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Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal.  She found a very prominent fairy ring on her brother’s lawn.

fairy ring

Mrs Tootlepedal is still away visiting her mother, whose hundred and first birthday is imminent.  This means that I am having to make up my mind for myself here with no assistance and this is quite wearing.  On top of this, I am getting rather fat because every time I wander into the kitchen to share an interesting thought with Mrs Tootlepedal, she isn’t there and I eat something instead.  Luckily she will be back next week and all will be well.

The forecast offered a dry morning and a wet afternoon so in an ideal world, I would get up promptly and go for a cycle ride and then do useful things indoors in the afternoon.

It turned out to be an ideal world.

I didn’t waste any time in the garden but got on the bike after breakfast and did thirty miles.  I stopped for one picture….

Esk at Hollows

…just to prove that I had been out.  The wind was lighter than of late but the sky was grey so it was not a day for views.

I did notice when I got home that I had a serious outbreak of helmet hair which I have decided to share.  Nervous readers should look away now.

helmet hair

I flattened my hair down and mowed the greenhouse grass, did some poppy dead heading, cut down some plants which were beyond their sell by date and had a walk round the garden.

The poppies had appreciated the dry morning.

poppies

This was my favourite poppy of the day.

poppy

The should be a mixture of poppies and cornflowers growing round the front lawn but they are both taking their time thanks to the cool weather. Still, there are a few cornflowers about.

cornflower

As I walked between the flowers and the compost bins during my tidying up, I couldn’t help but enjoy the jumble of white clematis and red rose on the arch through to the veg garden…

clematis and rose

…and the clematis growing along the fence too.

clematis

If every flower has the same number of petals, there must be three different clematis growing there as I can see flowers with six, five and four petals in the picture.

I am always interested in fruits and berries and so are the birds.  I am keeping an eye on the plums and the blackbirds are keeping an eye on the rowan berries.

plum and rowan

Those rowan berries are in a neighbour’s garden.  Ours aren’t quite as ripe yet.

My neighbour Liz kindly took a surplus turnip off my hands and I picked some more carrots and beetroot. I am eating the beetroot at golf ball size and they are absolutely delicious as snacks.

After lunch, the forecasters’ predictions arrived in the form of a persistent spell of rain which lasted several hours.   I caught up on my correspondence and packed up the camera lens which I am trading in, having been offered a very fair price by the company which will sell me my new lens.  I then braved the rain and took the parcel up to the post office only to find the that post office was closed.

I brought the parcel home again and did some muttering.

Then I did some ironing …and a bit more muttering until getting a bit of advice from the ‘Call Mrs Tootlepedal Hotline’.

I had corned beef hash for my tea and was pleasantly surprised to find that our new potatoes taste very good when mashed and fried.

Recently I have had a choir to go to on a Wednesday night but that has finished now so finding that the rain had stopped, I filled in the time by wandering aimlessly about.

The bed at the end of the drive gave me a cheerful farewell as I left the garden.

pot marigolds and nasturtiums

For some reason, the rather grey light seem to suit the church so I stopped being aimless and pointed the camera at it as I passed.

Langholm Parish Church

Our usual mallards have been joined by several darker ducks with bright white breasts this summer.

darker duck

A little research tells me that they are probably mallard hybrids rather than anything more exotic.

I exchanged a few words with Mr Grumpy as I walked down to the Kilngeen…

heron

…and thought that a bunch of ragwort on the bank of the Esk just above the Meeting of the Waters added a nice touch to the scene.

ragwort

I was pleased to find that there was still a banded snail or two on the stump of one of felled trees along the Lodge Walks.

snail

Although the evening was fundamentally grey and it looked as though it might well rain, every now and again a shaft of sunshine illuminated the scene….but always a little bit away from where I was.

sunshine behind trees

Like behind a tree….

sunshine on the Esk

…or round a bend in the river…

monument

…or on top of a hill.

