Help for old knees

Today’s guest picture shows the West Mill at Darley Abbey Mills in Derby. My brother Andrew passed it on his walk today, and a good deal of noise indicated that it was being used as a wedding venue.

We had a generally dry day, with only one short shower to disturb the gardeners. Both Sandy and Margaret came for coffee so we had a sociable morning. When they left, we went round to the Buccleuch Centre to cast our votes in our local council elections.

I did some shopping and Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do a it of business at the Langholm Initiative.

After lunch, I had a quick look at the siskins . . .

. . . and then we got busy in the garden. The pesky peckers . . .

. . . had been hard at work again earlier in the morning, so Mrs Tootlepedal and I cleared al the uprooted moss off what was left of the lawn. There was a wheelbarrow load.

Then I cut the edges of the middle lawn, dead headed daffodils and tulips, sieved a little compost and took some pictures.

While Mrs Tootlepedal took a break from gardening to clean some windows, I mowed the front lawn and found quite a lot of grass growing among the vast areas of moss. I am going to keep mowing the front lawn, but we are going to leave about half of the middle lawn uncut for at least another month.

My road bike is at the bike shop in Longtown, and among other things, it is getting new handlebars. I had phoned to see how it was getting on, and foubnd that the mechanic didn’t want to fit the handlebars without me checking to see if they were what I wanted. Under the circumstances a visit was required, so I got out the electric bike and cycled down to the shop. Because I had powerful assistance, I took the hilliest route down to Longtown, crossing the Liddle Water at Penton . . .

. . . where I came across a Pyrenean Valerian beside the handsome bridge.

The trip to the bike shop and back across country went well, with pleasantly green views to be had and wild flowers to spot in the verges.

The projected handlebars looked to be what was required for greater control of steering and brakes together with a more upright riding position to protect my back a bit. I hope to get my road bike back soon.

Meanwhile, the folding electric bike performed very satisfactorily, getting me round 31 miles and up and down a lot of hills with no trouble at all. I only used the power assist when it was needed to make life a little easier going up slopes or into the wind, and as a result I had well over half the battery charge still to be used by the time that I got home. A longer ride could be undertaken with confidence, which is good to know.

The sun had come out by this time, and I watched a calm siskin and fierce redpolls at the feeder in the sunshine . . .

. . . while the wrecking crew reappeared on the middle lawn.

You would think that there was nothing left to peck by now.

The flying bird of the day is a redpoll sneaking past the feeder pole.

Footnote: Today’s East Wemyss gallery shows some of the buildings that we saw, and many of the ingenious planters created by the volunteer group that looks after the area.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Help for old knees

  1. I enjoyed the photos from your day, especially the old stone bridge and quiet water.

    That is quite the wrecking crew working your lawn. Whatever is lurking below the surface must be quite tasty to them. Grubs are probably a good source of fats and proteins.

  2. Why do you call the peckers ‘pesky’? Aren’t they doing your work for you? (And I’m sure they’d put the moss in the wheelbarrow if you asked them nicely.)

  3. The lawn birds are amazing. It’s like they have an endless supply of whatever it is they’re after.
    The valerian is beautiful. I’m not sure we have it here in the wild.
    I’m glad to hear that the electric bike is working out so well. I’m still on the fence but at least I know if I buy one it’s doubtful that I’ll be disappointed with its performance.

  4. East Wemyss looks to be a lovely and very well-tended community – it’s lucky that your family lives there and gives you a reason to visit!

    As for the birds – I was thinking just what Musiewild did – they seem to be helping you out by scarifying the lawn. It’s quite astonishing to see how much moss they lift and toss around.

  5. Lovely picture of the Liddle water bridge. Glad the electric bike is such a success.
    Enjoyed the East Wemyss gallery.

  6. A very pretty bridge at Penton and some other lovely photos on the way to the bike shop too especially the blaeberries in flower ( presume they are blueberries?) . East Wemyss is turning out to be one of the most interesting and photogenic places in Scotland!

  7. What are those ‘pesky peckers’ looking for? Insects? Or nesting material? As I told you in messenger, I’ve got my Swytch Bike running with, I hope, a very stable eccentric pedal attachment. By your description of using pedal assist only for inclines and battling against headwinds causing minimal battery usage. I think I may be on a winner to be able commute the whole way to work in the near future. I paid £50 for a tank full of unleaded petrol yesterday! I have never paid so much for petrol, ever. The Swytch Bike is making more and more sense. Will very high petrol prices keep the idiots off the road though? Talking of idiots they all seem to be going to football matches these days. Disgraceful behaviour! Not only are we destroying this planet of ours, we are producing lager louts by the thousands. It’s very depressing. Her indoors here is wanting me to get on with the great garden revival here. That means a winding path up to a back gate and fence. Railings on the steps and walls. Then flowers and shrubs. One problem, I don’t think my fingers are green enough!
    Keep those old knees moving. Cheers.

    1. Your garden project sounds very exciting. I hope that your hands are up t the task. The jackdaws were looking for leather jackets, we think. These are daddy long leg grubs.
      It would be nice to think that high petrol prices might reduce the number of cars and increases the number of cyclists but I am not holding my breath. Good luck with your biking adventures.

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