Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Cycle outings’ Category

I have run out of current guest pictures so I looked in my files and I am using one from last month again.  I  was so impressed by my sister Susan’s guerrilla gardener’s work that I am showing his/her earlier effort to brighten the neighbourhood.  Everyone should be doing this.

20191004_142951 (1)

We had a brighter morning.  Hooray.  We could even see quite bit of blue sky as we ate our breakfast.  It wasn’t quite as good as it might have been because the blue sky was on one side of the house and sun was on the other side where the clouds were, so we didn’t actually get any sunshine in the garden.

All the same it looked like a day for a bike ride.  There is a gap between looking and being and that gap was filled by coffee, toast and the crossword.  I am still finding it quite hard to discover where I have put my get up and go in the mornings.

I killed a little time by looking at a greenfinch.

_DSC5928

And then I cleaned the feeder and refilled it.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Hawick on embroidery business before I finally managed to get the wheels turning and hit the road.  The temperature was still in single figures and with a north easterly wind, the ‘feels like’ factor was strong enough to make me grateful for every one of the many layers  in which I was encased.

This picture, taken three miles after my start, summed up the day quite well, I thought.

P1190346

But it wasn’t raining and the chilly wind was behind me so I pedalled along cheerfully, stopping from time to time to take pictures.

This is an old mission or outreach church at Kirtleton, now converted to a private dwelling.P1190347

I like the potential oxbow lake near Waterbeck.  The tree on  the left of the recent landslip must be considering its position nervously.

P1190348

Considering their size and the enormous weight of wire that they carry, pylons have very dainty feet.

P1190350

It is a curiosity that beech hedges retain their leaves long after beech trees have shed theirs. I am told that this is because by routinely cutting hedges below 2 metres the plants are kept in their juvenile state, so retaining their dead leaves which get pushed off the tree with emerging new growth in the spring. 

It cheers up the roadside on a dreary day.

 

P1190351

Any hint of blue sky disappeared as I pedalled along, but the rain stayed away so I could stop to indulge my liking for bare trees without getting the camera wet.

This one was leaning politely to one side to make room for passing traffic (only me today).

P1190353

And this one was retaining a little foliage in spit of its exposed position.

P1190354

The hedges here are hawthorn and have lost their leaves.

The wind had helped me on the way out and for the first twenty five miles of my outing, I was able to average a respectable 13.3 mph.  Coming home into the wind and up the gentle hill was a different matter and for the last 15 miles, 12 mph was all that I could muster.  I was happy to stop and admire the well appointed village centre at Glenzier, with its refurbished hall, bus stop, post box and telephone kiosk.

P1190355

The bus service is infrequent however, and in general, cycling to Langholm is the quickest way to go.

I have done very little cycling in November so my legs were more than happy to suggest ending the journey after forty miles when I got back to Langholm.  As it was getting gloomy again by this time, I was quite happy to fall in with my legs.

I had a cup of tea and checked on the birds.

Our resident robin was hopping about under the feeder.

_DSC5931

…and a lone siskin was testing out the peanuts.  I expect to see a lot more of these before the winter is over.

_DSC5938

On the feeder, resident birds were keeping an eye out…

_DSC5940

…for incoming traffic.

_DSC5941

I had a shower and spent some time going over songs for the Carlisle choir Christmas concert.  With ten days to go, any spare moment can be usefully spent doing more of this as we are slightly under rehearsed and there are quite a few tricky  corners to be negotiated.

On consulting my spreadsheet, I see that today’s bike ride took my total distance for the year to over 3000 miles.  As I was hoping for 4000 miles when the year started, this is well below target but trouble with my feet in the early part of the year kept my cycling miles well down for three months, so I am quite pleased to have hit this B target.  I have done 2000 miles in the last six months and that has been very satisfactory.

If the weather is kind in December, I may be able to add a few more miles before the years end.

I didn’t get a chance to catch a good flying bird at the feeder so I have sneaked in a few low flying gulls in a field near Glenzier to act as flying birds of the day.

P1190352

 

Read Full Post »

Looking through my files. I found that I had overlooked this guest picture sent to me by my sister Susan last month.  It shows the good work of a guerrilla gardener who is brightening up her neighbourhood.

guerilla gardener

After spending some time devoted to the essentials of life, reading the papers and doing the crossword, I felt the need for some novelty and went off to visit our corner shop to buy milk.

“Where is the novelty in that?” I hear the attentive reader cry.

