Back on the road again

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who took a trip to Greenwich Park and enjoyed the view on a sunny day.

View from Greenwich park

I started the day with a visit to Dropscone to return his hat and gloves which he had left behind after coffee yesterday and then pedalled on to the producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre where I stocked up on necessities such as honey and cheese.

When I got home, I found the birds in a rather subdued mood after some frantic to-ings and fro-ings at the feeder in the past few days.

stately chaffinch arriving.

Even the threatening behaviour seemed strangely  gentle.

chaffinch and siskin

Our neighbour Kenny appeared with some grass cuttings for Mrs Tootlepedal who was going to lay them as mulch on one of her beds.  I purloined some to make a green layer in compost bin A.

While I was out, I had a look round the garden.  The recent cold spell has put new growth on hold without discouraging the plants that were already out…

april garden flowers

…but there were a few promising tulips to whet the appetite for things to come.

first very pale tulip

No one could say that they were fully out…

first pale yellow tulip

…but it is better than nothing.

firsy yellow tulip[

In the pond, tadpoles are beginning to break away from the crowd.

tadpoles

I liked this blackbird which came to listen to our conversation with Kenny.

blackbird on chair back

Mrs Tootlepedal was well enough to do a little light gardening like digging up an old potentilla from beside the dam and I gave her hand and shredded the plant when it had been uprooted.

I got the mower out and had a test go with it on the middle lawn but there has been so little grass growth that it was a pointless and I put it away again and had another walk round.

The Christmas tree has thoroughly settled into its outdoor situation and is developing well…

sprouting christmas tree

…as is the rhubarb growing beside it.  I am dreaming of crumble.

growing rhubarb

I took a picture of the first plum blossom of the year…

first plum blossom

…and we can only hope that a few bees show up soon or I will have to get busy with the pollinating brush again.

Mrs Tootlepedal planted out a very cheerful primrose, which she purchased recently, into the chimney pot beside the feeders.

new primroses in chimney

The fact that it had been on offer at a very reduced price made it all the more attractive we felt.

The euphorbias are showing their claws.

crab euphorbia

I got my slow bike out again and pedalled back up to the town to buy some gel insoles for my shoes.  I had received some sage advice from arthritis sufferers to the effect that some padding in the shoe could only be a good thing so I am resolved to give it a try and see how it goes.

When I got back, I went in for lunch and had another look at the birds…

siskin landing among goldfinches

…and among the usual suspects, I was pleased to see a coal tit paying the plum tree a visit.

coal tit in plum tree

It soon came down to the peanuts and had a check out and a nibble.

coal tit on peanuts

It didn’t stay long but I hope it comes back soon and brings some friends.

After lunch, I put my new insoles into a pair of shoes and went off on my new bike to do a few miles and see what life on the road was like.  Now I know that there is no structural  damage to my sore foot, at least I can can give it as much exercise as it will take and cycling is a very stress free activity.

I haven’t been out for ages so I stuck to doing ten miles but it was a great pleasure just to be out and about and turning the legs over in a meaningful if steady manner.

This view from my turning point may not be very scenic but it was welcome all the same.

the open road

It was a grey day and there were no wild flowers in the verges so the only other picture I took as I went along was this diagonal procession of sheep.

diagonal sheep

Mrs Tootlepedal was recovered enough when I got home to go for a shopping expedition to Gretna and we were organised enough to get home in good time to watch the Grand National steeplechase.

After the race, I went over the hymns for tomorrow’s church service and cooked some sea bass, which I  had bought at the market in the morning, for my tea.  Mrs Tootlepedal had hot smoked salmon, a favourite dish, for her meal.

I am hoping that my new foot regime will let me get out an about a bit more and a look at the forecast shows that it should be cold but dry which will help, though a bit of warmth would be even more welcome.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Back on the road again

  1. Glad to hear that your foot was not damaged as feared and you can get out and about again to keep that arthritis at bay. Once this chilly spell has passed all will improve!

  2. I hope the foot holds up. I don’t remember cycling bothering my feet.
    I had to laugh at the diagonal goats. I wonder if they’ve had lessons from the pole sitting gulls. They’ve arranged themselves very neatly.
    Great to see the rhubarb and the flowers. I hope Mrs. T. continues to improve.

  3. Good that you felt you could get out on your bike after so long. Lovely photographs of the spring flowers in your garden and I enjoyed the visit of the coal tit as much as you did.

  4. Just catching up – glad to hear you have a diagnosis on the foot and can do something about it,

    Currently catching up – there is so much in each of your days it would take an essay to discuss it properly.

    Nice to see the Coal Tit.

  5. I love the sheep ‘conveyor belt’. We actually had quite a snow Friday night here near Woodstock NY, after a while of winter having felt finished for the year. It happened to be a night I had to be out to do work at someone’s house out in the hills, but it was all safe, and the next day the snow had all disappeared. These days all we see much of here is crocuses and the start of those tiny daffodils–no big ones yet.

    1. Our crocuses came and went rather quickly this year as we had a warm spell that brought them out and then cold weather which knocked them over.

  6. I hope the new insoles are helping your sore foot, Tom. Some time ago when I was doing family history research, I was interested to see that one branch of the family were manufacturers of cork socks, which I took to be some kind of insole, and was surprised to find that this particular innovation dated back to at least the early 1900’s.

  7. Your coal tit looks a bit like our chickadee. I’d post a picture for you if I could get some sorting done. I’m hoping what sounds as though both of you are on the mend continues.

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