Today’s guest picture, forwarded to me by Grandpa Mike, shows the results of Maisie, New Zealand’s finest,  testing out the apples to see which tasted best.

applesThe sun obliged us with a rare visit today and everyone felt better for it.  It didn’t do much for the temperature which was at a miserly 13C when I set out for a gentle pedal after breakfast.  Dropscone was on the morning run under his own steam and by complete coincidence, we met when we had three and a bit miles to go and we cycled home together. 

I had a quick visit to the Archive Centre where a new archiving volunteer is settling in and then it was time for a cup of coffee (but not scones today) with Dropscone.

Mrs Tootlepedal  retuned from a choir practice and came in to tell me that her bed of Shirley poppies was being besieged by honey bees.  I took a camera out but by the time that I had got to them…..

Shirley poppies
The bed is looking very like the design that Mrs Tootlepedal had in mind when she planted it.

…the bees had made themselves scarce and the only buzzing was coming from a bumble bee on a nearby cosmos.

bee on cosmosPausing to snap a handsome marigold…

marigold…and an upstanding opium poppy…

opium poppy…I went inside and stared out of the window.

bird feederIt shows that you have to be more concerned about your friends behind you than your enemies whom you can see.

A bit of Monday morning housework was done and a plan for the afternoon matured and then I had time for another garden wander.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s expenditure of under £2 on a single packet of sunflower seeds in the spring (and a good deal of skilful work) has really provided  value for money as she got about 24 sunflower plants, many of which are still standing in various spots round the  garden in spite of the heavy winds.

sunflowersHer coloured phlox are also hanging on well.

phloxOn the vegetable garden fence, a clematis has put in a remarkable late burst.

Lots of flowers still to come.

And a honeysuckle is thriving too.

honeysuckleIn the sweet pea cage, a few flowers can still be seen.

sweet peaAmong the vegetables themselves, a large number of white butterflies were flitting restlessly around.  One rested for a moment.

white butterflyThe afternoon was given over to going to Carlisle and Brampton.  The trip to Carlisle was to buy small garments as gifts to our two new born great nieces, Lila and Rosa.   I left the choice of these in the hands of Mrs Tootlepedal while I stocked up on necessities like cheese, French butter and coffee.

We left Carlisle and headed for Brampton where a visit to a music shop provided me with a brand new flute.  Thanks to lack of stock, I was able to acquire a very nice flute for quite a bit less than the one I had in mind but which was still  more than good enough for my standard of playing.  Unlike my original flute, which I bought very cheaply second hand, all the keys go fully down on this one when you press them and the result is a much better tone and an easier blow. 

I shall have to practice a bit more seriously now.

Rather than going straight home from Brampton, we made a small diversion to Lanercost Priory.

LanercostAmong its beautifully restored buildings lies that pearl above price, a tea room.  We had tea and a cake.   Our enjoyment of the tea and cake was enhanced by the fact that a heavy but brief rain shower started just after we entered the tea room and finished shortly before we left.

We stopped on the way to the priory to admire a fine bridge over the River Irthing nearby.   It has been bypassed by a new road and bridge which is not surprising as it is very narrow and was built in the early 1700s by a group of four local masons.

It is quite fragile.

Irthing Bridge at lanercost
As opposed to pedal cycles pushed by foot of course.

The bridge comes in two parts, one over the River Irthing itself…

Irthing Bridge at lanercost…and one joined onto it on the left which crosses a small stream that joins the main river just below the bridge.

Irthing Bridge at lanercostIt is a mystery to me why they didn’t go a few yards downstream and build a single bridge after the river and stream had joined.

The stream had once provided power for a mill, now a residence.

Irthing Bridge at lanercostThe river looked very attractive upstream of the bridges.

River IrthingAfter our tea, we headed home, popping into a garden centre on the way.  Nothing fell off a shelf into Mrs Tootlepedal’s hands but she had a good look at a dwarf buddleia.  This was encouraging for someone hoping to have more butterflies in the garden next year.

We got home in time for me to prepare for my flute pupil Luke and he and I enjoyed some duets and learned the fingering for some high notes. 

Mrs Tootlepedal prepared a tasty pudding of baked plums on toast for our tea and then I went to Carlisle with Susan where we had a fruitful practice of the material for our forthcoming concert appearance.  Concerts are hard work.  You all have to play at the same time and use the right notes. 

I did find time to catch a flying sparrow of the day in the sunshine.

flying sparrow






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Flutlepedal

  1. Aw, Maisie, a girl after my own heart!

    I always enjoy your photo work, Tom, but today your bee really pops!

    Question for Mrs. Tootlepedal: Do your Phlox bloom a second time from the same umbels? Mine seemed to have finished off for the season and now appear to be reblooming from the same heads.

    1. Mrs Tootlepedal says that hers never come again and cannot on throw any light on your second flowering. Perhaps you are seeing some flowering on small side stems that didn’t flower in the first flush.

  2. I am going to schedule my next vacation when you and Mrs. T. schedule yours. You have an incredible ability to
    inside just as it starts to rain, and then hit the road again just as the rain stops. Does this gene run through your family?

  3. I was surprised to see the apple pictures, as I had bought two apples from New Zealand only a few hours ago, at the supermarket. Mine didn’t have any toothmarks though.

    My phlox are blossoming now, also, here in New Hampshire (USA). I don’t recall that they have ever bloomed a second time.

  4. It sounds like a very satisfactory day. Hope the new flute proves a success.
    Lots of lovely colour still in your garden, and I was pleased to see a sweet pea.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful day after your bit of rest the day previous! That bridge is fabulous. And I always enjoy an amusing sign. 🙂 That marigold picture could have won a prize in the photo show!

  6. I hope you enjoy getting to know your new flute. Though you weren’t able to photograph the honey bees the bumble bee certainly made up for it – a lovely picture! I also loved the flying sparrow.

  7. The timing was just right when you visited the priory, I like it when that happens. The old bridges and mill are interesting too. I did have a buddleia in my garden once but it was a full sized one and took over more than I’d have liked so it had to go. I miss the butterflies it brought with it though.

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