Pastures new

Today’s guest picture comes from a recent visit to Bath by my Somerset correspondent Venetia. This famous bridge and weir made a guest appearance in the film version of Les Miserables where they were magically transported to Paris.

We had another lovely day here, but sadly the wall to wall sunshine was accompanied by a brisk wind so I didn’t feel the call to go for a pedal. We had a busy morning all the same. Our neighbour Margaret came round for coffee for the first time for three weeks. I went shopping. We pruned a buddleia, shredded the branches and added them to the compost. Mrs Tootlepedal tidied up the hellebores. And then it was time for lunch.

The garden is colourful in parts.

I had a brief look at the bird feeder and saw only chaffinches . . .

. . . and a longer look at the holly tree where starlings were posing.

After lunch, we had a Zoom meeting with our granddaughter Matilda and her parents in Edinburgh. Matilda has caught Covid at school but was remarkably cheery, as were her parents who have not caught it from her yet.

Then I went for a walk, and it was warm enough for me not to need a jacket. This was a great treat.

Cycling down the Wauchope road last month . . .

. . . I thought that it would make an interesting outing to walk up to the top of Warbla from the gate at the bridge instead of up the usual track from the park. This looked like a good day to give it a go, so I walked up the road, spotting this little point of interest as I went.

When I got to the bridge, I went through the gate and started up the hill. It was steeper than it looks in the picture. I gained height quite quickly, and was happy to pause every now and again to take in the views.

It was hard work on the rough ground and I don’t think that I would have been able to do it without the assistance of my poles. I don’t push hard on the poles to propel me uphill, but even gentle pressure on the poles is a great help. They keep me balanced and let me step with confidence.

It turned out to be three quarters of a mile to the top with just under 600 feet of climbing, so it was hardly mountaineering, but it definitely felt like an achievement to have found a new route.

The ridge at the top of the climb is unassuming in itself, but it does offer really good views.

I walked down the ridge and then up on to the little knoll at the trig point where I took the obligatory picture over the town and up the Ewes valley . . .

. . . but I didn’t stop there a moment longer than I had to. The strong wind was really piercing and for the first and only time on my walk, I felt rather chilly.

I came down over rough ground to the track to Skippers Bridge, and as I descended, the sun went down too. I enjoyed the play of light and shadows on my way back to town.

A backlit magnolia greeted me at the garden gate.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon trying not to watch or to listen to Scotland losing to Ireland at rugby.

Later on a dangerous crisis was averted. What threatened to be a complete biscuit drought was averted by good work by the ginger biscuit fairy.

It was also the day when the last bouquet of birthday flowers for Mrs Tootlepedal arrived.

The florist has done us proud, and we have had lovely flowers in the house all through the winter months. It is a birthday present idea that may come to me again next year.

I didn’t get a flying bird of the day today so a shy dunnock, spotted in a flower bed at midday, is standing in.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Pastures new

  1. You were wise to choose a grassy route. I climbed a trail yesterday that was slippery mud the whole way.
    The flowers were indeed a nice birthday gift. Mrs. Tootlepedal must have been very pleased.
    I’m sorry to hear about Matilda. I hope her parents stay virus free.

    1. It has been pretty dry lately so the going was much better than I thought it would be. The top of the hill is very boggy in normal winter conditions. It makes it softer when I fall over though.

  2. What a beautiful bouquet of flowers to end the series of gifts with! The new route sounds interesting and was well rewarded with good views. Even though she is unwell, it feels right to hear about Mathilda again 🙂

  3. You made a nice climb and I know that poles can be a good assistance. I also used them in the mountains and it’s a great help as well for climbing as for descending. The panoramas are great as usual.

  4. I know what you mean about not using pressure on walking poles. I only use one, if at all, but then it is invaluable, nay essential, for me to keep my balance over some tricky passages.

  5. The garden does have some spots of good color with more to come! The starlings are like flying jewels. It is unfortunate they are an invasive species here and people tend not to like them for that reason. The dunnock is looking very dapper today.

    The expansive views of the countryside are always a treat. To be able to look upon them in person must be food for the soul.

  6. Well done for planning that wonderful birthday present for Mrs T…I’ll have to make sure your post gets read by him who lives in the workshop! Well done too for finding that new route and accomplishing such a good climb. Best wishes to Matilda.

    1. You have to make sure that the man in the workshop fronts up enough money to keep good quality bouquets arriving. It was not a cheap option. 🙂

  7. That climb up the hill wore me out just looking at the lovely rolling hills you provided. I’m quite impressed at your stamina. I’ve discovered how much poles can help with balance when hiking, too. The next challenge is remembering to pick them back up if I foolishly set them down somewhere to take a picture.

      1. “Pole trained” … I like that. I’ll have to work at it! Eric did put a loop (to put around my wrist) on the special beaver chewed stick he found for me. Actually, two of them. Those are pretty special. I best not loose them!

  8. Looks like mountain climbing to me. Glad Matilda is resilient and hope Matilda’s parents are able to resist catching Covid. I like the backlit magnolia.

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