I usually play golf on a Wednesday but what with one thing and another, it wasn’t possible today so I had a quiet day in. One lawn got mowed and the other had Buck-U-Uppo put on it it so it wasn’t an entirely wasted day.
In the afternoon I hosted a meeting of a group which is producing a new heritage leaflet for the town (meetings are much better when you don’t have to leave home for them) and in the evening I went to Carlisle to have a tootle with our group. We had a new member who had seen us at our concert the other weekend and had asked to come along. She seemed to enjoy herself.
It was singular because there are no photos, no rush of events. I just did one thing and it took me most of the day. I took advantage of a good forecast to pop on the bike and cycle to the Caerlaverock Wildfowl Trust where I was able to see this year’s osprey chicks on their nest through the medium of a big screen in their cafe. After that I continued round the Solway coast and up the Nith estuary into Dumfries where I had a banana and went back the way I had come (without going to the WWT again). It got a lot hotter on the way back than I had expected and with a light wind against I got a little tired and called in at a cafe in Annan for an ice cream. I made the mistake of asking for a cup of tea. The modern caterer is entirely ignorant of the part boiling water plays in making a nice cup of tea. It took me just under six and a half hours of pedalling to do the 100 miles but that wasn’t counting several refreshment stops. It is a very flat route but quite interesting and varied to pedal.
To show how hot it was, during the day I ate two filled rolls, two bananas, a plate of minestrone and a crusty roll, some dried fruit and an ice cream. I drank two cycle bottles of water, a mug of coffee, a small bottle of orange juice and a cup of tea. When I got home, I drank two glasses of water and had a large plate of strawberries and cream so I wasn’t exactly underfed or underwatered through the day but I had still lost two kilogrammes when I weighed myself before my shower. I will soon put it back on though.,
Because this year’s Langholm Cornet lives on the corner of Wauchope Street and Wauchope Place, the inhabitants of both streets got together to throw a party for him today.
There was lashings of grub, (Mrs Tootlepedal contributed vast supplies of well roasted chicken legs), ample supplies of drink and as the afternoon went on, we were entertained by both the Langholm Town Band and the Langholm Pipe Band. So good was the music that guests took to the street in an unbridled whirl of dance to the traditional Common Riding Polka.
There was a special cake cooked in the common riding colours of the year and we all sat under the shelter of gazebos which was just as well as there was a chilly wind from the North West. I had been asked to say a few words and broke all records by saying a few words and presentations were made to the cornet, his father, his mother, his granny and the 25 year cornet (also a near neighbour) and his wife.
It would be no exaggeration to say that a good time was had by all. I had a short break from the party to zip round our usual morning ride (21 miles) and perhaps because of the good feelings engendered by the social whirl and perhaps because it was late afternoon, I managed to do the best time I have ever done. When I got back, the party was still in full swing and even when I left to go back home, a hard core of merry makers were settling down for more fun.
A welcome return on a gloomy day. Mrs Tootlepedal has had a busy day what with helping to draw the Bonnie Langholm raffle, distributing the prizes, buying many chicken legs for the cornet’s street party on Sunday and then going to Carlisle to rehearse and perform a scratch Faure’s Requiem. That all meant that I was left on my own on a day that was not very welcoming for a long cycle ride so I was delighted to be able to spend some time trying to get a good picture of our new friend. I just hope he comes back when the sun’s out.
After a damp morning cycle ride (80 miles this week so far), we were sitting enjoying one of Dennis’ (day old) dropped scones when a flash of red at the bird feeder caught my eye. After some time a blurred photograph was obtained but identification was not possible. However the visitor returned to the feeder in the afternoon and it became clear that it was a woodpecker.
In the evening we were visited by Mike and Alison Tinker, who come respectively on a Friday evening for a chat and a little music playing, and they confirmed that our visitor was a greater spotted woodpecker.
The day was so windy and so overcast that it was difficult to get a good photo of the bird but I hope it will come again on a stiller day and pose nicely for the camera. “Watch the birdie” the cry goes up!
By the way, I hope that occasional visitors to this blog realise that if they click on the small pictures, they will usually be able to see a large image.
I might add that during the afternoon I manned the tourist information point at the Kilngreen and got precisely no visitors.
A quiet cycle round our morning ride today because my cycling partner Dennis is not very well but it was followed by a nice cup of coffee and some excellent drop scones provided by Dennis, who in a previous existence was a professional scone dropper.
The rest of the day was spent waiting for files to be written to a dvd for the hen harrier project education officer. This is a slow business. During the waiting I was able to turn a little compost and shift a heap to a new location.
In the evening I handed over the new Archive Group mini disk recorder to a member who is going to record some mill reminiscences for us.
The morning started with a trip to the building society to round off the tax work of yesterday. I made a nice broth for lunch and then got picked up by my playing partner, Arthur Bell and went to play with modified success but great enjoyment in the Wednesday golf competition. (Modified = very little) The course is in excellent condition after the recent rain.
During the morning the missing bits of my recently purchased wormery appeared and I assembled it and placed it in the garage. It may not look much but in six weeks it will rule the world. Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to Hoddam armed with many home made cakes for a fun day at the Driving for the Disabled where she is a helper. On her return she gasped in amazement at the wormery.
While my tea was cooking, I popped out to mow the lawn and I must say that I think it was worth it as the lawn is always at its best in the late evening sun. After that, there was time for a little work for the Archive Group which is always interesting. At sometime during the day, I ordered a smart new pair of prescription sunglasses for cycling. These are so I can see where I am going while pedalling. It will be a novel experience.
I had to go round the morning pedal by myself today as my usual partner had gone off to play golf (rather selfishly, I thought). Nevertheless, I had a good run in light winds and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
After the cycle ride, a large parcel was delivered containing a very swish wormery and a good many worms. Unfortunately the wormery didn’t quite fit together as it should so new parts are on their way. However we rigged it up and put the worms in their new home. We hope they are going to be very happy and turn our kitchen waste into lovely compost. We will keep you updated on this. The booklet with the wormery warns of worm breakout in the early stages of their stay before they get settled in. We sleep in fear tonight.
After a light lunch of sardines on toast and smoked mackerel, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set about preparing our accounts for the annual tax return. After some head banging, we seem to have done most of the work and are going to see a new tax adviser shortly.
Tea was followed by a call to my sister Susan regarding some improvements to her family history site. She is forever putting up something new and improving the looks of pages. I am very impressed by her perseverance.
Finally, I was forced to have yet another plate of strawberries and cream while I did a little work on the Langholm Archive site…….and so to bed, don’t let the worms bite.
The rain and the gales had eased off so Dennis and I were able to go for our usual morning run today and for one reason or another the wind seemed to be behind us pretty well all the way which is most unusual. Dennis is not very well with some breathing problems so we did not race round. When I returned I found Mrs Tootlepedal in full painter and decorator mode going at the wall in the sitting room with a paper stripping machine. As long as she is enjoying herself.
I listened to the recording that she had made of the recorders last night and I was going to put a snippet on the blog until I discovered that it would cost me money. Prudence won out over vanity.
In the evening Mrs Tootlepedal went out to annoy the Community Council (or the other way round) and I put several pictures which an Australian lady had sent onto the Archive Group website. We’re very international in the Archive Group.
As I write this, I am melting a little ice cream from the freezer to have with a plate of strawberries and cream. Life is good.