Seriously deflated

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan. She found this charming table decoration when she went for a cup of coffee while shopping this morning.

According to the old saying, a red sky at night should be a shepherd’s delight, and our hopes for a bright day after yesterday’s good sunset were realised as we woke to the sun shining on the town. The shepherd might have wished for a slightly warmer day though, but it was very pleasant as I walked through to the High Street to do a little shopping after a late breakfast.

The sun never gets very high in the sky at this time of year so there were plenty of shadows about to remind us that it is winter now, even when the sun shines.

The wise old owl in Mary Street has seen a few years go by now.

Having done my High Street shopping, I had passed the owl on my way to the monthly market in the Buccleuch Centre where I purchased fairly local cheese, fresh fish and good sourdough bread. An iced pain au raisin might have been involved too.

When I got home, we had a rather late cup of coffee with our neighbour Margaret, and then I took a moment to look at the birds. Chaffinches and goldfinches were to the fore today.

Mrs Tootlepedal had slow cooked a ham hock in the Ninja Foodi yesterday and she used the stock to make some excellent broth which we enjoyed for our lunch today with slices of the sourdough bread.

Fortified by this nourishing meal, I decided to brave the cold and go for a cycle ride. It was 6°C with a light north wind and in spite of the sunshine, the temperature was dropping. After the successful test ride yesterday, I resolved to do a sporting 26 mile circuit on my electric bike, taking in some hills and good views in the sunshine. You can imagine my deep disappointment when I discovered that although my repaired rear tyre had survived the test ride, I now had a puncture in my front tyre. It seems as though there are thorns on every back road at the moment.

I put my e-bike away and got out my road bike and cycled rather boringly up the thornless main road to the north of the town for ten miles. And then I bicycled back again.

Before I left the garden, I noticed that airline pilots were trying to set up a game of noughts and crosses.

The Ewes valley was looking inviting when I started out . . .

. . . and as I pedalled up it, the hills were bathed in the low sunshine . . .

. .. on both sides of the valley.

The top of the valley looked quite dramatic.

I followed the road to the top of the hill as it squeezed through its narrow gap, and then paused for a look to see how the aerial noughts and crosses game was going. The pilots had made a complete mess of it.

It is only on days like today that we can see just how many aeroplanes are overflying us.

It was so sunny at Mosspaul . . .

. . . that I was almost tempted to go a little further. I am glad that I was sensible as the sun was quite low enough on my return journey . . .

. . . and was just sinking behind the Gates of Eden when I was nearing the end of my ride.

It was also pretty cold by this time, so I was glad to get home for a warming cup of tea. I did have a quick check round the garden before I went in. Special Grandma is not giving up without a struggle.

Then Mrs Tootlepedal and I spent some time on her spreadsheets, a rather thankless task that required reconciling two lists of over 300 names to see what had been missed out and what was to be added. However, we did it, and it was good to get the job done.

It was just as well that I got my cycle ride in today because when I looked at the forecast, it seems that we might be in a for a week of quite frosty nights and fairly chilly days from Monday on. I will have to get my walking boots out.

A second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pie rounded off a satisfactory day.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Seriously deflated

  1. The owl is a fantastic piece of artful woodwork.
    Bad luck with the punctures, but at least they didn’t happen miles from home.
    Superb shot of the top of the valley,nice contrasts of light and dark.
    Great ride by the way..not many cyclists on the roads at present.
    You made the most of today as the forecast is for a cold snap next week.

  2. You do have a lot of planes flying overhead. Glad you got a bike ride in before really chilly weather arrives. Let’s just say that Special Grandma is indeed very special to be blooming in December.

  3. I am sorry to hear the front tire has a thorn now. I am glad you went out with the other bike. The views are quite beautiful, specially the sun sinking behind the Gates of Eden.

    Your roses are quite determined to bloom on!

    1. I have Schwalbe marathon plus on my road bike. They are very good. I don’t know whether you can get them for the wheel size and width that would suit my e-bike.

  4. A beautiful, sunny but cold day to go out by bike. We’re bad luck that you now got a thorn in your front wheel. Murphy’s law applies twice!

      1. Sadly so. Local residents are trying to fight against the new wind farm which has huge turbines but we think that they will not win.

  5. Stunning views and a lovely cycle ride…except for the puncture beforehand … which means another visit to get it mended. Love the owl sculpture can’t remember seeing him before.

  6. That’s too bad about a second puncture but it’s making you think about puncture-less tires so maybe it will all turn out for the best.
    It was nice to see the owl carving.
    My favorites were the shots of the sun bathed hillsides.

    1. The hills were looking good after being shrouded with mist and clouds. I hope that I can get some durable tyres as getting punctures takes all the fun out of cycling.

  7. What a disappointment that flat front tyre must have been! I enjoyed seeing all your hills and valleys again especially as they were swathed in sunshine.

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