A pedal, a toddle, tea and a cake and two tootles


Today’s guest picture is a south coast sunset, seen by my sister Mary from St Leonard’s-on-Sea.


Once again, I managed to get up reasonably promptly and get out on my bicycle in good time.  I was due to do my stint in the Welcome to Langholm office at eleven o’clock so I only had time for my habitual twenty miles to Canonbie and back.

On this occasion, Mrs Tootlepedal was up early too so I got some sustaining porridge and this resulted in an increase of a mile an hour in my average speed compared with yesterday.  If any porridge oat sellers would like to make something of this, I am open to offers.

When I got to the tourist office, it was already open and soon there was a press call in action as two of the other volunteers had qualified for certificates in hospitality and our local newspaper was there to record this auspicious event.

Tourist office photocall

This was the highlight of the morning and tourists were notably lacking for me to exercise my hospitality skills on for the rest of the time.

The weather gods were in teasing mood so I had done my morning bike ride in mist, the sun had come out when I went into the office and it then went back in again just as I came out.  How I laughed.

The sun came out again after lunch and I watched the birds for a moment….

Goldfinches approaching the feeder doing the breaststroke
Greenfinches using the butterfly stroke.

As it looked promising, Mrs Tootlepedal and I decided to take the car down to the Hollows and then walk the mile along the old road to Canonbie, have tea in the Church cafe there and then walk back along the other side of the river.

The weather gods were still having fun though and the sun disappeared as we drove down and we had to walk under misty clouds.  There was almost no wind though and with the temperature just under 50F, it was still a lovely day for an autumn walk.

Going to the cafe:

The Byreburn bridge
River at Byreburn
The Esk from the bridge
acorns at Byreburn
There were hundreds of acorns beside the road at the bridge
And a feast of fungus a little further on
A sheep had her scary clown Halloween mask on
River esk
Looking back up river
Old A7 Canonbie
It was hard not to stop all the time…
Canonbie churchyard
…but we finally got to the church

To our surprise, the little cafe at the church was nearly full but there was just room for us to sit down and enjoy a pot of tea and a slice of fruit cake between us.  The cafe is run by volunteers for the benefit of the village and considering that there were twenty people chatting and taking refreshment while we were in, it must be considered to be doing a grand job.

We crossed the river by the Canonbie Bridge and then walked up a path behind the old post office to join the top road back to the Hollows.  It had got a little misty by this time.

Going back from the cafe:

The Riverside Inn
Looking down over the old Riverside Inn with Canonbie School in the background behind the trees
Canonbie Village
Looking over the village
Byreburn House
Byreburn House on the far bank of the river
A fine crop of apples
The trees beside the Esk on old A7
Looking across at our outward route which had been among these trees which line the river
Hollows Mill
Coming down to the cottage before Hollows Bridge
View from Hollows Bridge
And the view from the bridge
Archimedes screw
In spite of the low water, the Archimedes screw was working well.

At three miles, this was  a perfect length for a gentle stroll with many stops for photo ops and in spite of the lack of sun (we could see hints of blue sky nearer Langholm when we got back to the car!), it was a hundred per cent enjoyable.

I didn’t have long when we got back before it was time to cook my tea and welcome my flute pupil Luke back from holiday.  He was a bit rusty due to lack of practice but we had a good play nevertheless.

Then there was just time to eat the tea (feta and potato bake, much more successful than yesterday’s efforts) before I packed up my flute and headed off to play trios with Mike and Isabel.  We had another go at our Mozart trio and I am quite sure that after a week’s practice, the composer would easily have recognised his work today.  It is good to play a work that really stretches us.

My twenty miles this morning took my cycling miles for the month up to 450 which is very satisfactory.  I have got about 360 miles to go to reach my 4000 mile target for the year so I am just hoping that the frost, snow and ice will kindly keep away until I have done them.

The flower of the day is a very surprising and welcome late burst by the Special Grandma rose…

Special Grandma rose

…and the flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches.

flyng goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “A pedal, a toddle, tea and a cake and two tootles

  1. The foliage colors are beautiful, especially at and near the bridge again.
    That sheep would fit right in here. There are scary clown sightings almost daily, all over the country. It seems to be a fad, like pet rocks were.
    It’s always nice to see a rose in October.
    I like your sister’s photo. Excellent photography skills obviously run in the family.

  2. I really like your autumn pictures, very enjoyable. A great “catch”, particularly considering the weather gods’ teasing mode.

  3. My favourite was the slightly misty river view, the one after the sheep. The tourist centre looked very comfortable, shame about the lack of visitors.

  4. You must have been very glad you made that walk and saw those stunning autumn colours.

  5. Just a thought, maybe some one should start a small cafe in the tourist information office to attract more visitors. As beautiful as the countryside is any time of the year, it is even more beautiful this time of year with all the fall colors. It seems like you should have more visitors than there is room for.

    1. We should have more visitors but sadly we are not on the ‘tourist map’. There is a scheme to offer refreshments in the tourist office but whether it will come about, only time will tell.

  6. Those autumn colours are truly amazing. There are more reds in your trees than here and they are truly vibrant. Fingers crossed that the weather stays fine for your cycling so you achieve your ambitious target for mileage. Do you give yourself a prize?

  7. Your countryside is looking properly autumnal. The colors remind me of my native New England, and I am always enchanted with those disappearing country lanes and rivers meandering out of sight. Always a pleasure to visit your corner of the world.

    Your swimming goldfinches and greenfinches remind me of Roger Deakin and his description in one of his books of geese “rowing” across the sky. The atmosphere is a fluid body of sorts, with clouds floating at levels according to their buoyant density and birds swimming through it like fish.

    Beautiful rose! Ours have all finished now.

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