Broken hearted


In contrast to yesterday’s Antiguan sun, today’s guest picture shows a typical day in Derby.  My brother Andrew was suffering in the rain there a couple of day ago.


We had another very welcome dry day here today and things are even beginning to hint at drying out a little.  A bit more warmth would help the process.

A brisk wind also helps and we got that today, the downside being that it was a pretty chilly breeze and it made the day which was theoretically warm at 10°C feel a good deal colder.  Still, it was a useful day for a pedal and some gardening so we were happy.

My fairly speedy bike was still in the bike shop so I went out on the slow bike and stuck to skulking 18 miles twice up and down the Wauchope valley, as far out of the wind as I could stay.

I was impressed by the dedication of a flock of sheep to getting their strength up and stopped for a shot…


…and as I always look closely at a wall when I am leaning over one to take a photo, I took some lichen pictures while I was at it.

lichen on wall

I like the variations in colour, shape and style that the lichen on our roadside walls provides.

Otherwise, I kept my head well down in the crosswinds on the ride and didn’t take any more pictures.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had completed some errands round the town and was busy gardening.

She is very pleased with the early crocuses this year and so am I.

There are some brighter ones about…


…but the bulk of the flowers are a delicate pale violet and I like them both for themselves and when they mingle with the snowdrops.


And because I like eating it, I was very happy to see that the rhubarb is looking very promising.


Then I went inside and looked out.  The kitchen makes a warm and comfortable bird hide and supplies good coffee too (Rwandan today).

I looked high…


…and low.


After lunch, I went off for a walk.  It had been gently sunny while I had pedalled along in the morning but the clouds had come over for my walk and it was a grey afternoon.

Pathhead track

Snowdrops provided some cheer both at the start and near the finish of my walk.


On grey days, I tend to keep my eyes on the foreground and ignore the views and there is always something to help to pass the time.

This wall provided a home for some luxuriant moss.

mossy wall

And a birch tree had a neat circle of script lichen.

script lichen

As always, walls are a never ending source of delight and today I came across a growth which I hadn’t seen before.  It is the coral like structure on the left in the panel below.  I think that it must be lichen but I am by no means confident about that.

lichen on wall

On the other hand, I am confident about this.


This is definitely cladonia lichen.

I had already stopped at a promising piece of wall before I had noticed the tiny spots of red so either my lichen radar is improving with practice or I was just lucky because I didn’t see any more along the the wall.


It really is very red indeed.

I started and finished my walk with a visit to the Kilngreen in the hope of seeing some oyster catchers.

There was a pair at the Meeting of the Waters when I was on my out but they flew off with a gull before I could get too close…

oyster catchers

And there was a pair (probably the same pair I would imagine) in the same place when I came back an hour later and they flew off again, first to further up the bank of the river…

oyster catcher

…and then again to join the gulls on the fence posts.

Luckily one of them flew right past me.

oyster catcher

When I saw that I wasn’t going to get close to them, I took a shot through an arch of the Langholm Bridge which gave me a lot of pleasure even on a grey day.

Langholm Bridge

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden again when I got back and I fell easily into a supervisory role.  It is a suitable role for me as it doesn’t involve doing anything else but walking around and saying, “That looks good.”

In the evening, I went to sing with our local choir and enjoyed myself not least because I am sitting next to my cello playing friend Mike who is an excellent singer and keeps me right.

He remarked that he and his wife have been enjoying the frog pictures on the blog so here is one from today, especially for them.


The flying bird of the day is a black headed gull which  flew by while I was tracking the oyster catchers.  It has almost got its spring black head.

black headed gull


Oh and the title of the blog refers to a telephone call which I received from the bike shop this evening to tell me that the fairly speedy bike has got a two inch crack in the frame so it is time to say farewell to an old friend. Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out that it is just as well to discover a crack like that when it is in the bike shop and not when you are going down hill at 30mph.

I don’t remember exactly when I bought the fairly speedy bike, a Giant SCR, but I must have had it for over ten years so it will have done about 40,000 miles at least.  It has been a good servant, comfortable and reliable and I will be very happy if my new bike turns out to be as good.

I am going to look at getting a replacement suitable for a elderly gentleman with no great bike handling skills but who enjoys getting a few miles in over a year. Like Two Ton Tessie O’Shea used to say about herself, it will be built for comfort more than for speed.  I know my limits now.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Broken hearted

  1. As sad as it is to have to give up your old bike, my first thought matched Mrs. T’s, re. better for the bike shop to find the crack during a check-up. Makes you wonder how long you’ve been riding it like that! How did the new helmet work out? I like the mossy stone wall – it’s very pretty.

  2. The unknown lichen looks like what we call rock foam lichen (Stereocaulon saxatile.) Every time I’ve seen it, it has been growing on stone.
    The flowers are beautiful and the rhubarb bud break is very encouraging.
    I agree with Mrs. T. regarding the bike but I can also understand the loss of an old friend, even if it is mechanical.

  3. So sad to say farewell to an old trusted friend, but you are so right that it was far better to discover the crack now than when you were zipping downhill. Good luck finding a new bike.

  4. The lichens are particularly beautiful, especially the cladonia.

    I had to look up Two Ton Tessie O’Shea. I found a YouTube clip of her on the Ed Sullivan show, and one of her singing “Nobody Loves a Fairy When She’s 40” 🙂

    1. I have always liked that song, “I’m built for comfort, I’m not built for speed, got everything my sweet baby needs,” since I had a large friend in high school with a big voice. She belted it out!

  5. Very sorry to hear that you have to say farewell to the fairly speedy bike but VERY pleased you did not discover the crack hurtling along the road somewhere!

  6. Glad to hear your bike problem was diagnosed in the shop. Hope you can find another one to your liking.
    The crocuses are lovely.

  7. Enjoyed all the photos today. The country lane shot is postcard pretty. Mrs. T certainly has a green thumb and I’m happy to see garden progress.
    I am glad the bike problem did not involve another wreck and wish you well in finding a new ride for your adventures.

  8. Lovely photos of the crocus with the snowdrops very fortunate that they are in flower at the same time. ….great planning. Love the pair of oyster catcher photos …good to look at and enjoy. Enjoy the search for your new bike…..there’ll be new models with new fangled things on them…hope you can take new ones out for a test ride!

  9. I wonder if you could have the bike frame welded or repaired in some other way? On the other hand, a newer model should have a few improvements that you may like.

    Loved all the flowers, the crocus and snowdrops look great together. The lichens were interesting, and I also enjoyed the oyster catchers, gull, and the frog.

    1. I probably could have the frame repaired but it is quite old and battered and I doubt that I would have great deal of confidence in it as I pedalled along.

  10. Beautiful shots. Love the sheep! And oyster catchers are so striking, I love seeing them. Thanks! (Sorry about your bike.)

  11. Good to hear you learned your lesson from that nasty fall off the bike. May your new one provide you with many wonderful new adventures and travels!

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