But I got round dry and saw a most unusual thing on my way.

ragwort

A ragwort plant with no insects on it.

It was nearly seven o’clock by this time so perhaps all the insects had gone home to bed.

My last picture was a pleasing tangle of grasses.

grasses

No flying bird of the day but there is a very badly painted blackbird and a splashy sparrow.

blackbird

sparrow splashing

There were plenty of puddles to choose from.

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Today’s guest picture, sent by Dropscone, shows how the greenkeeping staff at a prestigious golf course still use traditional methods for preparing the ground.  The only thing lacking is that they should have their trouser legs tied up with string.

St Andrews

I had thought of offering to go with Sandy to help fill the Moorland feeders this morning but when I woke to find that it was pouring with rain, I decided that it might be better not to bother him.

I saw him later in the morning anyway, when he came for coffee.  He is hoping to produce a blog or two arising from his recent trip to America and Mexico so I will keep an eye out for it.

The rain had stopped by the time that he had arrived and the light had improved a bit so while we sipped our coffee, I kept an eye on the birds…

…and a chaffinch kept an eye on a blue tit.

Chaffinch and blue tit

We have more tits coming to the feeder this year than ever before as far as I can remember and it is a great pleasure to see them every day.  I saw at least five blue tits at the same time today.  Generally I only see two coal tits at one time but whether the regular coal tit visitors are always the same birds is anyone’s guess.

blue tit and coal tit

We had two less frequent visitors today, a starling….

starling

…and a collared dove.

collared dove

After Sandy left, I had a look at the weather forecast and it suggested that if I waited until midday, any of the forecast snow would be just to the north and the east of the town and there might be a chance of a peaceful pedal here before the temperature dropped again.

I did wait and there was a chance of a pedal. My phone battery was flat and Mrs Tootlepedal was getting ready to go to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh so I settled for an unadventurous 21 miles going up and down the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse three times and I met Mrs Tootlepedal going up the road as I came back down on the last lap.

I had another look at the birds over lunch.

It had been mostly chaffinches so far…

chaffinches

…but there was a sudden influx of greenfinches…

greenfinches

greenfinches

They took over the feeders and were soon coming and going in all directions.

greenfinches

Some goldfinches arrived and tried to stake a claim…

goldfinch and greenfinches

And when the greenfinches left, the goldfinches took to squabbling among themselves.

goldfinches

It was quite a pleasant day and I would like to have gone for a walk but I had to visit the doctor as I am suffering a little discomfort in one eye.   She assured me that there was nothing to worry about and said she would make an appointment for me to see an eye specialist at the hospital.

This might seem a bit contradictory but she explained that the eye trouble should settle down of its own accord  within six weeks or so but if by any chance it didn’t, I would have to see the specialist.  As an appointment will take  at least six weeks to come through, she reckons that I will be able to cancel it before it comes up if the eye is better but if the eye doesn’t clear up,  I would have to wait a further six weeks at least before getting treatment if I didn’t already have an appointment.  It all makes sense in a rather weird way.

I noticed this vivid shrub on a neighbour’s fence beside the road just outside our house on my way home.

shrub

It was enough to gladden anyone’s eye.

In the evening, Susan kindly drove me to Carlisle where we enjoyed an excellent evening of playing with our recorder group.  One of our members, Heather, is a music teacher and she told us that she gave a piano lesson this week to a young pupil who has moved to Atlanta.  She used Skype very satisfactorily and has learned that many music teachers are now using Skype for music lessons.  The only downside that she can see at the moment is that it is impossible for her to play duets with her pupil.

The leaf of the day is a combination of spirea and cotoneaster by our back fence….

spirea and cotoneaster

…and the flying bird is one of the chaffinches.

_dsc9321

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my sister Mary.  She was visiting an old sewage pumping station (as one does) when she met this fine double rainbow.

crossness-pumping-station-024

I was just getting dressed after a little post-breakfast rest with an agreeable crossword when the minister arrived bearing gifts of eggs.  He is a great poultry fancier and has some fine varieties of hens roaming his garden.

