Today’s guest photograph comes from my sister Caroline. She found some nice looking lawn tennis courts where people seemed to prefer drinking coffee to playing the game.
We had another day here which took a bit of time to warm up, but by midday, the clouds had cleared away and it was wonderfully sunny but not too hot and with gentle winds.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day with social meetings for coffee in the morning, and sewing and stitching in the afternoon. Under the circumstances, it seemed like a good day for a bicycle ride for me, but like the day, I took quite a long time to get warmed up. I only just got going before Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her morning coffee. Rather embarrassingly, I met her in the street outside our house.
One of the things that I managed to include in my world class matutinal procrastination was watching the birds. There was quite a bit of posing today . . .
. . . and the usual argy bargy.
Once I got my pedalling legs going, I made good progress and headed over the hill, stopping to admire the heather . . .
. . . and the catsear (I think) which was the most common flower by far in the verges today.
I stopped again when I got to the railway bridge over the mouth of the River Esk, hoping once again to see and photograph a train crossing it. AlthoughI waited for a bit, the only thing that I saw was a flock of pigeons. Needless to say though, when I got to the level crossing a few minutes down the road, it shut as I approached it, and I got a much less satisfactory shot of a passing train.
It wasn’t a regular train but a set of heritage coaches pulled by a diesel engine. These tourist trains are sometimes hauled by steam engines so I was sorry not to have seen one today.
Once the gates opened, I pedalled on until I came to the River Eden at Rockcliffe. Here the bike took a rest in a shady spot (with a handy wall for elderly riders to sit on and eat a tuna roll).
While I munched my roll, I enjoyed the view up the river . . .
. . . and I looked down the river and then straight across, where I found ducks in the middle of the river doing some resting too. A couple of goosanders were being a bit more active but it was a very quiet scene.
After passing Rockliffe church . . .
. . . and the rather intimidating structures at the electricity station at Harker . . .
. . . I made my way across the flat country of north Cumbria to Scaleby, where there is another nice church . . .
. . . and then went home by way of the bike shop in Longtown, where I inquired about a service. Just before I got to Scotland, I took asmall diversion to Kirkandrews on Esk . . .
. . . where the handsome little church sits in the middle of a park.
It has a commemorative sundial set in its tower. It was catching the sun today . . .
. . . but I am not sure how accurate it is as my camera took the picture at four o’clock (three o’clock GMT).
The church sits beside the River Esk and I wandered down to take a picture or two.
The bridge was built to allow people on the far side of the river to get to church.
I got home after fifty miles, every one of which had been a pleasure to pedal on such a day. As an extra treat, the ride took me over 400 miles, my target for the month.
I had the energy for a walk round the garden when I got home. It was loud with bees and bright with colour.
Mrs Tootlepedal had got home before me, and we watched a recording of the final few kilometres of the Vuelta stage before Zooming with my brother and sisters (and a bonus nephew).
In the evening, we were joined for music and conversation by our friends Mike and Alison. Alison and I played recorder and keyboard duets, while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal drank beer and chatted.
This brought a good tootling and pedalling day to a satisfactory close.
The flying bird of the day, a retreating siskin . . .
. . . is very poor, so I have added a red admiral butterfly of the day to make amends.