Today’s cheerful guest picture, taken by a co-operative member of staff, shows my three sisters, Mary, Susan and Caroline, meeting in a cafe in Chichester last week.
We woke up to a disappointingly wet and chilly morning here today. As a result we drove the short distance to church, but on the bright side, the choir all sang from the same hymn sheet this week when the introit came round. This harmony created a pleasing effect.
Since we were in the car after the service, we drove on down to the Co-op to do some shopping before retiring home for a cup of coffee (and an iced bun which had mysteriously appeared in my shopping bag).
It eventually stopped raining, so after lunch I got my bike out and set off to do the 25 mile tour of the Crossdykes windfarm.
The wind was light but everything was very soggy as I bicycled up towards Callister.
Although the roads had dried up by the time I got to Paddockhole bridge after ten miles, it was still rather grey and gloomy . . .
. . . but by the time I had got a little way up the valley of the Water of Milk, the sun had come out and the landscape was transformed.
I was a bit alarmed when I crossed the bridge to find a large sign saying ‘road closed ahead’. The road went off in two directions shortly after the sign, and there was no indication as to which branch might be shut. I pressed on anyway. There was a lot of evidence of very welcome patching and resurfacing on the road I chose, so the sign might have been left by accident after the works had finished. At any rate, there was no let or hindrance as I cycled up the hill towards the windfarm.
In the old days when wool was the chief product of sheep farming, a black lamb was pretty well worthless, hence the expression ‘the black sheep of the family’. These days, when meat is a more valuable product than wool by far, I see quite a few black sheep about, but I’ve never seen a whole field of them with no white sheep at all which I saw today.
I stopped opposite one of the tall turbines when I got to the windfarm, and I was surprised by how quiet it was, though in the light wind, it wasn’t turning very fast.
At the entrance to the windfarm, I found that a new cairn had been erected . . .
. . . and it will be interesting to see what notice is there when I bicycle past next time.
When I had crossed over into the Esk valley,, I stopped to consider one of my favourite views.
It is not a spectacular view, but there is something about the curve of the river and the hills beside it that I find very pleasing.
More tree felling has been taking place in this area, and when I got to the bottom of the hill beside Enzieholm bridge, what had used to be a rather gloomy junction is now very airy.
The journey back down to Langholm was greatly helped by a gently following wind, and I didn’t stop until I took the obligatory picture of the Gates of Eden just before the final descent back into the town.
I had hoped to complete the 25 mile ride in under two hours, but as I took two hours and one minute I didn’t quite manage it. I was pretty happy all the same because I had enjoyed my outing and didn’t get wet.
Mrs Tootlepedal came out into the garden when I got back, and we did some dead heading. Then I took some pictures while she did more useful things.
It was still surprisingly wet in the garden.
The bees were not discouraged though.
This one was making the best of the very last of the melancholy thistles.
A bright yellow dahlia made up for the fact that the sun had gone in . . .
. . . and there were lots of sunflowers around too.
We went in for a cup of tea and watched the last few kilometres of the second stage of La Vuelta. It had apparently been a dull stage, but the sprint finish was quite exciting.
I also kept an eye on the bird feeder.
A pair of blue tits popped in for a brief visit.
And the usual suspects were there too.
I put a sausage stew on to cook, and then had a last visit to the garden.
We are getting quite excited about the plums but they are taking their time when it comes to ripening.
The inula had attracted a hoverfly and the colour combination was very satisfactory.
It was very cool for August today (12°C when we went to church and 13° now) and when we watched the weather forecast, it said that the rest of the week is going to be rather cool too. I shall be thinking of a vest if this goes on and that will be least a month too early.
The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch which only just sneaked into the frame.