Today’s guest picture is a reminder from my sister Mary of sunny days in the South of France, captured when we visited Aix-en-Provence not so long ago.
Today had two good things about it and one of them was surprising considering that the forecast had been for rain showers all day when I last looked at it.
The first good thing was the arrival of Dropscone for coffee on a Saturday bringing with him the traditional Friday treacle scones. Freshly cooked too. While we ate and drank, the rain poured down outside but when it came to be time for Dropscone to leave, the rain had stopped. It still looked pretty gloomy but I ventured out into the garden after a while.
Of course as soon as I said in yesterday’s post that the blackbirds had gone, they came back today…
…and I saw a goldfinch while we were having coffee too. When I looked over the back fence, I could see that the blackbirds had been busy eating the rowan berries on the other side of the dam which was probably why I hadn’t been seeing them in the garden.
As soon as I got my camera out though, they all flew off leaving a starling to take the rap.
I enjoyed watching some sparrows bathing in the dam while I waited for the blackbirds to come back…
…but the blackbirds were camera shy so I gave up and went in and had lunch.
I took a couple of pictures on my way in.
While I was preparing lunch, I was entertained by a pair of blue tits on the feeder.
The second good thing about the day was that when I checked the forecast again, it said that it would be dry, possibly sunny later and almost windless in the afternoon. It was a bit hard to believe after the poor forecast yesterday and the morning rain shower but I put on my cycling gear and ventured tentatively out, ready to turn for home at a moment’s notice.
It was windless so I pedalled on and although it was grey and autumnal…
…it was good cycling weather.
I stopped for a bridge near Eaglesfield….
…with the merest hint of blue sky off to my right. By the time that I had got to Gretna, the blue sky had become a fixture and the bridge over the Sark was glowing in the sunshine.
I leant my bike against the parapet and enjoyed a banana while viewing Gretna’s answer to the Rio Grande.
I had started out with twenty miles in mind and as I had done twenty five by this time, I headed straight up the main roads back to Langholm with the gentlest of breezes helping me on my way. It had become a perfect day for a pedal in every way.
I made a little deviation off the A7 to visit Hollows Bridge…
…and see my favourite fiery tree…
…before stopping off to admire Hollows Tower.
Mrs Tootlepedal was at home by this time after a full day learning about Japanese quilting at an Embroiderers’ Guild meeting so I stopped pootering about and put my head down for the last few miles home.
It was lucky that I did have my head down as I noticed something unusual in the verge as I passed the Middleholms road end.
I stopped and looked around.
I took the opportunity, since I had already stopped, to cross the road and look across the Esk to where I had lately been taking pictures from the other side.
I managed the distance neatly so that I arrived home bang on 40 miles. This was very pleasing for a decimally inclined chap like myself. Then I enjoyed a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal. We both felt that we had had a good day out.
There was enough light left to watch a coal tit on the feeder….
…before I went off to have a shower.
I had put a beef and vegetable stew into the slow cooker in the morning so all that was needed for the complete evening meal was some courgette fritters and Mrs Tootlepedal came up trumps on that front.
Being Saturday, we settled down to enjoy our weekly dose of Strictly Come dancing as we ate our meal and we hope that this week, the worst dancer will get eliminated, something which often doesn’t happen owing to a misplaced sense of irony in the voting audience.
My flower of the day is the Fuschia on the back wall by the dam which I noticed while I was stalking berry eating blackbirds….
…and the flying bird is a berry eating blackbird which flew off before I could photograph it.