Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my Newcastle correspondent Fiona, shows a selection of Newcastle bridges.
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….
…..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….
Watching 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.
They weren’t in any great hurry. A member of the team of the race leader was heading the pack.
They had time for a chat as they went up the hill.
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.
It 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.
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…
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.