Not Tootlepedal but Totalpuddle

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He took this reflective picture of his son Dan resting on a bridge while they were on a recent walk together.

After some overnight rain, we woke up to another grey and damp day here. It was still rather warm for the time of year, but the persistent drizzle did not encourage an adventure into the garden .

I had a good excuse to stay indoors, as Dropscone brought his laptop round to get my assistance in installing a new program on it. He has a touching faith in my computer expertise, but on this occasion, I was able to help out.

He had brought some of his excellent scones with him, so as soon as we had finished the computer business, we set about drinking a few cups of coffee to wash the scones down. We were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal and our neighbour Margaret, and the general conversation lasted for some time. Dropscone, Margaret and I were a bit cross that Mrs Tootlepedal had got her booster and flu vaccines while we three more elderly people had still not received the call.

When they left, I walked round to the shop under my big umbrella, and then I peered out of the window through the gloom to see if any birds were arriving at the feeder.

A chaffinch appeared from the left . . .

. . . and a sparrow turned up from the right . . .

. . . and then another chaffinch arrived.

I was so excited that I had to sit down for a while to recover.

A bedraggled goldfinch . . .

. . . and a mixed bag of greenfinch, chaffinch and sparrow completed my bird count.

After lunch, I surprised myself greatly by deciding to go for a bicycle ride in spite of continuing drizzle. A look at the forecast suggested that the rain might stop soon, and then there would be a dry interval before some really quite strong winds (gusting to 30 mph) would get up just in time to blow me home. It seemed like a suitable moment to go cycling.

The plan worked well in one respect at least. There was indeed a brisk wind to help propel me back home. In other respects, it wasn’t quite so successful. It turned out to be quite windy at the start of the ride and very windy as I headed down to Canonbie. The drizzle didn’t continue, but this was only because it soon turned into quite heavy rain and this came round with me fort most of the ride of the twenty miles to Canonbie and back

Even though I was well wrapped up, I got pretty wet, but as it was still warm, I decided to regard the outing as an adventure and not a penance. As a result, I enjoyed myself battling against the elements. I found myself humming, “There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent his first avowed intent to be a cyclist.”

I hadn’t brought my camera with me as it was still drying out after yesterday’s walk, but when the rain stopped for just a moment as I crossed the Hollows Bridge, I took a picture there with my phone.

After I got home, I found that my skin was the only thing that I was wearing that was truly waterproof.

However, my day was made a lot better when Dropscone rang up to say that he had found a number to ring which had let him book a vaccine appointment at the end of the week. I quickly rang up and was able to book one for myself and, quite amazingly, the lady on the end of the phone let me book one for our neighbour Margaret too when I explained that she can’t drive and I would be able to give her lift down to Canonbie where the vaccination centre is. The national Covid rates are so high at the moment that all three of us will be pleased to have a bit of extra protection.

I realised that I hadn’t taken any colourful pictures during the day, but by this time there wasn’t much of a chance to correct this omission. It was still a very gloomy day.

There might be a chance of some sunshine tomorrow, and if it comes, I will try to get out onto a hill and make use of it.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Not Tootlepedal but Totalpuddle

  1. Thrilled to read that, thanks to Dropscone and a helpful lady at the end of a phone, you and Margaret will both be getting your Covid booster, hurray! I liked that shot of the river as the rain paused.

  2. I’m glad you were all able to get boosters. I’ve read that the infection rate is very high there.
    I’m glad the software installation went well. They often don’t. The last time I did a major one I was on the phone with India for nearly three hours.
    I hope you’ll see some sunshine tomorrow.

    1. This was a simple case of downloading a free to use open software program and Dropscone had already done most of the work. He didn’t really need my help but I didn’t tell him that.

      We did get a morning of sunshine.

  3. It is good to hear you and Margaret will get the booster vaccine soon. That will be one less worry! I’ve had mine already.

    I enjoyed all the photos from your rainy day, especially the birds at the feeder. The poor goldfinch does look a bit wet.

  4. Glad you are getting the boosters. Your rainy ride sounds equivalent to what I sometimes feel like swimming a mile in the pool, except that I’m not trying to stay dry. I hope you do get some sunshine, although you managed wonderful photos in the rain.

      1. Hooray for sunshine. The sun is at a difficult angle right now for taking pictures but it feels much better to be out in it.

  5. Well done on persevering with your cycling despite the rainy conditions – and on cutting through the red tape to arrange your vaccinations!

    1. Dropscone received an official letter offering him an appointment this morning so perhaps I will get one tomorrow. It looks as though the right hand and the left hand of the vaccination body are not well acquainted.

  6. I’m glad you got jab three, and as I’m reading backwards, seems you didn’t have a bad reaction. I got very tired after mine. I was just reading today (25 October) that the UK relaxing its guard re Covid precautions has not worked out very well.

  7. This post struck a real chord in me. I really quite enjoyed totalpuddle commutes, finding out that the only waterproof part of me, welshcyclist was his skin. On top of that was the feeling of accomplishment. Even on the windiest days, I might have been very tired pedalling into gale force winds, along what I call the Rheola straight, running alongside the pool of the same name, on the B4242, throughout the struggle I really enjoyed my endeavours. Yes, perhaps I have got a screw loose, somewhere. Really damp, drizzly weather here all day. Had a pedal on my own bike to nowhere, and the sportneer. Did some shopping with her indoors at Tescos. Now feeling somewhat lazy, when an expected parcel delivery arrived, a new knee brace I had ordered from Amazon. I was in my shorts in a trice to try it, both on the bike to nowhere and the sportneer, and it does make a real difference. I have been off work for almost a week now, using up annual leave entitlement, and still the opportunities have been rare to get out there to use my eccentric pedal, and attempt to be a proper cyclist again. Yesterday, her indoors had to go for her booster jab, me, I have to make the 40 mile round trip again tomorrow, we are never going to save this planet. Today, she who must be obeyed needed to go to the local surgery, then some shopping, visit to congratulate my middle son Conor on passing his Driving Instructor four year test, he got an A. Add to that the resurfacing of the roads around here, this would-be cyclist is still penned in. As usual, all the gear, eccentric pedal, fully serviced Pioneer and now a brand new knee brace, no idea! I really envy your totalpuddle day. Cheers.

    1. I really hope that you get some decent weather that lets you get out and try the new equipment properly. The brace sounds promising.

      Saving the planet will require some major changes in everyone’s lifestyle, a point that politicians, newspapers, commentators and even protesters are remarkably shy about mentioning.

      1. I agree, the protesters are very keen on protesting not doing! Everyone else in politics and the media just love their own hot air. We recycle and try to use the car as little as possible. While my son trains new drivers to release onto the roads. Electric cars, electric bikes, ordinary bikes and public transport have to be a major benefit to the saving of the planet. But sadly the will isn’t there yet

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