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Posts Tagged ‘Canonbie’

Today’s guest picture comes from our younger son Alistair.  He came across these Christmas baubles in the Botanical gardens in Edinburgh.  As they were the size of footballs, he was quite impressed by them.

baubles botanic

We didn’t have much sparkle here as it was another grey and chilly day.  Any brightness was provided by the arrival of Dropscone (with scones) for coffee.  When he left, he was thinking about going to play golf as the temperature was around 5°C and I thought that it was just warm enough for a pedal.

Although it has been cold, it hasn’t rained recently so the roads were dry enough for comfortable riding and I had a calm pedal round my customary Canonbie route.  I had thought of going a little  bit further but was happy to settle for just the twenty miles as hands and feet were getting quite cold by the time that I got home.

Between not wanting to stand around getting even colder and the very poor light, I was intending not to stop for any stop for pictures but I was brought up short by a new sign beside the road at Hollows.

canonbie walk board

Some enterprising group has encouraged the council to put up a set of signs along a popular walking route from the village.  They are nicely done.  This one has the added benefit of being placed near a set of some slightly mysterious stone sculptures which have been anonymously placed in a little wood beside the river.

carving 1 hollows

There are disconcerting when you first see them as they are so unexpected.

carving 2 hollows far

The inscription on the helmet is quite apposite.

carving 2 hollows

When I got home, I took a picture of the first snowdrops of the year which are on the bank of the dam at the back of our house.  They have arrived a week or two earlier than usual this year.

snowdrops by dam

In the garden, the magnolia buds are looking healthy and ready to burst.

magnolia bud

I had lunch and tried to catch a bird at the feeder outside the kitchen window.  It was one of those days however when the very poor light and the flighty behaviour of the very few birds that were about meant that I didn’t take a single garden bird picture, a very rare occurrence.

In the end, I went for a short walk just for the sake of finding something to look at but I had left it too late and the already poor light had got even worse.  I pointed my camera around all the same.

This gull had found a taller spot to sit on rather than the fence posts at the Kilngreen and was on top of an electricity pole.

gull on lectricity pole

There were no gulls at the Kilngreen when I got there and after a pretty dry spell, there wasn’t much water in the rivers either.low water

I had to use the flash to take pictures of lichen on the sawmill Brig parapet…

bridge lichen

…and some spleenwort on the wall by the Lodge gates…

spleenwort back

…but there was just enough light to note that a mole had been busy down here too.

moles by lodge gates

I have a soft spot for trees that seem to have been cobbled together from small pieces.

many treed trunk

And I liked the combination of different bark colours, moss and lichen on this tree on the Castleholm.

moss and lichen on tree

But all in all, the cold and the greyness didn’t encourage me to linger and I soon got home again.

I had made some ginger biscuits in the morning and although they weren’t as successful as my last batch, they were quite suitable for dunking in a cup of tea so I did just that.

Since our Carlisle choir starts again this Sunday, I spent a little time doing some singing practising and then had another cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker who had come to call.

As Mike’s wife Alison is not back to full piano playing fitness after injuring her shoulder, there was no music in the evening and Mrs Tootlepedal and I spent a quiet evening in.

I couldn’t find a flying bird in the garden today so this distant shot of gulls flying across the Esk this afternoon is my best effort at a flying bird of the day.

flying gull flock

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Andy Little, one of our camera club members.  He very kindly sent me this picture of an unusual bird which he saw when visiting New Lanark.

New lanark perching bird

I had a steadily busy but not frantic day today.  Encouraged by Mrs Tootlepedal, I got up reasonably early and went out for a bike ride after breakfast without even pausing to look round the garden.

The reason for the snappy start was a dire forecast of wind and rain to come later in the day.  Anxious not to be caught out, I pedalled the whole way round my 20 mile Canonbie circuit without stopping at all, most unusual for me.  As a result there are no pictures but I made up for this by looking round the garden when I got home.

The butterflies have slowed down a bit and I was able to take a few close up shots.

butterfly head

It may not be the bee’s knees but it definitely is the butterfly’s proboscis.

butterfly head 2

There was a lot of nectar quaffing going on.

white butterfly on daisy

This shot does include the bee’s knees.

bee on cosmos

The newly sprung up nerines are looking better every day…

nerine flowering

…and the Michaelmas daisies are set to take over the world.

michaelmas daisies

It is berry time and the birds have eaten almost all our rowan berries without letting me catch them in the act.  This is most unfair.