Well, in a deeply unsettling event, our corner shop, which has been on a corner about 100 yards from our door for decades, has suddenly upped and moved 150 yards further away, round a corner and down the road.  It is now a quarter of a mile away and not on a corner any more.  The world has shaken on its foundation.

I managed to find it without too much of a problem.

When I got back though, I needed a coffee to settle my nerves.

After coffee and a few ginger biscuits, I felt that the lack of actual rain outside on a very grey day justified the putting on of cycling gear and getting out my bike.

As I was going out of the door, I passed Mrs Tootlepedal coming in.  “It’s just starting to rain,” she said.

Was I discouraged?  Well, I was a little discouraged but the rain was light and the day was reasonably warm so I pedalled off in good spirits, helped by having a friendly wind pushing me along.

I managed to last for twenty miles, pedalling up the top of Callister and back down to the town, and then up as far as  Wauchope Schoolhouse and back so that I was never too far from home in case the day turned nasty.  It rained pretty well all the time, but generally so lightly that it wasn’t a drawback to enjoyment.  It was wet enough for me to keep my camera in my pocket until just outside Langholm, I came across a small river of fungus flowing down a bank beside the road.

river of fungus

I had never seen fungus there before so I stopped for a look.

Springhill fungus

When I got home, I was just about to have some soup which Mrs Tootlepedal had made while I was out, when I thought that I saw two robins in the plum tree.

I took two pictures with my cycling camera.  Whether they were of two different birds or the same one on two different branches, I cannot say for sure.  This one looks familiar…

robin in plum tree

…but this one has been ringed and is certainly not our usual friend.

ringed robin

The day got greyer and greyer, if that was possible, so photographing birds through the window was a bit of a thankless task, made harder by a distinct lack of birds. (I blame encroaching cats among other things.)

I did see some birds enjoying our sunflower hearts, among them this chaffinch, who like me had been getting a little wet…

chaffinch eating seed

…and this goldfinch who apparently wasn’t enjoying the meal as much as it might.

goldfinch eating seed

I did catch another glimpse of a robin, this time lurking under a hedge.

shy robin

I put a grey afternoon to good use by practising some of our Carlisle choir songs and Mrs Tootlepedal and I were singing away when Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea.

When he left, I lit a fire in the front room and got ready for the arrival of my flute pupil Luke.  He has been practising a bit in a most satisfactory way and I will definitely have to work hard to keep up with him.

I thought that today might be as grey as it could get but it looks as though it is going to be even greyer tomorrow.  Flying birds might be in short supply.  This ‘just landed’ flying bird was the best that I could do today.

nearly flying chaffinch

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who is anxious to prove that the sun continues to shine in East Wemyss.  He took this picture this afternoon.

Tony's view

Unlike East Wemyss, it was a very grey day here today but the temperature had risen to a reasonable 6°C, so I left Mrs Tootlepedal and Patricia to think about a walk and got my bike out for my first pedal for more than two weeks.

It was grey when I started out and the view wasn’t a great deal more exciting than the garage wall I had been looking at yesterday when I had been on the bike to nowhere…

Bloch dull day

…though there were always trees to look at…

Bloch tree

…and a comfortable cow at Canonbie.

canonbie cow

I didn’t take any pictures in the ten miles between the tree and the cow because it was raining.  Fortunately, as I passed the cow the rain died away and the wind, which I had feared might slow my progress on the way home, proved to be more helpful than not, so I enjoyed the last six miles of my customary 20 mile Canonbie circuit.

My enjoyment was enhanced by seeing work actually going on at the site of the proposed new Canonbie sewage works.  This site was first dug out in October 2016 so they have not been rushing to get going on the project.

canonbie sewage works

Further up the road, I was very pleased to see that all the trees, big and small, have been cleared from beside the old road near Irvine House.  Previously, this section of road has been perpetually shadowed by trees and has been dark and damp with layers of slippery leaves making things dangerous for cyclist.  This is a big improvement.

old a7 irvine house

When I got back onto the new main road, I was once again enchanted by the show of larches planted when the road was made a few years ago.

new a7 auchenrivock

Since it was my birthday today, I was more than usually pleased to have been able to get out for a pedal.  Mrs Tootlepedal and Patricia had not been so fortunate, because as soon as they had got out of the door to start their walk, it had started to rain. They had abandoned the plan and stayed in.

We thought that we ought to be able to offer our guest Patricia an outing of some sort so after lunch, we drove back down the road towards Canonbie and paid a visit to Gilnockie Tower.

