A long day

Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s visit to Kew and shows the Japanese garden there.

Japanese garden Kew
Japanese garden

We got up at six o’clock, greatly to our own amazement, and were  at the Rugby Club where we were volunteering with the Muckletoon Adventure Festival by ten to seven.  We were not being very adventurous ourselves, as we were only helping with the car parking and the marshalling of the ins and outs to and from the rugby ground where the event is based.

I took the earliest photo of astrantias that I have ever taken before we cycled up to start work.


Mrs Tootlepedal lasted three hours before going off to a 150th anniversary service at Ewes Church but I lasted for five hours, standing at the roadside and waving my arms about in a vaguely directional way.  It was a long stand and when the sun got up in the sky, it was a hot one too but there was quite a lot going on to take my mind off my troubles.

There was a mass start of 120 cyclists for the cycle sportives…..

cycle sportive MTAF

…though owing to the narrowness of the bridge that they had to cross before getting to me, it was more of a mass trickle.  There were three rides of  30, 60 and 100 miles and as there was a bit of a wind as well as the hot day to contend with, I was quite happy to wave them on and not take part myself.

After the cyclists had gone, a party of walkers assembled to do three and five summit challenges.

summit challengers MTAF

Red shirts doing five and green shirts three, I think.

They crossed the road and set off up the same road that I had followed yesterday.

summit challengers MTAF

The final event of the morning was a 5km run and this time the massed start was quite massive.

5km run MTAF
Youth to the fore
5km run MTAF
The toiling masses behind

I was very happy to leave them to it and when my relief arrived a few minutes later, I headed home and collapsed on the sofa.

Readers of a certain age will know that standing around is probably more tiring than walking or cycling by a long way, especially if it is hot so it took me some time to recover but I made a few forays into the garden when I had got my legs back in working order and my brain had cooled down a bit.

The sunshine had done the flowers no harm at all.


rosa goldfinch

And the Golden Syllabub rose was looking very fine.

golden syllabub

There is a new iris getting ready to spread its wings.


I mowed the middle lawn and watered some buck–u-uppo into the front lawn and then sat for a while and looked at my best friend.

lawn mower
A Webb Witch which has seen a lot of service.

In the course of the afternoon, I spent some time watching the numerous bees in the garden.  Once again the cotoneaster was a popular resort.

cotoneaster with bee

But with so much choice, the bees flitted about a lot and were hard to catch.

cotoneaster with bee

The visitors  to the astrantria were more placid.

bee on astrantia

bee on astrantia

I took a picture of a frog in the pond but my Blackpool reader, who doesn’t like frogs at all,  will be very pleased to know that it didn’t come out well so will not appear here.  There are still plenty of tadpoles about.

As the shadow of the walnut tree lengthened over the garden, I took a picture of a pink….


…and went in to have a nourishing evening meal of mince and tatties cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal.  Fortified by this, I waited until the temperature had dropped a bit and went out for a gentle 20 mile cycle ride to round the day off.

A cow was surprised to see me out so late….


…and I cycled up a gentle hill purely for the pleasure of cycling straight back down it with the wind behind me.


A simple pleasure but hard to beat all the same.

The flying bird of the day is an iris, Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite. called ‘Butter and Sugar’

butter and sugar iris

Note:  Langholm is commonly known as the Muckle Toon because at its peak as a centre of wollen weaving , it was a big or muckle town.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “A long day

  1. I don’t like standing for a long time either. It’s hard on the back as well as the legs and feet. I hope tomorrow involves more movement.
    I’ve seen a lot of lawnmowers but never one like that one.
    I love the shot of the unfurling iris. I think it might be a Japanese iris. I have one like it, if it’s the one I’m thinking of. Mrs. T.s favorite is a pretty iris with yellow toadflax colors.

  2. You should have carried some portable shade with you in the form of an umbrella while you were directing traffic, every little bit helps when it’s hot out.

    Thank you for the translation, I had no idea why there would be a Muckletoon Adventure Festival in Langholm.

    I can see why the Butter and sugar iris is Mrs. T’s favorite, it’s stunning!

  3. Your Webb looks interesting. I also use a reel mower and have tried two over the years, but both leave a lot to be desired. The mowers with the built in roller don’t seem to be available here, so we don’t get the distinctive striping that you have on your lawns.

  4. I like that you kept both the flora and fauna on their toes by altering your timing. I hope you received a hearty thank you for your marshalling efforts…I know from experience the appeal wears thin after a while

  5. Oh, those flowers! The event sounds great, but I can well imagine how tiring it was to stand for hours and direct traffic. And then you mowed the lawn and went on a twenty-mile bike ride. You are made of sterner stuff than I am 😉

      1. Clif and I are in same category. We go about nine miles a day, and we are working up to longer rides. Hats off to you! Bike on!

  6. It is a pleasure to see all your lovely photo’s of your garden. Having seen it first hand I enjoy your blog even more nowadays. You caught me last week with the frog picture so not sad yesterdays didn’t come out ha!! Keep pedalling on and giving all your followers wonderful pictures etc. Thank you.

  7. Well done for working so hard and long on such a hot day. Excellent close-ups of all those bees and a nice study of a faithful friend. I love the sound a manual lawnmower makes and always enjoyed using one. Our grass is too extensive for one now, alas!

  8. The astrantria are beautiful. I’ve never seen one before.

    I am glad you are having bees about. It has been very quiet here. The yard is full of clover, and very few bees to be seen this year.

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