A pin drop

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce. A few days ago, he was walking round the path on the Castleholm created when Ty Pennington came to Langholm some years ago.

After several days suffering from the effects of Atlantic low pressure, our weather took a turn for the better today when a small ridge of high pressure sneaked in between the lows. I greatly surprised myself by getting up early and cycling down to the bike shop at Longtown before I would normally have finished my breakfast.

It was chilly at 5°C when I set out so I was well wrapped up. The forecasters had mentioned morning fog but there was only a light mist which was rising as I cycled down the main road.

I took my electric bike to the bike shop in Longtown to get new brake pads fitted for the front disk brake and to get the saddle post more securely locked in place so it won’t sink down as I pedal. I had arranged for the work to be done while I waited, and I had time for a walk round Longtown while the service was carried out.

I looked at the fine bridge over the River Esk . . .

. . . from both sides.

Longtown is a very early example of a planned town as it was built by a local landowner to accommodate the people that he wanted to move off his land. It was built in square terraces around fairly generous allotments for the townspeople to grow their own food. The terraces had arches built in so that manure could be carted into the allotments. They can still be seen today.

Other features caught my eye as I walked along its broad streets.

I stopped for a bacon butty and a cup of tea in a local cafe and got back to the bike shop just as the service was finished.

As it was such a good day, instead of going straight home, I cycled out through Gretna and along the Solway shore to Brow Houses. As usual when I visit the Solway, the tide was out but it was still very peaceful and pleasant to be down at the shore.

Looking across to the English side, it seemed that the mist might be taking longer to lift over there.

My brain was a bit addled by early morning cycling so I didn’t have the right camera settings to take advantage of the many shorebirds that were about . . .

. . . though I did catch a small skein of barnacle geese flying over head.

My cycling plan was to pedal around the flat lands beside the Solway and see how far I could go using only half my battery. I was going well, and had done 25 miles without using up a quarter of the charge when my phone unexpectedly rang. It was the bike shop telling me that they had found a pin on the floor of their workshop which should have been acting as a security lock on my new front brake pads. I changed my plan and cycled back to Longtown.

The pin was fitted and I set off again. Rather than retrace my steps back to the Solway, I decided to visit Kirklinton Hall and garden and then choose a route to get home. I went down the Brampton road and crossed the River Lyne . . .

. . . before turning off and crossing another bridge over a small tributary of the Lyne . . .

. . . from where I could see Kirklinton Church among the trees. I stopped again when I got to it.

I found out that St Cuthbert’s Church in the village of Kirklinton was rebuilt in 1845, but retains some original 12th century features. I thought that you would like to know that.

Kirklinton Hall is bit further on and I was very disappointed when I got to it to find that it was closed to the public. My chances of taking pictures of it were nil as it is well hidden from the road by trees.

Rather than go back to the main road, I decided to pedal on up the hill and take a cross country route back to Langholm. I was very pleased to be on my electric bike, as from here on there were endless undulations to deal with. Many of them had bridges at the bottom of steep hills, like this one over the River Lyne again.

There were more ups and downs and bridges to cross, and you can see the biggest dip in the bottom left picture in the panel below. I am about to plunge down to the border before climbing up again past the white houses in the distance.

The views and the developing autumn colours . . .

. . . kept my mind occupied, but even with electrical assistance, it was hard work and I was very happy to see the monument as I neared home with only one more steep hill to climb.

In the end, the second 25 miles with its hills took half of my battery power so I arrived home after 50 miles with only a quarter left. My new brake pads worked very well as I whizzed down some of the steep descents.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden when I got in, so after a bite to eat, a look at the crossword, and a quick check on the birds . . .

. . . I went out to help. She was in Attila the Gardener mode and there was plenty of shredding for me to do. Two boxes of material were added to the compost bin.

I did find time for a tour of the garden though. 5°C was as cold as it had got through the night so there were still plenty of flowers to look at . . .

. . . and even a bee on the Lemon Queen.The alert reader will notice that flowers that are past it may still offer something for a photographer.

The dahlias are beginning to show signs of wear and tear . . .

. . . but there are still some good looking ones and some can still attract a bee.

I found that Special Grandma has two good flowers and there are still occasional poppies to be seen.

After our good if slightly chilly weather today, we seem to be heading back to warmer, windier weather for the next two days. I ought to be getting out on my road bike but it is more likely that a walk will be the exercise of choice if the wind gets up above 20 mph again.

The flying bird of the day is two chaffinches heading for the same perch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A pin drop

  1. The pin reminds me of the rhyme, ‘For want of a nail the shoe was lost / for want of a shoe the horse was lost …’ What an array of interesting bridges, arches and churches today.

  2. A very enjoyable post and I’m sure it doesn’t surprise any of the readers that you took off on a super early morning adventure, but I do hope it wasn’t before 9 AM😁

  3. Nice that you could bike to the bike shop. Glad that the pin drop didn’t cause you to drop. I did enjoy reading about how the church still had twelfth-century features.

    1. I was pleased to have a good day for the bike service and also happy that they were actually able to do the service quickly and let me get on with a ride.

  4. I love the view of the colorful trees along the river, and of course the flowers. The yellow poppy is a beautiful thing.
    I do like to hear of 12th century features on your churches, because we’ll never see them here. Here we might see a square hole in the ground that goes down to where the 12th century might have happened. And there is little there to mark it.
    I thought your title was interesting since I had just been looking at hearing aids online.

      1. I believe he’s right but the problem here is that they’ve relaxed the rules so now you can buy hearing aids just about anywhere. There are hundreds of them out there so I’m in the middle of figuring out how you tell the good from the bad. If price is any indication I’d better start saving.

  5. It was a day of many lovely views: my favourites were the tree arching over the road and the burgundy dahlia. Longtown looks like an interesting place.

  6. I enjoyed your selection of photos, especially those views of the countryside today. I am glad they called you about the pin (cotter pin?) for your bike brakes.

  7. I, too, enjoyed the look round Longtown, at least the land owner didn’t just throw his tenants off the land. Lovely views over the Solway and also liked the two flying birds, which one won?

  8. There are no end to the wonderful cycle rides you take…long may they last! It’s lovely to enjoy the new views over countryside and visits to towns with tales of their interesting history. Pleased the missed pin didn’t cause any problems. Loved all the photos.

    1. I was happy that the mechanic had noticed the dropped pin. I might have noticed its absence at a critical moment if it hadn’t been replaced. It was a varied ride with hills and seaside.

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