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Today’s guest picture is another from my Australian correspondent Stephen’s visit to North Queensland.  He found this beautiful butterfly in the butterfly house in Kuranda.

Kuranda butterfly

We were going to Edinburgh in the afternoon and the forecast suggested rain in mid morning, so I knew that if I wanted a short cycle ride, I would have to be prompt.  Greatly to my own surprise, I was quite prompt and enjoyed another 14 mile ride taking in both sides of the town.

The wind was in my face again as I cycled up to Callister and I managed 10 mph for the first five miles.  With the wind and slope behind me, I speeded up to an average of 20 mph for the return journey.  For the last four miles, out and back of the north end of the town, I produced a steady 15 mph average.

The mathematically unwary might assume that if you do five miles at 10 mph and five miles at 20 mph and and add another four miles at 15 mph, then your average for the trip should be 15 mph.  Sadly for ageing cyclists, it is not the distance but the time that counts and as I had spent much more time at 10 mph than I had at 20, my final average was only 14 mph.  It is considering stuff like this that keeps me occupied as I pedal.

Still I managed to stop for a picture or two.  The orchids are still out…


…and there is a spot where the yarrow is unusually pink…

pink yarrow

…so I am grateful that the verges on the Wauchope road have still not been mowed.

The sun was shining when I set out but by the time that I got to my most northerly point, it had retreated up the valley…

sunlight up ewes

…so I was pleased top get home before the rain started.

In fact, the rain held off for long enough for me to mow the middle and front lawns when I got home which was a bonus and the rain came later in the morning.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a sticky toffee pudding to take with us to Edinburgh and then we dug up another potato. The crop of the early potatoes is outstanding this year…

big potatoe crop

…and we took half of this lot up to Edinburgh with us too.

I had time between the mowing and the potatoes to walk round the garden.

The nasturtiums at the front door are coming along nicely…

nasturtiums front wall

…and Mrs Tootlepedal has a purplish bed which is doing well too.

purple bed

This clematis is lurking around just behind the purple bed.

purple clematis

Day lilies keep coming…

day lily

…and the privet is in full swing with the strong smell complemented by the loud buzzing of bees.

privet in flower

I am still trying to get a good picture of this large ornamental clover which has been out for some time but it keeps defeating me.

fancy clover

One day the light will be right.

All round the garden, Iceland poppies can be found.

iceland poppy frills

We had a light lunch and then set off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh.  It was almost on time but just late enough to allow me to take a picture of this ivy leafed toadflax which is growing out of the side of the bridge over the railway line at the station.

lockerbie station wild flower

There is still building going on around the site of Matilda’s new house in Edinburgh and a temporary path has been constructed to take visitors round the edge of the site along a disused railway.  The railway banking is full of wild flowers and I liked this thistle the best.

edinburgh thistle

Matilda had had a hard day dancing so we had a relaxing time and didn’t go to the park.  I taught her to play spillikins with plastic straws and she enjoyed several games with both me and Mrs Tootlepedal.  We played ‘Edinburgh Rules’ which allow quite a lot of leeway to old and young participants alike.  This was lucky as I found that keeping a steady hand is hard work these days.

Matilda, Mrs Tootlepedal and I did some lawn care work on Matilda’s lawn and during the work, a small bolt fell out of the clippers that I was using.  The grass was long and when we settled down to look for it Mrs Tootlepedal commented that it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.  She was right of course but, needless to say, she still found it.

During the afternoon, Alistair, Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda made fairy cakes and then Alistair cooked us a delicious pasta alla Genovese (which included some of our potatoes) and after we had eaten it and the sticky toffee pudding, it was time for us to go home.

I had no opportunity to catch a flying bird today, so a sleeping bee on a poppy is the flying bird of the day today.

poppy and bee

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Evelyn comes home

After yesterday’s bridge picture from my sister Mary, my brother Andrew has sent me another famous bridge for today’s guest picture (complete with a bungee jumper)

We did nothing all day as we waited for the world’s greatest baby to come out of hospital and go home.

Fortunately we were quite tired by the strains of metropolitan life so we were more than happy to sit google eyed through a flood of sports broadcasting until mother and baby were released in the evening.

We went down to see Evelyn Rose and her parents safely ensconced in their own home.

Everything is good.

