Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary, It shows busy Kentish Town Stationin London a week or so ago, and demonstrates why Mary is not too alarmed at the prospect of taking public transport. Hardly anyone else is taking it at the moment.
Our wind is still coming from the north so when the sun is not out, it feels a bit chilly. Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do some light gardening after breakfast while I was happy to practise back resting indoors. Luckily the sun came out bang on coffee time, and we had a sunny half hour chatting to Margaret, drinking coffee and eating ginger biscuits.
After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal went back to light gardening and I idled around out of doors instead of indoors. I had a camera in my hand of course.
More flowers are coming to the end of their natural life every day but the white potentilla hasn’t got the news yet and is flourishing (in part at least).
I have been trying to get a decent picture of some white viburnum flowers but they are very tiny and I have had many failures. Today was my best effort so far…
When flowers are hard to take, I can always turn to leaves…
…which can look quite cheerful in their own right.
Lillian Austin is not discouraged at all and has a stunning array of blooms on the go.
And calendulas are not far behind when it comes to rich colour on a sunny day.
Other less spectacular flowers were available….
…and of course, there are the nerines…
…which are still producing new flowers.
The lure of a bacon and tomato roll for lunch drew me back inside and once there, I had a look to see if any birds were visiting the feeder.
For some reason, perhaps a sparrow hawk was lurking nearby, there were very few birds to be seen at any time today. I only saw two when I had my camera ready.
After lunch, I resisted the charms of a hilly stage of the Giro and went off for a very unhilly cycle ride of my own. As far as I can tell, cycling is helping rather than hurting my back, although I have to be careful not to push too hard when I am out.
I was happy to stop therefore as I went up the hill at Callister to have a look at the latest tower. When I checked on my computer later, I could see that the crane was ready to haul the housing that sits on top of the tower into position…
…but once again, nothing happened while I watched so I soon pedalled on up the hill.
I crossed the bridge over the Kirtle Water at Linnbridgeford and the sun came out which let me enjoy the many colours in front of me as I cycled along the quiet road past Conhess.
As I went up the hill towards Snab, I got a fine view of a group of pines with the northern English hills in the background.
Once over the top of the hill, I was above the Solway plain and I could see Burnswark Hill behind me, Criffel on the Nith Estuary to the west and the Lake District hills to the south.
It is a surprisingly airy spot considering that I was only about 400 feet above sea level.
Still, those 400 feet came in handy as I dropped down the hill towards Chapelknowe at 180 feet.
I was on a single track road on the way down and I had to stop by a ruined cottage to let a farmer with a trailer go by, so I took a picture while I was paused.
I went through Chapelknowe and I was headed to Corries Mill along another quiet single track road…
…when a racket in a field made me stop and look. There had been some muck spreading going on and it had attracted a crowd.
Something, not me, disturbed the gulls and they rose like a fine mist
I pedalled on, enjoying the sunshine, the flat road and the politeness of trees carefully leaning out of my way.
I had chosen this route in the hope of seeing some migratory geese in the fields at Englishtown, a bit further on, but there were none there today. I headed homeward gooseless, and made up for it with a couple of autumn shots taken on the old road two miles from Langholm.
I added a little extra on when I got to the town and ended up with exactly 30 miles. Because of my back, I had gone at a gentle pace but the scenery and sunshine had made for a pleasant ride so I wasn’t complaining at all.
While I had been out, Mrs Tootlepedal had been getting a tutorial on using Twitter as there are discussions about community land buy outs on the platform. She had actually tweeted herself but as far as I can tell, she had avoided creating a twitterstorm. I feel though that it can only be matter of time before she is tweeting extravagant claims to be the greatest, probably in the middle of the night. We shall see.
She had prepared a brisket of beef with carrots, turnips and parsnips in the slow cooker in the morning and it made for a nourishing and tasty evening meal. It was a big brisket and will keep us going until the end of the week.
As I said, there were very few birds at the feeder today so I would have been pushed to find a flying bird of the day today if I hadn’t seen a thousand on my bike ride.