Gilnockie Tower November

This 16th Century tower house has been extensively renovated and now offers a ‘visitor experience’.  And a good one too, we thought.

We paid our money and we looked around.  We were impressed by the original fireplace on the first floor and also by the modern wood burning stove that had been installed in it which was keeping the room very snug.

Gilnockie Tower fireplace

The very thick walls might have helped to keep the room warm too.  The  window revealed just how thick the walls are.

Gilnockie Tower window

The view from the window on the floor above was good.

Gilnockie Tower view

This floor was devoted to a family bedroom and the sharp eyed reader will be able to spot Mrs Tootlepedal making use of the comprehensive audio guide which was provided for visitors.

Gilnockie Tower bed

On the next floor, which contained documents, paintings, photographs and other information,  a corner of the room is devoted to Neil Armstrong who visited the tower in 1972.

Gilnockie Tower Neil Armsrong

Access to the various floors is by means of a steep and winding spiral staircase and I was quite impressed that I managed to climb all the way to the top of the tower.

Gilnockie Tower stair

Mrs Tootlepedal and Patricia opened the door that led to the gallery that runs round the top of the tower…

Gilnockie Tower balcony

…but didn’t venture out onto it,

I had already retreated down the stairs to the safety of solid ground.

In a sign of the times, a neat walkway leads round the back of the tower to a toilet block for the convenience of visitors.

Gilnockie Tower outside toilet

Not everything has been spruced up though and I was happy to find a section of wall round the car park which was rich in lichen.

Gilnockie Tower lichen

The restoration has been done very well and the tower is full of interesting information so we were happy to have paid our visit to it.

When we got back, I made baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for our evening meal and we followed that up with the very last of the tarte tatin.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday night visit and while Alison and I played music, Patricia, Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal chatted away.  Alison and I joined in and the conversation was general for a while, though it was interrupted by the arrival of a very fine birthday cake.  This had been cooked and compiled by Mrs Tootlepedal.

Birthday cake 2019

This brought a very satisfactory day to a close.

No flying bird of the day?  You can’t have everything even if it is your birthday.

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture shows a very unusual public library.  Mary Jo took the picture and it show her library.  Standing at her gate end, it does a surprising amount of lending.

Mary Jo's Library

Although the temperature here was above freezing all day today, it wasn’t much above freezing.  As a result, after preparing a beef stew for the slow cooker, I put in half an hour on Mrs Tootlepedal’s exercise bike to get my legs turning over.  I have had a period of cycling inaction recently due to cold weather and trips to various cities.

Unfortunately, the bike doesn’t suit my build or my pedalling  style so I will have to go back to pedalling on my old road bike in the  cold and gloom of the garage if the weather stays cold.  It was good pedalling in the warmth and watching the telly but as any cyclist will know, pedalling with the wrong set up can lead to serious damage to joints so out in the cold it will have to be.

After I had cycled, I checked on the birds.  The rise in temperature had brought them back to the feeder…

chaffinch and goldfinch

…and there were plenty of birds flying in…

chaffinch arriving

…and flying out again as the perches got crowded.

goldfinches leaving

A couple of goldfinches looked disapprovingly at an incoming chaffinch…

chaffinch and suspicous goldfinches

…but the arrival of a greenfinch drove one goldfinch mad…

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 1

…and for a while, it attacked the greenfinch from all sides.

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 2

Greenfinches are pretty imperturbable though, and this one saw off the flurry of attacks with great aplomb.

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 3

Then I made a tarte tatin and some bread in the bread machine and while I was waiting for them to mature, I went out for a quick walk.

It was cold and grey but once again, the wind was light so it wasn’t too bad a day for a stroll.  I was pushed for time so I didn’t hang about too much taking pictures.

A couple of gulls at the meeting of the waters caught my eye…

two blacxk headed gulls

…and looking up I could their friends sitting on the fence posts on the Castleholm.

gulls on posts

I said good afternoon to Mr Grumpy…

heron

..and walked over the sawmill Brig.  The leaves are gone from almost all the trees now…

bare trees on bank

…although the hornbeams on the Lodge walks still have a little colour left.

hornbeam

With the leaves gone, it is moss that is adding colour to many of the trees…

mossy tree branch

…and a spread of fungus was to be seen on the end of a felled tree beside the path.

fungus on tree end

A visit from my stepmother Patricia was the reason for all the cooking and for the slight rush on my walk.  When I got back from my outing, we went off to Carlisle to collect her from the train.  We managed to fit in a visit to a recycling point and a supermarket before we met her at the station so it was a well planned occasion.

