The real thing


Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my Newcastle correspondent Fiona,  shows a selection of Newcastle bridges.

NewcastleWe had another misty morning here followed by a glorious afternoon.   We will be praying for rain before we know where we are if this goes on.

I started the day by putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database because once again I have slipped behind in my work.

After that, I had time for a quick wave at a blue tit….

blue tit…and a look at the flowers.  There is a lot of yellow and orange about.

yellow and orangeOther colours were available too.

salvia, cornflower and poppies
Salvia, cornflower and poppies

…..and then came coffee and an excursion.  Sandy joined us both for coffee and the excursion.  The Tour of Britain was coming through Canonbie, only six miles away, so our plan was to cycle down to Canonbie, watch the tour passing and then cycle home,.  The plan worked well.  Mrs Tootlepedal set off first and Sandy and I followed and we met up on the steep hill coming out of the village where the road goes past my old school.

Aspiring  amateur cyclists pedalled up the road ahead of the professionals….

Cyclists at canonbie…no doubt hoping to impress the eager crowds assembled to watch the race.

Sandy and Mrs T at canonbieWatching cycle stage races is more interesting than watching paint dry….but only just.  There is a lot of waiting around as what seems like hundreds of police motorcyclists buzz past you and then a phalanx of motorbikes wakes you up to the arrival of the actual competitors.

Tour of Britain 2015A small breakaway group came first…..

Tour of Britain 2015…and soon whistled past me, even up the quite steep hill.

Tour of Britain 2015Then there was a six or seven minute wait until the rest of the field arrived.

Tour of Britain 2015
The peleton

They weren’t in any great hurry.  A member of the team of the race leader was heading the pack.

Tour of Britain 2015The other teams were sticking together behind him.

Tour of Britain 2015
MTN-Qhubeka and Saxo Tinkoff
Lotto Soudal
Lotto Soudal in red
Tour of Britain 2015
Team Sky in black and blue

They had time for a chat as they went up the hill.

Tour of Britain 2015And in a few minutes they were gone.

They were followed by a train of support vehicles and looking at them, I realise that the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service needs to up its game.

Tour of Britain 2015It was a beautiful day and there was a good number of people cheering the cyclists on as they went past us so it was fun to be there but as a spectator sport, the popularity of road cycling is a bit of a mystery.  After the procession had gone, we cycled back down the hill and paid a visit to Canonbie church.  Outside the church was one of those signs which Mrs Tootlepedal regards as essential for a complete cycle outing.

Canonbie ChurchAn enterprising group of Canonbie residents have opened a little cafe in the church and we were able to enjoy a filled roll and a cup of tea before starting the journey home.

Sandy took the long route back (he pedalled 23 miles in all) but Mrs Tootlepedal and I took the most direct route (13 miles there and back) so we parted at Canonbie bridge.

We stopped several times on the way home to enjoy the views of the river Esk…

EskEsk…and things of interest beside the road.

autumn colour
A touch of autumn colour
meadowsweet and umbellifera
The meadowsweet has gone to seed but other plants have a little colour left.

In all, it was a very enjoyable outing and by the time that we got back, the afternoon was really quite warm and we were able to drink our cup of tea in the shade of the walnut tree.  I sieved a little compost and mowed the greenhouse grass and the front lawn paths and actually got too hot, not something that I have experienced much this year.

I had to go inside to cool off.

In the evening, I went down to Carlisle in the car to play recorder with our recorder group.  Susan is in the highlands with her adventurous father so I drove myself down and we played as a quartet.  This was the first meeting of the group in Carlisle since our summer break and it was good to be back.

The flying bird of the day looks as though it could do with a new paint job.

flying bird

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “The real thing

    1. Being able to get excited by long stage races where nothing much happens for hours on end is quite a specialised art. It is very soothing watching the cyclists turning the pedals over though.

  1. Some fine pictures of the cyclists.
    Glad you enjoyed the outing, and got some cycling yourselves.

  2. Many thanks for all the Tour photos – Bryan & I were returning from Carlisle on the X95 bus and we stopped at the Cross Keys – stayed on board – and had a very good view of all the vehicles before and after the cycles raced by. I could actually hear the bike tyres whizzing on the road surfaces.

  3. While the cyclists were very colorful in their team garb, I’d have been one of the people laying on my back looking up to the sky in hopes of seeing a bird or two.

    I’ll bet that you could work out a deal with Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service, when you up your cycling to the level of the cyclists you watched today, then she will up her game also. 😉

  4. I am curious. With all the rain you get in Scotland, how often do you have to water your garden? With this recent spate of blue skies, you might be drought declared soon! 😉 What a marvelous day. I do like aspects of watching cycling events but I agree that there are times when it does seem a little like watching paint dry. It’s lucky you had such good company to cope with the dull times. I must say I do think cafes and cycling are a lovely combination. Unfortunately it means my hard efforts on the bike don’t usually result in loss of extra weight though. 🙂 The flower galleries were magnificent and the river landscapes are beautiful.

    1. We haven’t needed to water the garden at all this year. Mostly we don’t need to water the flower beds but some years we need to water the vegetables quite regularly.

      Mrs Tootlepedal complains about bicycling and the failure to lose weight too!

  5. I have to agree with you re: road cycling, although on a day as clement as that there are worse things you could be doing; especially when the watching is followed by a cafe visit and such beautiful views on the way home 🙂 Hope you get a few more cups of tea under the walnut tree before the autumnal temperatures to go with that gorgeous autumnal colouring takes over.

  6. My husband drove some miles a few years ago to stand at the side of a road and watch the Tour of Britain. He had hoped to photograph the cyclists as they passed but unfortunately his camera memory card was full and he had forgotten to bring his spare one. Such is life.
    Beautiful autumn colour and the flying bird of the day is very well captured.

  7. It all seems a bit like running races, for spectators there’s a lot of waiting around (or in my case walking somewhere) and then a flurry of activity at the end. I agree with Mrs T on the coffee though.

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