We popped in to see Joe’s parents who live just across the road from Evelyn so it was a very heavy grandparent occasion.

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A long way round

Although we are in London staying at my sisters’ establishments, my sisters are actually in the North East on a jaunt with my brother from which my sister Mary sends me this guest picture of the day.

When we had our meal with Patricia yesterday evening, she had a surprise gift for us. She had been growing apricots…

… and they were very tasty.

It has been hot and rather muggy here and as we are not used to these conditions, we were pleased to be able to have a restful morning followed by a light lunch in a sourdough pizza place.

Then we set out to visit the world’s greatest baby and her parents by a roundabout route.

We started with a four mile bus journey down to Westminster. As we were sitting in the front seats on the top deck, we were able to look down with a mixture of horror and amazement at the teeming crowds that literally filled the streets in central London.

When we got to Westminster Bridge…

… we took to the water to avoid the crowds and enjoyed a scenic boat trip to Greenwich.

We got off the boat at Greenwich and passed a more famous ship on our way to catch a Docklands Light Railway train to Lewisham.

These are fully automated driverless trains and using them feels much like being on a giant model railway.

From Lewisham we caught a more conventional train to Denmark Hill where we had a coffee in the old station building before walking to the hospital.

There we found everyone in good health and good spirits They are hoping to take TWGB home tomorrow which will be very satisfactory if it happens.

After an hour and a bit of being adoring grandparents, it was time to leave and we caught a train from yet another railway company back home

Where we collapsed.

I don’t know how people manage city life in the summer.

Still, combining seeing Annie, Joe and the baby with no less than five different styles of transport made for a very worthwhile day.

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Today’s guest picture comes from regular reader Anne who has been to see Bamburgh Castle on the east coast.

We are still in London and Mrs Tootlepedal and I started the day with the very good news that we had become grandparents again as our daughter Annie and her partner Joe had become the proud parents of a lovely daughter.

It was our privilege to go to see the new baby and her parents in hospital in the afternoon. All three were amazingly well. We were amazingly proud of them.

After considering all the other possible contenders for the title, we could clearly see that the new arrival was now without question the world’s greatest baby.

That was the main and most important part of the day.

We had some time to kill in the morning before the hospital visit so we strolled through Parliament Hill Fields up to Kenwood for a coffee and scone. It was a fine morning with lots to see…

… including Mr Grumpy’s London cousin…

…a bogus bridge which is just a flat panel….

… the house itself…

… and some wildlife.

In the evening my stepmother Patricia kindly took us out for a meal and this rounded off a momentous day.

In the absence of a flying bird, this view of a canal in the heart of London will have to do.

Note; TWGB has yet to be officially named. We shall go and see her again tomorrow.

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In London again

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who was visiting Northallerton today where he saw this picturesque ruin.

We left our garden behind with some backwards looks as we travelled south to stay with my sisters. Mrs Tootlepedal feels that it is just going past its best so I thought that I should record a view or two of it. We will be back on Monday so I am hoping it will still be worth a look.

The journey by bus and train went well and we have arrived safely, looking forward to tomorrow.

Blog activity may be limited while we are here.

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Warning: There are 92 pictures in this post and it it is not one of my regular diary posts.  It us a record of some of the many delights that the camera club outing encountered at Beamish.  It represents less than half of the pictures that I took.

The guest picture comes from Mairi, one of the fellow photographers and shows Tootlepedal relaxing in the railway carriage before the train journey.


The rest of the pictures appear in chronological order as we progressed through the park which must be over half a mile across.  I have added occasional comments

We started by taking this tram from the entrance to the far side of the museum.

tram 1

Throughout the day we came across characters dressed in appropriate costume who either offered entertainment, advice or historical background when asked.  They were uniformly cheerful and helpful.

people 1

The tram was very full and some passengers made use of the straps on the ceiling for some straphanging.

tram 8

We got off the tram at the 1900s town .

