Taking the cake

Bath October 2017 011

Today’s guest picture is another antidote to gloom and comes from my sister Mary’s visit to Bath last month.

Bath October 2017 011

After breakfast, I took it easy in an attempt to recover from all the jollifications of my birthday while Mrs Tootlepedal drove off to Longtown to get her eyes tested.

She was very fortunate to get back to Langholm just before the main road was completely closed to allow the recovery of a large vehicle which had slid off the road just to the south of Skippers Bridge last night in the heavy rain.

I watched a few birds while she was out.  The feeder was busy….

busy feeder

…but the gloomy morning made it easier to catch birds when they were standing still.

A chaffinch samples the sunflower seed…


blue tit
…while a blue tit examines the mixed seed.
The elegant back of a greenfinch..
…and a pigeon shows off its pink feet.
A robin obligingly gave me the full range of poses.

The early rained eased off so I took the opportunity to go for a short walk.

In spite of continuing rain, the river had dropped a bit more and the turtle was back on dry land.


As I looked down on the upstream side of the town bridge, I could see why the spot is called the meeting of the waters.

Meeting of the waters

The Ewes and the Esk were flowing with very different colours.

Meeting of the waters

It always surprises me that the rivers don’t mix more quickly when they meet.   Some knowledgeable reader may be able to tell me if the temperature of the water or the speed of the flow has anything to do with it.  At first sight I would expect the rivers to intermingle as soon as they collide.

I crossed the Ewes by the sawmill Bridge and walked up the Lodge Walks.

Lodge walks

Although the scene is pretty wintery now, there are touches of colour about.

beech tree in November

And plenty of moments of reflection too.


I was pleased to see a scrap of blue sky above the hills.


I crossed the Duchess Bridge on my way home and passed a dripping catkin and another little bunch of leaves hanging on.

catkin and leaves

When i got home, I looked over the hedge from the road into the garden.  Although all the flowers have gone, the neat hedges and box balls still give the garden an ordered look which is pleasing to the eye.

garden in November

After lunch, we took our courage in our hands and set off to drive to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda.  There had been talk of floods and/or snow but in the end, we had quite a pleasant drive over to Lockerbie and the train arrived only a little late due to speed restrictions because the the bad weather further south.

We arrived safely in Edinburgh and had a very good time playing with Matilda.  She, with a little help from her parents, had prepared me and Mrs Tootlepedal, whose birthday is very soon, a fine chocolate birthday cake….


…which tasted even better than it looked.

The cake rounded off an excellent evening meal so we arrived back at Waverley Station in a very cheerful frame of mind.  Our good cheer was slightly moderated by finding that our train was running late due to floods in the south and that we would be sharing it with the passengers of an earlier train which had been cancelled.

There seemed to be huge numbers waiting on the platform for our train to arrive but in the end, we all fitted in very comfortably and since the train made up a little time on its way, we arrived at Lockerbie not long after our scheduled time.

After the satisfactory journey, our cheer factor had once again been raised but it fell back with a thud as we arrived at the car to find snow on the windscreen and the thermometer registering -1C.  It fell even more when we met fog soon after leaving Lockerbie.

However, the fog soon cleared, the roads were free of ice and the only snow we passed was politely sitting by the sides of the road as we went over Callister so the drive home was far less alarming than we had feared.

Once again, we have been lucky with bad weather. Others to the north and the south of us have fared worse.  And of course, Matilda’s smile would brighten any day up.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

flying goldfinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Taking the cake

  1. What a lovely cake, and so beautifully decorated! I have been thinking of you and hoping you weren’t suffering too much with snow and flooding. I like the photo of the blue sky above the hills and also the picture of the FBotD.

  2. Some one put a lot of effort into that turtle for it to withstand the number of floods that it has. Your observations about how long it takes water from two sources to mix together is something that I’ve wondered about as well. The river water in Michigan can sometimes be seen as separate from the Lake Michigan water that the rivers flow into for a mile or more offshore, unless the wind forces the waters to mix.

    The cake and Matilda were both lovely, glad that your trip went as smoothly as it did.

  3. I used to do a lot of stonework and every time I see that turtle I want to build one like it but I doubt my back would stand for it. I’m glad the river has uncovered it.
    I don’t know why the two rivers wouldn’t mix immediately either. Maybe the differing temperature does cause it, as you suspect.
    The garden looks beautiful every time I see it no matter the time of year.
    It looks like it might have taken a tickle or two to coax a smile from Matilda. She bakes a beautiful cake.

  4. We woke up to a good covering of snow, I had to get bus to Edinburgh but all was well, snow petered out by the time we got to Perth. Great pics as usual.

  5. Your closeups of birds were particularly good today I thought, I loved the trio of robins. Glad the visit and the cake were well worth the slightly worrying journey and that you got home safely.

  6. I always enjoy seeing those lens-hogging robins, and the meeting of the waters is fascinating, but Matilda and her baking is my pick for today. Her cheeky coy look “takes the cake” 🙂

  7. Love the robins and your garden. There is something calming about a winter garden when everything is quiet, ordered and pretending to sleep. You must have been carrying some birthday magic with you on your visit- avoiding all the transport changes and weather upheavals and then to be presented with a delicious cake and lovely smile- perfect.

  8. I wish I had the patience to produce a fine garden like you both. Happy Birthday to you for yesterday.

  9. A beautiful chocolate cake from Matilda would brighten up any gloomy day!

    I am glad to hear Mrs. T. made it home before the large vehicle went off the road, closing it. A friend of mine was recently hit from behind at high speed, knocking her into the path of an oncoming logging truck. She was fortunate to spin sideways, so the truck hit the passenger side and pushed her down the road a short distance, somehow without rolling her over. She walked away from the accident with whiplash and minor injuries. The police told her she was very lucky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: