Today’s guest picture has been postponed in favour of a picture of my old friend Arthur Bell striding across the golf course which he tended, planted and weeded as though it was his own back garden for many years.

ArthurThis picture was taken three years ago and his work on the golf course both as gardener and a player….

Arthur…was very much on my mind when Mrs Tootlepedal and I attended his funeral service at the Carlisle Crematorium this morning.  I will miss him.

We were given a lift down and back by the Tinkers and sat with them for an excellent meal at the Eskdale Hotel after the service.  The funeral service was a private affair and there will be a public memorial service for Arthur on Friday.

When we got back home after the lunch, it was a fine breezy day so I took a quick walk round the garden.  The combination of the recent wind and today’s sun had left some of the crocuses battered to the ground but still smiling.

fallen crocusOthers were still standing.

crocusesAnd other flowers were available too….

aconite and primula…but nothing new had arrived.  Some of the crocuses had withstood the strong winds in fine style.

crocusesFor some reason which I can’t explain, the birds were almost completely absent from the garden all day and the seed level in the feeder hardly moved at all.  It can’t have been the builders because for the first time since they started, there were no men at work today at all.  (They should be back tomorrow.)

In the absence of birds, I had a quick look at the pond and there were hardly any frogs there either.  One frog lurking under the bridge stopped long enough for me to get a quick snap.

frogAs there were no birds to watch, I decided to go for a pedal.  The thermometer claimed that it was a mild 10 degrees C and with the sun out too, it should have been a day to cast off the heavy winter clothing but there was still a stiff breeze blowing and as it was one of those mean and cutting winds, I kept myself well wrapped up.

I headed out over Callister and cycled on down the other side and past Paddockhole until I could look back across the Water of Milk on one side of the road…

water of milk…and admire the windmills on Minsca on the other.

minscaAs you can see, there was a mixture of clouds and blue sky and I was grateful for my warm clothes when the sun was in and pleased with the views when it came out.

Water of MilkWith the wind and sun behind me, the road back looked inviting….

Minsca road

blog7…but in a very unsporting manner, the wind dropped and I had to work quite hard to get home.

This might account for the very modest speed that I managed for the ride but it might also be down to the extra weight that I am carrying around with me at the moment.  I shall have to do a lot more cycling and a lot less eating to get back to where I was before December.  Still, 26 miles is a new best for my knee so I was pleased with that.

I have been trying to increase my distance with every cycle outing since I was able to get back on my bike but I think that I will stop doing that now in case I put too much pressure on the knee and get discouraged.  Any miles will be welcome.  If I get a calmer, warmer day, I will try for a longer ride.

In the evening, I got my second lift to Carlisle of the day, this time from Susan, as we went to play with our recorder group. Our librarian Roy had picked out a good selection of music and we had an enjoyable play.  Among the pieces was a quintet which Roy had composed himself.  It was quite difficult at a first reading but it will be well worth playing again.

I only got the briefest glimpse of a flying bird today and this was it.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Tootlepedal!

  1. Arthur will be greatly missed by many people. He gave his time and expertise to many Langholm organisations as well as the Golf Club. He is the last of a generation and Langholm will hopefully remember him maybe by naming something in his memory or perhaps a seat on the Golf Course. The Talking Newspaper was his idea and he worked every week to ensure it reached the people who would gain benefit from it.

  2. Losing a friend is never easy but when it’s someone you’ve known all your life it seems to take the wind out of your sails for a bit. I went through it myself a few years ago.

    The landscape shots are beautiful. I think the clouds add a lot of interest.

    Nice to see the yellow crocus and pink primroses.

  3. Sorry to hear your old friend passed on. I’m afraid I don’t keep things as neat a a golf course here, but I will put in some spring bulbs in his memory.

    Thank you for the Frog of the Day photo!

    1. We sometimes wonder if he would have lasted a bit longer if he had paid some more attention to health and safety while weed killing with spray on the golf course.

  4. Sorry about the loss of your friend. Sounds like he was a lovely man. It’s always hard to say goodbye.
    The flowers are beautiful and I always enjoy seeing the frog and bird feeder pictures.

  5. Arthur sounds like a fine man, and that many will miss him.

    With the improving weather, I’m sure that you’ll be back to fit and trim in no time as you’re about to cycle more.

  6. The colours in your garden have to be seen to be believed, what a riot. It was good to show Arthur in his prime. Glad your knee is still improving if not as fast as you would like.

  7. A lovely picture of Arthur Bell., who will be much missed by the sound of it.
    Glad you had a good ride. I liked the picture looking back along the road with a fine cloudscape.

  8. In days gone by, our ancestors might have associated the lack of birds in your garden (and even of builders!) with your sadness at losing Arthur. The idea has a whimsical and poetic appeal in our times also.
    My bird seed is also now lasting longer – the starlings have mostly left, to make babies in northern climes (a little further north than your land!)

  9. It is a sad thing to lose a friend. The simpler crocuses cope much better with wind and rain than the fancier goblet ones but the strong colour of the latter purple flowers is beautiful.

  10. Sorry for the loss of Arthur. I love the picture of him, his soul shows through. Also love the landscapes and I now know what 10 degrees C feels like as we had the same temperature today according to the clock I pass every morning. I wonder if perhaps the birds were busy thinking about where to set up housekeeping.

  11. Oh, and how wonderful to have somebody write music for you to play! I keep threatening to do it but I never get around to it. I will tuck that little piece of inspiration into the corner of my mind that still accumulates them.

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