Out for a date

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  When he looks out to sea, he can see a rig parking lot..

oil rigs

Because we are generally confined to the garden rather than driving or cycling all over the place, there is a certain similarity between one day and another in our life, especially in this current run of good weather.  The result is a series of posts which are uncannily like the ones from the day before.  This can’t be helped.

The daffodils are almost over and the azaleas and clematis are not yet out so tulips are the main colour in the garden at the moment.    Even though we see them every day, they still give enormous pleasure and I have put in a few here even though they have all appeared before.

four tulip panel

A new fancy one has come out to join the bright red and yellow variety…

tulips and daff panel

…and the last daffodils are fighting an uphill battle to get noticed.

My favourite tulip shot of the day was this unexpected interior.

blue tulip heart

Other flowers are doing well but don’t quite have the ‘hit’ of the tulips.

Honesty (more every day), anemone (there are only two in the garden)…

four red flowers

…perennial wallflower (the start of a lasting relationship I hope) and lamium (better than ever this year) are all doing their best.

One exciting new development is the first appearance of a trillium.

first trillium

This shot of the willow in front of the hedge along the road wins the prize for the oddest picture of the day.  Do you see a cartoon character there?

willow fingers

And a bee very kindly lay flat on a leaf to let me get a good picture before it flew off.

bee on leaf

I cycled round to the shop and took this picture of the blossom beside the river on my way home.

blossom beside esk

I say ‘beside the river’ but the water is so low that it was impossible to get it and the blossom in the same shot.

The date rolls turned out better than I thought and are very tasty.  They gained the approval of the street coffee gathering.

date roll

After lunch we had a cheerful time watching Matilda – at a distance on WhatsApp – open a very sparkly birthday card from Mrs Tootlepedal and a pile of books from us both.  They should have arrived on Monday, which was her birthday, but the post is running very slowly at the moment.  The delay didn’t seem to lessen Matilda’s appreciation of the sparkle or the books.  She gave us a dancing display to show us how she is keeping fit during the lockdown.  We were exhausted just watching it.

Then I went for a cycle ride.  It was a warm day with virtually no wind and for once the turbines were not moving, so my knees were on display again.

I chose a circular route, probably never more than ten miles from home as the crow flies which ended up delivering a varied 40 mile outing.

I started by going past the Gates of Eden….

gates of eden april

…and headed for the site of a new wind farm near Bailliehill.  I liked this notice with its helpful illustration, just in case drivers didn’t know what they were driving.

sign at crossdykes windfarm

I passed new life on my way.

two youngsters

My route took me down the very top of the course of the Water of Milk and on a day like today, it did look like a land of milk and honey.

water of milk valley

I got to Paddockhole and turned back towards Langholm, passing this fine roadside tree near Grange Quarry…

tree near grange quarry

…and a surprising patch of violets in the bank at Dunnabie.

violets beside road

I didn’t go straight back to Langholm, turning off at Crowdieknowe and joining first the Waterbeck and then the Gair road.  There was a lot of gorse about near Gair.

gorse everywhere

I cut off from the Gair road and headed for Chapelknowe, pausing to admire these trees and the very rare sight of a con trail in the sky.

two trees and contrail

To the south west. Skiddaw, nearly thirty miles away, looked very close.

Lake District from Cadgeill

Although I had started the ride with little or no wind, by the time that I turned for home, the wind had got up and the wind turbines were turning gently so I concentrated on pedalling from this point and took no more pictures.  I did stop for a moment to drop in on my sisters’ daily Zoom meeting just to say that I wouldn’t be joining it.  The wonders of technology!  (If I had a phone mount on my bike, I might have pedalled and chatted at the same time, a sure recipe for disaster.)

I took a banana, some guava jelly and the last decent date that I had in the store cupboard for nutrition on the ride but when the time came, I couldn’t bring myself to eat the date, and brought it all the way home again.  I will have to eat it some time but I won’t be able to get a new stock until the lockdown ends.