He was on his way to work but stopped for long enough to have a cup of coffee with us.  We were soon following him to church as it was the day of the funeral of one of our neighbours, Florrie Hotson.  She had died at the age of 93 in a home in Hawick where she had been staying recently after living for many years across our garden fence.

Our neighbour Liz came to the service with us and we all had a cup of tea in the kitchen when we got back and reflected on life and death.

A blue tit on the feeder outside may have wondered what we were talking about.

Blue Tit

There is a dense holly tree in the garden of one of our other neighbours and it often resounds with the noise of chattering starlings.  One of them popped in to see us after lunch.

starlings

The sparrows were as lively as ever.

sparrows

The weather was grey and a bit chilly but Mrs Tootlepedal got out into the garden after lunch and I had a walk round.  I am pleased to see the flowers lasting so well that I took yet more pictures of some familiar faces.

Crown Princess Margareta

The last stem of Crown Princess Margareta is going out in very fine style

dahlias

There are fancy dahlias…

dahlias

…and ‘in your face’ dahlias

astrantia, phlox and dahlia

Late flowering astrantia and phlox and a more restrained dahlia

I had a careful look at the weather forecast because it looked as there might be a possibility of rain but when I was assured that it would stay dry, I set out on my current regular 20 mile cycle ride to Canonbie and back.

There was a noticeable breeze, still basically from the east, so I considered which way round to do the route and luckily settled for my normal direction.  I say luckily because the although the wind was across for a lot of the way down and back, it didn’t hold me up on the way down and on the way back, it helped me a lot.

As a result, I managed the way down and the way back up at exactly the same average speed and finished in a very satisfactory time.  On my way, I had passed my neighbour Ken going in the opposite direction. When he got back, he agreed that I was the one going the right way round!

As I was working hard at the pedals on the trip, I only stopped briefly for a touch of autumn colour near Canonbie.

Canonbie tree

This tree on the old road has decided to go conspicuously red but only in places.

Esk at Byreburn

Most of the trees by the river at Byreburn are staying stubbornly green.

Mrs Tootlepedal was just finishing off her work in the garden when I got back and I joined her for a cup of tea and a slice of fruity malt loaf, a product of our faithful bread machine.

Outside the window, sparrows were once again drawn to the back of the bench…

sparrows on bench

..although other birds preferred the arms.

dunnock and chaffinch

A less cuddly jackdaw turned up…

Jackdaw

…and the robin was eager to get into the picture.

robin

It knows exactly where to stand to catch the photographer’s eye.

I had a delicious meal of roasted vegetables for my tea, including a late turnip from the garden (which was surprisingly tender for the time of year) and that rounded off my day.

The flower of the day is a late flowering Icelandic poppy which has come out in spite of the dead header being rather slack in his duties as you can see…

icelandic poppy

…and the flying bird of the day is one of the busy sparrows.

flying sparrow

There must be plenty of food out in the countryside still as we are not seeing many chaffinches or any goldfinches or greenfinches at present.  Our blackbirds have disappeared too so maybe they have migrated.

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Today’s guest picture is another from Dropscone’s continental excursion and shows a fine bridge over the Schlei at Kappeln in Schleswig-Flensburg.  Dropscone points out that it is just the same as Tower Bridge in London….but without the towers of course.

the-bridge-at-kappeln

Our spell of warm weather continued today and it was up to a  most unseasonal 20°C by mid morning and when the sun came out, it became positively hot.

The fat balls on the feeder have become sparrow magnets.

sparrows at feeder

But I managed to tear myself away from the kitchen window and get the final stage of my Archive Group  charity return to the regulators completed. This was a weight off my mind.    It is one of those tasks, quite simple in itself, for which the word procrastination is designed.  I suffer from chronic formophobia but I should have learned to overcome this by now.  Still, it is done.

