The Lonely Pedaller and a Can of Worms

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.

Mrs Tootlepedal having a taxing time
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.

Just Another Monday

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.

They're ready

A Sunday of Travellers

The day started with a visit for coffee of Mr and Mrs Mein from Australia who were in the district to unveil a plaque on the family mausoleum in Canonbie. They kindly brought us a bottle of wine to thank us for posting some photographs from our website to them for their family history.

The walnut in the wind

The day was marked by some fiercely windy conditions and we were seriously worried about damage to the garden, trees and even buildings but in the end we came through pretty well unscathed bar the odd twig here and there.

Members of the grandly named George Moscrop Ensemble at St Michael's Church

In the late afternoon Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off for Carlisle and a quick practice before heading off to Appleby for a second concert with the Brampton Chamber Choir this time with Jenny, our fourth member. The concert went not badly and we left Appleby to be greeted by a glorious sunset which rounded the day off pretty well.

A Quiet Day in the House and Garden

After a quick visit to our local farmers’ market I was able to mow the lawn thanks to some recent rain.

All the better for a drop of rain.

The lawns have not recovered from the drought but they are looking a little better and with more rain forecast, I hope to get them in good condition soon.

An incipient pepper

A quick peer into the greenhouse revealed some progress on the tomato and pepper front after a slow start because of the very cold spring.

A burgeoning tomato

After all this early excitement, Mrs Tootlepedal returned from selling Bonnie Langholm raffle tickets at the farmers’ market and together we attacked a hedge to its severe detriment. I thinned a few apples on the apple tree and then had to go inside for a little sit down.

Pedal and tootle day

A pleasant morning ride with Dennis in spite of a strongish wind. It is never too bad when the wind is blowing you home at the end of the ride. Mrs Tootlepedal had picked some strawberries from a friend’s garden who is in Glasgow having a knee operation so I made two jars (and a bit) of strawberry jam, one for her and one for us.

The first jam of the year
This is the first jam of the season and that is a red letter day. We are still eating last year’s blackcurrant jam and gooseberry jam.

I had a peaceful interval in the afternoon, whiling away the time in the tourist information office at the Kilngreen. A few visitors but not many.

After that, it was home for tea and a glimpse of Andy Murray going downhill fast and then off to pick up Susan my tootling companion ( daughter of my cycling companion) and off to Lanercost Priory where we were playing at a Brampton Choir concert as the light relief. We had to play some Michael East trios with very little (one) practice because of medical emergencies for our fourth player but all went very well considering, although there were two tiny breakdowns.

Down Came the Rain

At last a drop of rain

At last we have been blessed by a drop of rain.

This has come in the nick of time but there isn’t nearly enough to avoid a hosepipe ban in the very near future.

Family Reunion

We were visited by my brother and his wife today for a nourishing meal of chick pea hotpot (prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal) followed by a triumphant caramel custard and a tour of the garden. This was very nice and they have just gone off to spend a bargain night in the Southwaite Services Travelodge. Chacun a son gout as they say.

This afternoon I finished entering 1875 into the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser index which we are compiling. We started at 1848 and we have entered over 30,000 items so it will be a long time until we are up to date.

Busy Day

A very busy day today with no time for a pedal at all. I played golf in the morning with some unfortunate lapses of concentration mixed with some good shots, made lunch, had a meeting at three, made my tea, had another meeting at six, ate my tea, went to Brampton to practice a piece we are playing with some singers for a concert on Friday and then went to Carlisle to practice the recorder group pieces we are playing. The husband of one of our group is in hospital so we practised a few trios in case she can’t come to the concert. A full day.

Another day, another ride

Once again I set off at nine o’clock for our usual morning ride with Dennis and, owing to the mellow weather, I was once again attired in natty¬† shorts.

The natty shorts in question

Our time was nothing special but, thanks to the following wind, we did the last three and a bit miles in nine minutes which gave us a good deal of simple satisfaction.

While I was out a kindly postman delivered a small minidisc recorder together with a microphone which the Archive Group are going to use to develop a library of oral history. It will take a bit of getting used to so I am not expecting to be bored any time soon.

It finally rained this evening but not enough to make a significant difference to the garden.

A trip to the dump

After my habitual 20 mile morning bike ride (followed as usual by a little sit down) I got Mrs Tootlepedal’s grandfather’s electric pump out and filled several buckets of water from the dam as we are on the verge of a hosepipe ban here.

The wider drive awaiting the truncating of the fence and a new gate

While I was doing this, Mrs Tootlepedal was excavating the drive so that we can widen the front gate and these works necessitated a trip to our local (Local! It’s 18 miles away) dump. When we got there with buckets of earth and stones to dump, the skip was so full that a couple who were already at the dump took pity on our elderly frailty and threw our stuff on to the top of the skip. It was very kind but possibly also motivated by their being next in line to use the skip. Looking at us struggling to put on a shovelful or two at a time, they thought a helping hand might speed thing s up a bit.

I spent the evening honing my sound editing skills on some spoken reminiscences that we are collecting. I was pleased to get an email from my eldest sister which revealed the huge progress she has made in learning to program with HTML.

Compost Day

No pedalling today as we had Mrs Tootlepedal’s brother and wife staying overnight which was a great treat and then we had a compost day at the house.

A visiting expert from Moffat brought a wormery and a raft of information, a neighbour brought his shredder and we had several different compost bins and a sieve to show. The first two hours were very good with interested visitors but the last two hours were very dull because nobody came at all.

Composted kitchen waste after sieving

The experts contemplate life
Garden compost after sieving
A wormery with a cup of worm pee
Display of shredders