Today’s guest picture comes from Tony & Co’s visit to Cephalonia. They had some high spots in their holiday and this is one of them.
My get up and go had no option but to return today as the first business of the day was to get up and go to Carlisle. I was acting as chauffeur for Mrs Tootlepedal who was off to spend a day at the Gardeners’ World Flower Show in Birmingham in company with our daughter, who was coming up from London to meet her there.
Everything went well, Mrs Tootlepedal caught her train and I got home safely. I had a quick walk round the garden before I went in.
The coral peonies were still curled up in the cool of the morning….
… but by the end of a sunny afternoon, it was another story altogether.
That’s what I call the wow factor.
The roses are getting better every day.
I looked at the birds when I went in.
My morning plan was to drink coffee, do the crossword and watch Scotland beat Japan at rugby on the telly.
It worked well, though the Scotland win was far from convincing and I didn’t finish a rather tricky crossword until later in the day.
After lunch, the weather looked set fair and the wind not too bad so I checked on the tropaeolum….
…and the daisies….
…and went off for a pedal. It is the Muckletoon Adventure Festival this weekend and as part of it, there is a hilly cycle sportive tomorrow so I thought I would see if my legs were in the mood for such a challenge by giving them a gentle run over a flattish route.
I enjoyed my 44 mile ride a lot but my legs let it be known that a longer and hillier ride was not on their to do list so I will have to give it a miss.
Those with time hanging heavy on their hands can see the details of the ride by clicking on the map below.
As you can see, Garmin adds a weather condition to the route details and on this occasion it was pretty inaccurate because it was well above 60°, the sun was shining and the wind was quite brisk at times, especially when I was coming back. I did the 7 flat miles from Annan to Gretna at an average of 19.5 miles an hour and I certainly couldn’t have done that with a wind of only 3 mph behind me.
I went to Annan through Eaglesfield and came back via Gretna and passed two sources of local employment on my way (note the sunny day).
Many cross people write to the papers to complain that windmills don’t provide power when the wind doesn’t blow but they seem to forget that the Chapelcross nuclear power station (on the left above) has not been providing any power for several years as it is shut but there is still a large crew working on taking it down and making it safe and they will be working (but not producing any power) for many, many years. On the other hand there seems to be a never ending supply of people wanting to be married at Gretna.
It was a good day for pedalling and the wind had changed and was coming from the west today which might account for the sunshine after a rather grey spell in recent days with the wind in the east. The sun had brought the hedge roses out.
One of the things that I like about the back roads on the Solway plain is the way that individual trees in the hedges punctuate the views.
As you can see, the verges are looking very lush with plenty of grasses at the moment and there is some colour among the grass too.
I stopped to eat a final banana at Tarcoon and enjoyed this mother and child gathering there with the Whita Hill and the Monument in the background.
While I was nibbling, I took a look back down the road that I had just come up and you may see why I thought this was a good spot to stop for a moment or two.
I soon got going again but I was stopped in my tracks further on by this belted Galloway’s hard stare.
When I got home, I had time to finish the crossword, have a shower, look at the peonies, make a loaf of bread and cook and eat my tea before I had to go back to Carlisle to pick Mrs Tootlepedal up off the train on her return from Birmingham. She and Annie had had a very enjoyable outing among the flowers but she was pleased to be back home when we got there.
I hope to have some pictures of the event to show here soon.
The flying bird of the day is a composite of two siskins and a sparrow.