Back again

Today’s guest picture is from my sister Mary who went to play tennis in Regents Park in London and visited this magical garden while she was there.

We had another generally fine day here, although it did rain a little in the afternoon. It was chilly though when the sun went in, with a mean wind reminding us that winter will come.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to have coffee in an approved group in an approved location with her ex work colleagues while I put on my coat and gloves and walked up to have coffee with Sandy in his garden. His electric bike has proved a boon while his foot recovers from his operation and he told me about his ride yesterday which he recorded on his latest blog.

We sat and chatted in the sunshine, well sheltered from the unkind wind but like everyone else I daresay in these confined days, we didn’t have as much to talk about as we did in the good old days. Still, it was a pleasure to see him as always.

When I got back, I went to the shop for bread flour and then made some leek and sweet potato soup for lunch and waited for Mrs Tootlepedal to come home.

I watched the comings and goings of the birds after lunch…

… and in the unexplained absence of siskins, other birds took over the role of chief shouter.

Chaffinches shouted at chaffinches…

…and greenfinches went beak to beak at the feeder.

Blue tits waited for quieter moments to arrive….

…and a robin ticked off a visit on its bucket list.

In general I had a very quiet day because my back is playing up and giving me occasional painful twinges. It doesn’t stop me cycling or walking but it is making me rather nervous as I never quite know when it is going to ping me. My usual back exercises aren’t having any effect and I am a bit at a loss to know what to do. I will see what a few quieter days can do to help.

In pursuit of rest, I sat down to watch a good chunk of today’s stage of the Giro with Mrs Tootlepedal (who crochets while she watches). Mrs Tootlepedal has had to pay a small amount of good money to watch the Giro on her tablet as it isn’t on free to air TV, so it is lucky that it has been pretty exciting so far and today’s stage was no exception.

I roused myself enough to think that a little leg stretch might help my back and went for a short walk when the stage ended.

I strolled round the garden before leaving home and found white…

…and colour.

The forecast for next week is looking good at the moment so I hope that the colour will last.

I was looking for autumn colour on my walk to Skippers Bridge and back, and there was some to be seen of a subdued nature when I looked across the river…

…with a brighter splash when I got to the bridge.

The sun came out as I crossed the bridge, so I was tempted to walk a few yards down the road beside the river…

…until I could find a chance to go down to the river bank and look back.

It is interesting that the water can pick up the blue sky above better than my camera can.

As I looked, a log lorry crossed the bridge…

…and it is tribute to the sturdy construction of the bridge that it is only its reflection that ends up in the water below. The bridge was not built with traffic like this in mind.

I took a last shot…

…and began the walk home along the other side of the river.

Like Lot’s wife, I couldn’t resist a look behind me as I went…

…but I wasn’t turned into a pillar of salt.

On my way home in the continuing sunshine, I passed a lot to enjoy…

…including the poplars and willows by the church.

I realised that although this wasn’t my usual ‘three bridges’ walk, I still crossed three bridges on this walk; the park bridge over the Wauchope, Skippers Bridge over the Esk and then the suspension bridge back over the Esk again.

I took a view of the suspension bridge and the birch tree beyond it…

…and a view of the town bridge from the suspension bridge.

I then walked home with a neighbour who was very pleased to see how well the tall Michaelmas daisy which she gave to Mrs Tootlepedal was doing.

A cup of tea and a slice of newly made bread with strawberry jam completed a pleasant outing.

Then it was back to the quiet life, a zoom with my siblings and macaroni cheese for tea.

I had the opportunity to take a couple of less common flying bird shots today…

…but in the end, I settled once again for a chaffinch as flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

47 thoughts on “Back again

  1. Your bird life seems to be displaying some of our less appealing human characteristics,apart from of course your robin which always looks most calm and dignified,lovely close up of him to by the way.
    As you say skippers bridge obviously wasn’t built with that kind of traffic in mind and stands testament to the bridge builders back then,quite amazing really.
    I’ve had back troubles in the past and sometimes,but not all,a good bike ride would miraculously cure it,hope the same thing works for you.
    My cyst has thankfully shrunken quite a bit,so Im. thinking of trying another short ride on Sunday and hoping I won’t cause it to flare up again,but I’m none to confident,we’ll see.

