In answer to my plea for some guest pictures, my friend Liz, whose official status is Dropscone’s sister, sent me this picture which she took of a modern grotesque, carved during some restoration work at Lincoln cathedral. She notes that it was made during the great banking crisis.
It was another glorious day, although a drift of light cloud towards the evening heralded a coming change in the weather tomorrow. At 18°C in the middle of the morning, it was at my perfect temperature but at 24° in the early afternoon, it was too hot for me. Tomorrow it will be too cold again. I am never happy.
Dropscone came round for coffee, having had his morning pedal. He was quite pleased because recently he has been steadily improving his cadence (the speed at which his legs go round when he pedals) and today, he achieved a new record. His scones were very good too.
When he left, I had a walk round the garden. It was almost too bright to take pictures but a geranium cried out for a portrait.
I mixed sitting in the cool indoors with sawing up the rest of Dropscone’s tree and Mrs Tootlepedal’s privet, both of which are now safely in the log pile ready for next winter. I also sieved a little compost from Bin D. It is still a little soggy from the recent rain but it is drying out well.
Mrs Tootlepedal was keen for a cycle ride and as she likes to pedal different routes rather than just up and down out local roads, we decided to go to Carlisle and pedal along the Caldew cycleway to Dalston and back. We cycled this five mile trail shortly after it opened a few years ago and enjoyed it but it had some niggly bits along it. However, we have been told that it was much improved so we thought that we would go down and see of this was indeed true.
We waited until we hoped that the heat of the day might have dropped a bit before setting off but the temperature gauge in the car, which was standing in the sun, still said 31°C when we got in. Mercifully, it went down to 23° as we drove along.
We parked beside the railway in Carlisle and started our ride by pedalling under the tracks.
We soon found the route had indeed been greatly improved and cruised along smooth surfaces beside the river Caldew.
There was a thin layer of cloud by this time and we were grateful to be protected from the direct rays of the sun and with the gentle wind whihc we created while pedalling, it was a perfect day for a ride. Sadly, the same could not be said for photography and my little Pocketcam positively hated the diffuse light so the pictures don’t do justice to the views we saw as we passed at all. Still, I took plenty.
Thanks to the excellent trail, we were soon out of the town and into the country. Everything was as green as it could be, except where it was dotted with a rich tapestry of wild flowers.
Although the trail passes a mill and a Nestle factory, it is never far from the river bank….
Just before we got to Dalston, I stopped to take a close up of a bunch of sweet rocket.
We cycled through the village and crossed the Caldew on a foot and cycle bridge. There were plenty of people enjoying putting a toe in the water along with their friends.
The pub had a little garden at the back with some pretty flowers and a shady spot to sit.
We rejoined the trail for the homeward leg and I couldn’t resist having another shot of the sweet rocket.
All too soon we were back in Carlisle, passing under a main road on an old railway line beside the river….
You can just see two of the most important things about Carlisle in the picture, the cathedral looming over the trees and a train sneaking through them. At one time, seven different railway companies ran trains in and out of Carlisle.
I don’t think that there can be many better short, flat cycle rides than this one, especially at this time of year and on such a perfect cycling day.
There was still enough light for us to be impressed by a flag iris when we got home.
Mrs Tootlepedal did some much needed watering before coming in.
The flying bird of the day is a little siskin.