The open road

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He walked across this fine metal viaduct at Bennerley, built in 1877 by the Great Northern Railway Company. At over quarter of a mile long, it is the longest wrought iron viaduct in the country. It straddles the River Erewash connecting Ilkeston in Derbyshire with Awsworth in Nottinghamshire.

My brother had a lovely day for his recent walk. We had yet another grey day here. At least our weather is consistent as it was 5Β°C again.

However, in another way, the day was exceptional because Sandy walked down to have coffee with me. This was a great triumph and the furthest that he has walked since his operation. I thought that it was only fair to give him a lift back up the hill in the car when we had finished sipping and chatting.

I had another cup of coffee when Margaret came round for a cup and a chat with Mrs Tootlepedal, and then I cycled round to the shop to stock up on syrup and corned beef. I made some lentil soup for lunch and entirely forgot to make myself a corned beef sandwich to go with it. I will not starve though, as a number of ginger biscuits had disappeared during my double coffee break.

After lunch, I had a look for birds and found a visiting charm of goldfinches . . .

. . . supervised by a pigeon in the walnut tree.

Mrs Tootlepedal came out into the garden with me to check on the growing number of snowdrops to be seen . .

. . . while a hip on the Wren rose also caught my eye.

Mrs Tootlepedal went in to make a gingerbread cake to Mary Berry’s granny’s recipe, while I dug over another couple of rows of the new potato bed, and then went for a short walk.

We have been advised that the Wauchope road, my most frequent cycle route, will be closed for quite a while, so I went to check . . .

. . .whether pedestrians would be able to get through, and more importantly, whether pedestrians pushing cycles would be able to get through. It turned out that cyclists pedalling cycles would have no difficulty getting through so that was a relief. In the meantime I walked on past the drainage works and took the road up to Becks Farm.

It was not a windy day . . .

. . . but it remained a very grey day.

I walked up to Becks Farm, and found that it was just as misty looking down the valley as it was looking up it, or indeed, across it.

I found that the wood near the old curling pond had been almost totally demolished by Storm Arwen, and a copse of trees by the farmhouse had been left looking decidedly odd.

There were things to look at (and things looking at me). . .

. . . until I finally stopped and turned for home when hedges and walls were were replaced by fences.

I didn’t go all the way back down the road, but turned off when I came to the path leading down to the wooden bridge over the Becks Burn . . .

. . . and I went very carefully down the steep bank to the bridge, and very slowly up the steep bank on the other side.

As I took the track back to town, I used my new found liverwort spotting skills and realised that they are to be found on every side on smooth barked trees.

Just as I came to the top of the hill above the field at Holmwood, a great racket of birds made me look up.

My Lumix told me that they were starlings.

A horse in the field looked up as I went by . . .

. . . and went back to grazing.

Today is the 54th anniversary of the day when Mrs Tootlepedal and I got married, and I called in on our friends Mike and Alison on my way home, and invited them round for tea and ginger cake to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

They duly arrived, and we were very pleased to have their company. As we are not going on sprees at the moment, tea, ginger cake and old friends were the very best way to make it a special day.

It is extremely difficult to get a good flying garden bird in this dull weather. Today was no exception.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “The open road

  1. Congratulations on achieving such a momentous milestone along the path of your life together; congratulations to Sandy for making it down the hill under his own steam; and another round of applause for your delightful selection of pictures today!

  2. Happy Anniversary to you and Mrs T. I’m also glad to read Sandy has made such good progress. And, I’m now craving the taste of ginger, whether it be in a cake or biscuits.

  3. Congratulations to you and Mrs. Tootlepedal. Greatly enjoy your blog for all the interesting things you see and chatter about. I’ve learned many new-to-me things by following your wanderings, the latest being Liverwort. Fascinating. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  4. I add my congratulations on your fine achievement of reaching 54 years of married life and am glad you were able to celebrate the occasion with old friends. I loved the photograph of the horse looking at you so quizzically.

  5. 54 years together is an amazing accomplishment, and I’m happy for you both.
    I’m also happy to hear that Sandy was out walking. I hope his legs continue to improve.
    The snowdrops were great to see. We won’t be seeing any here for a while.

  6. Congratulations to you and Mrs. Tootlepedal on 54 years of marriage, and to Sandy on being able to walk to your place for coffee. Tea and ginger cake, and old friends sounds like a perfect way to celebrate.

    I enjoyed all the grey and misty day photos. There is much to see everywhere, and I am glad you are finding lots of liverworts. The Forests of Lilliput hold many treasures for those who look. πŸ™‚ I am reminded that tomorrow I will have good weather again, and must remember to photograph the hazelnut blooms and an interesting lichen I found.

  7. Congratulations! And from all that I can tell, it’s not only that years have gone by, but there is a good partnership today and going into the future. I’m always impressed to read accounts of the division of responsibilities between you and Mrs T. You seem to complement each other very nicely.

  8. A fine variety of pictures along your walk. I liked the one of the inquisitive horse.
    Congratulations on your 54th wedding anniversary. Special cake and a visit from friends sounds just the way to celebrate.

  9. Congratulations on the wedding anniversary of yours and Mrs. T. It was our 40th last week but we had to postpone a short trip away because of an illness of my m-in-law.
    If I’m out on my bike and I see a road closed sign I’m one of those who has to go and have a look – I’ve yet to be stopped from getting through – though my cleats have become somewhat muddy a couple of times.

  10. My first teaching post was in Awsworth in the 60’s! Congratulations on your anniversary- you celebrated in style with an interesting cycle ride, meet up with your friends and ginger cake- another perfect day.

  11. The photo in the top right quadrant of the gallery below the sheep has me intrigued. Something akin to a pine cone, but not quite…?
    Happy Anniversary to the two of you!!! πŸ’ž (and to Sandy for the progress he’s making.)

  12. Happy belated anniversary! I know it’s not the sort of thing you do on this blog, but maybe for your 55th you could give us a few photos of you and Mrs T over the years. I, for one, would love that.

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