There is a chemist..

shop 1

…and motor repair shop..

shop 2

..which dealt in cycles too.

shop 3

A co-operative store (with Sandy…

shop 4

… taking roughly this shot across the road.


shop 5

There shops have appropriate products on their shelves.

shop 6

And deliveries are made by appropriate vans.

town 1

The museum site is roughly circular and trams go round in both directions.  You will see many more in this post as we did on the day.

tram 2

Behind the shops was a yard with a transport business.

town 2town 3

And almost every door leads to rooms inside full of interesting information and period decoration.town 4

This was the interior of the Sun Inn..

town 6

…where you could buy 2019 beers if you wished.

interior town 7

Past the shops, is a small row of houses containing a dentist’s, a solicitor’s and this room belonging to a lady music teacher.

interior town 8

At the back of the house, the coal hole may be seen.

town 9

The trams have safety guards fitted between the wheels.

tram 3

Every detail of the museum has been thought about.

tram 4

We made use of the period tea rooms where one could buy a scone and a cappuccino.

town 10

Some preferred to sit at a table on the bandstand in the little park.


town 11tram 5

Mairi works for our community newspaper so this was a good moment for her to pose with Corrie and Sandy.

shop 8

Our next stop was the Edwardian station.   A steam crane had a wealth of cogs.

cog 8railway 1railway 2

A tank engine and two small coaches offer short rides up and down a few hundred yards of track.

railway 3railway 5people 2people 3

We rode in the carriage…

railway 6

…with very comfortable seating…

railway 7

…and added facilities (which we did not use).

railway 8railway 9railway 10railway 11

Another view of the steam crane sowing the operating piston.

cog 3

Some distance away from the full size railway were smaller locomotives.

ss railway 3

If you don’t fancy tram travel, a fleet of buses circulates the park offering weary feet a break.

bus 2

We were impressed by this whihc stood on its own.

cog 1cog 2 crane

More trams passed us…

tram 6

…and each other.

tram 7people 10tram crew

We walked up to the 1940s farm.

There were a few animals about.

farm 1

…and we visited a farm labourer’s cottage where there was a fire burning in spite of the great heat of the day.

interior farm 2farm 3farm 4farm 5farm 6farm 8

Inside the farmhouse itself, one of the volunteers  was actually using the oven.  We felt for her in the heat.

interior farm 9

Leaving the farm, we missed the bus…

bus 3

…and walked down to the 1900s colliery village where we found folk singers in the band hall…

people 4colliery hall

..teachers in the school…

colliery church

…a wind band entertaining on the green…people 5

…a surprise notice on the school wall..

colliery school

…a bus outside the church…

bus 5

…a cottage garden…

colliery garden

…and a choir singing lustily in the church.

people 6

We could have visited the miners’ cottages and learned how they lived but we walked on to the colliery yard instead.

colliery viewcog 7

There were several steam locomotives and traction engines to look at.

colliery engine 1colliery engine 3colliery engine 5colliery engine 6colliery engine 7colliery engine 8cog 5

We didn’t take the chance to go down a drift mine and walked up the hill to the Georgian area.

We noticed that although the buses might be genuine vehicles of their period, modern needs were catered for and this one had a wheelchair lift that was being used.

bus 6

The Georgian section has a waggonway, originally  driven by horse power..

waggonway 1

…but later using steam.

waggonway 2people 8waggonway 4waggonway 5people 9

At the end of the short line we came to a wooden whim gin, used for lifting material from a pit.

wooden whim gin,people 12waggonway 6

We left the waggonway and walked passed a meadow…

georgian 1

… and a quilter’s cottage which was once the scene of a murder…

georgian 2

This church is described as the most ambitious removal and rebuild of all the exhibits in the museum.

georgian 3

We could see the waggonway on the opposite side of a little valley as we walked up to Pockerley Hall.

waggonway 7

georgian 7georgian 8georgian 9

Then it was time for a last tram ride round the whole site…

bus 7bus 8

…before we headed for home.   We had hardly scratched the surface of all that could be seen at the museum.

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Today’s guest picture comes from Tony’s Highland holiday and appropriately enough contains a Highland cow.


I had an unusual day today with no cycling or wandering around the garden and the lawns were left unmolested.

After an early breakfast, I waved Mrs Tootlepedal goodbye and went off for the Langholm Camera Club summer outing to Beamish Living Museum of the North.

Five members took the trip and we drove the eighty miles across the north of England to County Durham in two cars.  The trip went smoothly and once in the museum, Peter, who had been to the museum recently, went off on his own as he knew what he wanted to see while Sandy, Marie, Corrie and I pottered about exploring.

