Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He is visiting Aranjuez in Spain. It is 30 mins from Madrid and is a town built around a Royal Palace. His picture shows one of the rooms in the so called ‘Labourer’s House’. I don’t think that the labourer lives there any more.
We had a busy morning, and straight after breakfast we had to drive off to Annan where I had an appointment with the podiatrist in the hope that she would be able to suggest ways of getting me walking comfortably again.
While I went to the clinic, Mrs Tootlepedal passed the time with some shopping at a handy supermarket.
The podiatrist was sympathetic, very thorough and helpful. She told me to stop doing one or two things that I have been doing and to start doing one or two things that I haven’t been doing and, more importantly, suggested that a certain type of shoe might be a sensible purchase. As it happened such shoes are available at the Gretna shopping village and we had already planned to visit Gretna on the way home so that Mrs Tootlepedal could buy a skirt. That was handy.
When we got to Gretna, there was a good selection of the ‘walking trainers’ with stiff soles that the podiatrist had recommended and I bought a pair that had the added advantage of being marked down to a very reasonable price. Mrs Tootlepedal found a suitable skirt, so we drove home in a cheerful frame of mind.
It was another dry day, though not very sunny, and we had a look round the garden before we had lunch. The sedums were very busy hosting various small life forms…
…while the butterflies had spread out over the garden, some on the sedum, some seeking the sun and some sitting on stone.
The sunflowers are doing very well, and all these five flowers come from a single stem.
After lunch, which was sweet corn and a sardine sandwich, I got my bike out and went off for a pedal. The wind was light so I thought that I might risk going on a slightly hillier route than usual and headed north out of the town. This involved going up a couple of steep but short hills right at the start of the ride. I went at them so slowly and cautiously that time lapse photography might have been needed to detect any progress.
Still, it meant that I got to the top of the hills in very good order and with no unnecessary creaking in the knees. so it was worth it.
I rode along, still going pretty slowly and with an eye out for a photo opportunity. The Gates of Eden on a day of sunshine and shadow is always an opportunity not to be missed.
(I checked and they have appeared on the blog at least nineteen times over the past nine years.)
Further up the valley, it became obvious that as the weeks go by, we are losing the green on the tops of our hills and colour is beginning to gently fade away.
I followed the Esk up stream and stopped to admire this stark example of timber management.
When I had got to Bailliehill, my turning point at ten miles, I looked back down the Esk valley and took a little panorama of one of my favourite views.
Coming back down towards Langholm, a colourful tree stood out among the green.
And I couldn’t pass by the church and bridge at Bentpath without taking yet another shot of them…
…and as I was standing beside a wall while I was taking the picture of the church, I looked at it too.
I had forgotten to take my phone with me so I was naturally expecting to be overtaken by a mechanical or human catastrophe with the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service unavailable, but I got back home without any unwanted adventures to find that the rescue service herself was resting after some hard work in the garden.
After a cup of tea and a shower, I thought that it would be a good idea to put my new walking shoes to the test so I went out for a short, flat walk round three bridges.
It can’t be ignored any more, autumn is definitely in the process of arriving.
At the Kilngreen, a duck was admiring its reflection in the water.
On the Castleholm, some trees are getting ahead of themselves as far as autumn goes.
This tree always turns early….
…but normally we would be waiting for October to come before we see any significant change in leaf colour.
I came home by way of the Duchess Bridge and found this little crop of fungus growing on a dead tree stump along the path.
Our neighbour Liz’s garage rounded my walk off with a full blown burst of autumn colour.
My new shoes seemed to be quite satisfactory for a first go. The podiatrist is going to send me some insoles for them which should make them even better, so I am cautiously optimistic about being able to get a bit more walking in before winter comes.
Mrs Tootlepedal cooked lamb chops for tea and that rounded off a varied, useful and enjoyable day.
The flying bird of the day is having a little sit down.