Today’s guest picture is another from my daughter’s working trip to Venice. After the storm had passed, she got a better view out of her office window.
We woke to a brilliantly sunny morning and I got up into my cycle clothes, ready for a pedal in the sun. A look at the thermometer, which was showing a meagre 7°C, suggested that a leisurely breakfast and a good read of the morning papers might be a good idea.
I did get going when the the thermometer hit 9° but it still seemed quite chilly even in the sun. I couldn’t complain about the views today though….
…but the one of the locals seemed a bit miffed by me standing in her line of vision.
I cycled an extended loop, taking in Kirkpatrick Fleming and Gretna on my way to Canonbie. I didn’t stop too often for photos as I had a busy afternoon in mind but the call of this little stream was too much for me….
…especially as it had a nice bridge over it with some convenient steps so that an elderly photographer could get down on to its bank with ease and dignity.
Every bridge should have such a set of steps.
The reason for cycling an extended Canonbie loop was twofold, first because it was such a beautiful sunny day, with big blue skies….
…and secondly because the 34 miles took me over 500 miles for the month, a total which I consider a minor triumph these days. One of the best things about being retired is that I can make good use of whatever sunny moments there are in a day so in spite of the rotten August weather, I managed to get out fifteen times during the month and hardly got rained on at all.
When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work in the garden and she was literally surrounded with butterflies at times. There must have been more than twenty peacocks and red admirals flitting about and it was a great sight to see them fill the air above the flowers.
I found a peacock on a calendula….
…and a red admiral on a Michaelmas daisy.
And the shining dahlia had visitors all afternoon.
There were poppies and bees again but I noticed a Welsh poppy which I thought compared very well with the Shirley poppies…
…and not all the insects were bees.
I do like the Shirley poppies when they have just come out and still have that crumpled paper look.
Among the poppies, the cornflowers are a bit overshadowed but they are always well worth a look.
There is a single salvia among the phlox but it is looking better every day.
Oddly, the camera sees it as much more purple and less blue than my eyes sees it but it is still a pretty flower.
Among all the flowers, the seed pods of the tree peony are rather subdued but quite impressive at the same time.
The main business of the afternoon was a shopping trip to Carlisle, where many necessities were purchased. These included three big bags of farmyard manure, three small bags of coffee beans from around the world (Rwanda, Malabar, Java) and four smaller bags of tea leaves from India and Ceylon. Mrs Tootlepedal and I have different views of what a necessity is.
It is wonderful to get such treats in a very small city tucked into the far north western corner of England but although you may think that Carlisle might be a little provincial and perhaps even dull, I can report that for today at least, it was a very hip place indeed.
I had to wait in the car for a while while Mrs Tootlepedal visited a shop, no hardship in a car park with this fine view of the city walls…
…and I was almost as surprised as she was when she came back to the car and revealed that she had been into a clothes shop and actually bought some clothes.
We rounded off our shopping with a visit to a discount supermarket and arrived home, tired but happy. For the first time, I used my phone to pay for our parking time in Carlisle and I must say it is a useful thing to know exactly how long you have left on the virtual meter as being even a minute over time can incur a substantial fine in these days of cash strapped councils.
We passed though brief showers of rain both on the way down and the way back but the sun was shining brightly when we got home and the butterflies were still flitting about.
I ignored them though and took a picture of two nicotiana catching the evening rays.
We had a refreshing cup of Broken Orange Pekoe tea when we went in.
My body was somewhat tired by the end of the day but my spirit was refreshed by the sunshine.
No flying bird of the day today but its place is taken by a fine display of rolls made from scratch by my son Tony. He tells me that they reminded him of the rolls he used to buy from Dropscone’s bakery when he was a boy.