Getting tasks done

The Dalesman steam engine

Instead of guest pictures, I am going to use some of the phone pictures from our recent trip to London for the next few days.  They are not great pictures but show some of things we saw but couldn’t put in the posts.

The Dalesman steam engine
There was steam excursion in the station at Carlisle when we went down to London

I had a very weather dependant day today.  After several days without cycling, I was keen to get a good few miles in today and the forecast yesterday was encouraging.  Sadly however, the forecast for today when I woke up was far less encouraging, promising rain by lunchtime.  As I needed to mow the lawns as well as cycle, this limited my cycling to a twenty mile trip up the main road to Mosspaul and back.

The route choice was good because the main road was closed fourteen miles north of the town and this meant that very few cars passed me and I had the road to myself for most of the time.   It was rather grey once again and the brightest thing that I saw on my trip was this thistle….


…on the final climb to Mosspaul.


This is the point where East meets West in our part of Scotland and once over the crest that you can see in the picture, all the rivers flow into the North Sea unlike ours which flow into the Solway Firth and thence into the Irish Sea.

Thanks to the wide roads and light traffic, I had a quiet and reflective ride.

When I got back, I checked on the Shirley poppies….

shirley poppies

…which looked a little more cheerful than yesterday but not much.

Then I dead headed the opium poppies which are going very well….


….cut down some of the delphiniums which are going over, enjoyed a new cornflower….


…and one of the day lilies which brightens up even the gloomiest day…

day lily

…and then mowed the middle lawn.

It was rather muggy and I needed a rest after that so I had another look round to see what was going on.

The bees on the privet were in full flow and I could hear a continuous hum as I stood nearby.  The flowers are above my head so it is hard to see the bees…

bees on privet

…and these were on the lowest flowers.

A second buddleia has come out..


…but there are still no signs of butterflies.

I looked at an astilbe….


…and then rushed to mow the front lawn just as it started to drizzle gently.  It stayed raining very lightly after I had finished the mowing so I picked some blackcurrants and then went in for lunch.

After lunch, the drizzle had slowed to about one drop a minute so I had another go at picking blackcurrants until I had enough to make a jar or two more of jelly and had a look at the clematis as I came back in.

As well as the white variety whihc has green on its petals….

white and green clematis

…I saw that one of our red ones has green colouring too.

Look closely at the one on the right and you will see that what looks like damaged petals is green colouring.

Our white and green one always flowers like that but the red one is more unusual. On researching it, I found  that it is probably a quite common problem.

I rang Sandy up and arranged to have a short walk with him while the going was good.  but before we had even got out of our respective doors, the drizzle had changed to steady rain and we retired inside.

I used the time to put in some much needed flute practice and also to sit down and enter a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  We checked on the weather again after an hour but decided that it was still too damp and gloomy for a walk so I settled down to watch the last day of the Tour.  I will be at a loss for things to do on a wet afternoon now that it has finished.

I was still hoping that the day might brighten up enough for a late walk but it stayed gloomy and so did I.  Life is definitely a lot duller when Mrs Tootlepedal is away from home.

I am trying to keep up with the vegetables while she is away and had turnip, beetroot, peas and potatoes with my evening meal of fish cakes.

The fish diet is obviously not improving my brain as I had a little panic when I checked on our house insurance by chance and found that we didn’t seem to have had a renewal notice yet even though it was due in March.  A very nice young man on the phone pointed out that 11/3/2017 meant the third of November not the eleventh of March and that doubtless a renewal notice would arrive in due course.    I blame Google for using funny dating systems on their emails.

During the day, I saw a young but ferocious looking sparrow on the lawn….

young sparrow

…and what I think must be a thrush on the hedge.


Neither of them were flying.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Getting tasks done

  1. I’d love a ride on that steam train. I’ve only ever had just one.
    I’ve never seen clematis petals turn green like that, but I might not have been paying close enough attention.
    I’m surprised the sparrow was so puffed up in summer.

    1. I used to catch steam trains a lot when I was young as that was all there was but the abiding memories of practical use are the smells and the dirt and getting smuts in the eye when looking out of the window of a moving train. I like them a lot more now.

    1. I have seen the film often but I had to look again on Youtube to see the poppies. Strange how some images persist in one’s memory and others fade away quickly.

  2. What a grumpy little sparrow!

    Is it true lorries don’t drive on Sundays there? I read a mention of that and then remembered I think you’ve mentioned it.

    I’m sure Mrs T will appreciate your efforts in the garden when she returns.

  3. I do miss your flying birds, but the perched ones are still very well done and interesting also. And then there’s the never ending flowers, all beautiful whether from the garden or from along the road.

  4. Too funny about the dating system for your insurance. It is the one we use here in the states, so for me there would have been no confusion ;). Combinations and permutations? Lovely, lovely flowers. And, yes, how we miss our partners when they are away for more than a day.

    1. Google knows what I am up to in great detail so they might at least use a UK date format on my emails. I agree wholeheartedly with your last remark.

  5. Pleased that the poppies felt more cheerful to brighten your day. Impressed with your cooking skills to blend in all those lovely vegetables. Lucky folk riding behind that monster of an engine.

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