Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our neighbour Liz who met this colourful beast on a recent walk in the south.
I had been pressed by Scott, the minister, to go for a cycle ride of a decent distance with him as today promised wall to wall sunshine and tolerable winds. As he had a morning meeting, the ride start was scheduled for midday. This gave me several hours after breakfast to change my mind about going or not going. I used the opportunity to the full.
In the meantime, I spent a remarkably small amount of time (and mental anguish) on the phone while cancelling my existing contract and ordering a new model. It should come tomorrow and after a few weeks, I may even be able to use it properly. It is a 4G phone and as we only have 3G coverage in Langholm, it is a bit like casting pearls before swine. It will be really good when i need to use in Carlisle though.
I also admired Mrs Tootlepedal’s raking skills as she achieved a fine tilth in the potato bed which we finally cleared yesterday.
In the end, I made up my mind that I was fit enough for a ‘decent’ distance and went off to meet Scott. He kindly let me shelter behind him as we set off into the breeze and responded to my frequent requests to ‘slow it down a bit’ with the result that after twenty miles, I was relaxed enough to suggest a favourite route of mine that would give us a round fifty miles, a ‘decent distance’.
We settled for this and pushed on. I would have had many, many beautifully composed and interesting pictures to show you of our route if my phone been fully charged. As it was, it turned out to have a battery as dead as a dodo so you are spared any unnecessary details.
We stopped at Longtown after 35 miles to enjoy a pot of tea for two and some toasted tea cakes before taking on the final gently uphill section home.
The wind had seemed quite brisk when we set out but it didn’t seem so bad by the time that we finished. This was lucky as it was coming out of the west and as you can see from the route map, this meant that it was against or across us for much longer than it was behind us. Still, any day that I can manage 15 mph for fifty miles is a good day and thanks go to Scott for keeping my speed up by acting as a wind deflector when the going got tough.
I found Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker enjoying a cup of tea in the garden and discussing the best care for a poorly tree. Mike told us that he had been for a couple of rides on his mountain bike with a friend who has just acquired an electric bike (they are getting increasingly popular). He had enjoyed the outings but had found that being whizzed past by an electric bike while he was struggling up steep hills was not undiluted joy.
As Mike left, I took a picture of a very decorative poppy whose rich colour and many layers challenged Pocketcam to its limit.
I also took a moment to watch the birds.
I resolved to go for a short walk in order to take some pictures to make up for the failure to record the bike ride.
I chose a walk that gave me a good view over the town…
…some interesting wild flowers.
The hedgerows are getting a bit barer now as the meadowsweet loses flowers….
Not my most successful day when it came to battery readiness.
I think that perhaps my legs were in cahoots with my battery because they felt quite pleased to be sitting down when I got back to the house.
In the evening, as there was nothing more interesting on the telly, I spent a little time watching the Bloomberg Channel. It seems clearly evident that we are rushing headlong into another major financial crisis while governments fail to act and smart financiers see how much they can make by betting against their clients’ interests so I felt that I should be trying to find out what these experts thought was going on. I learned that I should probably be unravelling my China shorts…..and no, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.
It is going to rain tomorrow but summer has been very good while it lasted.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.