A day that fits the blog title very well

Bailey descents are not recommended for Septuagenarians!

Today’s guest picture comes from a walk my brother did last week with his group of those recovering from heart troubles.  It is good to see that they are taking things easily.

Bailey descents are not recommended for Septuagenarians!

We had a day that promised well, offering warmer temperatures and calmer winds and it lived up to its promise.  Mrs Tootlepedal had coffee with friends from work and then went and collected manure from her new manure mine and distributed it among the deserving flowers.  I went for a pedal.

I am, in general, still feeling rather more tired than I would like so it took me quite a lot of time to actually get going.  I put in a few displacement activities, some useful like cleaning my chain and gears and some less so like watching birds….

A blackbird checking for trouble
The siskins have found out that the feeder is back

…and doing the crossword and eating toast but in the end I ran out of excuses and pushed the pedals.

I armed myself with two filled rolls and two bananas and set off to the north to see where my legs would take me.

In the end they took me 68 miles and over three and half thousand feet of climbing so they did well.

I went to Eskdalemuir first, stopping to photograph one of my favourite bridges…

Black Esk bridge
This bridge crosses the Black Esk

…and the river which I was following…

White Esk
This is the White Esk. The two rivers meet just below the bridge.

….and passing five of the Eskdale Prehistoric Trail sites on my way.  Only this one was close enough to the road to be photographed.

Prehistoric site

If you want to know why it might be a bit more exciting than it looks, you will have to click here.  I warn you though that the article ends with these words: “As Richard Bell asks, What was it? Will we ever know? ”  so you may feel that you have better things to do.

From Eskdalemuir, I headed over towards Boreland and stopped for my first snack at 20 miles.  I took a picture of a pretty wild flower while I munched and found, when I looked at the result on the computer, that I was not the only one who found it attractive .

wild flower with flies

There is a steep hill down onto the village at Boreland and to my dismay it had been recently gravelled.  Luckily, a steady supply of timber wagons had flattened the gravel out pretty well and I got down without trouble.

When I had passed through the village I saw a tempting sign saying: Moffat 13 miles.  This was a road end that I had passed many times but never taken and today I was overcome by a sense of adventure and tried it out.  It turned out to be well worth going along, very narrow, steep and hilly at the start but flattening and broadening out when it reached the Annan valley.

Moffat road
One of the steeper sections
View of Annandale
Looking across Upper Annandale

I stopped to check my route at a crossroads and saw a selection of swallows on the phone line above my head.


I reached Moffat safely and then took the road to Beattock on the main railway line.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I had passed through this village on our train journey to Edinburgh yesterday and by coincidence, the same train passed me today.

Edinburgh train at Beattock

I had stopped to take a picture of the very pretty church at this point.

Beattock church

I was in need of a few flat miles as my trip had been very hilly thus far so I used the old A74, now bypassed by the new motorway, to take me down to Lockerbie.

I stopped for another snack on my way and once again, I looked for wild flowers.

a74 wild flowers

To make a point about their roots as market towns, both Moffat and Lockerbie have sculptures of sheep on display.

Moffat ram and Lockerbie sheep
Moffat ram and Lockerbie sheep

From Lockerbie, I took the direct route back across the hills to Langholm and was happy to stop for a few pictures on the way to give myself a breather every now and again.

Tundergarth Church

The church at Tundergarth, where there is a memorial chapel for the victims of the Lockerbie disaster.  The churchyard has a stile….

Tundergarth Church

…probably a relic of the days when the minster kept his sheep in the graveyard and the gate had to be kept shut.

As you can see, it was a beautiful day by now and it even made ploughing up and down over the hills between Lockerbie and Langholm a pleasure.

I stopped to look at the new windmills on Ewe Hill.  I was hoping that they might be working by now and one of them was.  As you can see, it is the one behind the hill on the right in the picture below.

windmills ewe hill

What’s that?  They both look still to you? Oh alright, here’s a video taken on very wobbly cam.

Why the third one to be built was working and the first one wasn’t is a mystery.

When I got home, I took a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal.

bee on camassia
A welcome bee visits the Camassia
Another rhododendron is just starting to show its flowers

Mrs Tootlepedal tells that this bright shrub is an Euonymus.


In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and we all watched the Chelsea flower show on the telly for a bit before Alison and I went off and played  four flute sonatas.  This was the perfect end for a very good day.

Well not quite the end because after Mike and Alison had gone, Mrs Tootlepedal and I watched a very interesting programme about the amazing international organization required to bring cut flowers to Britain.  It included shots of an actual Dutch auction.

I did get a flying bird of the day today…..but only just.

flying siskin




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A day that fits the blog title very well

  1. What a gorgeous day you have captured. The swallows on the line remind me a bit of that picture of birds perched on five wires like a musical staff. I’m quite fond of the church at Beattock and the blackbird.

  2. The siskins look pleased to have the feeder back. Enjoyed the accounting of your travels, and all the photos and beautiful flowers.

    I had wondered if their was a memorial at Lockerbie. Many years ago I met a woman who had lost her husband on that flight.

    1. The siskins seem to have taken over the feeder entirely. I haven’t seen a goldfinch since the feeder =went back and hardly any chaffinches either.

  3. My goodness, with the heart patients climbing steep hills and you cycling 68 miles while being tired…I’m impressed all around. Lovely scenery, that new road was a good choice.

  4. Nice to be reminded about the Lockerbie ovines.
    I found the cut flower programme very depressing. Especially when they got to the bit about killing bacteria in recycled soil. It all seems so contrary to the natural world. Indeed, the 60 minutes seemed to be a sad commentary on the way the world is today. Sorry.

    1. I was most excited by how the computerised market worked but they were a bot light on information about that. I agree with you that the programme was ultimately depressing and it certainly wouldn’t encourage me to buy cut flowers, rather the opposite….but it was very interesting.

  5. I often wonder why many of the windmills spend most of the time not doing anything – probably because of the wrong kind of wind. The road to Moffat looks very steep and I like the pretty church.

    1. These ones are very freshly built so they have some excuse not to be up and going yet. I was surprised to see any of them working to tell the truth.

  6. I was enchanted with the story of the Pre-Historic Trail – I love mystery with my history – and I think the church near the railroad track is very pretty indeed.

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