What a difference a day makes

Today’s guest picture shows a work of art outside the Royal Academy that caught my sister Mary’s eye.  I used to make shapes like that with the children at school.

Sculpture outside the Royal AcademyMrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to visit Matilda, TWGSP, but was unable to produce a photographic record of the trip as Matilda was suffering from a heavy cold and was not at all photogenic.

Because the wind had dropped overnight, Mrs Tootlepedal had to scrape ice off the car before she set off and I  had plenty of time to do the crossword before the temperature got above 4 degrees C and became suitable for cycling.

I had in mind a very gentle pedal as I still had a residue of little aches and pains from being knocked over by the wind a couple of days ago and was unsure how getting on a bike would feel.  I armed myself with two bananas, a chocolate biscuit and a tuna roll from John’s shop and gave it a go.

Shortly after I set out, I was passed by the demon figure of Dropscone whizzing down the road in the opposite direction on his speedy bike near the end of his morning run.  He is a harder man then me when it comes to cycling in low temperatures.

After the very chilly winds of the last few days, it was a great treat to be out in more kindly weather.  The sun shone and although the temperature was actually lower than recent days, it felt much warmer.  As I got into my gentle pedalling rhythm, it became apparent that once again Dr Bicycle had worked his miracle cure and the aches and pains had vanished so I extended my horizons.

garmin 2 Apr 15My plan, which was a very good one, was to get a bit of early height and then swoop down to the Solway shore and cycle along the flat lands for the rest of the ride.

I had my camera with me but my photography mind was working at a slower pace than my legs and I was often well past a good photo opportunity before it had properly registered and I wasn’t in the mood to stop and go back so pictures are few and literally far between.

Some colourful roofs tempted me to stop for a breather at Kennedy’s Corner at twelve miles, my last moment in the hills.

Kennedy's CornerOn the other side of the road, a gate led to the last of the rough pasture that I would see…Kennedy's Corner…before descending to the Solway shore.

SolwayIn spite of the sunshine, the snow on the the summit of Skiddaw on the far side of the firth shows that we haven’t really thrown off winter finally yet.

I left Scotland and followed the English shoreline down to Rockcliffe where I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a packet of crisps in the Crown and Thistle pub.

Pub at RockcliffeMy route home took me wandering through north Cumbria and I raised a smile when I was passed by a lorry carrying portable toilets which boasted the company name  “WC in Fields”.

I stopped for my final banana at the bridge over the Esk in Canonbie.  Although the view from the bridge is frankly dull..

Esk at Canonbie…and it is not one of the bridges where by law you have to stop and take a picture, it did have some striking lichen on its parapet…

Canonbie lichen…and some very nice willows beside it.

willowThe lack of hills on the route made for an easy pedalling experience and I was able to get to the fifty mile mark with little trouble, although my average speed was nothing to write home about at all.

When I got home, I walked round the garden.  In spite of the sunshine, it has been so chilly in general that we are in a sort of limbo.  Flowers are starting to come out and then staying stuck.

grape hyacinths
The paler grape hyacinth on the right has been just like that for days.

There are daffodils about but the larger ones are coming along very slowly…

daffodils…long after the early smaller ones came out.

small daffsThis plant, the name of which I have forgotten, seems almost frozen.

It has been like this for a week.

Even the tadpoles are unwilling to wriggle.

I filled the bird feeders, went inside and kept an eye out of the window.

A robin
A robin has a competition with a fat ball to see which can be roundest
A chaffinch tries to make its mind up on the question
A blackbird doesn’t care and  disapproves of almost everything.

Among the birds, I saw a bee flying about and rushed out to watch it.

It was struggling to squeeze a bit of pollen out of some pulmonaria

When Mrs Tootlepedal came home, we shared a rather uninspired sausage casserole that I had made for our tea and then I went off to the Archive Centre to meet Sandy.  Our internet connection was on its best behaviour and we put two weeks of the newspaper index into the database before retiring for a restorative glass of red wine at the Eskdale Hotel.

There are two flying birds of the day today.  As there were three female party leaders on stage in the televised election debate tonight, I thought that I ought to have a male and a female flying bird to celebrate this.  (There were some men too but they weren’t making much sense.)

flying chaffinchflying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “What a difference a day makes

  1. It’s great to see the flowers even if they are stuck, and the bees and chubby robin make it feel like spring even if the weather doesn’t think so.

    That’s another lichen I’ve never seen. It looks like it might be one of the crater lichens (Diploschistes.)

    1. It looks like a crater lichen Diploschistes but it says that they grow on calcareous rocks and I don’t think that our wall stones are chalky.

  2. Another lovely tour – lucky you! I think your un-named & “frozen” plant may be Bergenia. We call it ‘elephant ears’ here, but it’s also known as ‘pigsqueak’ in some places. I have some in my yard and right now it’s likely frozen, in the literal sense, as it’s just been snowed on (again . . . sigh).

    1. It is a bergenia, you are right. I am sorry that your winter seems never ending. I should stop complaining about our weather (but I won’t).

  3. I’m quite fond of your willows. We don’t have them here in Queensland. I also used to make 3D shapes like that out of paper and cardboard when teaching my children. It could be quite fiddly but they certainly enjoyed it. Once again I do admire your fat robins. Lovely pics again.

    1. “Also, what is TWGSP?” – That’s an easy one: The World Greatest Small Person 🙂

  4. V. sorry to hear about TWGSP’s nasty cold.
    Congratulations on your extremely long ride – very satisfactory to be able to do that so soon after the knee operation.

  5. Know TWGSP will be ‘up and at ’em’ again soon and look forward to the photographic evidence. Congratulations on breaking 50. I have spotted the flaw in my cycling: I would never ever stop at one chocolate biscuit 🙂

  6. Another wonderful guest photo.

    So very interesting, the huge differences in terrain and views you experience in a 50 mile cycle ride.

    Your daffodils warmed my heart a little and gave me a very needed glimpse of spring!

      1. If you took a 50 mile circular ride from my house all you would see are farm fields and sub-divisions. Oh, and you could see Lake Erie as we are only about 5 miles from the western shore. Nothing pretty like what you have there.

      2. We are blessed with a small scale but varied countryside. Still, I would like a lake though Erie is perhaps a bit bigger than I need.

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