After a cup of coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal, I spent some time cleaning my fairly speedy bike as it had been wheezing and groaning a bit on my last ride.  When this was done, I sat on it and went for a pedal.

I was back home three minutes later as I had forgotten my bike glasses but this worked out well as Mrs Tootlepedal, who was toiling in the garden,  pointed out a painted lady butterfly….

painted lady and red admiral butterflies

…and I noticed a red admiral not far away.

I was going on my standard 20 mile pedal down to Canonbie across country and then back by the old A7 and  I stopped to add a picture of the bridge over the Esk at Canonbie to my recent bridge portfolio.

Canonbie Bridge

The rather ugly railing was added when the footway was widened a few years ago.

Although it was a lovely morning and the river was busy but not full, a glance at the bank above where I was standing….

Esk at canonbie

…showed just how high the Esk had been on Friday night after some heavy rain.  The level would have been above my head as I stood on the edge of the water.

All was quiet today though and I had a last look through the bridge….

Canonbie Bridge

….and then pedalled home in very good humour on dry roads in the warm sunshine with little or no wind.

There were more butterflies to be seen when I got back.

red admiral and peacock butterflies

The painted lady had been replaced by a peacock.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy doing some severe plant shifting requiring a pick axe while I had a light lunch and then we set about trimming the hedge along the road.  It had got a bit hairy…

hairy hedge

…although it only seems like yesterday that I gave it its last trim.

As you can see from the wires along the pavement, we were intending to use our electric hedge trimmer but the rotten thing wouldn’t work and after trying every connection, we gave it up as a bad job and settled for hand powered shears.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been working too long in the sun though by this time and had to go in and lie down in a darkened room for a moment so I clipped away by myself until, providentially, the sun went in and Mrs Tootlepedal came out again.

Together we got the job done….

Trimmed hedge

…and though it is not a thing of dead straight lines and knife edge creases, we look at it as a creative work of art reflecting the troubled world that we live in and we are content.

Mrs Tootlepedal kept the shears at work by trimming a yew bush in the garden…

yew clipping

…while I snapped a few flowers….

clematis

…and spotted more butterflies.

red admiral butterfly

When you see one close up, you wouldn’t want to argue with it.

I am very happy about the number of butterflies appearing now.  It is not as large as in some previous years but it is more than we were expecting after cold weather at a crucial time.

I looked at some other flowers too and thought that the buds of a Fuchsia, hanging like lanterns, were perhaps just as pretty as the flowers in this light.

Fuchsia

I always enjoy an astrantia and our pale variety has produced some late flowers.

astrantia

On the edge of the freshly mown lawn, gently green nicotiana blended with yellow crocosmia.

nicotiana and crocosmia

I was able to pick apples for stewing and enough of our autumn fruiting raspberries to have a plate of raspberries and cream at tea time.  The front lawn had dried out enough to make mowing it a pleasure and  I even did a bit of dead heading in an effort to keep the dahlias and poppies going.  Some aspects of gardening are most enjoyable.

While I was clipping the hedge, my trio playing fried Mike had appeared with a new Mozart trio which he has just bought.  It is an arrangement of the trio in E flat K.498 (Kegelstadt) for oboe, bassoon and piano and will do very well for our flute, cello and piano trio.  Music for our combination is hard to come by.  I looked at it when I got in from the garden and enjoyed what I saw.

I went to make a cup of tea for the gardener and me and looked out of the window while we were sipping away….

jackdaw

…and received a hard stare for my trouble.

The jackdaw flew off however and was instantly replace by squabbling sparrows…

sparrows

…while a dunnock was happy to scavenge for tidbits under the feeder.

dunnock

If you have a glut of courgettes, I can heartily recommend courgette fritters.  Mrs Tootlepedal has a good recipe for them, and they are delicious, like potato latkes but better.   I could eat them every day which is handy as we have a lot of courgettes to get through.  Visitors almost always leave with a courgette or two with them.  We had some fritters for our tea with the last of the venison stew.

Later on we enjoyed some stewed apple and custard.  It was a good eating evening.

The flower of the day is a sunflower which Mrs Tootlepedal found bent over to the ground behind some other plants.  She has staked it up and it is looking none the worse for its adventures.

sunflower

The flying bird of the day is one of the disputatious sparrows, flapping furiously as it approached the feeder..

flying sparrow

 

 

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Today’s guest picture was taken by my friend Sue.  She borrowed my camera and took this shot of an elderly walker near Talkin Tarn.

Tootlepedal

My day started with two surprises.

The first surprise was that I managed to get my bike out and go for a 14 mile ride before breakfast. The second surprise was that it started to rain soon after I set out and I got a bit wet.  Still I was very pleased to get out at all and as it was quite warm, the business of getting wet was not such a hardship as it is in cold weather.  I enjoyed myself.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a church choir practice almost as soon as I had got back while I had a wander round the garden (it had stopped raining).

iris and dahlia

A wet welcome for a pretty new iris and one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s dahlias from seed.

nasturtium and strawberry

The first nasturtium and a promising strawberry

Then I had some breakfast and a shower and finally a look at the birds.  I have put a second feeder out in a new place….

siskins and sparrow

…but the same old birds are visiting it…

siskin and sparrow

…in large numbers.

Then I got ready to go out as soon as Mrs Tootlepedal got back from her choir.

We had two things to do.

Our first port of call was Lanercost Priory….

Lanercost Priory

…where we listened to a short concert of Beethoven’s songs and piano music which was given by the conductor and accompanist of our Langholm choir as part of the Lanercost Festival.  They are both excellent musicians and the concert was very enjoyable.

It also had the inestimable benefit of being no more than an hour long so we were soon on our way to our second destination.

This was the garden of our friend Sue who had the brave idea of buying a shipping container and turning it into a garden room.  With a lot of very hard work from Sue and her children and a very obliging builder, it has worked out very well.

Sue's container

It wasn’t long before we were ensconced inside.

Sue and Mrs T in container

It has every comfort including running water, a wood burning stove and a small cooker.  There is still some work to be done, shelves and that sort of thing, but it already looked like a space that anyone would be happy to be in.  The doors, windows, stove and flooring were all acquired second hand.

Sue gave us a tasty lunch and then we went out for a circular walk in the lanes round her house, taking in Talkin Tarn en route.

Although it was midsummer day, coats were in order as we set out….

Farlam walk

…but by the time that we reached the Tarn, the weather had improved and the coats were off.

Talkin Tarn with Sue

It is always a treat to walk round the Tarn, though it is hard to capture its full charm on a camera. The Tarn is quite small and it is the whole picture rather than any single part of the walk that is so attractive.

I tried though.

Talkin Tarn

Talkin Tarn

We were watched by shaggy sheep on our way to the Tarn…

sheep at talkin

…and we watched some birds when we got there.

talkin birds

There were other things to look at too.

Talkin rower

wild iris

There was steep hill to climb from the Tarn back up to Sue’s house but there were plenty of things to look at beside the road as we went along to keep our mind off the hard work.

Talkin road

It wasn’t a long walk but it was very good value with something large or small, near or far to please the eye at almost every step (and good company too).

We couldn’t stay long when we got back as I had to get back in time for my flute pupil Luke’s lesson.

Luke came and we enjoyed our playing.

The weather had changed from the wet and windy morning into a beautiful evening and the garden was looking suitably refreshed by the rain.

I had time to look at the new feeder before tea. It is hanging from a variegated elder and has a more interesting background than the old feeder on the pole but because it is under a tree, there is less light available for the photographer.   For some reason the branches are covered with lichen and moss….and sparrows.

