Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. When I looked back at his pictures from Kirkcaldy’s Highland Games on the beach, I saw that as well as cyclists and runners, they had these curious characters too.
It was the day of the wires in our garden and luckily, the wire hangers had a fine day for their work. They got prepared and while one man disconnected the power from a neighbouring pole, using a handy bucket, a worker shinned up the new pole in our garden and got ready to remove the wires from the old pole.
The picture on the right in the panel above was taken by Mrs Tootlepedal and as I had to leave the scene, she took all the others of the works too.
Once the wires had been taken off the old pole, it was carefully lowered down….
…and turned out to fit exactly into the available space.
Our new pole stood alone.
Then new wires were fitted from our neighbour Liz’s house to the new pole at the front gate….
…and connected up by a team of two hanging on the vegetable garden pole which acts as a centre point for all the houses surrounding our garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal took a picture of a section of one of the old poles showing exactly why it was time for replacements.
Mrs Tootlepedal had to go to the Buccleuch Centre, where she was helping out at the coffee shop, and it wasn’t long after she got back that the power was restored and she was able to enjoy our new (and doubtless better) electricity as she made herself a cup of tea.
I had had to leave her to be photographer in chief as I wanted to make use of the good weather to get a cycle ride in. After cycling thirteen miles on Sunday and walking two mile yesterday without any bad effects on my feet, I thought that the time had come to extend my range a little.
Long suffering readers will know that I harbour an ambition to cycle as many miles as I have had birthdays each year and for as many years into the future as possible. As there was a rock solid guarantee of no rain today, I thought that this might be the day to accomplish the challenge for this year.
Unfortunately, in spite of the sunny conditions, there was still a pretty brisk wind blowing with gusts of up to 25 miles an hour, so I chose a very flat out-and-back route in the hope that the wind would blow me home.
I was not at all confident that I would be up to the task so I made to sure to stop for a minute or so every five miles to have a drink, eat a snack, stretch my legs and take a photo if the opportunity arose.
There were a lot of things to see on my way…
…but my favourites were the banks of daises that lined the roads in many places.
My route took me down to the southern shore of the Solway Firth and along some very flat roads beside the salty marsh there.
This cow crossed the road in front of me at one point and gave me a hard stare before going off to join her pals in the distance.
I would have enjoyed the flat road better if I had not been pedalling straight into the wind, working really hard to achieve a measly 10 mph.
I stopped to admire the fortified farmhouse at Drumburgh, built in the 12 century using stones taken from Hadrian’s Wall.
For once, the tide was in and the sea was lapping at the shore as I pedalled along.
After 40 miles of head and cross winds, I was mighty pleased to find a small shop in a developing holiday complex in Bowness. I bought an ice cream, a coffee and an alleged Bakewell tart bar and sat in the sun and had a rest while I enjoyed them. (The Bakewell Tart bar tasted surprisingly good but not much like a Bakewell Tart.)
I pedalled along the shore a bit further after my snack and enjoyed the sight of the marsh cattle peacefully grazing. Across the Firth, I could see Criffel on the Scottish side.
I turned for home after 43 miles, and my plan to be blown home by a friendly wind worked out well. This was lucky as the 43 miles into the wind had been hard work.
I had stopped on the way out to record the Methodist church at Monkhill, and to even things out, I stopped to record the 12th Century Anglican church at Burgh by Sands (also built using stones from Hadrian’s Wall) on the way back.
I had nearly got back to Langholm when I spotted the biggest treat of the day. The people who mow the verges of our roads had failed in their task of exterminating every possible wild flower on the A7 and near the end of the Canonbie by-pass I came across a small clump of orchids which had survived the trimming.
After 81 miles at a very modest speed, I managed to get home just before Mrs Tootlepedal went out to an evening meeting and was very pleased to find that she had cooked a nourishing meal for me to eat after she had gone.
When I had eaten, I was recovered enough to go out and mow the middle lawn and take a turn round the garden.
The climbing hydrangea is covered with flowers and bees.
The day of sunshine had brought the coral…
…and the white peonies out…
…and the lupins were a joy to look at in the evening light.
But of course, the highlight was the new pole.
At the time of writing, my feet and ankles have survived the slightly longer cycle ride but only tomorrow morning will tell if I was ill advised to take on my age challenge.
I managed to capture a flying siskin of the day after I got home.
I have appended my route map below. You can see that it was a very flat route.
Those interested can learn more by clicking on the map.