Singing, biking and shopping

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia. She has been visiting Cornwall, where she found this military display of sunflowers all in a row.

Our sunflowers are not nearly out yet but the sun was certainly out here today, and we had another lovely summer day.

We cycled to church in the morning, and although our organ has still not been put back in place, we enjoyed singing some familiar hymns, and joined in with gusto. I was reading the lessons today and in the Old Testament reading, I read this verse:

“Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.”

It would be lovely to think that these words from the psalms might be at the forefront of the minds of those hoping to become our next prime minister.

We had coffee when we got home, and then went out into the garden. Attila the Gardener decided that an azalea had gone past it use by date and heaved it out. I planted some more wild flowers in the mini meadow, picked some raspberries, did some watering, and wandered about taking photographs.

I had better luck with the bees today, but there are still nothing like the number that there should be.

The little patio rose is bursting out all over . . .

. . . and the alstroemeria have come out.

We were finding it quite warm (25°C/78°F) and a blackbird was too.

Above our heads, aeroplanes seemed all to be going to the same place.

In the garden, there was plenty of interest . . .

. . .and I took set of pictures just so that I could make a pheeble joke about phresh phlox and phaded phlowers.

When I went in and looked out at the birds, I could see that it was a day for single footed landings.

The verbascum saga had taken a new twist today.

After lunch, we let the hottest part of the day go past as we watched the Tour de France stage. This time we didn’t watch to the end, and resolutely turned the telly off, packed our bikes into the car, and drove 20 miles up the road to Hawick. Once there, we unpacked the bikes, and pedalled a 15 miles circular route through Denholm, going out on one side of the River Teviot valley and back to Hawick on the other.

We left the town by an unfamiliar route, and found that it was amazingly steep almost immediately. At times, if we hadn’t had the help of our electric motors, we might have struggled even to walk up the hills pushing out bikes. However, with a good deal of strenuous pedalling, we made it to the sunlit uplands above the town . . .

. . . with views across the valley to purple fields.

Mrs Tootlepedal thought that they might be fields of phacelia.

Our route continued to be undulating, as we passed the little church at Kirkton . . .

. . . enjoyed the view of the Eildon Hills near Melrose to to our left . . .

. . . and the cone shaped Ruberslaw to our right.

The top of Ruberslaw turned out to be very craggy with a trig point shining in the sun on its summit (424m).

We cycled along the side of the hill . . .

. . . before plunging downhill to the little village of Denholm, which has a central green . . .

. . . and a fine bridge over the Teviot.

While I scrambled down to the waterside to take the picture, Mrs Tootlepedal peered over the parapet to see what had become of me. Along the river, an enormous field of potatoes was getting some much needed irrigation.

When we had crossed the bridge, we pedalled steadily uphill towards Minto Hill . . .

. . . but luckily our road took a turn to the left before we had to climb too far. We wound our way back to Hawick through gentle farmland without seeing any sign of purple fields. We looked across the broad valley for a more distant view of Ruberslaw.

Our fifteen mile trip took us just about an hour and a half, and this left us plenty of time to pay a visit to a well known discount supermarket before we made our way back to Langholm.

While both car and cycles batteries were recharging, an evening meal of steak and mushrooms, followed by home picked raspberries with clotted Cornish cream rounded off an excellent day.

There is no flying bird of the day today, as I didn’t have a lot of time to watch birds. A flying bee modestly steps forward to fill the gap.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Singing, biking and shopping

  1. If only your reading were taken to heart – and not just by British politicians. A good dose of that attitude would improve things just about everywhere.

    Do you grow flax in the UK? If I’d seen that purple field in MB, I would automatically assume that’s what it was (and especially beautiful when growing adjacent to a field of canola in bloom).

  2. It looks like the verbascum is starting to question its own behavior.
    The purple field was beautiful. That’s a lot of green manure, if that’s what it was.
    I like the shots through the bridge arch. The river could use some rain though, and so could the potato fields. I wonder if they’re pumping water from a river to water them.

    1. I think that that they must be taking water from the river to irrigate the potatoes. I don’t know how long they will be able to do that if it doesn’t rain seriously soon.

  3. “It would be lovely to think that these words from the psalms might be at the forefront of the minds of those hoping to become our next prime minister.” If only all world leaders thought this way! Fewer wars, perhaps? A happier, healthier and more productive populace?

    Your lovely and peaceful photos from the day have helped make a pleasant evening over here on this side of the Big Pond, where we ponder our own national problems. 🙂

    1. Absolutely what the doctor ordered. They make cycling together a treat, as it is much more easy to match our speeds and we can choose any route we like. When I go out by myself, I use the power to help me keep up a good cadence so I get a different sort of fitness training from the road bike where I rather plod along these days.

  4. Absolutely right your thoughts of the reading. There are too many politicians preaching water while drinking wine. – A beautiful outing you had. The blue field may be indeed phacelia – just to fall in to your phlox.

    1. We were as happy as we could be as we pedalled though the beautiful countryside. We have waited quite a long time for some warm weather to arrive.

      1. I’d gladly give my eye teeth for some cool weather. We’ve had upper 90s to low 100s for what seems like weeks by now. Lucky for a rare nighttime thunder storm and rain, but that’s about it. You’re further north and I think you’re got the better temps.

      2. We are in a very temperate zone thanks to the North Atlantic current coming up from the Gulf which warms our shores. Without that, we would be a cold place in winter, much like Moscow.

  5. Absolutely beautiful. I too am a fan of the purple fields. And thanks for the bees. I have been happy to have bees enjoying my flowers but concur there are fewer.

  6. How interesting to see the Eildon Hills … there is a farm tucked away in the Eastern Cape called Eildon – named by a Scottish arrival among the 1820 Settlers. He probably had these hills in mind.

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