Great joy

Exeter bridge

Today’s guest picture from my brother Andrew is an interesting addition to our bridge portfolio.  My brother tells me that it is Exeter’s old mediaeval bridge.  It had three times as many arches when in use, as the river was then quite wide, but when the first single span bridge was built in the eighteenth century, the river banks were raised to narrow the crossing, and this half of the old bridge was buried, to be rediscovered when the twin two lane bridges were commissioned in the last century!

Exeter bridge

Once again I started the day with a visit to the Moorland Feeders, this time as a stand-in feeder filler for Sandy who has gone to visit his son.  It was pretty gloomy again so taking pictures was unrewarding work but at least I saw slightly more variety in the bird life.

Among the usual flock of chaffinches…

chaffinches

…there were two or three woodpeckers about…

greater spotted woodepecker

…and even a sole brambling.  It didn’t stop long enough for me to do it justice…

brambling

…but I was pleased to see it anyway.

The tits kept away from the hide today and clustered on the far side of the clearing…

great tit blue tit coal tit
Great, blue and coal tits sharing

I wonder if this is the same ringed chaffinch that I saw yesterday.

chaffinch

I didn’t put out any seed on the stump in front of the hide today as I was fed up with the pheasant stealing it.  She was not happy.

pheasant

Not happy at all.

I didn’t stop long though, as Dropscone was due to come round for coffee.  He duly came and we enjoyed coffee and scones.  He has been troubled by a sore hip and hasn’t been able to play golf for a bit but he is improving and hopes to play again fairly soon.

When he left, I had a stroll round the garden but no new flowers had  appeared so I went back in.  It was pretty warm at 9°C but I was feeling too tired to go for a pedal, especially as there was a brisk wind blowing.   I don’t know why I am tired and I am putting it down to asthma in the gloomy damp weather.  I shall take my medicine more conscientiously and hope to improve.

Meanwhile, I stared out of the window.  A chaffinch was showing off.

chaffinch

I had a bit of variety here too as a greenfinch showed up for a quick nibble.

greenfinch, goldfinch and siskin

Instead of pedalling, I gave my fairly speedy bike a good wash and brush up after lunch.  It needed it.  I pumped the tyres up too so all I need now is a nice sunny day, no wind and a little energy and I will be good to go.

The main event of the day was the return of Mrs Tootlepedal from her visit to her mother so some time had to be spent on a little hoovering and dusting before I went off to Carlisle to collect her from the train.  I was able to track the progress of her train in real time on my phone and finding myself a little ahead of time, I stopped in Longtown to put in some petrol and took the opportunity to go down to the river and admire the fine five arch bridge there.

Longtown Bridge

I was expecting to see a little more water flowing under the bridge after the recent rain.

I noticed a fine tree on the river bank.

Tree at Longtown

Over to the west, two holes had been punched in the cloud cover…

sunbeams

…but they soon closed up again.

I drove on to Carlisle and arrived at the station with a few minutes in hand.  I took a look at the extensive scaffolding under the roof repairs….

Carlisle Station

…and wondered if they had actually started work on the new roof yet.  I walked along to the end of the platform and found that work has begun.  I watched a very skilled driver hoisting a big load of steel beams high into the sky to the waiting workers above.

Carlisle Station

A man on the lorry delivering the beams thought that I ought to be taking his picture but I told him the machine was more interesting and he promptly offered me a job as a labourer.  I said I would think about it and went off to meet the train which was pulling into the platform dead on time.

(Just to clear up the job offer for those who might raise an eyebrow, we were both being mildly humorous.)

As well as her mother, Mrs Tootlepedal had met her French domiciled sister Nicki in Marlow and my stepmother Patricia and our daughter Annie in London before catching the train so she had had a good family visit.  All the same, she was pleased to be home and we sat down to a celebratory meal of cauliflower cheese for our tea.

I am pleased that she is home too.

The flying bird of the day is an angry chaffinch.

chaffinch

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Great joy

  1. I’m pleased Mrs T is back home safely. Bridges leads to Thomas Telford. Have you heard the Radio 4 broadcasts about him this week? Eskdale boy made good. Very good, in fact.

    1. I haven’t heard the broadcasts but many people I know have and they speak highly of them. I have read one or two biographies of the great man and seen TV programmes about him and we had an exhibition in the town about him fairly recently.

    1. Cooked cauliflower (in salted boiling water for 10 mins) covered with a cheese sauce (white sauce with grated cheese melted into it) and then baked in an oven until the top goes brown.

  2. I am glad Mrs T is home safe and sound. I enjoyed the Exeter bridge story and am full of admiration for the Longtown bridge and tree. Mrs Pheasant looks extremely miffed!

  3. The medieval bridge looks like it would still stand traffic if it had to. I don’t know if it’s a trick of perspective or the camera but the second arch from the right looks different than the rest. Almost gothic.
    The pheasant does look unhappy.
    Judging by the many trees with off kilter crowns, it must be very windy there.

  4. Both of the bridges were great subjects for photos, but I have to say that the story behind the one that your brother photographed is more interesting.

    Now that the Mrs. Tootlepedal Rescue Service is back, you’ll have one less excuse for not cycling. 😉

  5. Love the bridge photos and I also am enjoying the Telford story on the radio- it’s great to know the names of places…all due to your blog! Wonderful to see a brambling – hope it returns soon.

    1. They have been very scarce. I was looking at posts from February 2013 and they were packed with bramblings in our garden. Things seem to be changing fast in the matter our garden visitors. Maybe it is just a temporary thing due to El Nino. We shall see.

      Thomas Telford was a great man, there’s no doubt about it.

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