The second of the ‘trip to London’ pictures shows “Topaz”, one of the elegant Pullman coaches pulled by the steam engine which we saw at Carlisle station. I like the little lamps with shades at every table.
We had a rare outbreak of summer today with plenty of sunshine and a cooling breeze from the north in case it got too hot.
I started the day off by going up to check on the Camera Club exhibition and making arrangements for visitors to purchase prints if the mood comes upon them. While I was there, the volunteer custodian and I got our pictures taken by the local paper which was publicising the event for us.
I then went home and promptly had to come back up to the town again as I had forgotten to buy a Common Riding tie to wear when our little choir songs at the concert on Wednesday. It is a quirk of the Langholm Common Riding that it has different colours each year, taken from the colour of the silks worn by the jockey of the winner of the Derby. This means that there is a different tie every year.
All this excitement and a bit of shopping thrown in, meant that I needed a sit down and a cup of coffee when I finally got home. Then I needed a lettuce and marmite sandwich to provide fuel so it was not until after midday that I managed to get going on the fairly speedy bike.
I took a few garden pictures before I left.
Once on the bike, I soon discovered that my legs were in go slow mode so I didn’t push them and I was happy to stop for pictures as I went along.
There was plenty to see in the verges….
Every umbellifer seemed to have at least one red soldier beetle on it. I saw a stem hosting nineteen insects of various sorts on its flower heads later in my ride.
The road side verges are recovering after the mowing and I liked this display of hawkbits on the road up Callister.
Whether they are ‘lesser, ‘autumn, ‘rough’ or some other hawbits I cannot tell but they were good to look at as I puffed up the hill. I have no idea what the little birds in the middle of the road further up the hill were doing.
I had to cross a couple of recently gravelled sections of road on my journey but there has been sufficient traffic to make them quite safe for cycling which was a relief.
I went as far west as Paddockhole and then turned north, uphill and into the wind to get to Eskdalemuir via Bailliehill and Castle O’er. This took me past the new windfarm at Ewe Hill and I tried to get a picture that took in all the 22 turbines…..
…and failed. The turbines are so stretched out and alternately low and high that my camera couldn’t cope at all.
There are now so many wind turbines in Scotland that on a day of good wind and low demand, they can provide just about all the energy that is needed for the whole country. What is required now is serious work on developing storage for renewable energy and it does seem that people are paying attention to this. I live in hope.
I pedalled on up the valley of the Water of Milk, crossing bridges when I came to them.
When I arrived at Bailliehill, I had crossed the col between the water of Milk and the Esk Valley….
…and I was soon passing the spot where the Black Esk meets the White Esk….
…and I had to cross the Black Esk…..
…to continue up the west bank of the White Esk to Eskdalemuir.
When I got there, the northernmost point of the trip, I crossed yet another bridge…
…to continue my journey back to Langholm down the east bank of the river.
After pedalling the last ten miles uphill and into the wind, I was hoping for a good push from the breeze to get me back to Langholm but it was fitful and flighty and often seemed to come from the side and even into my face a bit instead of wafting me home.
Still, it was a glorious day to be out in the country so I didn’t mind too much and just pedalled along in a very stately manner admiring the views.
There are prehistoric monuments along the way. This is a stone circle, The Girdle Stanes, half of which has been swept away by the river.
The fields really were those colours. The whole outing was a visual treat.
I had to pause on the Crurie Brae to let my tin knee rest as I am not supposed to cycle up steep hills. While I paused, I looked north. I could see the road that I had come up on the other side of the valley.
Soon afterwards, I got my reward for the climbing I had done…..
…as I whistled down the long straight road of the Shaw Rig.
I was soon pedalling along the back road past Georgefield, through banks of wild flowers….
…until I crossed the Esk again at Bentpath by the bridge below the church….
…which I see has got the builders in.
Although the road from Eskdalemuir is theoretically downhill as it follows the river, it never seems that way when I am cycling along it. It undulates a lot and I was grateful to get to the last climb of the day. I stopped for a breather and a final view from my ride.
I would have taken a picture of the good crop of raspberries at the top of the hill but I inadvertently ate them before I thought of getting the camera out. Wild raspberries are delicious.
I did 34 miles which is not far but as you can see from the elevation profile below, it was an up and down sort of ride with long uphill and short downhill sections so not very restful. It was the slowest ride I have done for ages but also one of the most enjoyable.
When I got home, I had another wander round the garden….
…edged the lawn and picked some beetroot which I then cooked. I made a loaf of bread (with water) and went upstairs to have shower. The front lawn looked so good from the bathroom window that I went back downstairs and got a camera. I often say to Mrs Tootlepedal that all the work that I do on the lawn through autumn, spring and early summer is to make it look good for at least one day later in the summer.
I think that this might have been that day.
When I came down a little later, there were forty sparrows pecking the lawn to bits. Ah well.
Still the evening sunshine lit up a poppy very nicely so that soothed my ire.
And a very cheery clematis at the front door completely restored my good humour.
Then my flute pupil Luke came and we played through our trio and that rounded off a very good day indeed.
After tea, I picked the very last of the blackcurrants and I hope to find time to make a pot or two of jelly tomorrow.
The flying birds of the day can’t make up their minds and are sitting on the fence for the time being.
Oh all right, it’s a hedge and not a fence. Perhaps they are hedging their bets.