I went out on my slow Orange bike today so that I could take my camera with me and take a few pictures as I went. Also, after a speedy run for me yesterday, I wanted a leisurely ride today. The sun was shining as I set off up the Wauchope road and I found the cows near Wauchope Schoolhouse. I went over Callister and stopped to snap this example of the new thinking in tree planting. Every new wood seems to have a fringe of these deciduous trees planted and they survive very well in these plastic tubes.
Over the other side of the hill, my eye was caught by the Minsca windmills demonstrating very clearly that I was bicycling straight into the wind. This was good news for the ride home. Shortly after this, I went through Waterbeck, where my great uncle John was a minister for some time. The church had a good few cars parked outside as I cycled past.
After passing through Waterbeck, I turned right to Middlebie and Ecclefechan where I stopped for a banana and a few raisins. Ecclefechan is, of course, the birthplace of Thomas Carlyle, the author of Sartus Resartus, the most difficult to read book I have ever tried. I took this picture of Ecclefechan centre while I was digesting the banana.
I followed the old A74 south past Eaglesfield where I took this picture of the road. The second carriageway, which is on the right, has been covered with earth and is now overgrown. You can just see where it went through the bridge. It makes for a quiet cycling road now, though the bike paths marked at the side of the road get covered with gravel because no cars go along them to sweep the gravel into the verge.
I stopped in the old railway village of Kirkpatrick Fleming, one of the many alleged sites of Bruce’s Cave, and took this picture of the Station Inn. The trains don’t stop here any more of course, the Pendolinos just whistle through on their way to Glasgow or Carlisle.
I turned left at Kirkpatrick Fleming and really got the benefit of the wind for the rest of the ride home. The wind was actually stronger now when it was behind me than when it was in my face when when I set out. This is very rare. I stopped at Chapelknowe for a final top up of dates, prunes and raisins to keep me going. The old church is one of many round here that have been coverted into houses. This was used as a home for errant boys for a time but it is unoccupied at present.
I was within sight of home (or at least the Monument) when I caught sight of a buzzard posing on a telegraph pole. It waited patiently while I stopped, took the camera out of the saddlebag, took the lens cap off and adjusted the focus and as soon as my finger edged towards the shutter button, it flew off of course. They always do that.
As I was going up the cycle path beside the new A7 road into Langholm, I stopped to take a view that was made possible by the landslide of two years ago which shut the road for two weeks in the middle of summer. This view would have previously been blocked by trees. While I was taking the picture, I met and an old teaching colleague who was testing a walk along which she is going to lead a group of walkers from Carlisle next week. It was very fortunate that I met her, because she agreed, in the course of our conversation, to take over the treasurer’s post for the Archive Group next year.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a rehearsal for her pantomime in the afternoon so I had a bath to recover from the 34 mile ride. When she returned, she suggested a visit to the pictures and we went to Carlisle to see The Social Network about Facebook. It was very enjoyable and it turned out that our son, Alistair, had been watching the same film at the same time in Glasgow. On our return, we bought chips at the chippy in Langholm, a thing we very rarely do.