Not a leg to stand on

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew’s cycle ride through Duffield.  As well as the pub, he saw a fine bridge over the Derwent  there.

duffield bridge

I had a subdued day today.  I was meaning to take a bit of exercise, but cold wet windy weather once again suggested that more rest for the feet was the best policy.

I was consoled by the arrival of Dropscone with scones warm from the pan to go with morning coffee. We had a short competition to see who was in the worst condition and although it was a close thing, I think that Dropscone just won.  He has got a lot of trouble with a knee.  I easily won the moaning competition though.

When Dropscone left, I did the crossword, lounged around a bit, had some soup and waved Mrs Tootlepedal off on a trip to Edinburgh.  She was going to listen to our church organist’s degree recital in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh along with other supporters from the town.  I would like to have gone too but I felt that I needed to go and sing with my Langholm choir as a concert is looming up.

I did a lot of useful work on the computer during the afternoon but took time out to look at birds.  A greenfinch appeared…

greenfinch may

…and became one of a quartet of four different birds on the feeder…

mixed feedr

…although it wasn’t long before things had reverted to type.

siskin feeder

Siskins were everywhere.

siskin heading for feeder

I put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and have now caught up with my backlog.  I imagine that the data miners will have been busy behind my back though and more sheets will soon arrive.

There is often something interesting in the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser of 1899 among the reports of temperance meetings and rugby matches.  Today’s nugget was a visit to Langholm by a champion cyclist who was in the process of cycling 100 miles every day for a year.  His name was Teddy Hale and I found this entry in Wikipedia:

On the 30th of July of that year he started a record attempt to ride a 100 miles daily on British roads. This attempt was sponsored by Acatène, a company that produced a shaft-driven bicycle. One year later, at the 31st of July 1900, he completed a total of 32,496 miles with which he set a first mark for this endurance record. Afterwards Hale ended his cycling career. He died in 1911, only 47 years old, leaving behind a wife and five children.

You can find an interesting article about him here if you have time to spare.  He won a big race in America too.

Sometimes, when I am looking out of the kitchen window, my eye is drawn away from the birds towards the flowers round the feeder…

wallflowers through window

…and today they were drawn even further afield by the sight of devastation on the middle lawn.

pecked lawn

Those pesky jackdaws had been at work again.  !!!

I put my jacket on and went out into the garden and though I was delayed by finding a third flower out on the garage clematis…

three clematis flowers

…and a tulip…

ballerina tulip

..or two…

pink tulip

…I managed to get the mower out and combine a quick cut with collecting the pecked moss.

mowed lawn after jackdaws

I mowed the front lawn too.

An hour and half later, I looked out again.

Jackdaws on lawn


The sparrowhawk might have felt the same when it arrived on a fruitless mission shortly afterwards.

sparrowhawk head

It just couldn’t believe that there were no birds down there.

I am happy to report that at least one pigeon regained its focus today.

focused pigeon

After tea, which consisted of the farewell appearance of Mrs Tootlepedal’s quorn sauce, this time in the guise of a mild curry with rice, I went out to the choir.  In spite of resting pretty seriously for several days, things did not go well on the way.

My feet may be fairly considered to be items of great aesthetic beauty by connoisseurs but as aids to actual walking, they are still pretty hopeless at the moment.  I am confused as to whether rest or exercise is the best thing and I really hope that I get to see the physio soon.

Still, the singing was both enjoyable and useful so I hobbled home cheerfully enough.

The house was rather empty as Mrs Tootlepedal went to stay with Matilda in Edinburgh after the recital.  I will see them both tomorrow if the new car and the trains run as scheduled so that isn’t too bad. And, as a Tottenham Hotspur supporter I was mildly surprised but not entirely displeased with the result of their match against Ajax this evening.  (This an example of litotes.)

!!!!!!!!!!!!! (It was a day of !!!!)

The flying bird of the day is one of those siskins.

flying siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Not a leg to stand on

  1. I’m sorry that your feet don’t seem to respond to much of anything. I’ve had very sore feet in the past and I know for a usually active person they aren’t an easy thing to deal with. Thankfully new shoes was all it took for me.
    I’m sure you’ve said what the theory behind the jackdaws and the moss is but I can’t remember. I’m amazed that they make such a mess, but I’m even more amazed that you can make it look so much better with just a mowing.
    But a mowing with aching feet isn’t “just a mowing” I don’t suppose.

    1. It was very gentle mowing with the blades high enough to make the task easy but low enough just to scrape up the ‘diggings’.

      My feet are indeed very boring at the moment. I have spoken to them severely but they just aren’t paying attention.

  2. I used to suffer from painful feet every morning until someone told me to flex and stretch them before getting out of bed. I throw in a few ankle rotations as well. When the pain gets really bad, a gentle massage and passive stretching helps too. In my experience, rest=immobility makes the pain worse.
    You might not have a same issues but just in case what helped me might help you…
    Thank you for reading 🙂

    1. I have been rubbing, stretching and flexing the ankle with the Achilles tendon problem without any great success. I agree about rest but it may come to that if things don’t improve with gentle exercise. Thank you for thinking about my problems, it is much appreciated.

    1. It, or its parents, have been coming to garden for as long as we have had birds there. If its strike rate gets too high, I take down the feeders for a bit.

  3. The jackdaws seem to be very vigilant about aerating your lawn, Tom. As a lifelong Spurs fan I was also pleased with the results from the Ajax game. I was christened in the church opposite the old stadium and went to school with goalie Ted Ditchburn’s son. At the time, I had no idea who he was, but when I told my father who I was sitting next to in class, you would think I’d won the lottery!

  4. Hale wasn’t so hearty after all dying so young after achieving such a record. You seem to be very patient with those jackdaws messing up your lovely lawn. Sunshine is on the way or so they say. Walks, even with painful feet, hopefully are better when the sun is shining.

    1. Very true about Mr Hale. I daresay that he had taken a lot of strychnine over the years if other accounts that I have read about six day cycling are true.

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