Carpe Diem (almost)

Today’s guest picture is a pair of damselflies in Venetia’s Somerset garden.  I never see dragon or damselflies in our garden.  It is most frustrating.damselfly

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.

A spirea reaches out a decorative limb
A poppy lounges about
strawberries and gooseberries
The sight of the strawberries and gooseberries is making me hungry

Poppy and chive

Geranium flowers float above their foliage

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….

gair…to Kennedy’s Corner and then through a dark tunnel to the light beyond.

Kennedy's CornerOn the other side of the tunnel was the road down to the coast and the flat lands of the Solway Plain.

On my way down the hill, I passed a splendidly straight line of tall pylons marching across the fields…..

pylons…and a relic of the past at Chapelknowe.

Drive wheel
An old barn still has a drive wheel ready for the traction engine to be attached.

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.

QuintinshillFrom Gretna, I took the service road along the M6 motorway and stopped to eat my roll and one of the bananas.  Across the road, I saw the first hedge roses of the year.

Hedge roseThe motorway embankment was covered in daisies.

daisiesAs 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….

Rockcliffe…and a fine display of red hot pokers beside the road near Todhills….

red hot pokers….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.

garmin 23 June 2015
Those interested in the route can click on the map for full details of the ride.

Once home, I mowed the middle lawn, filled the bird feeder, (the birds had been busy)…

busy feederbusy feeder….had a cup of tea and a shower and greeted Mrs Tootlepedal on her return from Edinburgh.  We went to admire a new iris that has come put today.

My favourite variety.  Expect many more pictures.

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.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Carpe Diem (almost)

  1. I’m glad the weather took a turn for the better. We’ve been under tornado watches off and on here all day, but haven’t seen any.
    I like the old church and the iris looks a lot like our native blue flag.
    I hope Matilda recovers quickly from what ails her.

  2. Here’s hoping Matilda recovers very soon. That also would be a Good Thing. We eventually saw the sun at 8 pm today after 13 degrees C temps and gloom all day. I enjoyed the virtual cycle trip with you very much. And the flowers… so lovely!

  3. A lovely church and churchyard. There are few like that here, with graves surrounding the church. I like to wander and read the headstones.

  4. Since I’m not a fan of warm weather, I would think that you would prefer to go for longer cycle rides in cooler weather, but that’s me.

    As it is, I’m glad that you went for a stroll in the garden before cycling, as I love the flowers, but I also love the photos that you shot will cycling, especially the church and the tunnel through the trees.

  5. Swanky Latin tag to set off an interesting post. I liked the hedge rose and the moving words on that terrible fatality. Hope Matilda makes a speedy recovery.

  6. With such beautiful scenery, your cycle rides must fly by; even the motorway verges are pretty. As for pretty, I send Matilda the Homestead’s best wishes on a speedy recovery and as for that iris – spectacular!

  7. A splendid ride after all. Sorry not to share your glorious sunset!
    Hope Matilda is on the mend.

  8. I very much enjoyed the kind of photos your “diversionary tactics” and “vague travel plans” produced. Another beautiful and interesting collection. Your food choices always make me hungry too! It’s a good thing I usually read your blog straight after dinner these days. I hope little Matilda improves soon. It’s hard to watch the little ones when they are miserable with illness.

  9. Glad you didn’t lose your way for too long after dillying and dallying, and that you were able to carpe the diem so successfully.

  10. Your garden is so beautiful I can’t understand why dragonflies and damselflies don’t visit, unless it’s too much competition for them. Hope Matilda is on the mend.

  11. What an enjoyable tour of your 50 miles! I really liked that tunnel and the “leading lines” of the power poles. What a lovely church and graveyard. I do enjoy a good old graveyard from time to time, they are so interesting! My favorite shot is the macro of that purplish flower next to the poppy. Such detail!

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