Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone, who has recently been playing golf in Girona in Spain. Clearly, there was no rain in Spain while he was there.
There was no rain here today either but not quite as much sun as Dropscone has been enjoying.
I had to take the car to the garage early in the morning to get its brakes fixed. The view from the suspension bridge as I walked back was a marked contrast with yesterday’s mist.
It was a little chilly when I got home so I dawdled about and had a cup of coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal before finally setting off to make the most of a good day.
I had a bit of a moan after my ride on Sunday about losing speed on my cycle runs thanks to increasing age. Many well intentioned readers advised me to stop moaning, live with the years and just enjoy cycling and taking pictures without bothering about average speeds.
I always take good advice so I pottered about today for the first twenty five miles and took many pictures on my ride. Of course, it may have been the brisk wind in my face rather than the sheer enjoyment of going slowly that made me take so long but I was very content to stop and take pictures as I went.
I should say that I had a bit of time on my hands in the evening and some of the photographs from the ride may have been enhanced by the use of filters. I don’t usually do much of this but the light was rather flat today and the pictures came out as less attractive than they were in real life. I may have gone a bit further than real life with some of them.
Churches were my first subjects.
This very fine set of hinges caught my eye as I turned onto the road to Hoddom in Ecclefechan.
Not far away, I came to the ruins of the church at Hoddom Cross.
The church was destroyed by fire in 1975 and stands as a picturesque ruin in a graveyard that is still in use. In the old part of the kirkyard, I found an ivy covered mausoleum.
The ivy is covered in flowers and will be of great interest to bees when the flowers come out.
My interest turned from churches to bridges and I went under an unusual one as I cycled on towards the River Annan….
…followed by something more traditional when I got to the river.
I cannot find out when this bridge was built but it is obviously of some age and has lasted very well considering that….
…things like this go over it every day.
I crossed the Annan using the bridge myself and cycled down towards Brydekirk, where I crossed back over the river.
This bridge was built in about 1800 and is one of several fine bridges that cross the River Annan.
Not far from the bridge, I came across a splendid gateway to a fine house.
I turned off the road from the bridge onto a side road. I had hoped that a beech hedge along this road would be worth a look but it was disappointingly green still…
…but the hedge did serve the useful purpose of sheltering me from the brisk cross wind along this stretch.
Once I had turned left when I met the road from Annan to Eaglesfield, I had the wind behind me and I did the next fifteen miles in 55 minutes of cycling time without having to try very hard at all.
I did stop on the way to admire a different kind of bridge though.
The viaduct carrying the West Coast main line crosses the valley of the Kirtle water….
…which I crossed on a more modest bridge.
I had crossed the Kirtle Water near its source much earlier in my trip and I had now crossed both the Kirtle Water and the River Annan twice.
I felt the need for some refuelling so I headed down the old main road from Kirtlebridge to Gretna where I stopped for egg and chips at the Old Toll Bar. A couple of raindrops landed on my head as I left the cafe and nearly made me regret my stop there but it was only a couple and the rest of my ride was dry and easy with the encouraging wind giving me a friendly push and keeping me going.
I went home by way of Longtown and Canonbie, meaning that I was following the course of the River Esk now and before I got home, I had crossed the Esk no less than six times.
The Esk was looking quite autumnal when I stopped at Byreburnfoot.
And at my feet as I took the picture was a good crop of fungus which grows out of a patch of grass beside the road.
I stopped as I crossed Skippers Bridge to note the contrast with yesterday’s misty shots.
When I got to the town centre, I found that I had done 47 miles and I was seized with decimal fever and pedalled on through Langholm and out the other side, crossing the High Mill bridge and going half a mile up the road beyond it.
There I turned for home and having crossed the Canonbie, Hollows, Skippers and High Mill Bridges already, I crossed the High Mill bridge again and finished by crossing the Langholm Bridge which joins the Old and New Towns of Langholm.
While I was crossing rivers. Mrs Tootlepedal had been immersed in canals as she had been in the Buccleuch Centre at a screening of a film of the current Canaletto exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.
It was hard to say which of us had had the better time.
There was enough time left in the day for Mrs Tootlepedal to do some gardening and for me to collect the car, mow the middle lawn and take a flower picture or two.
Mrs Tootlepedal has borrowed one or two of the thousands of October daisies from the river bank which appeared in yesterday’s post and they have settled in very well in our garden.
Before the screening, Mrs Tootlepedal had been helping in the cafe in Buccleuch Centre over a very busy lunch time so we didn’t spend too long in the garden and retired inside for a well earned rest and a nourishing evening meal.
The good weather is not going to last and we are promised heavy rain overnight and tomorrow morning so I am glad to have got some miles in while the going was good. My moaning and the subsequent good advice which I received seems to have purged my cycling melancholy and I really enjoyed today’s pedal.
The flying bird of the day is two of our more delicate poppies.
Anyone interested in the details of the ride can click on the map below.