Patricia’s train arrived bang on time and we carried her safely back home with us where she enjoyed the beef stew for her evening meal.

After the meal, I sneaked out for a practice with the Langholm choir as our concert is coming up quite soon and then we had the tarte tatin for our supper when I got back.

The temperature is due to keep rising over the next two days and the sun may even shine, so I hope that we will be able to show Patricia some of our surrounding countryside while she is here.

The flying bird of the day is a questing chaffinch, wondering whether the seed round the other side of the feeder is any better than the stuff on this side.

flying chaffinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest guest picture is another from our son Tony’s trip to Loch Awe with his partner Marianne’s for her birthday celebration.  They certainly had good weather.

tony's sunshine

After yesterday’s visit to Edinburgh, we varied things by visiting Glasgow today.  This involved a unusually early rise for me but not for Mrs Tootlepedal who always wakes up long before me.

Anyway we were out of the house by seven and on the train from Carlisle by eight and in Glasgow by quarter past nine.  The train was run by a different railway company from our unreliable Lockerbie friends and left and arrived bang on time.  We even got a seat at a table facing the direction of travel.  As we had asked for such a reservation, it was quite a shock to actually get it.  We always ask this company for a seat at a table facing the direction of travel and usually end up with a bench seat facing backwards with no window.

It was a beautifully sunny if chilly morning when we arrived in Glasgow and after a short train trip on a suburban line, launched from a cave under the main station, we walked up a broad avenue and found ourselves outside this building…

chris hoy velodrome

…which may not look very impressive but which houses the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

We were very punctual and got there just before the doors opened and this meant that when we got into the arena, we were greeted by literally scores of cyclists whizzing round the track on their warm up

warm up velodrome 1

They were going too fast for pocket camera to take proper pictures but there were people practising Madison throws, pursuit teams in lines of fours, sprinters belting round the bottom of the track at great speeds and others just floating about in a nonchalant way.

warm up velodrome 2

It was a remarkable sight to watch and it was even more remarkable to our untutored eyes that no-one crashed into anyone else as at times the whole track was full of cyclists.

warm up velodrome 3

The event we were attending was a UCI World Cup meeting, one of a series of events over the season held in far flung countries.  This wasn’t the most exciting session of the weekend so we were able to get prime seats a few yards from the track and right opposite the finishing line.

velodrome interior

I didn’t have the right camera to make a decent record of the morning as I hadn’t wanted to bring my heavy bird camera with me, so I just took a few blurry pictures to give a flavour of what we saw.

We watched the ladies 4km team pursuit qualifying heats…

pursuit

…and cheered loudly when the GB team came on to the track right in front of us.  (They are wearing their European Champions jerseys not the usual GB tops).

gb ladies pursuit

There was an army of organisers making the event run smoothly and we liked the team of bike holder uppers who keep the cyclists steady before the start of the pursuit and sprint events.

gb ladies pursuit start

Mrs Tootlepedal was much taken with the snazzy snarling design on the Koga bikes.

Koga design

I was pleased to see a Lithuanian cyclist called Simona Krupeckaitė in the team sprint.  She is a seasoned and very successful track cyclist for whom I have a special fondness because Hugh Porter, a TV commentator in past years, had such fun mispronouncing her name with relish.

Simona Kuperkaite

It was good to see her in real life and hear her name pronounced correctly.  She has lost little of her old skill and the speed of her lap in the women’s team sprint had the crowd gasping.

We saw the men’s and women’s team sprint and team pursuit events and several wonderfully determined and skilful paralympic athletes whizzing round the track too. It gives some indication of how interesting this all was when I tell you that we sat  for four houses in the velodrome on plastic seats without a coffee or a snack and still enjoyed ourselves greatly.

We caught the little train back to the centre of Glasgow when the session finished and we had time to enjoy a tasty pasta dish and a cup of coffee in a cafe opposite this fine building…

glasgow reflection

…before catching the train back to Carlisle.

We hadn’t booked seats as we didn’t know when the session would finish but there were plenty of seats available and we had a good trip back.  Railways are back in our good books.

The little Zoe took us back home where we had a meal of scrambled eggs and were able to watch the evening session from the track on TV.

Quite often TV gives the watcher a better view of an event than a spectator at the venue can get, but having tried the real thing for the first time, we now realise that the TV can’t convey the excitement of seeing cyclists whizz past you at 60 kph.

