Brief notes

Today’s guest picture comes from Tom in South Africa and shows the calm before the storm.

Tom's calm before the storm

I managed to get up quite promptly and had time for a quick look round the garden after breakfast…

lilian austin group
All four stages of the development of a Lilian Austin rose on one stem
the wren rose
And it is hard to believe that the young Wren rose….
the wren rose older
…will very soon look like this
sweet william close up
A Sweet William repaid a close look

…and then I  got going on my new bike before it got too hot (it was a mere 73°F when I started) and went round my customary 20 mile Canonbie circuit.  With a light wind again, it was a good day for a pedal  and my legs were recovered from Tuesdays efforts.  I didn’t have a lot of time to spare so I only stopped twice for pictures.

The first time was for this wonderful stand of long grass, rising to well over the top of my head in height.

tall grass

It was covered with seed when I took a closer look.

tall grass seed

(Feeble joke alert) I had a quick look to see if there were any brexit plans hidden here which the government had kicked into the long grass but I couldn’t see any. This was not entirely a surprise as nobody has been able to see any government brexit plans in or out of the long grass.

Further along, I stopped for a fine display of knapweed.


This ride, though short was significant as it took me over 2000 miles for the year and over 500 miles for the month, the longest distance for a single month for me since September 2014.  It is amazing what a spell of good weather can do.

There was just time for another look round the garden when I got back…

The lamiums are in good shape
butter and sugar iris
The last of the butter and sugar irises
pale astrantia
A third variety of astrantia has joined the show
pink sweet william
And I looked closely at another Sweet William
Mrs Tootlepedal has a fine clump of feverfew in one of her old chimney pots.
another philadelphus
And yet another Philadelphus

…before it was time for lunch, a quick look at a beady eyed goldfinch…


….and then a trip to Edinburgh to visit Matilda.

There had been some trouble on the West Coast line yesterday because of rails bending in the hot weather so we drove to Tweedbank to catch the train to Edinburgh from there and were pleased to find ourselves on one of their newer trains.

The journey, passing through lovely countryside, was a treat and we had a thoroughly good time with Matilda and her family and Rosa, a nursery friend of Matilda, who was visiting.

After a good meal, we went back to the station and saw that many of the trains were delayed by speed limits on overheated tracks.  We found our train, took our seats and were just congratulating ourselves on our acumen  when the announcer came on and told us that although the train was ready, the driver had been held up on one of the delayed trains on other parts of the network and we would therefore have to get out of our train and go and catch the next one which would leave in half an hour from a different platform.

Luckily it was one of the new ones too so our anguish was somewhat assuaged.

We got home safely and I was able to catch a flying bird (or two) as the rooks fidgeted around above their roost at Holmwood before settling down for the night.

rooks at sunset

Note: The train that we would normally have caught was indeed delayed…but only by seven minutes.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Brief notes

  1. I’ll miss that butter and sugar iris. It’s a beauty.
    The tall grass looks like an orchard grass. If it were here I’d try Dactylis glomerata. It’s very pretty when it flowers.
    Congratulations on both the fine weather and the bicycle mileage milestones. I can’t imagine going that far on one.

    1. As long as you don’t get saddle sores, mileage is not really a problem on a bike if you are not trying to go too fast and the wind is not too strong. It is no harder work than walking and a lot easier on the feet.

  2. Congratulations on that fabulous cycling mileage! The weather has been much cooler here in the East of the country. We still have quite strong Northerly winds which are keeping the temperatures in the upper teens and low twenties Centigrade. No overheated tracks here! Nice looking pot of Feverfew.

  3. I loved the roses and sweet williams, but all the flowers were beautiful!

    Congratulations on the mileage for the month and year, it kind of surprises me as you didn’t seem to get many miles on the slow bike.

  4. Your point about Brexit plus last night’s football related to my mother-in-law. The match was played in Kaliningrad. It used to be called Königsberg. Where my mother-in-law spent her childhood. At the end of World War II as the Russian army advanced westward, she and her family fled. They became refugees. Seventy three years later, there is an EU summit to decide how to treat today’s refugees.

    1. You would think that there had never been refugees before but history relates that whatever people may think, refugees have mostly been tolerated rather than welcomed at best.

      1. Pre-WW1 the UK was thought to be far too lenient about allowing foreigners into the country – not just by our home-grown xenophobes but by foreign governments who thought we gave a safe haven to dangerous radicals.

        Some things never seem to change…

  5. Lovely pictures in your garden, enjoyed the Brexit joke however feeble. Congratulations on all that cycling, does the new bike have anything to do with it.

  6. Goodness! Roads melting in Ireland, train delays in Scotland. Our summers are routinely as hot or hotter, and nothing like that happens here. Must be the choice of materials. On another subject, the flowers are absolutely gorgeous.

    1. You will be better prepared for such weather than we are. We don’t want to spend a lot of money preparing for conditions which only come once every ten years. We secretly enjoy the excitement when unusual weather turns up.

      1. Yes, a little weather excitement always peps things up, as long as there isn’t too much excitement. Clif and I are well prepared for cold weather, and we just tough it out when it’s hot. Since we live in the woods, we fare better than most, and a fan does the trick on all but the hottest of days. Anyway, hope your extreme heat doesn’t last too long.

  7. Beautiful flowers on another sunny day and a significant cycle ride to bring up that amazing mileage plus a joke ( good effort) and news that the trains were just managing to bring you home safely after an after with family … all’s well in Tootlepedal land.

  8. Looks like the flowers are all doing well given the mild weather. I suppose it keeps you both hopping trying to keep them watered. Glad you enjoyed the visit to see Matilda and the uneventful train ride aside from the newer cars.

  9. The presence of a joke makes me thing too much levity is creeping into this blog – hope the sunny weather isn’t making you too cheerful. We went to the east coast on Wednesday and endured some delightful cool mist. 🙂

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