Back to the rain again

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin. He visited the Linlithgow canal basin with a group of walking friends today.

In a moment of madness yesterday evening, I said that I would sleep in the tent overnight, and being too ashamed to back out, I did just that. Rather against my expectations, I had a reasonable night tucked into a sleeping bag, helped by the fact that there was no wind and it didn’t rain. This must have been my first night “under canvas” for more than twenty years, and I was quite impressed by the fact that I was able to get out of the tent in the morning without falling over.

As it has been a very wet day today, no one else has been rushing to give the outdoor life a try tonight.

It was dry when I got up, so I went out for twenty miles on my bike round the Solwaybank windfarm before breakfast. The tent experience had left me feeling a little stiff, and as it was by no means warm when I set out, I recorded my slowest ever time for the ride. To add insult to injury, it started to rain when I was just three miles from home.

Stopping to look back towards England where the weather looked better, I took this picture of blooming heather just before the rain came on.

It rained on and off for most of the rest of the day, but there was time to play catch in the garden and look at the flowers.

We have a wide variety of dahlias out and this shy one is baffling. What benefit does the plant get from concealing its many flowers under thick foliage? I noticed that one flower, low down on the left of the plant, had escaped from prison today.

This dahlia, on the other hand, does not scruple to advertise its charms.

Some of the roses have developed hips, and they come in various forms, large but dull . . .

. . . and small and attractive.

I didn’t hear the fellow at the back who said, “Just like you and Mrs Tootlepedal.”

Mrs Tootlepedal’s recently transplanted helianthus continues to thrive and is producing lovely flowers.

Like many flowers, there is a lot going on when you look closely.

I filled the bird feeder and a pair of greenfinches, adult and youngster, appeared,

After lunch, Matilda took advantage of a kind offer from our neighbour Charlotte (and of a break in the rain) to have tremendous fun bouncing around on Charlotte’s garden trampoline. Very luckily, it is just on the other side of the dam behind our house If the weather permits, she will have another go tomorrow most probably.

Then Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to get a breath of damp air. We were well equipped, which was lucky as it started to rain just as we set out.

We walked down to Skippers Bridge and the views were limited.

Although farmers may not be so happy about them, Mrs Tootlepedal likes the deep browns of docks in fields.

At Skippers Bridge we paused for a moment to enjoy the toadflax and a fledging birch tree growing on the parapet of the bridge.

The view upriver was not very exciting, but at least there was a bit more water coming down the river.

Going back towards the town, we passed large clumps of the invasive Himalayan balsam beside the river, and we could see the seed pods that make this pretty flower such a pest.

A lime tree further along the path was well supplied with seeds but is not a pest at all.

We had time to admire some lovely willows beside the river . . .

. . . before we turned off to visit Angela and Jenny, the two ladies who have taken on the heavy responsibility of managing the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve on behalf of the community. I hope to have interviews with both them in the next Langholm Initiative newsletter to give those people who have contributed to the buy out of the moor a fuller picture of what is going on.

As we neared home, the rain stopped for a while and the clouds lifted from the hills.

After crossing the town bridge, we walked back along the river and heard the loud cries of a young lesser black backed gull, who was obviously wanting his ma.

I took a picture of two flowers when we got in, just to brighten up a dull afternoon.

However the afternoon was made much brighter still by the combined efforts of Matilda and Mrs Tootlepedal in the manufacture of several superb drop scones or pancakes. You may talk about the Taj Mahal, or rave about the Great Barrier Reef, but in my opinion there can be few finer sights in the world than this.

Home made raspberry jam with fruit from the garden too.

Alistair made us another delicious evening meal and that rounded off a day that had been much better than the miserable weather deserved.

The flying bird of the day is that young greenfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “Back to the rain again

  1. Not a great day for pedalling or snapping butwe shouldn’t complain after the good weather we’ve had recently.
    Some folks are saying summer’s over but I’m more optimistic.
    I.e. the forecast here was for 80%.rain risk from 12 pm onwards,but we had none until 5pm ?
    Those drops ones almost jump of the plate hmmm.👍

    1. The drop scone were as good to eat as they looked. I can’t complain about the cycling as I have managed a good few outings even when we have had visitors. I see that you got out yourself.

  2. No dessert (“pudding”) in the house for me tonight, so your photo of delicious looking drop scones with cream (oh my . . . ) and jam just about finished me off! (:

  3. Well done on keeping your dignity intact by sleeping in the tent. I hope you weren’t relegated to sleeping on the ground: we gave that up many years ago and now sleep on stretchers/camp beds – what a difference they make!

  4. Still waiting to cross, sleeping in a tent overnight, off my bucket list. Many massages, torture sessions with the physios, home exercises etc., yet I only have 90% bend in my knee, and can’t pedal my bike to nowhere, so very frustrated. I have a telephone interview with the occupational health contractor for my employer this morning, My doctors say I can return to work, yet this contractor has to be consulted before I can? Seems very strange to me. Does it mean that in the future one can only go on the sick after consulting this contractor? Brave new world, where all sorts of paperwork has to be recorded and checked before any decision can be made. Tenting, pedalling, striding out and meringues, all in one day, and with your nearest and dearest. You are definitely tootling the dream. Cheers.

    1. The health contractor sounds sinister but I expect it all comes down to insurance. Insurance companies are very good at taking your money but a lot less good at paying it out so every t has to be crossed and every i dotted.

      It took me ages to get a 90 degree bend on my new knee but I cycled carefully before I got there and the knee bends very well now.

      1. I think I could turn the pedals if I raise the saddle? Perhaps I’ll give that a try. Yet another massage tomorrow, they seem to improve things more and more. Were you able to straighten your leg completely? Mine keeps slipping back to 5-10% off. The exercise required to straighten it requires me to hold my leg straight out and rest my foot on a chair while I sit in another and let gravity straighten it with the aid of weights. It is very sore, even after taking painkillers beforehand. Cheers.

      2. Don’t rush things. Looking back at my blog, I see that I did no cycling at all for two whole months after my operation and only 98 miles in the third month. After that, I was more or less back to steady pedalling. I can’t remember how long it took to bend and straighten my knee but it was a long and painful process. However, seven years later, it bends and straightens as much as I wish so I am pleased that I didn’t try to run before iI could walk if you see what I mean.

      3. Today is the eight week anniversary of my operation. So my progress is slower even with all the physio and massages, I’ve been able to have that wasn’t available to yourself. Raising the saddle on the bike to nowhere wasn’t possible. What post dates do you talk of your operation and recuperation in your blog? I’d like to refer to them. Cheers.

      4. I was looking at February 2015 posts and my knee gets frequent mentions but not in a very interesting way. The surgeon gave me permission to start cycling but as the weather was cold I had to stick to walking. I see that I could walk a couple of miles by that time.

  5. Splendid pictures, that helianthus is stunning.
    Congratulations on managing your night in the tent.
    Those pancakes/dropscones look perfect.

  6. My goodness you certainly made the most of a soggy night and day! Lovely to see the first heather blooming and all the ‘insides’ of the lemon queen! I’m sure the drop scones tasted as delicious as they looked! A bright end to another of your full and happy days!

  7. I enjoyed your rainy day photos, and the beautifully displayed dropscones. Some good rain should enliven the lichens again, too.

    Closing in on 100 degrees here today. We had 102 in the shade here yesterday afternoon.

      1. They are ripening earlier than usual. Grapes put down roots 5 to 6 feet deep, and can survive a good drought fairly well. The excessive heat is another matter. I am not sure how all this will play out at harvest time.

  8. I bet those dropscones didn’t stay on the plate very long. They looked delicious and definitely one of your best photos.

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