If we get the chance, we will go to another event either in Glasgow or Manchester and try to go to a session where there are mass start races.

No flying bird today as it was dark when we left and dark when we got back.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend and former colleague, Marjorie.  She came upon these stunning fungi on a walk a few days ago.

blue fungus

It was a dry but grey morning and the forecast was not too bad for the rest of the day so my mind turned to cycling.

Before I set off, I had coffee and a slice of toast to think about and the birds to to watch as well.

They must have been reading the blog because after yesterday’s complaint about not enough birds, they came in better numbers today and the feeder was soon filled with goldfinches…

full feeder goldfinches

…with more anxious to join in.

This made for photo opportunities…

attacking goldfinch

…and bad tempered exchanges…

two goldfinches sparring

…and curious chaffinches.

chaffinch approac hing

The goldfinches in possession of a perch tried to ignore outside distractions and kept their heads well down while they could for the most part.

goldfinches tucking in

In the end, I put down the bird watching camera and packed my cycling camera into the pocket of a stout waterproof bright yellow jacket and got out my bicycle, noting two particoloured jackdaws at the apples as I set off.

two spotty jackdaws

There was a brisk north easterly wind blowing and it pushed me over Callister and along the newly surfaced road past the quarry to Paddockhole.  I stopped there for half a banana and a look at the bridge.

The bridge has a bright red metal plate screwed to the parapet and when I looked at the parapet, I could see that turning lorries may have been knocking into it a bit, hence the need for the warning and protective plate…

paddockhole brodge medley

…but the parapet was sound enough to be home to a nice pixie cup lichen among the moss and  a fallen beech nut.

The reason for the lorry traffic over the bridge is a new windfarm in the area so the narrow road after the bridge is being widened and lay-bys are being put in to cope with the construction vehicles.

Luckily there was very little traffic on the road as I battled up the hill alongside the Water of Milk straight into the brisk wind.  I was heading for the watershed between the Water of Milk and the River Esk and it took me some time.

It was lucky that I had my stout rainproof jacket on as it was drizzling at this point.  It was a bit annoying to look to my right and see the Ewe Hill wind farm bathed in sunshine.

ewe hill windfarm in sun

I pressed on, crossing little bridges over little streams…

bridge on crossdykes road

…until I got to the sunlit uplands on the top of the hill.  I love this section of road.

sunlit uplands baillieghill

To my right I could see more wind turbines making good use of the enthusiastic breeze…

new turnbines bailiehill

…and once I had got over the hill, I could see the Esk valley stretching in front of me.  The road follows that line of trees along the right side of the valley.

esk valley from bailliehill

The rain had blown over by now and I enjoyed a sunny trip back down the river into Langholm.  Larches stood out in the sunshine.

larch plantation

With seven miles to go, I stopped for the other half of my banana and a drink at the Enzieholm bridge.  Naturally, I had a look at the parapet while I was there.

enzieholm bridge medley

There was some good autumn colour on a hedge at Bentpath village…

colour at bentpath

…and I stopped to take a close up of a larch beside the road further on just to show that they really are golden at this time of year.

a golden larch

I had a look back at the Douglen Cleuch…

view of douglen

..before climbing the last hill of the day and swooping down into the town.  It was only a 26 miles ride but because of the wind and several hills to climb, it had seemed like more and I was very satisfied as it had felt like a proper outing.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy painting the hall while I was away.  It is looking very exciting already.

I had a look round the garden when I got home and was impressed by the staying power of the Rosy Cheeks rose and the very late phlox but the most arresting thing was the sudden appearance of a cowslip among the expected clematis, potentilla and wallflower.

six november flowers

I had a shower and than went for a walk.  I am supposed to keep exercising my feet and there was a little sunshine left so I headed off to see if I could find the fungi that Marjorie had photographed.

My usual friend was standing on the usual rock in the Esk…

gull on same rock

…and two goosanders were swimming up the river nearby.

two goodsanders

I should have been quicker to go walking as the sun was already sinking behind the hill and this was the last sunny view I got…

river esk november evening

…before crossing the Sawmill Brig and walking round the pheasant pens.  I didn’t find Marjorie’s fungi but I saw other varieties…

three fungi castleholm

… before I crossed the Duchess Bridge and made my way home.

duchess bridge november

As you can see, the bridge is in need of some TLC.