Elder sparrows

The flying bird of the day is a siskin under the elder.

siskin

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s visit to Cleethorpes and shows a Victorian pier from the past and a commercial ship from the present in one shot.  The Humber carries 14% of Britain’s sea trade.

The Humber carries 14% of Britain's sea trade.

Our spell of excellent weather continued but I had no time for bird watching before breakfast as I had an early appointment in Longtown to have an eye test.  I approached the car with some trepidation but it started on cue and I made my eye test in good time.

As happened last year, the optician reported that my good eye had got marginally better and my bad eye had got marginally worse and after some negotiation, we settled for a new pair of ‘computer and music’ glasses and keeping my ‘getting through life ‘ glasses as they are.

When I got home, I put my eyes to use in the garden.  I was looking for colour combinations today.

garden colour

garden colour

Some were mainly foliage and some were mainly flowery.

garden colour

garden colour

I did look at individual flowers too.

Icelandic Poppies

Icelandic Poppies like these will soon pop up all over the garden.

The garden is full of blackbirds and this female is acting as representative of the blackbird community for today.

blackbird

I visited the Archive Centre to pick up some of the newspaper index to enter into the database and I also checked with the garage.  They told me that they could order a new front door lock unit which they think will sort our car problem.   I sat down while they told me the price and then we decided to go ahead.  It should be fitted next week.

Otherwise, I rather dawdled the morning away, though I did mow the front lawn,  and after lunch I watched a little of the French tennis semi-final before getting the fairly speedy bike out to check how well my back had settled down.

Pretty well, was the answer, although it was windy enough for my return journey with more downhill to take longer than the rather uphill outward journey.

I stopped for a picture or two.

conifer

Conifer flower

After the dandelions and buttercups, a  new bright yellow has arrived in the verges.

birds foot trefoil

Birds foot trefoil seems to like to hug the very edge of the tarmac.

As I got near Gair, several flashes of blue caught my eye.

cornflower

The were many clumps of cornflowers on this stretch of road

Unidentified green things lurked nearby.

green things

I was surprised to see a horse munching the grass in a field full of buttercups….

horse in buttercups

…as they are mildly toxic to equines but I read that if there is enough grass in the field, the horses will leave the buttercups alone as they don’t taste nice.

I got home just in time to see Andy Murray win his match and become only the tenth man to get into all four Grand Slam finals.  Sadly, we won’t be able to cheer him on on the final as we have a choir concert.  Perhaps it will be for the best, as it is often agony watching long tennis matches ebbing and flowing in fortune.

After a pause to watch sparrows sparring on the feeder..

sparrows

…I went out for another walk round the garden where there were yet more sparrows to be seen.

sparrows

Every bush had its quota

I enjoyed some flowers on the purple-pink spectrum…

aquilegia and sweet rocket

Aquilegia and sweet rocket

…and a bee did too.

bee on geranium

As always, I find it hard to tell a bee from other insects but it looks like a bee to me.

The bench on the middle lawn is getting so full of poppies that it is hard to find a place to sit…

bench with poppies

…but I managed.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been a bit disappointed in her Candelabra Primulas but they are starting to look a bit more promising.

candelabra primula

The first layer is out

I retired indoors and looked out of the window.

sparrows

More sparrows

chaffinch and redpoll

And a couple of more colourful characters

During the day, I experimented with using the dough making facility on my bread machine with a sour dough mixture. The result was curious, producing a well thrashed product that looked remarkably like PVA glue and had about the same consistency.  It was hard to handle but I put it through the normal rise, knockback and rise routine and it has come out of the oven looking quite like bread.   The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin trying to get past a wall of sparrows to a feeder perch.

siskin

 

 

 

 

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I stole today’s fine guest picture from Sandy without asking him so I hope he is not cross.  I used it because it shows the view across the Lothians towards the Forth and you can just see where we are staying in the background on the far shore.

