Some ups and downs

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew’s visit to his local park today. He chose a good day for it.

Once again I managed to keep to my resolve to do some work on the Archive Group’s newspaper index after breakfast. I am getting back in the groove and completed more pages than I expected, which was gratifying. When I had finished that task, I went round to the corner shop and came home and filled the bird feeder. Then I took a walk round the garden. There was hardly a butterfly to be seen today, and not many bees, but there are a lot of flies about and it is sometimes hard to take a flower picture without one or two sneaking into the shot.

I am a bit addicted to taking pictures of the salvias because I love their colour so much, and the pale blue hydrangea also casts a spell on me.

I went to check on the astrantias and found a visitor that was new to me also checking on them . . .

. . .and since it was unusual, I took a second photograph of it

I think that it may be a potter or mason wasp, but I am happy to be corrected if anyone knows better.

We had time for a cup of coffee before Sandy arrived on his electric bicycle. We had arranged to cycle across the moor to Newcastleton to have lunch in the Olive Tree cafe there with him. We jumped on our e-bikes and set off. About a minute later, we were back home again. It was apparent that Sandy’s tyres needed to be pumped up. Once they were inflated properly, we set off and soon found ourselves going up the hill to the White Yett in very nice conditions, sunny but not too hot.

Thanks to the electrical assistance, it wasn’t much longer before we had climbed the hill and were heading over the moor . . .

. . . past a lot of purple heather, looking good in the sunshine.

The road to Newcastleton is narrow but on the far side of the county boundary, it has been very well resurfaced.

The down side of this is that in many places the edge of the road is quite a bit higher than the verge. We often had to pull over to let cars by, and on one of these occasions Sandy found himself putting his foot down where there was a considerable drop before there was anything to put his foot down on. As a result, he unavoidably but gracefully toppled over. Very fortunately, he landed on a soft tussock, and after a moment for him to get upright and orientated again, we were able to continue as planned.

We arrived in Newcastleton without further incident and enjoyed a good lunch in the cafe.

We had rushed down the hill into the village on our way over but we went considerably slower up the steep hill on our return journey. This let us appreciate the wild flowers in the verges. There was a lot of scabious.

The hill is so steep that the village is completely hidden when you look back.

Our trip home went smoothly without further incident until Mrs Tootlepedal, who has a small battery on her bike, found herself without any power left with the last hill still to go. This was annoying, as we had done the journey a month ago with sufficient charge to get us both home. Still, it is no fun pushing or trying to pedal a heavy electric bike uphill, so I put on full power, whisked home as fast as I could, got into our car, and drove back to pick up the stranded cyclist and her bicycle. Sandy had politely stayed with her to keep her company. We drove home, and he pedalled back behind us. Why the battery died this time when it had managed the last trip is a mystery. We went at the same speed.

It was a pity because the small crisis had cast a little shadow over what had been, and still was in spite of it, an enjoyable and sociable outing.

We had a cup of tea when we got home, watched the last kilometres of today’s Vuelta stage, and then heard a knock at our back door. Our neighbour Kenny had come to ask Mrs Tootlepedal’s advice about greenfly on his lupins. We went to investigate. He certainly had greenfly on his lupins.

Thousands of them.

I went to check on our lupins. They were seedy but greenfly free.

While I was in the garden I took a quick dahlia survey . . .

. . . registered a very late delphinium flower . . .

. . . and then went back to join Kenny and Mrs Tootlepedal. The verdict was ‘cut the lupins back severely’. Kenny has some lovely flowers in his garden along the dam side at the back of our house.

This is very good as we get the benefit of seeing them without the work of growing and looking after them.

I had to refill the feeder which had been emptied in our absence, and it didn’t take long for birds to notice. First, a siskin . . .

. . . and then a goldfinch.

As I hadn’t caught a flying bird yet, I went out into the garden after our evening meal to see if there were any birds flying overhead. Luckily for me, a squad of homing pigeons were out doing their training.

I had gammon and spinach for my evening meal but there was no roly-poly to go with it. Heigh-ho.

The flying bird of the day is a pair of those keep fit pigeons.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Some ups and downs

  1. Enlightenment!! How many times have I sung Froggie Went a-Wooing…to my kids, myself, the animals, as I do my shopping … and although Ive googled the whole Anthony Rowley bit Ive never once considered the roly poly being A roly poly. Every day’s a schoolday 😁

    1. I have always assumed that that is what it is without every checking up. We used to have jam roly poly pudding quite a lot when we were children.

  2. I was afraid that you were doing to tell us that Sandy hurt his foot when he stepped off the asphalt onto the lower verge – very glad that wasn’t so!

  3. I’ve always wondered why your roads were so narrow, but then I just assumed it was because there were no cars when they were made. Too bad they couldn’t widen them though. Sandy probably would agree.
    That’s also too bad about the battery running down sooner than expected. That’s the one thing that makes me iffy about buying an electric bike.
    The heather and the views were beautiful.

    1. Mrs T’s battery is very small compared to the battery on mine. Her bike is probably aimed at city use rather than hilly expeditions. The plus side is that she can lift her bike up which she couldn’t do to mine. The battery problem is no worse than the probability of running out of petrol in a car. It can generally be solved by buying a secondary battery and taking it with you on a trip as back up.

  4. I enjoyed the photos from your day. Thank you for including that view with the heather. I think I might have stopped there, just to look upon it for a while.

    I wonder if the bike battery has a problem and could be possibly exchanged.

    I hope Sandy did not injure his foot when he fell. Seems that he just got back to walking not long ago.

  5. The view of the heather is lovely – our hills are sporting a similar purple hue with our version of heather. Apart from a hitch or two, your outing was a splendid idea!

  6. A beautiful route for a bicycle ride, sorry about the surprisingly early loss of battery power.
    I hope you sang a the rowley powley song when eating your gammon and spinach.

  7. Good to see some up to date views of the Copshaw Road Lui Pelosi ________________________________

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