The slow cooked venison stew made a third and final appearance for our evening meal and it was followed by some tarte tatin which I had made when I got back from my walk.  I may need therapeutic help as I think that I have become addicted to tarte tatin.

When I checked, I discovered that the forecast for the next week is for some inclement and wintery weather with a maximum temperature of 7 degrees and plenty of rain so that made today’s ride and stroll even more pleasant in retrospect.

I apologise for an excessive number of pictures but it was an interesting day and here is a FBotD to round it off.

flying goldfinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He just wants us to know that there are starlings in East Wemyss too.

starling wemyss

The forecast was for a reasonable morning with some rain at lunchtime and rising wind during the day.  I should therefore have gone out cycling as soon as possible and worried about other things later on.

As it happened, the idea of having a coffee and biscuit with Sandy proved more powerful than the idea of cycling so coffee and a biscuit (or two) it was.

When he left, there were birds to look at….

sparrow

…and a window to clean to make it easier to look at the birds.

A collared dove looked down on the cleaned window with approval.

collared dove

A blue tit eyed up the feeder…

blue tit waiting

…and having got there, took a seed and made off again.

blue tit with big seed

The sunflower hearts are too big for blue tits to eat, so they take them away to a tree where they hold them down with a claw and peck at them.

One chaffinch took a moment to rest on the plum tree before heading for the feeder…

chaffinch

…and another made sure to line up neatly with the other branches on Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree.

symmetrical chaffinch

A goldfinch appeared…

goldfinch

…and soon a small gang of them monopolised the feeder.

three goldfiches

I was hoping for a flying bird but unless you have a lot of time to stand and wait, you need more than a gang of three to turn up.  The feeder should ideally be fully occupied with non flying birds and then the flying birds have to hang in the air waiting for an opportunity to land.

In the absence of flying, I turned round and looked at the window on the opposite side of the room.  Pot plants make good subjects because they don’t suddenly dart off before you can get the camera focused.

pot plant

The expected lunchtime rain didn’t materialise, so after a healthy lunch of sardines, I got my bike out and went off for a ride.  I had the wind behind me as I started but as there were some unreliable looking clouds behind me too, I kept an open mind on where and how far I should go.

It was grey day and with the threat of rain about, I didn’t stop a lot but this colourful and neatly trimmed hedge at Mossknowe seemed worth a look.

hedge mossknowe

Just up the road, was an imposing tree with a good complement of leaves still on its branches.

tree with leaves mossknowe

When I got to the Annan road, I headed west.  I was planning to turn left and check to see if there were any migratory geese about near the border, but as the moment of route decision got nearer  so did the threatening clouds.

Looking to my right, the skies seemed clearer so instead of turning left, I went on a bit,  passing these leafy trees…

trees near milltown of sark

… and turned right at Chapelknowe.  I had gone about three yards up the road from the junction when it started to rain quite heavily.  I stopped and put my rain jacket on and about three yards later, the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started.

How I laughed.

As I plodded up the hill, the day got darker….

grey tree neasr chapelknow

…so I kept my rain jacket on until I got so hot that I had to stop and take it off again.  About three hundred yards later, it started to rain quite heavily again but this time I was ready for it and pedalled on regardless.  I soon came out into the dry again.

I had chosen a route that would make the best of the wind and I had it generally behind me for the first eighteen miles.   The nine miles back home directly into the wind were harder work and I was pleased to stop at the bottom of Callister to photograph this well defended bridge at Falford.

falford bridge

Then it started to rain again and this time, it didn’t stop.  I was only seven miles from home though so I was quite happy to tuck my glasses in my back pocket, wrap up my camera and phone, and pedal along without putting my rain jacket back on.  The rain was not heavy and it was tolerably warm so in spite of the elements against me, I enjoyed the ride back.

I ended up doing just under twenty eight miles and because of the route alteration, I found myself going round some familiar roads in the opposite direction to my usual custom.  It is surprising how novel going the ‘wrong way’ down a road feels, no matter how often you have gone along it in in the other direction.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke arrived and we had another progressive session.  He has been practising at home and showed marked improvement which was very satisfactory.  Because no one showed me how to practice properly when I was young, I got very discouraged when I put in some time but didn’t seem to get any better, so it is good to see Luke getting value from the time he has spent.

In response to popular demand, the venison stew made a reappearance for our evening meal.

I didn’t have the patience to wait long enough for a flying bird at the feeder today so a dogwood across the garden, shot through the window while I was waiting hopefully, is the best that I can do.

dogwood

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »