Home again

Mauri at 100

The guest pictures for this coming  week are not from guest contributors but from me in my role as guest during the past week.  I only had my phone with me and took few pictures but here is Mauri, Mrs Tootlepedal’s mother, tucking in at her 100th birthday party.

Mauri at 100

We had a splendid week’s holiday and I stuck to my plan to leave my cameras at home, avoid cycling and keep away from computers with the result that my hand was much rested by the time that we got back.

As well as the centenary birthday party we had a meal with two of my sisters and my stepmother, visited our daughter’s allotment, had brunch at Brixton market and then took the train to the south west where we were royally entertained by Mrs Tootlepedal’s cousin Sally and her husband Richard.  They took us walking on the downs, picnicking in a stately garden and attending worship in Salisbury cathedral so we had some very full days made better by good weather on our trip.

In fact we had so much fun that we may need another holiday to recover.

When we got home yesterday evening, the wind was fairly whistling through the garden so it was with some trepidation that we went out this morning.  The sun was out and there were still some flowers left.



I dead headed a poppy bed after breakfast and then paid a second visit later in the morning to find that there were still over 50 poppy heads waiting to be nipped off so it was pleasing that there there were still a lot of poppies standing.

I went up to the High Street to help Sandy take down our camera club exhibition which he had looked after last week.  There had been quite a few visitors and a couple of pictures had been sold and it had gone well enough to repeat the experience again next year.

Sandy came back for coffee and then I set about reducing the grass  on the middle lawn, around the greenhouse and on the drying green.

There were quite a lot of white butterflies about and Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a lone Red Admiral among them.  It was a bit battered.

red admiral butterfly

The butterflies were busy sipping nectar.


To celebrate my safe return, Sandy had suggested a walk after lunch so when he appeared,  we drove down to the border and walked along Scots’ Dike.

In theory this should be a raised mound about three and a half miles in length bordered by two ditches.  It marks the border between Scotland and England where it leaves the river Esk and heads for the River Sark.

In practice it is a narrow stretch of woodland and the ditches and mound are hard to find.  The path from the road to the wood was round a field and full of nettles but we battled through…

Scots' Dike path
Not so much a path as a mini jungle

…until we came to a platform…Scots' Dike

…with a carved piece of wood….

Scots' Dike

…which might show where the ditch and mounds were.

There was a well trodden path through the woods….

Scots' Dike

…so we followed it up one side of the plantation for a bit and then  back down the other side, looking for things to see as we went.

fungus and moss

Other things looked at us from the fields beside the woods.

donkey and cows

We came out of the woods and enjoyed the view over the Esk and Liddle valleys…

Esk valleys

…battled back along the rough path, checking out the wild life as we went…

wildflowers scots dike

umbellifer with insects

…and reached the car again.

Since we were pointing south, we continued for about half a mile over the border and visited Kirkandrews Church.

Kirkandrews Church

We didn’t go into the church although the door was open but walked along the river bank until we came to the suspension bridge, built to allow the people from Netherby Hall to cross the river to go to church.

Kirkandrews bridge

There were cows on the far side so we didn’t venture any further.

Kirkandrews cow

The bridge is a delicate structure.

Kirkandrews bridge

The Esk was full of water and looking lovely.

Esk at Kirkandrews bridge

As was the park on the Netherby side of the river.


Some readers may realise that Young Lochinvar could have galloped over these fields.

We glanced at the fine tower overlooking the church…

Kirkandrews Tower

…and headed for home.

In the evening my flute pupil Luke came and we enjoyed a good work out. After tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel so it hadn’t taken long for a familiar routine of mowing, snapping and tootling to be re-established after our visit to the alluring fleshpots and countryside of the deep south.

The flower of the day might have been a Himalayan basalm beside the river at Kirkandrews….

Himalayan balsam

…but it is an invasive species and frowned upon these days so one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s dahlias takes pride of place instead.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Home again

  1. Glad you’re back and refreshed. You’re such a dedicated blogger and it’s a huge commitment to shoot, post and reply to comments as you do each day. I try not to take your work for granted!

    Mauri is a wonder. The photo of her eating shows a clear view of the cutlery. Do you know that it’s rare to see utensils that large in North America? My UK friends brought theirs with them when they moved here, and each time I use it I am amazed at the length of the knives and forks. (And that’s your useless trivia for the day . . .)

    1. No trivia is useless. There is no telling when I may be able to drop that fact casually into conversation and amaze my friends with my knowledge.

  2. Welcome back home! Mauri looks wonderful. One would never be able to guess her age.

    Good to see the photos of your gardens and travels about the countryside. Thank you for the link to Young Lochinvar. I enjoyed the poem and have bookmarked the site.

  3. The photo of the dahlia is amazingly beautiful! Your week away from blogging didn’t affect the quality of your images one bit, they’re as good as ever, maybe better. Loved all of them, in part because you shoot such a wide variety of subjects.

    1. A jack of all trades and master of none and quite happy to be so….well fairly happy as I wouldn’t mind mastering something before I peg out.

  4. Wonderful to have you back after your break away. Mauri is indeed a wonder, it sounds like you had a great time “in the South” and that, with lawns to mow and poppies to deadhead, the garden missed you a little too. What a beautiful walk despite the nettles (and even they have the benefit of attracting the red admirals).

  5. What a lovely picture of Mauri. Glad you had an enjoyable trip and the thumb has somewhat recovered.

  6. Welcome back, glad you have had a nice break. Very peaceful views around river Esk. Himalayan balsam flowers are really pretty, shame it’s such a thug.

  7. Phew! back to normal now seeing your post in the inbox. Pleased you had such a lovely break. Thank you for all the lovely photos especially those places named in Young Lochinvar – I haven’t read it for years! I wonder if they still recite poems at school these days- hope so!

  8. Maurie is one classy dresser, please share that photo with Age UK, I follow them on facebook, and I have to say most photos they post of 100 year old having a party are dressed in rather a stereotypical mode.

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