Today’s guest picture comes from both of my two older sisters, Mary and Susan. Like us, they have socially distanced coffee outdoors when they can. Today they each took photos of the other.
As it was Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday, she got a little bit older and a little bit wiser today. Since she had me a cake for my birthday, I made her a cake and you can see it here with a bottle of fizz and some chocolates which were a gift from our son Tony.
The candles do suggest a possible age for Mrs Tootlepedal, but as it is considered poor form to reveal such things, I have not made it possible to read them. Suffice it to say, that Mrs Tootlepedal is far more youthful than me.
It was a chilly morning, but it was so still that we were able to have coffee in the garden with our neighbour Margaret. Mrs Tootlepedal went in to have a zoom meeting arranged by her brother with her mother who is 103, and Margaret and I were joined by our neighbour Liz, who was just back from her morning walk.
After an early lunch, I went out for a pedal and Mrs Tootlepedal marked her birthday by laying the thirteenth slab of her drive project. This slab takes her over half way in the slab laying marathon. I took a suitably celebratory picture when I got back from my ride.
There had been mist about in the morning and if I had not been making a cake, I might have gone up the hill again to have a look. Still, you can’t do everything, and there was still plenty of mist about when I cycled up Callister. This is the view back towards Whita…
…and when I started cycling down the other side of the hill, I could see more mist ahead of me.
I was a bit worried that I might be pedalling into poor visibility. This would have meant turning back, but when I got down to the valley, the road was mist free and I was able to cycle on to Paddockhole bridge with no problems. I did stop though when I saw a tree stump wreathed in fungus.
My usual outings often start up the Wauchope road and then I turn left at some point to make a circular ride. Today, for a change, I went a bit further along the road and turned right and crossed the bridge when I came to it.
This took me up the valley of the Water of Milk…
…and past our latest windfarm at Crossdykes.
It was a hive of activity. Two turbines are up and a third is waiting for its blades. There were bits ready to be used lying all over the place.
I couldn’t hang around to see if there was any crane action happening as it was pretty chilly at about 5°C and the light wasn’t looking very promising either. I had done 15 miles by this point into a very light wind and with 500 foot of net height gained. Fortunately, as it was a circular ride, this meant that I had five hundred feet to lose on the 11 miles home and as I was also sheltered from the wind, I managed that in 43 minutes. It was lucky that it was easy riding, because with the sun behind the clouds and the temperature dropping, my legs started complaining about old age.
It got colder still as I approached the last hill down into the town and I could see that mist was rising from the valley below.
The two cyclists in these pictures were the only other cyclists that I saw on my ride. It was a very quiet day.
When I got home, I noticed a surprise vinca flower under a hedge in the garden..
When I went in, I suggested to Mrs Tootlepedal that a little birthday outing might be enjoyable, as I thought that some sunshine might be found above the mist if we drove up to the moor.
There was plenty of mist creeping up over the moor….
…and indeed there was so much mist about, that when we drove down the road….
…to see if we could find the goats, all we found was mist and we couldn’t see anything at all, let alone any goats.
We soon turned round and crept back up the road. We came back out of the mist and found some low sun in the west making for a striking sky.
There were some lovely views as we drove back down to the town but my photographic skills and my little cycling camera weren’t able to do them justice. This shot gives just a flavour of the combination of low sun and rising mist.
Some very chilly soldiers were waiting around on the Kilngreen, offering locals a chance of a covid test for those who wanted one, but demand seemed to be non existent.
They may have thought that we were coming for a test, but we were only there to enjoy the views…
…which were worth stopping for.
Although the conditions made it feel as though it was late in the day, we still got home too early to have tea and cake, and we had to wait half an hour until it was time to light the candles and enjoy the strawberry jam filling.
Having spoken to her mother at one end of the day, Mrs Tootlepedal spoke to her granddaughter Matilda (and Alistair and Clare too) at the other.
It has been a week of quiet birthdays for us both, but that as that is all that is available at the present time, we are not complaining.
A goldfinch is the genuine flying bird of the day.