Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who is anxious to prove that the sun continues to shine in East Wemyss. He took this picture this afternoon.
Unlike East Wemyss, it was a very grey day here today but the temperature had risen to a reasonable 6°C, so I left Mrs Tootlepedal and Patricia to think about a walk and got my bike out for my first pedal for more than two weeks.
It was grey when I started out and the view wasn’t a great deal more exciting than the garage wall I had been looking at yesterday when I had been on the bike to nowhere…
…though there were always trees to look at…
…and a comfortable cow at Canonbie.
I didn’t take any pictures in the ten miles between the tree and the cow because it was raining. Fortunately, as I passed the cow the rain died away and the wind, which I had feared might slow my progress on the way home, proved to be more helpful than not, so I enjoyed the last six miles of my customary 20 mile Canonbie circuit.
My enjoyment was enhanced by seeing work actually going on at the site of the proposed new Canonbie sewage works. This site was first dug out in October 2016 so they have not been rushing to get going on the project.
Further up the road, I was very pleased to see that all the trees, big and small, have been cleared from beside the old road near Irvine House. Previously, this section of road has been perpetually shadowed by trees and has been dark and damp with layers of slippery leaves making things dangerous for cyclist. This is a big improvement.
When I got back onto the new main road, I was once again enchanted by the show of larches planted when the road was made a few years ago.
Since it was my birthday today, I was more than usually pleased to have been able to get out for a pedal. Mrs Tootlepedal and Patricia had not been so fortunate, because as soon as they had got out of the door to start their walk, it had started to rain. They had abandoned the plan and stayed in.
We thought that we ought to be able to offer our guest Patricia an outing of some sort so after lunch, we drove back down the road towards Canonbie and paid a visit to Gilnockie Tower.
This 16th Century tower house has been extensively renovated and now offers a ‘visitor experience’. And a good one too, we thought.
We paid our money and we looked around. We were impressed by the original fireplace on the first floor and also by the modern wood burning stove that had been installed in it which was keeping the room very snug.
The very thick walls might have helped to keep the room warm too. The window revealed just how thick the walls are.
The view from the window on the floor above was good.
This floor was devoted to a family bedroom and the sharp eyed reader will be able to spot Mrs Tootlepedal making use of the comprehensive audio guide which was provided for visitors.
On the next floor, which contained documents, paintings, photographs and other information, a corner of the room is devoted to Neil Armstrong who visited the tower in 1972.
Access to the various floors is by means of a steep and winding spiral staircase and I was quite impressed that I managed to climb all the way to the top of the tower.
Mrs Tootlepedal and Patricia opened the door that led to the gallery that runs round the top of the tower…
…but didn’t venture out onto it,
I had already retreated down the stairs to the safety of solid ground.
In a sign of the times, a neat walkway leads round the back of the tower to a toilet block for the convenience of visitors.
Not everything has been spruced up though and I was happy to find a section of wall round the car park which was rich in lichen.
The restoration has been done very well and the tower is full of interesting information so we were happy to have paid our visit to it.
When we got back, I made baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for our evening meal and we followed that up with the very last of the tarte tatin.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday night visit and while Alison and I played music, Patricia, Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal chatted away. Alison and I joined in and the conversation was general for a while, though it was interrupted by the arrival of a very fine birthday cake. This had been cooked and compiled by Mrs Tootlepedal.
This brought a very satisfactory day to a close.
No flying bird of the day? You can’t have everything even if it is your birthday.
21 thoughts on “A tootle and a pedal…and a trip…and a cake”
Best Birthday Wishes from Canada!
It was good that you could get out on your bike to celebrate 78 – I hope it bodes well for the entire year. And a second helping of best birthday wishes from Canada!
Happy birthday Tom 🇨🇦
Happy birthday to you!
I love your larches. They look like the sun is shining through them even when it isn’t.
I think the tower is probably worth whatever it costs to get in.
I’m glad you had a good pedal and a great birthday.
Happy birthday, what a splendid cake to celebrate with. That tower looks very interesting and I loved the cow.
A good record of an enjoyable birthday. The larches picture glows despite the gloom. I would not have ventured onto that balcony.
Happy Birthday! Cake, castle (for the sake of alliteration), conversation, and a comfortable cow…perfect!
Crumbs, what a cracking comment.
An imaginative cake!
Glad you enjoyed tower visit.
Happy birthday! The cake(s) look lovely and oh so tasty. Sounds as though it was a finest kind of day.
It was good. Thank you for the kind wishes.
Happy Birthday, Tom! A splendid day of celebrations topped off by a most creative birthday cake. Nice work, Mrs. T.
It tasted good too. Thank you Sue.
I enjoyed seeing Gilnockie Tower. I love stone buildings, and the thick walls are impressive. They built things to last, back then.
A very happy birthday to you! The cake and festivities were a fine end to a good day.
It didn’t look as though it was going to last a few years ago but the restoration has been done very well.
You did have a lovely visit out to celebrate your birthday, a very interesting place with a great winding staircase and views. Brilliant birthday cake..happy birthday!
It was a good day all round and I didn’t feel a day older at the end of it. 🙂
Lovely cake! The visit looked very interesting indeed. Is it a private property? They’ve done a great job.
It is privately owned. The owner has another very successful tourist site down in England.
Happy birthday, even more belatedly than my birthday wish for Mrs T! The cake is very cute. I love that idea.
I would not have been able to make it up those stairs. I once stayed down from the stairs in a famous tower in Oxford…well, I tried, but couldn’t do it.