      1. I’ve had a short test ride on the turbo today with seemingly no I’ll effects,so fingers crossed.

  2. I didn’t expect to see moth mullein or nicotiana this late. You have a great climate for gardens.
    The road beside the river is beautiful. It looks like a fine place for a walk.
    I hope the walk helped your back. There are very few pains worse than back pain in my experience and it always makes it hard for me to function. I hope you have better luck.

  3. The wee robin is so charming I’ll overlook the bucket comment 🙂

    Sorry about the back – it’s frustrating when you do all you can and still get surprise attacks. Do you have a local massage therapist?

  4. Beautiful scenery to take your mind off your back! It is sad – though understandable – that the content of conversations have shrunk after such a long period of our pandemically confined lives being the same, much the same and more of the same. Your daily blogs, however, continue to be a joy.

  5. Sorry about your back and hope rest improves it. Loved going with you on your walk especially the shots of the the river and its bridges. You chose the best of the flying birds to feature and the robin was a prizewinning picture.

  6. Your usual splendid photography. You must be very pleased that it is only the reflections of the bridges that end up in the water. I hope your back holds up.

  7. I watched the Royal Ballet Back on Stage, live, yesterday evening, thrilled that I could ‘cast’ the picture from my tablet on to my new 43-inch (which Which? calls ‘small’!) TV. I normally knit while watching, or listening to radio/podcasts, but this time I darkened the room and gave 100 % concentration to what I was watching. It was wonderful – and I can see it all again as many times as I like in the next few weeks.

  8. Sometimes a good quiet day and a walk will ease aches and pains. Thank you for taking ll these beautiful photos, and commenting on the birds. 🙂

    That opening calendula in the panel of three looks like it has its own internal light source. That is a very fine photo.

    We finally got heavy, prolonged rain driven by a west wind last night, and it is continuing into the day. Except for realizing at 4:00 AM that a garage window was open, and getting up to close it, the rain is quite welcome! This will be the end of the tomatoes, and I will dash out during a lull to get the remainder of them.

  9. Every photo is a delight and every image of all the different subjects is brilliant! Love the colours of the trees, the reflections, the bridges and the fighting, eating, waiting, contemplating and flying birds. Super! No remedy suggestions for back ache except a bath with Epsom Salts.

    1. I tried a hot bath with Radox. It might have been therapeutic but getting in and getting out undid any good that the relaxation might have brought about. 🙂

      1. Maybe walk in baths are the next item on the shopping list! Exactly the same happens with Jim..soaks for ages in salts…feels relaxed and better and then all for nought getting out of the bath! These backs and knees are a real problem!

  10. Sorry to hear your back is giving you painful twinges and I hope the walk helped ease it. Your walk certainly helped me, taking my mind away to your beautiful borders. A few days ago I grimly reported to you the weather forecaste for here was a fortnight of rain, well the truth is very little has fallen. So I’ve been trying to make the most of it commuting on my Pioneer, and somehow my pedalling is back in the fatburning zone, well 50 to 70% anyway. Can’t say I’m doing anything different? I did ask you a question a while back Tom, have you always cycled? Cheers.

    1. I missed your question, sorry. I cycled a bit as a boy and then had a burst in my forties for a year or two but only took up regular cycling about 15 years ago and then got more into it when I became too crocked to play golf. I did the Lands End to John o’Groats with Mrs T in 2008.

      1. That is true fantastic, LEJOG, you are both legends in my book. Cheers.

      2. We took it very easily and did 50 miles each day split in to four sections of about twelve miles with stops for refreshment in between.

  11. You were exceptionally droll today and kept me smiling. Except for sympathy for your bad back, sounds like when mine goes *sproing*. The guest photo is a bedazzler.

  12. Take it easy on your back! The robin reminded me of an old song in the 50 (often heard on AFN) “When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along “

  13. Your leek and sweet potato soup sounds intriguing. I’ll have to give it a try substituting for the usual yellow potatoes. Sorry to hear about the twinges. Hope they move on….

      1. The farm that I mentioned in a post some time ago supplies us with a variety of “ordinary” potatoes. The one I like with leeks is the “yellow potato” (and it is quite yellow inside the peel). I know no other name. It has an almost buttery flavor to it that goes well with leeks. I would have thought that Mrs T was plenty sweet already, but perhaps those sweet potatoes are where she gets it.

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