Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. After a break to recover from illness, he is back walking in the Peak District and this picture shows the Manifold river at Ilam.
The forecast offered a grey, windy and dry day and was correct in every respect. The dryness was the chief attraction for me and I set off after breakfast to put a few miles in on the fairly speedy bike.
Although the temperature was a mellow 6°C, the wind was from the north and was of the nipping and eager variety so there was not a lot of comfort about. I left my route choice and distance to be decided by my legs as I went along and they must have felt quite good about life at the start because they found a few miles of roads that I had never cycled along before to add interest to my trip.
This involved going up a stiff climb but there were excellent views as a compensation. The greyness of the day meant that I can’t share them with you though. I was cycling towards a hilltop that has been used for thousands of years as a fortified point…
…but as I got near to it, the tarmac ran out and a dirt track and gloomy woods appeared…
…and I thought better of going on and turned back to sweep down the hill through Ecclefechan and onward to the banks of the river Annan near Hoddom.
On my way I passed under the ugliest bridge in the district…
…and it was hard to believe that the main line railway between London and Glasgow runs over it.
I wandered about in all directions and my legs finally settled for a straightish run home from Eaglesfield, realising that that the last 15 miles or so would be mostly into the wind. They were right not to have gone further afield as the final few miles back home were very hard work. Even going downhill required vigorous pedalling. I was pleased to have done 45 miles and 2500ft of climbing but I definitely felt that I had been out cycling.
Those interested may find more details of the ride by clicking on the map below. (The temperature that Garmin gives was lower than the reality and the wind was far stronger than it claims.)
After I had looked out of the kitchen window…
…had a shower and done the crossword (I was waiting for Scottish Power to ring but they didn’t), the sun came out so I picked up a camera or two and went for my favourite short walk.
The grey clouds were well in retreat over the top of Whita and it was a lovely day.
Mr Grumpy was standing on a stony bank in the river with the sun dappled waters behind him.
On a sunny evening, this walk is hard to beat. There are views….
…and of course ducks….
…and today’s special, an oyster catcher flying up the Esk.
(The riverside dwellers were complaining at the camera club meeting on Monday about the raucous cries of these birds in the middle of the night.)
I had the added bonus of a cup of coffee and a tasty chocolate biscuit when I called in at the Tinker’s on my way home.
After a tea of nourishing fish cakes, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to sing with our local choir, Langholm Sings. The tenors had an exciting time, sometimes hitting the note and sometimes choosing avant garde alternatives not in the score.
In my defence, I was a bit tired for some reason.
The flying bird of the day is two high flying mallards. Not a great picture but a definite novelty in the FBotD stakes.