Matilda has been a little poorly of late so Mrs Tootlepedal went up to Edinburgh today by an early train to lend a moral support (and a helping hand).
This left me with the day to myself. It was still only 13°C after breakfast and the sky was cloudy and dull so instead of leaping out of the blocks and cycling into the far distance, I dillied and dallied and found things to do which put off the moment of starting. I couldn’t use the wind as an excuse as it was very calm but it took me three hours after Mrs Tootlepedal’s departure to get organised enough to go.
Walking round the garden was one diversionary tactic.
Having finally pulled myself together, I armed myself with an egg roll, two bananas and a chocolate biscuit and set off to see the world, with only a vague travel plan in mind. I was not in any hurry though and I began to enjoy myself enough to contemplate perhaps forty miles. The grey skies didn’t look very threatening and the wind was so light that the windmills weren’t earning their keep at all.
My legs cheerfully took me over Callister hill, along to Gair and up flower lined lanes….
On my way down the hill, I passed a splendidly straight line of tall pylons marching across the fields…..
I was soon at Gretna where I crossed the railway at the site of Scotland’s worst ever railway accident at Quintinshill. This has been much remembered lately as it happened a hundred years ago.
As you can see, the sun had defied the clouds and was shining on my journey by this time. Once I got going again, I rolled through the sunlit flat lands of England, passing this pretty church with a spire in Rockcliffe….
….until I got to Longtown. Here I had a cup of tea and an excellent toasted tea cake before looking into the bike shop to enquire about a replacement for my saddle which has seen better days. I asked if I could have one exactly like my present model which has served me well but as the bicycle business exists to sell new things to customers who already have everything that they want, they don’t make my saddle any more.
From Longtown, as I was feeling pretty perky, I took a slightly circuitous route home just to take my distance for the day over the fifty mile mark. I felt that I had missed an opportunity as it had turned out to be a perfect day for a really long ride. I don’t like to go too far from home though when the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service is not available so I wasn’t too unhappy with my half century.
Once home, I mowed the middle lawn, filled the bird feeder, (the birds had been busy)…
Mrs Tootlepedal’s tasty chicken dish from yesterday provided us with our evening meal and then it was time for me to get a lift from Susan to go and play with our recorder group in Carlisle. We finalised the programme for our forthcoming concert and did some useful and fairly detailed practice. There is no doubt that practising is a Good Thing.
The drive home was accompanied by such a wonderful sunset that I could have cried because I had no camera with me. Still, the internet is awash with sunset pictures so the loss of one more is probably a bonus rather than a disaster.
The flying bird of the day is a regulation chaffinch.