Other berries are available…

snowberry and raspberry

…some more edible than others.

Then I took some postcards and photo cards up to our local newsagent, who sells them and makes a contribution to the Archive Group in return, and pedalled back home for lunch.

I kept an eye on the birds while I was in the kitchen and was pleased to see a coal tit in motion…

flying coal tit

…and at rest.

coal tit on feeder

The seeds are too big for them to eat on the feeder so they flit about in a restless way between the feeder and the plum tree behind.

After lunch, since the forecast rain and wind had not yet made an appearance, Sandy arrived and we drove down to Canonbie for as much of a walk as we could get in before the weather broke.

We parked at the church and walked along the river bank below it….

Canonbie church

…looking out for hints of autumn…

Esk at canonbie

..and noticing the scar in the red sandstone cliff where there has been a rockfall.

In the foreground you can see a fisherman moving along the river to try his luck.

Sandstone cliff at Canonbie

His chances may be affected by the number of other fisherfolk around.

family of goosanders at canonbie

Goosanders like eating fish a lot.

Looking across the river, I could see the hedge that marks the road along which I had pedalled  earlier in the day.  The bank behind is covered with the seed heads of rosebay willowherb.

Old A7 banking

We walked south along the river following a local signposted walk…

Esk below canonbie

…stopping to look at wild flowers on out way….

wild flowers beside esk

…and got as far as this little wood before the rain started to come down seriously enough to make us head back to the car.

riversie walk canonbie

We didn’t get a soaking but we got wet enough to persuade us not to dally taking pictures….except this one….

autumn colour

…and drove home to have a cup of tea.

We were joined by Mike Tinker, who has been enjoying having the company of both of his children and their spouses and all four of his grandchildren in recent days and thus was extremely happy but also in need of a quiet sit down and some refreshment.

In the evening, more rain and some gusty wind arrived in perfect time to welcome Luke for his flute lesson.  It always seems to rain on Monday when he comes.  As he was playing better than me today, I had no complaints.

In the evening, I went off with Sandy to the first Camera Club meeting of the season and with the attendance in double figures (11) and an excellent range of photos  for the members to enjoy, the meeting was very satisfactory.  There were biscuits too.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow getting an unfriendly welcome from a siskin.

flying chaffinch (2)

 

 

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Today’s colourful guest picture comes from my sister Mary who recently visited the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, London.

isabella plantation

Apart from a couple of brief showers, we had a much better day today.  It wasn’t a lot warmer in theory but a very welcome break from the recent strong winds made it feel a lot warmer in practice.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy morning of coffee and lunch meetings but managed to get some gardening in before she went out.  Meanwhile, I got the slow bike out and did some slow bicycling down to Canonbie and back.

Before I went, we checked the pond to see if Mrs Tootlepedal’s improvements were still keeping the water in place.

full pond

They were.

And I saw a couple more signs of spring.

willow and plum

Willow and plum

Once on the slow bicycle, it was a great relief not to have to battle against the wind for once and I enjoyed myself, although I didn’t try for any speed records.

There is enough grass growing for the farmers to be thinking about silage and I liked the rolled pattern on this field near Canonbie.

field near Canonbie

The dandelions in the verges are showing promise and I hope to be able to show some good clumps soon…

dandelion and bluebell

…and I saw my first bluebells of the year so I hope to see them in quantity soon too.

I stopped on the bridge at Canonbie to see how the ash tree flowers were coming on.

ash tree flowers

I think the branch that I looked at can truly be called an explosion of new growth.

I didn’t have to kid myself to see green leaves on the trees along the Esk at the Hollows today.  Spring is definitely springing…

Esk at Hollows

…although it has a bit to go before it is fully sprung.

When I got home, I found that the tulips were appreciating the better weather.

tulips

The euphorbias seem very popular with flies of various sorts as there is often one about when I try to take a picture of the plants.

fly on euphorbia

This is what the plant looks like when the flies have flown.

euphorbia

I went in to have lunch, soup and one of Matilda’s rolls, and took some time to watch the birds.

The siskins had gone away again so the chaffinches were getting a look at the feeder today.

chaffinches

…but there was still some waiting around on the plum tree to be done.

chaffinch and plum blossom

A goldfinch approached the feeder in the manner of one showing that he wasn’t armed and dangerous.

flying goldfinch

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal returned and found that our bench builder had arrived to cut an inch or two off the legs of the new bench.  It needed to be shifted back a bit and Mrs Tootlepedal set to work on that.  The result was very satisfactory and when she had finished,  we invited our neighbour Liz (with friend) to come and try it out

Ally and Liz on bench

By this time, as you can see, it was perfect weather for bench testing.

While Mrs Tootlepedal was gardening and working at the bench area, I mowed the front lawn and walked around with my camera.  I had the macro lens on.

white flowers

Tulips are popping up everywhere…

tulip

…and I spotted another colourful corner.

colourful corner

The plants in the foreground are dicentra and they were attracting bumbles bees again.

bee on dicentra

As were the paler variety in the back border.

bee on dicentra

Liz came in for a cup of tea and then, while Mrs Tootlepedal did some more gardening, I stayed inside to get some computer business out of the way.

I took the opportunity to look at last year’s cycling stats and found that I had done 500 miles more by this time last year so it is not surprising, considering the lack of decent cycling weather,  that our spring is quite a bit  later than usual this year.

I hope we get a good summer to make up for it.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had an enjoyable music making session while the other two chatted away.  After playing, Alison and I joined the conversation and Mike, who is a retired doctor, made us all rather gloomy with a very downbeat assessment of the shortage of general practice doctors and hospital consultants in our area.  We will have to try our best to keep ourselves healthy.

The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

 

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To make a change from endless pictures of moss, my guest picture of the day is a moose The picture came from Venetia, who saw the moose in Grand Teton National Park.

moose, in Grand Teton National Park

The wind is in the east at the moment, which often means sunnier days for us and this was the case today.

It also means cold mornings.

The frogs disappeared because of the cold morning but a daffodil appeared.

daffodil

And we did have wall to wall sunshine so after the frosty start, the temperature went up to a pleasing 7°C and this combined with a very light wind, opened the day to many possibilities.

After breakfast, the light was good enough to encourage bird shooting through the kitchen window.  Not all my efforts were entirely successful…

flying chaffinch

…but some were better than others…

flying chaffinch

…and some were quite action packed.

_DSC1501

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal turned to gardening and I took my walking poles in hand and went to the top of a hill and came down a again.

I had my camera with me for once.

I liked the contrasting colours as I walked up Meikleholm Hill…

View from Meikleholm Hill

…and I was surprised to see how much of the ground that I trod on was made up of mosses.

moss on Meikleholm Hill

You may think that the green hill on the right of the fence is grassy but in fact the pale grey patches are grass and almost all the green is moss.  Far from walking up a grassy hill, I was climbing a moss covered boulder.

moss on Meikleholm Hill

There was even a patch of moss clinging to the side of the concrete trig point on the top of Timpen Hill at 326m.

moss on timpen trig point

The view from the top was good.  That is the River Esk curling up the valley.

Esk from Timpen

On the far side of the Esk, I could see another example of tree felling followed by some very neat tidying up.

tree felling Longfauld

To the north, the Ettrick hills still had a little snow on their tops.

Ettrick Hills in background

Coming back down the hill, I stopped to admire the moss in one of the boggy patches.

bog moss

And of course, it is illegal to be out on the hill on a fine day and not take a picture of the town.

Langholm from Meikleholm

It is a very rewarding route for a walk of well under three miles.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal in delving mode when I got back and while we were chatting, we noticed a bird singing away in a very forceful manner.  We followed its flight on to the silver pear and I was very surprised to see it was a dunnock.

dunnock on pear tree

I usually see these creeping about silently in a very unobtrusive manner under the bottom of hedges so I can only assume that love must be in the air already and either mates are being attracted or rivals discouraged…..or both.

On my way round the garden, looking for exciting mosses, I saw these instead…

liverwort

…and Mrs Tootlepedal told that they are liverworts.

After a pause for recovery and lunch, I got the fairly speedy bike out and set off to see where my legs would take me.

They took me to the top of Callister Hill (223m) and back down again.  I was going to put some additional miles in when I was waved down by a passing motorist who turned out to be a friend who wanted my opinion on the reprehensible behaviour of our local landowner.

This led to an interesting and lively discussion, conducted while aeroplanes overhead combine to drag clouds across the sky….

con trails and cloud

…and left me with just time to get home as the sun went down and the shadows lengthened.

cycling shadow

Secretly, I was not at all upset to lose a mile or two from my trip as the morning’s hill walk had taken a little stuffing out of my legs.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden again when I got back and we went out to admire the work on the dam bridge repair.

dam bridge repairs
It is looking very neat and tidy with a waterproof membrane now stuck on top of the concrete beams and the sides of the bridge completed.   We are waiting for the pavement edge to be re-installed, a bit of fill to be added to each edge of the bridge and then the final tarmac can be laid.

I still haven’t heard from the Queen regarding the Grand Opening.

In the evening, I took my third trip of the day.

Sandy arrived and he drove us down to Canonbie, where he and I delivered an illustrated talk on the work of the Langholm Archive Group to the Canonbie Tractor Club in the Cross Keys Hotel.   We followed the talk by a showing of the Langholm Heritage DVD on the mills and railway in Langholm which members of the group made a few years ago.

This must have gone down quite well as I sold six copies of the DVD (all I had brought with me) to members of the audience after the showing.

Everything went very smoothly.  This was by no means a given considering that we were using a laptop, a projector, a screen, a sound bar and the visitors’ wi-fi connection of the Cross Keys Hotel, any of which might have been in a contrary mood.

It was a day which has been firmly entered on the credit side of the great ledger of life.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker who is on holiday in Wales.  He tells me , “I came across this interesting ancient monument while walking here in New Radnor -it is strangely called Four Stones.”  I think that I have worked out how it got its title.

Four Stones Radnor

We had a really pleasant day today – warm and dry, not too windy and with some occasional sunny spells.  I should have been out on my bike all day as I am still short of miles for June but a combination of mild asthma and sore feet kept me off the bike in the morning.

This gave me the chance to go bee hunting again.

bee on geranium

This one was exploring a chive

bee on geranium

This one was getting really stuck into a geranium.

We are getting a good variety of bees which is pleasing.

There are plenty of  bright flowers for the bees to visit.

iceland poppy and iris

And lots of detail for the bees to admire when they make their visits.

flower hearts

I was very pleased to see some flowers on the potatoes…

potato flowers

…and I am looking forward to some new potatoes from the garden in the not too distant future.

After a look at the tropaeolum….

tropaeolum

…which I see has had to be tied down to stop it flying off, I got the hover mower out and gave the greenhouse grass and the drying green a haircut.  Mrs Tootlepedal has been busy with the strimmer so although these areas are in the working part of the garden, they look very neat.

I was just thinking about going for a cycle ride after lunch when a knock on the back door heralded the arrival of Dropscone at a very non standard time.  He had purchased four brioche rolls at such an advantageous price (10p for all four) when passing through Hawick just before the supermarket closed for the night that he felt he had to share them with me.  This was very kind of him and we enjoyed two each over a cup of tea.

After he left, I finally got kitted up and went off on the fairly speedy bike.  I pottered round the 20  mile trip down to Canonbie and back with plenty of stops for photos.  They haven’t got round to mowing the verges immediately out of the town so I was able to enjoy a colourful mixture of buttercups and clover….

buttercups and clover

…with an attendant bee…

bee on clover

This bee really is in clover.

..before pedalling on wondering how they could bring themselves to cut verges when they look like this.

There was a different sort of growth beside the road at the top of the hill on the Kerr road.

new trees

These tubes all contain broad leaved saplings as the landowners can’t get permission to plant conifers unless they provide a fringe of native trees round the new plantations.  On the other side of this little summit are rows of identical conifers.

I am looking for views taken in Canonbie Parish to enter into the Canonbie Flower Show in August so I tested out a few possibilities as I went from Langholm Parish into Canonbie and then back out again.

Chapelhill

A typical scene

baling the silage Canonbie

Baling the silage

The natives were interested in what I was doing.

Canonbie cows

In between taking those two views, my route took me down the main Canonbie by-pass. This is quite a busy road with fast traffic  and and I don’t usually stop for picture opportunities while I am on it but some bright colour caught my eye today and I applied the brakes.

orchid

More orchids

orchid

Lots more orchids

For a short section of the road, the verge was full of orchids.  They must bloom there every year but I have never noticed them before.  I couldn’t miss them today.

I stopped for my three favourite trees in full summer rig out….

Canonbie trees

…before cycling through the village and back up the Esk to Langholm.

The verges on the old road hadn’t been cut and I stopped twice for things that got my attention.

ragged robin

Ragged Robin

an umbellifer and friend

An umbellifer and friend

I was going to take a picture of a yellow rose in the garden when I had a walk round after I got home but on closer inspection, I decided that it might not be quite what the readers would want to see…

rose with flies

The downside of a warm and calm day

…so I didn’t take it.

