Putting my foot in it

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew.  He came across this wonderful cave on one of his walks.  Thor’s Cave (also known as Thor’s House Cavern and Thyrsis’s Cave) is a natural cavern located at in the Manifold Valley of the White Peak in Staffordshire,

thor's cave

I got up quite early for me but an early bird had got up even earlier.

partrisge at breakfast

A partridge was out after seed rather than worms.

After breakfast I drove our Kangoo down to Carlisle where I traded it in for a smaller little white thingy which we hope is going to carry us about but need a lot less in the way of running  repairs.

I checked that the new car was going to be fit for purpose by stopping off on the way home to buy a big bag of bird seed.  The car carried it well.

Mrs Tootlepedal couldn’t come with me as she had to stay at home as the garage doors were being painted and she was waiting for a gas engineer to arrive.  The gas engineer had not arrived by the time that I got back and I had time to look at a bee on a dicentra..

bee on dicentra

…the trillums, which continue to do well in a shady corner…


…and signs of good things to come.  The first flower on the strawberries, the first row of lettuces and some broad beans waiting to be planted out.

strawb, lettuce and beans

The painter finished the undercoat and the gas engineer arrived.  He came to service the boiler which had developed a fault. He discovered that the boiler needs  a new part and we need a new thermostat and as he didn’t have either, he will come back tomorrow and fit them then.

After lunch, we tested the new little white thingy to see if it was up to Mrs Tootlepedal’s requirements by going off to collect some wood chippings to cover paths between the new beds in the vegetable garden.  We filled up the boot with buckets of chippings and we were nearly home, when I forgot that the new car is an automatic and stood heavily on the brake thinking that it was the clutch.  This brought the car to a sudden stop and tipped all the buckets of wood chips over.  What fun we had clearing the chippings out.

I will have to practice driving without a clutch and gear stick.

I sat down to watch the birds for a while and to recover from all this excitement.

The birds were rather dull.  First a set of goldfinches…

four goldfinches

…and then a more varied selection.

siskin, repoll goldfinch

But there weren’t many and so I went out and looked for bees in the garden.  They were quite a few buzzing about, visiting the apple blossom…

bee on apple

…and hanging out on the rosemary with well filled pollen sacs.

bee on rosemary

Back on the feeder pole, a blackbird issued a challenge to all comers…

blackbird speaking

…and waited to see if anyone would take him up.

blackbird silent

In the early evening my flute pupil Luke came and we had a useful session, concentrating on musicality and phrasing to good effect.

After he left, I got my bike out and went off to see if my feet were up to a few miles pedalling.

It had been a beautiful sunny day but I hadn’t got far before the clouds gathered together to blot out the sun .  However, it was warm and dry so I enjoyed my ride.

clouds assembling

I stopped to look at two lambs…

two lambs

…which were bleating loudly.  I soon found out that this was because they were part of a small group of lambs on one side of a little stream and their parent were on the other side, also bleating loudly.

lost lambs

The lambs got safely back across though and by the time that I came past on my way back, the families were reunited.

While I was taking these pictures, I was passed by a couple of young ladies out for a bike ride themselves.  Seeing them whizzing up the road, I thought that I ought to try a bit harder too and although I couldn’t catch them up, I pedalled a lot more quickly than I usually do.  Luckily they turned off before I killed myself but all the same, my average speed for my little 12 mile ride was considerably faster than of late.  Pride is a great motivator.

Mrs Tootlepedal had cooked an tasty meal and I was pleased to sit down and eat it when I got home.

We are expecting the painter, the gas man and an electrician tomorrow so it will be a full day.

Flying birds were few and far between and this one nearly got a way before I could catch it.

flying siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Putting my foot in it

      1. To improve my blog, I find myself wanting to plagiarize “what fun we had” and “how we laughed” from your blog….for various incidents in everyday life.

  1. That’s a beautiful trillium. I’d love to see a field full of them.
    I’m glad to hear that the bees are working the garden as they should. No bees is a scary thought.
    I’d love to explore that cave as long as there were no bears there. I can’t remember if they are in the U.K. or not.

    1. We have no bears here. Indeed we cleaned up every wild mammal that might pose a risk to us or our livestock many, many years ago. There is a move to reintroduce wolves.

  2. Lovely shots of the blackbird. I wish you many miles of repair-free driving with your new little white thingy. I remember doing the same as you with the transition from a standard to an automatic – but there were no wood chips involved, luckily.

  3. It is interesting that the title of so many jobs today include ‘engineer’. Apart from that, I like your Blackbird photograph very much.

  4. Automatic gear changes. I suspect there are few who haven’t inadvertently confused the brake pedal with that of a clutch. And similarly, I suspect it won’t be long before you and Mrs T opine, “Why did we put up with manual changes for all those years?” After you have removed all the spilled wood chipping a . . .

  5. Photography ever better than usual. The improved light, perhaps? About 25/30 years ago I was running round a local track. Two young women floated past me on the outside lane. One shouted “You are supposed to jog in the outside lane”. “I’m going as fast as I can”, I replied, before moving over

  6. I laughed, too, as I pictured you stomping on the brake that you thought was the clutch. Soon, you’ll be used to the new car, but old habits die hard. Wonderful vignette of the sheep and their lambs.

    1. We didn’t laugh a lot ourselves as we had a rare old time getting soggy woodchips out of all the cracks and crevices between and under the back seats.

  7. Good luck and happy motoring with the new Electric Car. I think you will be the first of many in the area. Just remember no need for your left foot now.

      1. Electric car? Tootlepedal, I think you have to tell us more about the new white thingy!

  8. I confess I also laughed, but only in a been-there-done-that sort of way. We have a mix of vehicles in the fleet and my poor old brain struggles to remember the nuances of each. Oh! Those hilarious stories of unscheduled engine stops, minor whiplash, or indicating by way of the window wipers. Hope the white thingy behaves as it should.

    1. It is the drivers who need to behave. The white thingy is very promising. I wouldn’t like to have to drive two different cars, a very tricky business when so much is done on autopilot.

  9. Good luck with the new car! We are considering getting a hybrid soon. I was pleased to see your brother’s photo of Thor’s Cave as we visited it a few years ago. I was also happy to see your sunny weather – ours has been very cold and cloudy during the day and clear overnight.

    1. That’s not the best weather pattern for this time of year! I hope it improves soon. I will be interested to see what you make of a hybrid if you get one.

  10. I still find myself occasionally reaching for the gear stick even after several decades without one. I rather miss it.

    1. The new car is so light on its feet and smooth to drive that I don’t think we will hanker for our old Kangoo back from a driving pint of view though we already miss its storage capacity.

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