Mrs Tootlepedal pops out to the post

No flower of the day today as there are too many other photos. It has been a busy day which started as so many days do with a ride round the morning ride with Dropscone. This was a stately affair as I was on the slow bike (the road bike is in for repair) and the wind, though light, was unfriendly.  After lunch and making the bread for the B&B breakfast, I was pleased when Mrs Tootlepedal suggested that we should go by bike to deliver a letter. Off we went to a farm near Gair schoolhouse, a mere ten and a half miles away. It was  a lovely day and the pace was steady and after two and a half hours and 21 miles the letter was safely delivered and we were home for a nice cup of tea. I took the camera along and you can see a gallery of the trip below.

Then in the evening, because it is Summer Fair night in Langholm, we went up to the Market Place to hear the Town Band play and as usual the high spot is the playing of Highland Cathedral with the Pipe Band.

Then back home to wait for the flute band and the pipe band to parade through the streets.
A beautiful evening light made the day very satisfactory in all respects.

Tootling at home

Today’s flowers are red lilies

Up reasonably early and off to the golf course courtesy of a lift from my golfing companion, Arthur Bell.  There we battled ourselves and the course in the Wednesday Medal. I played pretty well until the asthma won out and the last four holes went to pot but it was enjoyable just to be out on the course.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help at the driving for the disabled at Hoddam and I made a plate of lentil soup for lunch and got ready for a meeting of the Heritage Trail group who are preparing a heritage trail leaflet for the town. My part is to make a DVD of reminiscences and old photos and I am learning new skills to do this but the group were enthusiastic about my first attempt so I shall persevere.

recorder group

I got a call from the bike shop to say that repairs were continuing on my road bike without complete success and the mysterious knocking noise had not been tracked down.  I await further developments and, I suppose, further costs.

In the evening, the recorder group, which usually meets in Carlisle, met in our house which was very nice as it saved the Langholm contingent a trip to town. We played a varied programme including Byrd, Gibbons, Palestrina, Telemann, Bach and Stanley Taylor and afterwards sat down to a nice cup of tea (but no biscuit).

Worm Excitement

Today’s flower is a marigold

With Dropscone off to the doctor again, I was on my own for the morning run. I went round the usual route in the usual direction but at an unusually slow speed as I felt a little tired.

After lunch Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to Carlisle, she to complete her purchases for the forthcoming wedding and I to take my road bike to the bike shop for them to have a look at some odd sounds and clicks which shouldn’t be there.

Mrs TOn our return, Mrs Tootelpedal set off for a pedal to Wauchope Schoolhouse and I did some comprehensive lawn mowing.  On her return I captured a picture of her and she presented me with a very tasty collection of wild raspberries which she had picked en route.


Later on I had a peek at the worms to see how they are getting on. I have started feeding them kitchen waste and they do seem to have taken to it. In the left hand picture you can see a worm in action.  Keep calm.

Separate Journeys

Today’s flower is feverfewfeverfew

In the absence of Dropscone, my pedalling partner, on domestic duties, I changed my normal morning route and went over Callister Hill, past Gair Schoolhouse and down to Gretna before returning via Glenzier, a round trip of 34 miles. In marked contrast to yesterday’s ride, the wind managed to be against me most of the time and I found it rather a slog. On my return, I slumped into a bath.

orchidIn the afternoon Mrs Tootlepedal went off by herself on a ride to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back. (You may notice an educational tinge to today’s rides.) She felt at liberty to stop and look around because I was not accompanying her and as a result she was able to take a picture of this roadside orchid which gave her a great deal of pleasure.

On her return she embarked on massive gardening tidying up with which I helped in a desultory way until Mr Dropscone himself appeared with two interesting pictures for the Langholm Archive Group’s photo collection. infants

I reproduce this picture of his brother’s infant class taken around 1949.  What is alarming is that I am even older than these children. The picture will soon take its place in our collection. The other picture, which was of a rugby team in the late sixties, contains hairstyles too awful to show to the general public.

On the wormery front, I have started feeding the little creatures some kitchen waste and only time will tell if they will actually eat any of it. Keeping worms is very exciting.


Today’s flower needs no introduction
white rosemicrolightWhen I went out into the garden this morning, I heard a strange noise. On looking up I saw a microlight circling overhead but by the time I had fetched the camera he was disappearing up the valley so I just caught this last glimpse of him.

I put the camera away and got the bike for a 40 mile run down to Carlisle and back. On a Sunday I use the main road to Longtown as it is not very busy at all. There was a light cross wind and the trip down felt so easy that I thought it would be against me coming back. However, the trip back was slightly quicker than the trip out so at least it proves that the wind is not always against you both ways when you cycle.

In the afternoon I made some blackcurrant  jam with fruit that Mrs Tootlepedal had bought while at her driving afternoon at Hoddam earlier in the week as well as some bread for our expected B&B guests.

Claire and Sarah

The guest arrived in good spirits because they had had a pleasant days cycling compared with the soaking that they had received the day before. They are heading for Edinburgh tomorrow and the weather does not look too bad.

Colin Brackley

Mrs Tootlepedal received an e-mail this morning from two previous guests doing the end-to-end telling us that they had made it to John O’ Groats and enclosing a photograph to prove it.

The writer thanked Mrs T for her excellent hospitality remarking that she really knew what tired cyclists need when they reach a B&B. This was very pleasing to her and me too.


After my faux pas in imagining a hoverfly was a bee on Friday,  in the evening I took a photo of a bee.  If only I could upload video files, I could have shown you a bee movie.

Pure Gold

The flower of the day is a rather delicate geranium

No cycling today as for once there was something more important to do. We went to Carlisle to meet Al and Clare, the soon to be happy couple, and collect their wedding rings from the jeweller. ringsThe rings have been made to order from a small nugget of gold which Mrs Tootlepedal had inherited from her grandfather. Its exact provenance is unclear but she like to think, and not without some justification, that it came from the Alaskan gold rush.  Anyway, it has ended up as two wedding rings. Fortunately, since time is a bit short, the rings fitted and all was well.

After this excitement, we went off to help Al acquire a suitable shirt for the function, have a light lunch in the Station Hotel and then buy some decorative ribbon from Dunelm Mill. Exhausted by all this activity, we headed back to the station to see Al and Clare off to Glasgow.

engine When we got to the station, the unmistakeable smell of smoke announced the presence of a gleaming steam engine which was sitting at platform 3 with a special train, probably having come over the Carlisle-Settle line. We had to dash off as our car parking time was running out and it was a good thing that we did as we got to the car with two minutes to spare and a parking warden not 20 yards away.

On our way home, we popped into a garden centre and purchased a pot of tomato feed and a some more lawn buck-u-uppo (you can never have too much lawn buck-u-uppo). Once at home I spent a little time putting together a sample video using photos from the Archive Group and interviews recorded of ex-mill workers talking about the old days. This for a DVD to accompany the new Langholm Heritage Trail leaflet we are producing. All in all a well spent day.

Only yesterday

Tootling and Pedalling – a perfect day

Today’s flower is a waterlilywaterlily

The weather was perfect for a morning pedal, with an almost complete absence of wind and a very comfortable temperature so I completed my morning ride very satisfactorily. I have managed the ride every morning this week which is not at all usual as either the weather or business intervenes most weeks. After a light lunch, I went off to do my stint in the tourist information centre and  this week I had numerous visitors and sold two copies of the Langholm Walks leaflet.  It’s the Big Society in action! (Though we thought of it before he did.)

The diagonal stripe

On my return, I mowed both lawns, one straight up and down and one with a nifty diagonal stripe. This is so the grass doesn’t get bored being mowed in the same direction all the time. I have been feeding the worms in the wormery with kitchen waste and time will tell how they take to it. I hope to have a few candid worm shots in the course of time.

I then lurked about the garden trying to get some nice shots for this blog and I managed to photograph what I thought was a bee. hoverflyHowever, a knowledgeable friend who came to play music in the evening, assures me that it is a hoverfly and I am sure she is right. As well as putting me right on the insect front, she accompanied me in a selection of sonatas by Parcham,  William Williams and J B Loeillet with a division on Faronel’s ground thrown in. After the tootle, we joined her husband, the doctor, and Mrs Tootlepedal in our usual Friday night discussion which we think leaves the world a better place.

Tomorrow we go to Carlisle to see about wedding rings.

A Full Day

Today’s flower is a Danish Flag

It was a pleasant day today in spite of a bit of a chill in the north easterly wind. I went round the usual morning ride the wrong way because of the change in the wind but it takes about the same time whichever way you go. Sometimes people ask me if it doesn’t get a bit boring going  round the same ride day after day but it is always different. The temperature, the wind speed, the wind direction, the state of your health, the birds you see, the traffic you meet,  all of these make for an endless variety. It certainly beats commuting to work every day.

In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do some community weeding at a nearby public bed which was full of dead phormiums. While she was employed in this public spirited action, I went and played golf.  When I got back, I discovered that the birds had started eating the raspberries which they normally leave alone so we erected a raspberry net which I hope will keep the little blighters off the fruit.

In the evening, Mrs T then went out again on community business to water the hanging baskets in the High Street with a friend and I went off to the Archive Centre for our usual Thursday session followed by a visit to the beer research centre. On our return we caught a beautiful sunset but by the time I got into the house, it had dropped a little low to catch the full beauty of it.


Glorious Afternoon

The flower of the day is an Icelandic poppy

icelandic poppy

The weather took a turn for the better today and i was able to peal round the morning ride without much wind or rain which made a nice change. My cycling partner, Dennis, was off golfing. My golfing partner,  Arthur, was otherwise engaged so I didn’t get to play my Wednesday round of golf. Instead I was able to wander round the garden in beautiful sunshine and I took this picture of a garden resident hard at work.beeI’ll have to hone my photographic skills a bit more but I was quite pleased even to catch a bee in flight.

The mini prairie

Mrs Tootlepedal and I have been quite taken by the mini prairie that has developed where the choosy birds have discarded seed from the feeder during the winter and spring. We think we will have a harvest in the Autumn.  Mrs Tootlepedal spent the afternoon helping with the driving for the disabled (equestrian not motor)  and then went out to work on the evening shift so  I made myself a delicious meal of potatoes from the garden and feta cheese from the Co-op baked with olive oil and herbs.  Then I went to Carlisle for our regular tootle. My tootling friend Susan didn’t come as she is preparing to go to Germany to watch the F1 Grand Prix at the weekend.