Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. He found a boat with an identity problem last month.
I had to get up early this morning because the car was due for a service in Carlisle at half past eight Luckily Mrs Tootlepedal is an early riser and had some porridge on the go by the time that I came down, so I was well set up for a walk while the car was being serviced.
It was damp when I set off to drive to Carlisle, and there was plenty of low and gloomy cloud about on the way down, but by the time that I had put the car into the garage and started my walk, the sun was out and the leafy streets of the railway city were a pleasure to stroll along.
Unlike Langholm which is a ‘stone’ town, Carlisle is a ‘brick’ city and it always looks warm on a sunny day.
The garage receptionist told me that I had two hours to fill before the service would be finished, so I walked up Warwick Road and then across the middle of the town until I came to the banks of the river Caldew. I haven’t walked much here before, and I was in the mood to try a new path if I could find one. I came to a steel bridge but I didn’t cross it as I saw that there was a promising looking path down the side of the river that I was on.
This path led me to another steel bridge…
…and this time, I did cross the river.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I have cycled along this side of the river, but it was a treat to walk along it at a more leisurely pace with time to look around.
I passed the hawthorn, the old mill and the weir and came to a path along the water meadow beside the river.
You can see a lady taking pictures of something on the bank ahead of me, and it turned out to be Mr Grumpy’s Carlisle cousin…
…who kindly waited until arrived before flying off across the river.
It was still rather cold when it was cloudy, but as long as the sun shone, it was a total delight to walk along the river bank with wild flowers blooming…
….birds singing and the river running quietly beside me.
I was keeping an eye on the time though, and after an hour had passed since I left the garage, I reluctantly turned back, walking up a gentle hill to take the bike path back to the town. It has a rather charming but slightly dilapidated mosaic to celebrate its opening.
I daresay that this is because people will keep cycling over it.
I had another look at the impressive weir when I got to it…
…and then I didn’t cross back over the bridge that I had crossed on my way out but stuck to the left bank of the river. It is more built up but very beautiful on a sunny spring day…
…and it led me past the steel bridge which I hadn’t crossed the first time, and which I didn’t cross this time either, through some ornamental gates to stop cyclists speeding, past a fine school building and to the centre of the town via the Nelson Bridge.
It had a handy set of steps with some fine ivy leaved toadflax,
It crosses the river and is immediately followed by the Victoria Viaduct which crosses over the railway at the end of Carlisle Station.
Carlisle is very much a ‘railway town’ and at one time seven different railway companies ran trains into the city.
Although there were plenty of cars about, footfall in the city centre was light and I was able to get back onto the Warwick Road…
…without having to take too much avoiding action. I did wear my mask there though.
I like to be punctual so I was very pleased when my phone rang just as I got to the receptionist’s desk at the garage and she looked up and said, “I am ringing you!”
I was very happy to find that the service had been completed but a lot less happy to find that they hadn’t started on replacing the front brakes which had corroded through lack of use over the past year. (We have driven less than 1000 miles since the last service.)
I had told them about the brakes and had thought that they would do them at the same time as the service but the receptionist told me that the car was in a queue to get worked on, and the mechanics would stop for lunch at one o’clock so the car might not be ready until two o’clock, three and a half hours away. I was crestfallen as another walk to fill in the time looked on the cards. However, there was no alternative if I wanted a repaired car in which to drive home, so I went for another walk.
I did fill in some time by having coffee and a cream cake in the Pioneer shop cafe near the garage. Buoyed up by this, I set out to do a loop on the east side of the town this time.
I was soon in farming country on this walk…
…and walked past several vivid fields of rape. I was interested to see that the fields, in spite of their uniform appearance, also had a second undercrop with blue flowers.
I was making up the route as I went along and found myself going along the busy main road between Carlisle and Newcastle. It had a good pavement but it wasn’t the most peaceful experience so I turned off onto a minor road to Wetheral.
This was much less busy and had both a leafy green tunnel of trees and a footpath to signposted to Scotby half way along the tunnel. The footpath looked clear enough, but a jogger running past told me that it went across a golf course and through two fields with sheep. That sounded too exciting for me (and the path looked a bit muddy)…
…so I kept going along the road until I came to a second more open footpath with a better surface.
This turned out to be a good choice as it went past the end of the golf course and not across it, used a dry farm track, avoided any muddy fields with sheep…
…and as a bonus, had a foot crossing of the Carlisle to Newcastle railway line which I crossed just in time to avoid the next train.
The footpath brought me out onto the Wetheral to Scotby road just at the moment that the garage rang to tell me that the car was ready, some hour and a half before schedule. As I still had some way to go before I got back to the garage, I was less grateful for this promptness than I might have been.
Still, the road through Scotby had enough interest to keep me happy as I walked…
…and there was a fine meadow of buttercups after I had passed through the village…
…so I was in a cheerful mood when I picked up the car (though my cheeriness was modified by the enormous bill for the new brakes), having had not just one but two really enjoyable walks in some unexpectedly good weather, not to mention an excellent cream cake.
I used my phone app to measure the second walk as I went along and it came to six and a quarter miles but I had to use my computer maps when I got home to work how far the first walk had been. By coincidence, it too turned out to have been six and a quarter miles, so a total of twelve and a half miles of walking made for a very satisfactory, if totally unexpected, day out.
I am sorry that this is a long post but that was quite a long walk and I took 100 pictures while I went along so I had to throw a lot out.
I took a few more when I got back to the garden, where old and new friends gave me pleasure…
…and the meconopsis was the star of the show.
I hadn’t filled the feeder in the morning and it was empty when I got home, so I took the opportunity to clean the feeder tray and put out more seed, The siskins were there in a flash…
…and a goldfinch was deeply shocked by the language used by a redpoll.
The afternoon continued to be sunny and for moment I contemplated going out for a cycle ride, but it was only for a moment, and watching the Giro seemed a better idea. It was disconcerting to find that the weather in Italy was so awful that they had had to shorten the stage and not much live television coverage was available because helicopters and planes could not take off. I wonder if all those people desperate for a continental holiday know about this.
We were given two new wheelie bins today by the council for paper, plastic and metal recycling so we had some fun organising space in the garage as a home for them. I would have included a picture of this but I felt it might be too exciting for readers after such a long post.
The day wound down with a sibling Zoom, an evening meal of the last helping of a brisket of beef, and a light shower of rain.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.