A tootle and a pedal, hooray

Today’s guest picture comes from my South African correspondent, Langholm exile Tom.  He was looking for something to send me from his archives and found this lofty view of Worcester in the Western Cape, taken from 6000 ft up.

view of Worcester SA

We had a calm day before the advertised arrival late tomorrow of storm Ciara, which the experts think might be the worst storm to hit the country since 2013.  We are not looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I had an enjoyable day today.  In the morning, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do useful things around the town and I entertained Dropscone to coffee and ate two of his excellent treacle scones.  A Friday wouldn’t be the same without treacle scones.

When he left, I had a look to see if there were any birds at our feeder and found remarkably few.

A chaffinch was weighing up its options…

chaffinch on stalk

…and a sparrow was complaining about Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree..,.

sparrow shouting

…while a rook posed at the very top of the walnut.

rook on walnut tree top

Mrs Tootlepedal has put up the robin nest box and we are waiting to see if the robin also knows that it is a nest box.

new robin box

As there were no birds to watch, and it was still a bit cold for cycling (it had been freezing when we woke up), I went for a walk.

A little bit of  hair ice showed that it had been cold…

new hir ice

…and it certainly looked like winter as I walked along the beechy plains…

winter on the beechy plains

…but the sun was out and when I got into the open, it was very pleasant.

The battery had run out on my camera so I used my phone to take a few pictures as I went along.  I was delighted by how well it picked out these catkins.

sunny catkins murtholm

I took a view of Warbla just so that I would have something bright to remind me of better days when the storm comes.

view of warbla before storm

I crossed Skippers Bridge….

distillery on arthur's leaving day

…and walked home along the river.  The daisies on the bank still had something to show…

diasies by esk

…but there was not much else to look at today.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to buy seed potatoes and I went for a cycle ride.  All traces of the morning frost had gone and the wind wasn’t too unkind so I added a few more miles to my last outing and pedalled the twenty miles it takes to get round my familiar Canonbie circuit.

Two fine fungi beside the Wauchope road caught my eye…

fungus wauchope road

…and I liked the view of the lake District hills on the far side of the Solway Firth.

view of skiddaw

There were some clouds about…


…but they conveniently cleared away by the time that I got to Canonbie, where the church was looking at its best.

canonbie church

Beside the church, a row of pylons reminded me of how much work there will be to do before all our pylons are upgraded.  It is a major task as we live on a electricity highway from Carlisle to the north..

pylons at canonbie

Work is going full steam ahead on the new Canonbie sewage system.  There were people hard at work in the village, with another group digging a trench in the old road past the school, and then more workers at this site in the field below the Byreburn Wood.

The incontinent of Canonbie will be well catered for when all this is finished.

new sewage works canonbie

The low sun picked out the new balcony round the top of Hollows Tower.  I had a chance to go out on it when we visited the tower last year but it was too alarming for me.

hollows tower

My final picture was a peer through the branches at Irvine House, still standing empty after many years.

irvine house

I got home in good order, very pleased to find that I can bicycle normally again although I am still taking care and not going down the hills too fast.

Looking around the garden, I saw that we now have four daffodils.  When we get another one out, we will declare that the clump is an official host of golden daffodils and start writing poetry.

four daffodils

There hadn’t been quite enough warmth in the day to persuade the crocuses to open.


Following a report of a male hen harrier sighting on the moor, Mrs Tootlepedal had driven up to have a look after her potato expedition, but she had not seen anything.  She consoled herself with a cup of tea and a bite of my chocolate eclair.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round, and Alison and I played duets while the other two chatted.   We had a go at a sonata which we haven’t played for several years and came to the conclusion that some practice might be a good thing before we try it again.

If no post arrives tomorrow, you will know we have been blown away but in the meantime, two peacefully swimming ducks are the flying birds of the day.

two ducks

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “A tootle and a pedal, hooray

  1. My husband uses an app called “Windy” when he plans his flights and when I read your comments about Ciara to him, he checked your forecast on that app. It looks to be a long siege so you’d best get in a lot of cheese and batten down the bird box! Why is a lovely building like Irvine House empty?

    1. We are well supplied with cheese fortunately. The emptiness of Irvine House can only be explained by one who understands the economics of the madhouse.

  2. It is good to hear you are back to regular biking again. You had a beautiful day there for that, starting with scones coffee, and the swimming ducks were a fine ending. Good luck with the approaching storm. I hope it is not as severe as expected, and that I will not see you flying by. 🙂

    It was another grey day here. Our forecast says Sunday and Monday will be clear and sunny. I might even get to see the full moon. 🙂

  3. p.s. – apparently Ciara is coming at you from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland before meeting up with a storm around Greenland. Sorry about that . . .

  4. That’s a great shot of the catkins and the others that follow. I wish I had your phone. The shot of the lake District hills on the far side of the Solway Firth is also an excellent photo of a beautiful view.
    I hope the robin finds its box and raises a family.
    I also hope the storm forecasts are wrong.

    1. The camera on my not very expensive but new phone is much better than the old phone. Some more expensive models have very nifty cameras indeed.

      The storm forecasts look pretty good unfortunately.

      1. I am also impressed with your phone photos. I’m going to need a new phone sometime this year, can’t afford the latest model but the one right before it is supposed to have an excellent camera. My old phone seems to take soft focus photos in light that is not poor enough to excuse it.

      2. My old phone needed perfect light to take a good picture. This one still needs quite good light as it is not of the best quality.

  5. Hope the forecast storm doesn’t hit you too badly. I loved the Lake District view and the clouds in the next picture. Glad you cycled without incident.

    1. The wind is whistling round the house at the moment and is set to go for a few days. I am hoping the we will escape the worst, not being on the coast.

    1. The eclair generosity was good, especially as she was out when I ate my portion. But then, as she had bought it, she might have noticed if it had gone missing.

  6. Envious of your outings. Always like to look at England from afar. The robin house looks inviting. Hope it will soon be filled by a whole flock.

  7. Congratulations on the successful pedal. Storm Clara looks terrifying, and I hope you are spared. You captured the calm before it beautifully.

  8. Really pleased you had such a lovely day with sunshine, treacle scones, great views and a cycle ride- hope it will make up for the rugby disappointment that we both have suffered today!

    1. The rugby disappointment hits me ridiculously hard You would think the after 70 years of this sort of thing, I would have got used to it but hope springs eternal.

  9. A moment to spare (now that the days are getting a wee bit longer) and I’m doing a bit of catching up.

    My favorite Presidential candidate (Senator Bernard Sanders) apparently has a brother in Edinburgh. I didn’t dig deep enough to learn if he lives there or just visiting.

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