After tea, another excellent fish pie from Mrs Tootlepedal, I went off to sing with the small choir that is practising to sing three songs in a concert in the town in July.  There were nine sopranos and trebles, four altos and three tenors.  I modestly took my place as the one  and only bass but I certainly didn’t oompah up and down the square.

We had a most enjoyable practice and I have got a month to try and get a bit of tone quality into my unused low notes.

No flying birds or bees today.

 

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Today’s guest picture is a south coast sunset, seen by my sister Mary from St Leonard’s-on-Sea.

st-leonards-on-sea-001

Once again, I managed to get up reasonably promptly and get out on my bicycle in good time.  I was due to do my stint in the Welcome to Langholm office at eleven o’clock so I only had time for my habitual twenty miles to Canonbie and back.

On this occasion, Mrs Tootlepedal was up early too so I got some sustaining porridge and this resulted in an increase of a mile an hour in my average speed compared with yesterday.  If any porridge oat sellers would like to make something of this, I am open to offers.

When I got to the tourist office, it was already open and soon there was a press call in action as two of the other volunteers had qualified for certificates in hospitality and our local newspaper was there to record this auspicious event.

Tourist office photocall

This was the highlight of the morning and tourists were notably lacking for me to exercise my hospitality skills on for the rest of the time.

The weather gods were in teasing mood so I had done my morning bike ride in mist, the sun had come out when I went into the office and it then went back in again just as I came out.  How I laughed.

The sun came out again after lunch and I watched the birds for a moment….

goldfinches

Goldfinches approaching the feeder doing the breaststroke

greenfinches

Greenfinches using the butterfly stroke.

As it looked promising, Mrs Tootlepedal and I decided to take the car down to the Hollows and then walk the mile along the old road to Canonbie, have tea in the Church cafe there and then walk back along the other side of the river.

The weather gods were still having fun though and the sun disappeared as we drove down and we had to walk under misty clouds.  There was almost no wind though and with the temperature just under 50F, it was still a lovely day for an autumn walk.

Going to the cafe:

Byreburn

The Byreburn bridge

River at Byreburn

The Esk from the bridge

acorns at Byreburn

There were hundreds of acorns beside the road at the bridge

fungus

And a feast of fungus a little further on

Sheep

A sheep had her scary clown Halloween mask on

River esk

Looking back up river

Old A7 Canonbie

It was hard not to stop all the time…

Canonbie churchyard

…but we finally got to the church

To our surprise, the little cafe at the church was nearly full but there was just room for us to sit down and enjoy a pot of tea and a slice of fruit cake between us.  The cafe is run by volunteers for the benefit of the village and considering that there were twenty people chatting and taking refreshment while we were in, it must be considered to be doing a grand job.

We crossed the river by the Canonbie Bridge and then walked up a path behind the old post office to join the top road back to the Hollows.  It had got a little misty by this time.

Going back from the cafe:

The Riverside Inn

Looking down over the old Riverside Inn with Canonbie School in the background behind the trees

Canonbie Village

Looking over the village

Byreburn House

Byreburn House on the far bank of the river

apples

A fine crop of apples

The trees beside the Esk on old A7

Looking across at our outward route which had been among these trees which line the river

Hollows Mill

Coming down to the cottage before Hollows Bridge

View from Hollows Bridge

And the view from the bridge

Archimedes screw

In spite of the low water, the Archimedes screw was working well.

At three miles, this was  a perfect length for a gentle stroll with many stops for photo ops and in spite of the lack of sun (we could see hints of blue sky nearer Langholm when we got back to the car!), it was a hundred per cent enjoyable.

I didn’t have long when we got back before it was time to cook my tea and welcome my flute pupil Luke back from holiday.  He was a bit rusty due to lack of practice but we had a good play nevertheless.

Then there was just time to eat the tea (feta and potato bake, much more successful than yesterday’s efforts) before I packed up my flute and headed off to play trios with Mike and Isabel.  We had another go at our Mozart trio and I am quite sure that after a week’s practice, the composer would easily have recognised his work today.  It is good to play a work that really stretches us.

My twenty miles this morning took my cycling miles for the month up to 450 which is very satisfactory.  I have got about 360 miles to go to reach my 4000 mile target for the year so I am just hoping that the frost, snow and ice will kindly keep away until I have done them.

The flower of the day is a very surprising and welcome late burst by the Special Grandma rose…

Special Grandma rose

…and the flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches.

flyng goldfinch

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Today’s guest picture is one from my brother’s archive.  He visited Roche Abbey in August and enjoyed this neat little bridge.

