Today’s guest picture shows an old bridge with more arches than water. It came from my brother Andrew. He tells me that it is the Segovia bridge in Madrid, over the river Manzanares. Completed in 1584, it is the oldest bridge in the city – the architect was Juan de Herrera
The over night rain had stopped by the morning and I was able to get out for a standard twenty mile pedal down to Canonbie and back. I hope that this will be the last on my slow bike for some time.
I wasn’t going to stop but my legs had other ideas so you can thank them for this view of bluebells in a roadside wood…
…and the first look at some wild geums and a marigold which was playing host to a lot of insects.
I had a choice between a chilly early start and a warmer windier later one and chose the windier option which resulted in a very slow bike ride indeed. Still, I was pleased to get again as it meant that my hand is not suffering because of cycling. I don’t know what set it off last week but I hope that it doesn’t do it again.
When I got home, I found that our friends Bob and Nancy were helping to reduce Mrs Tootlepedal’s manure mountain by taking some of it away to their allotment. That is what friends are for.
I went upstairs and looked out of the window.
The daffodils have almost disappeared and we are relying on tulips for colour until the azaleas and alliums come out.
I took this picture of the veg garden before cycling. It is looking well organised.
More is getting planted out in it every day.
The tulips are holding up well…
…though the very earliest to come out are now over.
Other things are coming along nicely.
It is nearly lilac blossom time.
Some flowers are so small that the camera finds it hard to pick them out. This is berberis and rosemary.
There was plenty of evidence of yesterday’s rain.
I had a few moments to watch the birds. This sunny moment was before breakfast.
After my cycling, siskins arrived in force.
I had to refill the feeder before we went to Edinburgh.
After lunch, we set off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh. It rained on us as we drove across but the sun shone for our train journey and our stay in the city.
Matilda was in good form and came out to play in the garden. Alistair had mowed the pocket handkerchief sized lawn just as we arrived and Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to smarten up the edges while I played with Matilda and her mother Clare and snipped away at protruding meadow grasses with some shears. Both the gardening and the playing were most enjoyable in the warm sunshine and we looked back down on the lawn as we went in for tea with some satisfaction.
Apart from Matilda being offended when I remarked that she was a small person (“I am not small. I am four!”), the visit went well and Mrs Tootlepedal and I walked back to Waverley Station in beautiful early evening sunshine.
I hadn’t noticed before that the architect of the Scottish parliament building had intentionally or unintentionally echoed the line of the Salisbury Crags with his roof.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s wildlife detector was working well and she spotted this rabbit in the gardens beside the road.
I like the way that this old churchyard has survived in a valuable piece of real estate…
…but as in all the cities we visit, the cranes were very busy. These ones were a few yards up the road.
Our journey home was smooth and uneventful and as a mark of the passing of the months, we got home in the remains of daylight for the first time this year.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.