Guess whose birthday it was today. Guest picture courtesy of her mother Clare.
Finding things to do in the lockdown is tricky. Mrs Tootlepedal decided to put a stone edge on one of her garden paths today.
I had a couple of important things on my to do list today, take the Zoe to Carlisle for its first annual service and drop my bike in at the bike shop on the way as it needs some professional care.
I spent quite a bit of time worrying about this and working out how to take the best possible precautions but the worry was needless. I checked the garage website before I left and found the the garage was completely shut until further notice. I decided to take the bike to Longtown anyway and rang up to check that they were open just in case. They were open but thanks to a misunderstanding, they were not expecting my bike.
I now have a bike appointment for next week and a highly provisional car booking for two months time.
Still, it meant that I didn’t have to worry about catching the virus. Every cloud etc etc…
Not that there were any clouds at all here today as we had another day of wall to wall sunshine. In fact, it was too bright to make taking garden pictures easy and a very brisk wind didn’t help things either.
Mrs Tootlepedal has been impressed by the vigour of our trout lilies…
…and intends to spread them about the garden a bit.
She likes this combination of tulips which were sold as a complementary lot.
I like these two pairs.
And these two too. The one on the right is a tiny miniature tulip.
In fact, I pretty well like all tulips, except very fancy ones..
It was too windy for most of the insects but one or two bees ventured out to do some work.
I made soup for lunch and made a batch of ginger biscuits afterwards.
This all took time, so it was not until later afternoon that I set out for my permitted walk. It was too windy to go up a hill so I settled for a sheltered lowland walk.
I started off along the Esk, with plenty to look at….
…headed onto the Kilngreen…
…where a very neatly framed drain cover caught my eye.
Then I crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked up the hill to take the path along the top of the wood above the Lodge Walks.
There were lambs…
…nice light and shade, and dry conditions underfoot…
…not to mention bluebells (with, if you look very closely, a peacock buterfly which I didn’t notice at the time).
I ventured on to a new track for me. It was open and sunny at times…
…and dark and gloomy at other times.
But I came out of the dark woods on to a familiar track and was able to enjoy once again the view across the river….
…and the view up the Esk Valley.
My peace was shattered by the passing of a very large timber wagon…
…but fortunately it disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Did I mention that it has been very dry for weeks?
I walked home by way of the Jubilee Bridge, passing the first wild garlic flower that I have seen this spring, as well as a handsome individual bluebell, a cheery robin, and some Corydalis on the Scholar’s Field wall.
Just as I got home, I was nearly knocked flat by the stunning cherry blossom in our neighbour Betty’s front garden.
If times were normal, we might have gone to Edinburgh to help Matilda celebrate her sixth birthday today but as it was, we enjoyed a video call and were able to sing Happy Birthday to her. “That was very surprising,” Matilda said.
No flying bird of the day today but an oyster catcher, creeping away from me on my afternoon walk is the standing bird of the day.