Roche Abbey

I woke up feeling a great deal better than yesterday but with a few aches and pains still in residence.  It seemed like case for Dr Velo and so after the regulation amount of footering about waiting for the temperature to go up a bit and eating toast, I finally dragged myself out into the brilliant sunshine, snapped a poppy (and friend)…

poppy

…and bicycled off up the Wauchope road.  It wouldn’t be true to say that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky….

cloud in the sky

…but for an early autumn day, things couldn’t have looked much fresher…

Minsca wind farm

…and there was only just enough wind to make the Minsca windmills go round.

I dropped in on the doorkeeper at the Ewe Hill wind farm (where the blades that we saw being transported the other day were bound) and he kindly gave me a list of telephone numbers so that I can try to find someone who will let me visit the site when the towers are going up.

I pedalled on and crossed the bridge at Paddockhole and headed up to Corrie Common.  It occurred to me that I might be able to see the towers going up without visiting the site if i can’t get permission and I looked across to see.

Ewe Hill windfarm

I could see the ground being prepared behind the first array of turbines and the zoom lens was quite able to get close.

Ewe Hill windfarm

So if I can’t get permission to visit, I will still be able to see work in progress.

I pedalled on to the top of the hill and was reminded that we have plenty of windmills round about all ready.

Windfarm

I could see over forty turbines spread across the hills on the far side of the valley.  You can see why some people feel that we have got more than enough without adding to the number but I think that we can squeeze a few more in.

Looking out from the top of the hill at Corrie, there is a splendid panoramic view…

View from Corrie

…of which this is just a fraction.

As it was a grand day and the light wind was behind me, I decided to head over the hills to Boreland and then come back down to Gretna.

There was plenty to entertain me on the way.

Black sheep

A black sheep

White horse

A white horse

Pony and traps

Ponies and traps  (there are two there, compressed by the zoom)

railway

The railway line that carries us from Lockerbie to Edinburgh when we visit Matilda

Autumn colour near Lockerbie

Autumn colour south of Lockerbie

So I was in good spirits when I got to Gretna after 42 miles.  I was in even better spirits when I had downed a plate of egg and chips and a latte at the Old Toll Bar cafe.  The old toll bar is yards from the border so they kindly have informative clocks there for visitors…

old toll bar clocks

…and I was pleased to see that Brexit hasn’t upset this harmony yet.

I had originally planned for a ride of fifty miles and a spell of gusty winds winds as I came down the road to Gretna made me feel that even that might be hard work but as I sat in the cafe, the wind dropped back again to a very gentle level so I took a slightly longer roundabout route back through Glenzier.

I had just got to the A7, 6 miles from home, when a familiar sight caught my eye.  Scott, the minister and a friend had stopped for a drink at the top of the Canonbie bypass.  I had let an opportunity to join them for a hundred mile ride slip by and I was quite pleased when I found out that they had completed the 106 miles at over 16 mph. I would have held them up badly.  It was no wonder that they needed a breather before the last lap.

We had a chat and then I went back by a slightly different route than them. It gave me a fine view over the village of Canonbie…

Canonbie

The sun had gone by this time

..and a little further on, a look at the hills beneath which Langholm lies.

Esk valley

As always, the sun was shining in Langholm

I arrived in Langholm just behind Scott and Greg and congratulated them on their achievement.  They had had to come back on their route home just when the wind was at its briskest so they deserved to feel quite pleased with themselves (and I was once again pleased that I hadn’t been foolish enough to offer to go with them).

Still, I was modestly pleased with my 62 miles even though I hadn’t got anywhere near their speed and those with time hanging heavy on their hands can see details of the route by clicking on the map below.

garmin-route-8-oct-2016

Once again Dr Velo had worked his magic and I was feeling absolutely fine.  I can heartily recommend cycling as cure for almost any ill though Savlon is very good too.

When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had been extremely busy in the garden while I had been out pootling about.  She is revamping the bed in front of the hedge along the street.

The two azaleas have been replanted.

azaleas

And everything nearby has either been rooted up or trimmed down.

the hedge bed

She plans to line the bed with a colourful succession of daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, Sweet William, yellow crocosmia and poppies.  I look forward to many photo opportunities next year.

She added to her tasks by cooking a meal of courgette fritters for our tea and then we settled down to watch Strictly, both of us feeling tired but contented with our day’s work.

I didn’t have an opportunity to catch a flying bird but the flower of the day is a cornflower.

cornflower

 

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