for a service for its hub gears and a new set of front brakes.

When I got home, I was anxious to test it out so I gave Sandy a ring to see of he would like  short pedal.  He turned up his nose at my opening bid of a five mile circuit and we settled for a nine mile out and back to Westwater.

We stopped en route so that I could take a photograph of a little bridge….

Earnshaw bridge

…with a very big parapet.

Sandy at Earnshaw bridge

The new bike was going very well so when we got to Westwater and Sandy, finding his legs in very good order, suggested an extra mile and a half to the top of the hill at Callister, I was easily persuaded.

Sandy found the climb less of a problem than he had expected and we reached the top without difficulty.   Sandy was pleased to have achieved this as it showed that he is developing some good cycling legs and his pneumonia seems to be a thing of the past now.

We stopped for a breather before returning down the hill.   I spotted another sign of seasonal change.


The ragwort beside the road was fairly humming with insects.


The downside of the extra three miles on our journey was that when we were exactly three miles from home, it started to rain.  We were quite damp by the time we got back but rain is never such a pain when the day is warm so we didn’t stop to put our jackets on.

After drying out and cooking an omelette for my tea, I drove Susan to Carlisle for a practice with our recorder group.  We are preparing 20 minutes playing for a concert in September and it is amazing how much work has to go into getting such a short amount of tootling right.  We are making progress.

On the drive down, we had gone through a torrential rain shower and we were a bit worried in case flooding might affect our trip home.  In the event, the rain wasn’t a problem and it had been replaced by some thick patches of low lying mist which appeared when the road got close to the river.  Added to that, there was the problem of  a large barrier across the road proclaiming that the road was closed but we had prior knowledge and slipped round the barrier and found that the road was closed on the far side of Langholm and so we got home safely.

In the absence of a flying bird, I am putting in a non flying tomato, one of three we picked today and the only one that survived being eaten for lunch.  It is always disappointing when something that you have grown yourself tastes no better than a shop bought product but on this occasion, we were not disappointed as the tomatoes were sweet and tasty.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

14 thoughts on “Sandy goes over the top

    1. The tasty tomato is my reward for letting Mrs Tootlepedal look after them this year after several unsatisfactory years when I was tomatomeister.

  1. That tomato looks gorgeous. Shop ones are so disappointing. Your concert pieces should be good after all that practising.

  2. I hope your tomato is a delicious as it looks! Mine are disappointing this year – thick skins and inferior flavour – not really surprising as it’s been an odd growing season here.

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