The queen of the castle

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia.  She visited Minterne gardens and saw a hundred flowers as good as these ones.

Minterne Gardens

We had the option of leaving North Berwick this evening or early tomorrow morning and as Matilda has a busy day in Edinburgh tomorrow and Mrs Tootlepedal has a busy day in Langholm, we opted for the early departure and we are safely home as I write this.

We were perhaps a touch fortunate as regards the safety part of that statement as a motorcyclist with a pillion passenger overdid things round a tight corner and crashed his bike a couple hundred yards in front of us.  If we had been a few seconds earlier, we would not have been able to avoid him.

As it was, the biker and his passenger were shaken but not injured and after some wrestling we got his immobilised bike (180kg!) off the middle of the road and into the verge out of harms way.  They were right beside some houses so after a quarter of an hour, we left them trying to phone someone to come and rescue them and drove quietly off.

The little electric thingy managed 80 miles on half its battery charge, so we thought that that was quite satisfactory.  It was wonderful cruising silently and smoothly across the beautiful countryside on a lovely evening.

It is getting late so I will add the briefest of outlines of our final day.

Inspired by a challenge from one of the blog readers, the sand castle slaves built a bigger and better castle today.

castle stamping 1

(You get some odd results if you leave the camera to do the picture processing.  The two pictures, above and below, were taken within seconds and yards of each other.)

castle stamping 2

No sooner was the castle built than the inevitable occurred.

castle stamping 3castle stamping 4castle stamping 5castle stamping 6

And there was a regrettable tendency among the castle building slaves to join in the fun..

castle stamping 7

…in a very wholehearted way.

castle stamping 8

Soon the castle was completely levelled.

castle stamping 9

And we all went back in, quite satisfied with our work of construction and destruction.

After lunch, we returned to the beach where I admired the vivid green of the sea weed in the rock pools…

green weed NB

…and Matilda got the sea organised.


There was more fun indoors and out before Mrs Tootlepedal and I took a final chance to sit out on the harbour rocks and admire the view.  The sharp eyed will see a little flock of gannets flying low across the sea.


As we ate our final meal, a small flotilla of sailing dinghies lined up on the beach prior to setting out for a late evening sail.


We were blessed with very reasonable weather for our break, and enjoyed our holiday a lot…..but it is good to be home again.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “The queen of the castle

  1. Glad you had a grand holiday and the Sandcastles of North Berwick can now breath a sigh of relief that the arch Sandcastle destroyer has gone home.

  2. I’ve held back commenting because I didn’t want to add more work to your holiday but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of these posts from a very beautiful place. I think my favorite photo was of the beautiful beak tapping Gannets that you saw from the boat.
    I do hope all of you found time to actually get some rest.

  3. Yes, excellent castle stomping! That crash must have scared you. Glad no one was hurt. Also, sounds as though the electric car came through beautifully. Such an inspiration, Tootlepedal!

  4. Home safely and efficiently and time to reflect on all you have done on your holiday. You’ll need a holiday to get over all the activities that you all did whilst away! It’s lovely to have time to look through all the photos that have been taken and enjoy the holiday all over again especially the special moments…recording Olympic standard castle stomping for one.

  5. Thanks for taking the time to share these holiday posts, Tom. I’ve so enjoyed reading all about the sandcastles and other fun activities. Glad you’re home safe, especially considering the motor cycle incident.

    1. It was a sobering moment but we were happy to see that no great harm, had come to the rider and his passenger. The bike was going to need work though.

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