I took a tremendous amount of pictures, far too many to put in here so I have decided to put a small selection in this regular post and I will try to sort the rest out and do a special blog with well over 100 pictures in it tomorrow.  No one will need to read this post.  This is just a warning.  It will be for my pleasure to help me remember a great day out.


We caught a passing tram from the museum entrance to the the 1900s ‘town’ where a whole street has been recreated using old buildings from various local towns which have been demolished, transported and rebuilt to create the living museum.

shop 5

It is quite hard to think that all this has been built from scratch in a field.

tram 5

The shops offer some particular delights and although things may be bought in some of them, not everything advertised is available.

shop 1

Sandy, Corrie and Marie were caught outside one of the buildings…

shop 8

We had a cup of coffee in the tea rooms in the town and then walked on to the Edwardian railway station where we took a ride in this very elegant coach…

railway 6

…sitting in great comfort while a small tank engine took us for a very short excursion and back again.

railway 7

A feature of the museum was the large number of very satisfying cogs that I saw as we went round.

cog 4

Leaving the railway behind, we walked up the hill to the 1940s farm where we found a pig which had exactly the right idea for a very warm day.

farm 3

We paused for a cold drink and a light lunch and then walked round the farm.  A cockerel was showing who was king of the midden….

farm 6

…and Corrie was showing good style at the wheel of a tractor.

farm 8

From the farm, we strolled downhill to the 1900s colliery village where the most amazing thing to catch our eyes was this huge vertical biunnial lantern projector built by Walter Tyler, optician of London.

colliery church vertical biunnial lantern projector

The projector was in the colliery church where an appreciative congregation of visitors were listening to an excellent choir concert.  In the nearby silver band hall, a group of folk singers were singing folk songs and on the village green outside, a small wind band was playing popular melodies.  There was no lack of entertainment to suit all tastes.

My taste is for engines, so I was happy to move on to the colliery yard where this fine little engine was running up and down a short section of track.

colliery engine 2

It is a comprehensive  restoration of an 1871 engine which T.H.Head engineer of London supplied to the Dorking Greystone Lime Company.  It is an 0-4-0 Vertical Boilered Geared locomotive.  The diminutive engine was actually built by Head Wrightson & Co Ltd.  I though that you would like to know that.

At the other end of the yard, a steam traction engine was powering a sawmill…

colliery sawmill 1

…and big logs were being sliced up.

colliery sawmill 2

We could have donned hard hats and walked into a drift mine or gone into the buildings of a pit mine and watched the winding engine at work but we did neither as time was marching on.

Instead we headed up hill again, with Marie, Corrie and Sandy stopping to check what was at the end of a large pipe….

people 11

…and made our way to the 1820s Georgian section of the museum.  As I like engines, I naturally gravitated to an old waggonway where a replica of the famous Puffing Billy locomotive…

tramway 4

…pulled a couple of coaches of eager enthusiasts for a couple of hundred yards or so along the line.

tramway 5

The engine driving team wore very sensible hats for the task.

people 12

After leaving the waggonway, we descended into a small valley and passed St Helen’s Church.  This  represents a typical type of country church found in Cleveland and North Yorkshire, and was relocated from its original site in Eston, North Yorkshire.  It is the oldest and most complex building moved to the museum

georgian 3

You can still see numbers on the side of the building which must have been vital for the reconstruction.

georgian 5

As we climbed the hill to Pockerly Hall, we could see Billy puffing up and down the line behind us.

tramway 7

Pockerley Hall is a handsome building with…

georgian 9

…a neat garden laid out in a contemporary style in front of it.

georgian 6

When we had left the church, Marie had waited in vain for a horse to arrive…

georgian 4

…but as none appeared, we had to walk up the hill to the hall and then down again to catch a bus….

bus 1

…back to the museum entrance.  We rode on top.

We had spent five hours in the museum and seen just a fraction of what was there.  I hope to return with Mrs Tootlepedal in the not too distant future.

The drive home went as smoothly as the drive over and all in all, what with the fine sunny weather, the interesting museum and the good company, I vote the camera club outing a great success.

There will be many, many more photos from the outing in tomorrow’s extra post.  Feel free to skip it entirely.

We did see a sitting bird of the day at the colliery.


Those interested can find more about the museum on its website or on its wikepedia entry.

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