Cutting it fine

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair, and shows just the sort of delicious meal that we would be enjoying if we were allowed to go to Edinburgh to visit Matilda. We are missing Matilda but we are missing Al’s cooking too.

We had a dry but windy day today, windy and chilly enough in the morning to put paid to our street coffee meeting but not too cold to stop us doing a bit of work in the garden after coffee indoors.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s peas were safe in their fortress but the wind had blown over her courgette protection system and she had to redo it with added strength.

I had a wander round the garden looking at flowers, some of which were not hard to spot…

…and I noted that another geum had come out to complete Mrs Tootlepedal’s set of four.

Not all were so easy to see, I thought that this was the furthest on the melancholy thistles were…

…until Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out this one (which was not very far away to tell the truth).

I was pleased to see bees on the chives…

…and the poached egg flowers had drawn a big crowd).

My chief business though was trimming the hedge along the road. It had got so furry that it was making it hard for people to use the pavement so it had to be cut. (No nesting birds were disturbed during the cutting of the hedge.)

Once again I have deliberately gone for the artistic wavy line rather than crude geometric precision. Or so I am claiming.

It was still pretty windy after lunch so I put off any thoughts of exercise. Fortunately, horse racing has started again and I was able to sit down and watch a feast of racing, including the 2000 guineas, on the telly. Mrs Tootlepedal joined me and we spent a pleasant hour or so not picking any winners.

The wind was steadily dropping and the sun had come out so after the big race, I thought that a cycle ride might be a good thing. The days are long now so I still had plenty of time to pedal up to Mosspaul….

…on what had turned into a splendid day for a bike ride.

It was such a good day in fact that I cycled on over the top and down the other side for five miles, turning shortly after I had passed the silversmith’s at Teviothead.

I thought that the figure on the left of the door looked a bit bored, and who can blame him as there will have been no visitors to the shop for a long time.

I wasn’t bored at all as after I had turned to come back home, the wind became a help rather than a hindrance. It continued to get lighter so I didn’t have quite as much help on the way back as I had had hindrance on the way out but I wasn’t complaining. The broom was out…

…the views were gorgeous…

…and being late on a Saturday, there were no lorries on the road and hardly any cars and vans.

I was reflecting recently on the fact that changing weather and different seasons can make cycling along the same route frequently still be an interesting experience. The other factor that plays into making cycling interesting is bike computer arithmetic.

My route today splits neatly into sections, ten miles gently uphill to Mosspaul, five miles gently downhill to Teviothead and then five miles back gently uphill to Mosspaul, and finally ten miles back gently downhill to Langholm. Comparing your speeds as you go makes for interest as you pedal. My ten miles uphill took 58 minutes into the wind. The five miles downhill into the wind took 22 minutes and the five miles back up with the wind behind took 23 minutes. I was hoping to take less that 30 minutes for the final ten miles but could only manage 32 minutes as the wind let me down. On another day, with another breeze, all these times might be very different.

And today I noticed a very non standard bridge parapet for the first time. I have passed it often without seeing what it was.

Before I set out on my cycle ride, I had spent a few minutes looking out of an upstairs window to see what the birds were up to at the feeder. The view from above has a rather boring background but it does give a closer look at the birds.

The feeder was busy…

…with birds coming…

…and going.

I was spoiled for choice among many flying birds and could have chosen this greenfinch coming…

…or this goldfinch going…

…but settled for this siskin just about to stop as flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Cutting it fine

  1. Alistair’s cooking looks quite good!

    The flowers are lovely, and the panels are always a treat, colorful and well done. Your feeders seem to be doing doing a brisk business. Are numbers of birds still down?

    I think we may have a grackle nesting now in the trumpet vine over by the garage. My office window is in prime position for watching developments.

      1. The grackle pair were performing their courtship ritual on the electric wire overhead this morning. We await young grackles. 🙂

  2. I’ve trimmed lots of hedges but never one with a peaked roof, which I imagine would make it harder to do. I thought it looked fine.
    I like that thistle bud and the pinstriped chives.
    I spoke to a man on an electric bike last week who said it could go thirty miles on a charge and cost only $700.00. I thought they cost thousands.

    1. You pay for lightness and distance. Cheap e-bikes tend to be be pretty heavy but as you have battery power to help you along, that doesn’t matter too much.

  3. Al looks like my kind of cook. I’ve seen your lawns so don’t pretend you chose wavy. 🙂 Good job nevertheless. That single figure outside the jewellers looks like a Lewis chess piece.

  4. Looks a tasty dish …such a talented family! Lovely views on your cycle ride again and interesting to follow your arithmetic on your bike computer….maths was definitely in evidence for you as you must have used a ruler to get your hedge so level!

    1. You flatter my hedge cutting skills! The arithmetic of average speeds does give you something to think about when the legs aren’t in a conversational mood.

  5. i love how reading your blog has made me more aware of the small birds that I see out riding. I saw a young green one on a rural road when out on Friday – not sure that it was but suspect it was the colour of a greenfinch

      1. 🙂 I once blew the contact breakers in a customer’s house when I cut the cord. Scared myself to death too, because there was a big spark and a bang. That was the garden where I concussed myself with a sledge hammer and fell flat on my face when I broke a fork handle. oh, good times!

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