View from Traprain Law

We woke to strong winds and pounding rain but by the time that we had had our coffee, the rain had largely stopped so Alistair and Matilda and I were able to have to have a walk round the town in search of a shop selling towels, as our cottage was rather under-supplied with these.

We found some in the end in an Aladdin’s cave of a little shop called This and That.  It certainly had this…and that…and quite a lot else besides.

The sun broke through the clouds and with Matilda resting after her walk, there was time for me to get the slow bike out of the car and test the back roads of Fife.  I didn’t think that I had done justice to the shell decoration on the house near the car park so I had another go today.  It is very striking.

Anstruther shell house

I was soon pedalling along out of the town.  The countryside is certainly different from ours.

Fife

Not a sheep in sight.

It started to rain soon after I took the shot above but the brisk wind soon moved the clouds along and the rest of the trip was fine and dry.

My target was a test visit to a castle and garden to see if it seemed like the sort of place that Mrs Tootlepedal might like to visit.

Kellie Castle

The castle looked fine enough but of more interest was the prospect of a large walled garden to roam round.  Another visit looked like a good idea.

I made my expedition into a 14 mile circular tour and there was plenty to see as I pedalled along.

alpaca and signpost

The alpacas are no longer a surprise but the signpost certainly was.

flowers and loch

Kilconquhar Loch was dazzling in the sunshine.

The fact that every farm that I passed seemed to have its own windmill was rather ominous and on this day at least, they were all earning their corn, as there was a brisk wind that made the outward journey a slog but the last few miles back home, a breeze.

I got home in time to join Matilda for lunch.  She had been to the beach with Mrs Tootlepedal and was in a very cheerful mood.

After lunch, it was time for Matilda’s siesta so I took Mrs Tootlepedal off in the car to visit the walled garden at Kellie Castle.

The garden is just under an acre and looks larger.  It was full of interest  including a very bright blue comfrey covered with bees, a huge garden bench and a busy thrush collecting worms.

Kellie Castle garden

Although it was very early in the season, the gardens were very beautiful.

Kellie Castle garden

Kellie Castle garden

Kellie Castle garden

 Kellie Castle garden

The castle and garden are in the care of the National Trust for Scotland and we chatted to one of the gardeners who was busy planting some vegetables out.  She told us that it was maintained by two and a half professional gardeners.  As it is organic, it requires a huge amount of work and they have a great team of volunteers to help them.

The day was never without a shower or a threat of a shower and it rained when we started to talk to the gardener but it had passed by the time that we had finished.

The castle looked good as we left it and you wouldn’t know that it was semi derelict and being used as a farm barn 140 years ago.

Kellie Castle

Matilda was up and about when we got back so we set out to walk to a good beach that we had spotted on our walk to Pittenweem on Sunday.  Alistair and Clare came with us and left us on the beach while they walked along the coastal path.

The beach was looking at its best.

Anstruther beach

The waves were just at Matilda’s height.

Anstruther beach

Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda were far down the beach…

Anstruther beach

…when Al and Clare came back from their walk having had enough of being blasted by the very brisk wind.

We were just cursing a rather savage outbreak of rain on the walk back to the cottage when the sun came out and Mrs Tootlepedal asked, “Where’s the rainbow?”

It was over there, just above some roofs.

anstruther rainbow

It was the mother and father of all rainbows and we hurried to get a better view of it.  A gull was being brained by one end of the bow….

anstruther rainbow

…and will now presumably be the gull that lays the golden eggs.  Very sadly, since ot was a superb double rainbow, I didn’t quite have the camera or the position to make the most of it photographically…

anstruther rainbow

…but the sight of it will stay in my mind for some time.

We were all very tired when we got back (nice beach but too far to walk to again) and we perked ourselves up with a fish and chip supper.

The day had started gloomily but ended brilliantly as far as the weather went and I took a picture at each end of the day to show the difference.

am and pm anstruther

The flying bird of the day is yet another gull.

flying gull

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