Not getting the picture

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan.  She was visiting Tunbridge Wells recently and admired the fine station clock there.  She didn’t arrive at the station by train though, as she had had to get there on a bus from Tonbridge owing to works on the line.  So, it is not just us who have a bad effect on the railways.

Tunbridge Wells Station

It was another grey day today here with very low cloud again, but as it was calm and reasonably warm, I turned down a very tempting offer of treacle scones and the tale of a trip to Amsterdam from Dropscone and got my bicycle out instead.

There was a light breeze in my face as I set off but it wasn’t enough to blow the clouds off the top of Callister…

mist over Callister

…and it was thick enough on the top of the hill to make me wish that I had cycle lights.

However, it was not long before I was out of the clouds and safely  down the other side  of the hill.  The clouds were still pretty low….

misty pylon gair

…but at least I could see where I was going.

It wasn’t a day for stopping to take pictures and I didn’t take another until I was halfway round my route when a lichen on the motorway bridge at Harker caught my eye when i stopped for half a banana.

lichen on bridge Harker

I was spoiled for choice when it came to bare trees in a field once I had crossed the A7 and headed towards Scaleby.  This one was on my right at one point….

tree near scaleby 1

…and this one was on my left.

tree near scaleby 2

As you can see, the clouds had lifted a bit by this time but I was under slight time pressure to get my ride completed.  I had been pretty slow against the breeze on my way out so I had to keep going on my way home.

It was our 52nd wedding anniversary today and I was hoping to mark the occasion with a 52 mile ride but I miscalculated and ended up doing 53 miles.  Ah well, the route should stand me in good stead next year.

I called in at our corner shop on the way home for some milk and a packet of biscuits so it was a useful if rather elongated trip to the shop.

Garmin route 24 Jan 2020
Click on the map for more details of the ride.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal at work in the garden when I got home.   It isn’t the time for serious work yet and she told me that she had just been faffing around.  I had to check before using this word in a post as it sounds vaguely vulgar, but I find that faffing is a word of impeccable pedigree meaning to blow about indecisively in the wind.  Mrs Tootlepedal confirmed that this approximated to what she was doing.

I had a look round the garden and was rather depressed by a vigorous show of moss in the middle of a lawn.

moss on lawn januray

I like moss but I would also like to be able to see some grass at least.

Signs of life on a viburnum were cheering.

viburnum january

And I hope to get better light soon to be able to take a better picture of the Sarcococca at the back door.


The reason for getting the bike ride finished on time was the need to be ready to take Mrs Tootlepedal out to see a film called The Personal History of David Copperfield, which has been well reviewed.   Mrs Tootlepedal had checked the film timings and we arrived in Carlisle on the dot for the programme to start.  All would have been well if the cinema had not been closed because of a fault in their water supply, a secret which they had kept to themselves and not revealed to their website.

We drove home.

And had fish and chips as a consolatory treat for our anniversary tea, followed by plum crumble and custard.  It is not just railway trains that fall to pieces as we approach them.

At the end of the day the feeder remained as full as it had been at the beginning so there is no trace of a sitting let alone a flying bird of the day today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Not getting the picture

  1. I do admire you for being able to eat just half a banana, and congratulate you on your 52nd anniversary. As for the acceptability of that very useful word ‘faffing’, I think I know the word you were perhaps confusing it with, used by a certain crude person currently in a position of great responsibility in our nation.

  2. 53 miles is a number I can only dream of and 13 mph avg speed..excellent effort 👍
    As an aside and it’s only my personal choice I always ride with front and rear usb re chargeable lights,it’s now become a habit of mine as much as wearing a helmet.
    Those skip lorries always worry me flying past very closely at sometimes 50 mph on my local narrow roads,so I don’t want to give them the excuse they didn’t see me.
    After saying that unlike where I ride your roads appear surprisingly traffic free,what a bonus.🚴🏻‍♂️

  3. Wishing you and Mrs. Tootlepedal a happy 52nd anniversary, with many more to come.

    The lichens and mosses look bright and cherry even on a foggy day. You have blooming viburnum?

    The sun has finally emerged here this afternoon. Still many spectacular clouds about.

  4. 53miles is a total I only dream of atm and at a 13 mph avg speed too ..great effort 👍
    As you mentioned lights I always ride with usb rechargeable lights,it’s now a habit as much wearing my helmet..only my personal view.
    On my local fairly narrow roads those skip wagons come flying closely past at sometimes 50 mph,which can be quite scary, the event of a collision I don’t want them using the excuse they didnt see me.
    After saying that your local roads seem fairly traffic free..your lucky.

  5. A lady at the Y recently told me she’d been “faffing around”, and it was the first time I’d heard the word. Quite a useful term for a retired person like me! You should check out the stock of blinking LED lights on a cord next time you’re in a bike shop. They’re inexpensive, easy to attach, and crazily bright. You need one on the back of your jacket or bike seat, even in daylight. Here endeth the lecture . . .

  6. Happy anniversary. Too bad Mrs. Tootlepedal didn’t get to see that film.
    I thought your lichen might be a flute lichen but I don’t see many holes in the lobes.
    Congratulations on 53 miles. I can’t imagine riding that far on my bike.

  7. What a disappointment about the film. I was looking forward to hearing what you thought of it.
    Best wishes on your anniversary, and congratulations on your long ride.

  8. Congratulations on your anniversary but sorry that the celebrations at the cinema were cut short! Lovely trees and a lovely circular ride . Just a note I couldn’t open map…sorry.

  9. Happy anniversary! (Belatedly). Faffing about is a perfect word for winter gardening and much more dignified than a friend’s mother who used to say she was “ piddlefarting around the garden.”

  10. Belated Happy Anniversary greetings to you and Mrs.T! We are celebrating our 47th today. I love the ‘faffing about’ comment. I accuse my husband of that quite frequently. He has his doubts about the definition but now that you have explained it, my conscience is clear.

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