King of the castle


Today’s guest picture is the town hall of Ripon.  My brother, who was visiting,  was much taken with the inscription.


We had a day of pleasantly cool but sunny weather today and if I hadn’t had quite a strenuous pedal yesterday, I would have been out on my bike.  As it was, I spent a quiet morning in the garden checking out insects.

The bees have been joined by hoverflies.


Mrs Tootlepedal has some very pretty sunflowers coming out…


…and they are real insect magnets.


I was busy with a little dead heading when the garden was suddenly invaded by a team of expert rose clippers.

rose pickers

They attacked our ramblers with ready secateurs and in no time they had a crate filled with blooms.  When they left, I followed them on my bike and trailed them to their lair.  They were part of a gang which was hard at work in a shed.

The crown

The object of all this activity is the ceremonial crown which will be carried through the town among the other emblems as part of our Common Riding procession on Friday.  It is an honour for our roses to be part of it.

Once the roses are trimmed and prepared, the crown maker Les binds each one individually to the framework which has been precovered with moist sphagnum moss to keep the roses fresh.

Les making the Crown

This is the most painstaking work, taking many man and woman hours and I shall look at the crown with new respect when it is paraded  round the town on Friday.

When I got back home, Attila the gardener was starting the job of taking down a small tree which is steadily dying and I helped out by shredding the branches.

After lunch, I printed out some more pictures to go on cards which will go on sale in the town. They raise funds for the Archive Group and the last lot sold quickly which was pleasing.

Then Mrs Tootlepedal headed off to Carlisle for some shopping and I took advantage of the continuing sunshine to go for a walk.

My plan was to walk along the ridge between Castle Hill and Potholm Hill and then descend to the road for the return journey.

It had rained quite a lot last night and I wondered whether the going might be a bit too soggy for fun but the hill was in very good condition and I followed my plan to the letter (well almost).


There was no chance of waving at Mr Grumpy on my way as the Kilngreen is given over to the shows for the next few days so I went straight up the hill.

Castle Hill

The hill was covered with wild flowers…

Castle Hill

…and the walking was delightful.

The views weren’t bad either.

Panorama from Castle Hill
You can click on this panorama to get the bigger picture.

I soon got to the summit of Castle Hill and the ridge stretched out in front of me.

Castle Hill

I walked along the ridge…

Ridge from castle hill

…looking to the left….

Esk valley
The Esk valley

…and the right…

Ewes valley
The Ewes valley

…and sticking to the wall as I went.

Castle Hill ridge

As well as the views, there were things of interest closer to hand.

fungus and heart's ease
Fungus making use of a handy drop of dung and Heart’s Ease sheltered against the wall.

I got to the end of the wall and there was a handy stile to get me onto the next part of my route.

stile on Potholm Hill

All was going well until I got to the top of the next summit and  spotted a group of cattle grazing further along on my route.  I don’t like to get too close to hill cattle so I cunningly dropped down the side of the hill and contoured along with a view to reaching the fence and then walking up it to the next gate, having bypassed the cattle.

My plan was not very successful.  I dropped down out of sight of the cattle quite successfully but the cunning beasts knew what I was up to and when I looked up the hill, they were cantering along the ridge and soon formed up in front of the gate I was hoping to get to unobserved.

I wasn’t going to argue with them so I changed tack and followed the fence downhill until I came to a second gate which gave me access to the track which I would have joined in the first place so all was well.  I took a look at the very picturesque cottage at Henwell…


…and then went down to Potholm Bridge and walked home along the road.

I ate wild raspberries from the hedgerows and clicked away as I went but there have been too many pictures already so I will just put in a sign of the times that I passed.

Crops starting to ripen in the fields

…and a chaffinch that was hopefully looking for seed in the garden when I got home…


…and that will wrap up the day nicely.

It was a walk of just under 6 miles and it is a tribute to both my new knee and the exercises which the physio gave me for my troublesome hip that I could do it at all.  Two or three years ago I was quite certain that I would never be able to walk over the hills again so I count this a great blessing.

The chaffinch wouldn’t fly to order so there is no flying bird of the day but Rosa Wren more than makes up for this deficiency in my opinion as it appears as flower of the day.

Rosa Wren







Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “King of the castle

  1. I am grateful every day for the advances made in medicine and surgery. I wouldn’t be able to do most of the things I do without the doctors and nurses who help me.
    I am glad you outwitted those wily hill cattle; they can be extremely frisky at times and not a little dangerous.
    Rosa Wren and the Heartsease are both very pretty; the Heartsease might be Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea). I look forward to seeing the crown made with your roses on Friday.

      1. It is frightening. My sister is a Lead Paramedic and every day she has to fight for he basics – for herself and co-workers who are highly qualified but terribly underpaid and often work 12 hour shifts with no break and also for the correct medication and care for the patients she deals with every day. I follow the blog of a girl with diabetes who has been told she can no longer have the means to test her blood every day which is frightening her very much. Cost cutting gone mad.

      2. Yet they keep on telling us that we are the fifth or sixth biggest economy in the world. Where is all the money? Don’t tell me, it’s in Panama.

  2. Isn’t ‘Heartsease’ a wonderful name? I am impressed by the very, very long stone wall, and also by the fact that the roses will last so long in the crown.

  3. That’s quite a stone wall and I’m very glad that I’m not the one who had to build it.
    I keep meaning to let you know that I can’t click on any of your photos. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone has the same problem but when I click nothing happens, even though it works on other blogs.
    Once again the landscapes are beautiful to see.
    Your crown maker is a real craftsman. I wouldn’t want his job though.

    1. You are quite right about the clicking. I don’t know what has happened there. It used to work but WordPress will keep changing things. I’ll look into it.

  4. There’s a lot more work to making the crown than I would have thought, having seen how they make the rose covered floats for the Rose Parade.

    A six mile walk in such lovely country is still quite a feat, especially when dodging cattle along the way.

  5. I wondered what was happening to your roses at first. You had me curious! What an intricate job to make the crown. You certainly deserve the honour. Your roses are most impressive. I imagine the perfume in the rooms as they work with the roses would be lovely or are they non-perfumed? The landscapes shots are very pretty and I’m glad you outwitted the cattle. You are wise to be careful! 🙂

    1. The roses have no scent which is lucky or the workers might be overpowered. I don’t think that I outwitted the cattle. It was more like running away.

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