In the evening, after Matilda was safely in bed, her parents, Alistair and Clare rang us up and gave us a stern lecture on the proper way to behave in the present crisis.  As we had been worrying a lot about them, it was very nice to find that they had been worrying a lot about us.  They seemed very cheerful in spite of not having been out of the house at all for a month so we will try to pay attention to what they advised.   As Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out though, it is quite hard to change one’s view of oneself from being clearly immortal to being elderly and needing shielding in the space of two months.

No flying bird today, just two doves up the pole.

doves up pole

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Out for a date

  1. Your date rolls look scrumptious.
    Like your shot of the road to grange quarry,with the whitewashed house setting it off nicely.

  2. The mass of violets and the golden river of gorse were particularly beautiful ones in this fine set of photos. The windswept trees and sweeping cirrus clouds cut by the contrail made a nice composition, too. Our sky here is cut and crisscrossed by many contrails. Depending on the prevailing winds at that altitude, they can take on some strange shapes over time, including a lazy $ I spotted a year or so ago.

    The date pastry looks good! How is Sandy Gill?

    1. Sandy is well and resigned to waiting for his next hospital visit to check that his foot is healing properly. Usually we have a lot of contrails which can make the sky cloud over on calm days.

  3. The violets have a delicate beauty that is quite lovely. Also like the view of Skiddaw.

    It’s interesting how our self-perception doesn’t match how others see us as we age! It’s good, though, to have people who love us enough to be concerned.

  4. Your “odd” photo had me confused for a bit😊
    I agree with Mrs T; it is hard to alter your self-perception. Then to have your mortality broadcast…nope, Im not a fan…but I get it

      1. Heaven forbid you would get one of those. I suppose they’d want you to stay only on your property. The rules in the U.K. are much stricter than here, even though people (some people) complain a great deal here.

  5. Mortality knocked at our door today. We had to take leave of three 50 year old fir trees in the front yard. I took consolation in your fine pictures especially the river of gorse. Tulips are over here but lillies of the valley abound and compete with myosotis.

      1. They were planted 50 years ago too narrow to the neigbours lot and the draught had impaired them. I had a dendrologist to check and he advised to remove them as they were damaged already. No worry – there are lots of trees left on our ground.

  6. Thanks for this update on life in the borders, it has just reiterated to me how much I have missed reading your daily missive. I have to sort my life out so that I can take my foot off the pedal, if you’ll pardon the pun, and do a lot more laid back tootling. I see so many sights that I believe are worth capturing on film, but need to pedal or drive on, because I need to get somewhere. A slave to time, not good! Roll on my deferred retirement, though I’m sure this pandemic has done a lot of financial damage to mine and everyone else’s pensions. Sorry that sounds somewhat selfish when we consider the terrible upheaval and loss so many have had to suffer and still are suffering. We are the lucky ones. What a complicated world it is. Thankfully life in your borders seem to be as idyllic as ever, thank heavens, to your loyal correspondents. Cheers to you and yours tootlepedal.

    1. Slowing down has been thrust on us whether we like it or not! But we don’t mind it so we are chuntering only quite contentedly. I am sorry that you are in a rush. Regarding your problem with punctures, I got a solid tyre fitted to my shopping bike and it works really well. You can hardly tell that you are not on a pneumatic. No chance of a puncture there.

      1. I looked into solid tyres years ago, but got the impression they would make hard work of pedalling. I am the original slow cyclist so a drop in speed will not bother me these days. What make is your solid tyre? If you don’t mind me asking. Sun’s out here and I’ve a puncture to mend, her indoors is convinced that’s all I do, fix punctures. That’s another thing that slows me down! Not her indoors I hasten to add. Cheers.

      2. The make is Tonnus. I have just got one on my treat wheel. fitting it was quite a problem and I needed a new rim. The bike shop fitted it for me.

      3. Thanks for that, I believe I remember the make now, an american company called Tannus, as I say I had a look at various types way back when, but ultimately wimped out of getting some. I will check them out again, thanks again.

  7. I’m certain that not only you get pleasure from seeing your tulips and other garden flowers but all your followers do too. It’s very uplifting to be part of your quiet but very interesting days when one gets to see all your flowers, followed by the beautiful land of milk and honey, Skiddaw in the distance and a patch of pretty violets. To top it all off a sight of your date roll…..looks delicious!

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