Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our friend Sandra and shows her her husband Jim keeping company with the famous Molly Malone. Those who know their cockles and mussels will realise that Jim and Sandra were having a good time in Ireland.
Our hot weather continued but I had run out of excuses for dawdling about in the garden so I dawdled about all day on my new bicycle instead.
Before I left, Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out the first of two sorts of poppies in the garden this year.
A Shirley poppy…
…and an opium poppy.
If you think the the background to the opium poppy looks a bit odd that is because it is a bit odd.
Somehow or other, it has sowed itself, along with some friends, on the floor of the greenhouse and Mrs Tootlepedal has let it grow.
My plan was to bicycle until exhausted and I imagined with the temperature forecast for the mid twenties by the afternoon, that that might not take too long. However, I adopted a very regulated behaviour scheme and stopped every five miles for a minute or two to have a drink and stretch my legs and on the ten mile stops, I took a little longer and had a snack as well.
I had two water bottles and I had put an isotonic tablet into each and I took some guava jelly in tablet form which I had cut into nine little squares and I ate one of the squares on my ten miles stops. On top of this, I stopped for a cafe lunch and by dint of all this sensible behaviour, I stretched my ride out to 100 miles. Even when I finished, I was not entirely exhausted though I am a little tired as I write this so I hope that indulgent readers will, forgive a little incoherence. It was decidedly hot by our standards.
On many of my stops and at some other interesting points, I tried to take a picture or two and here are some of the results.
Here, I made one of the two mistakes of the day and ordered soup and coffee. The coffee came but not the soup. I waited…and waited…and waited. Very occasionally a bowl of soup appeared for other diners and finally after about 50 minutes, I was the next in line.
The cook appeared from the kitchen and came up to the table. Was she going to offer an exciting addition to the soup? Parsley perhaps?
“I’m very sorry, sir, but the soup has run out.”
They didn’t charge me for the coffee.
I went a few miles down the road and found soup freely available at the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust cafe. Luckily it was very tasty and I bought an extra roll so I was in a much better frame of mind as I set out on the next 50 miles.
I really enjoyed almost every mile of the ride but the heat had melted the tar on the back roads near Scaleby and that made cycling for the next few miles a pretty hard task. When I got back to the main road, I popped into the pub at Smithfield and had half a pint of fresh orange juice and this kept me going for the last few miles.
Those interested can get further details of the ride by clicking on the map below.
You can see that it was a very flat route after going over Callister near the start. The temperature was a lot higher than 63 degrees as I was in the open sunlight the whole way round but my eating and drinking was quite well managed and I only lost about 1kg on the ride, not bad for such a warm day. The wind was mercifully light and that meant that I was cycling into a bike generated breeze for the whole trip which helped to keep me relatively cool.
The actual cycling took me seven and a half hours but the elapsed time for the trip was nearly ten hours, partly because of the long wait for the non existent tomato soup which meant that I took an hour and a half for lunch and partly because of the 19 short breaks that I took along the way.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a rather frustrating day wandering about the garden thinking of things to do but finding that it was too hot to do them. In the end, she did a little planting out and a lot of watering. I had more fun than her today.
I looked at a couple of roses in the garden when I got back. Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that my favourite rose should just be called The Wren….
…and here it is with the inevitable little black flies on it which I didn’t have the energy to dislodge.
This means that the flower of the day is Lilian Austin.
I dislodged her little black flies on the computer.
Observant readers may note that I claimed to have made two bad decisions but have only mentioned one. The other was falling gently but in a very undignified way off my bike when I misjudged the height of a pavement as I stopped near Dornock. Nothing was hurt except my pride fortunately.