At last the sunflowers are flowering!! I was hoping for seeds by now...
Monday, 27 September 2021
Sunday, 26 September 2021
I seem to wake most mornings at 5....but up today a little after 6.. couldn't lie there any longer!
Tidy kitchen, clothes up to be put away, breakfast made...before himself woke!!
Our neighbour came over for his morning cuppa and put the world to rights, then we all got busy.
I sorted the Elderberries that we picked on a walk yesterday evening
then put everything in a pan ready..then lunch and out to forage for apples from our favourite tree in Alloway...half the crop of last year, I think that the tree has gone biennial cropping after last year's heavy crop.
Back home to stack them in boxes to ripen ready for juicing, and cook the Brambles, Elderberries and apples for jelly making.
We watched the last 60km of the Men's World Road Championships which finished in Leuven..Julian Alaphillipe was a worthy winner!!
Now the fruit pulp is in the press and supper is in the oven....and a glass of NZ red wine in the glass!!
We are trying to find the exact history of a frame we want to sell as well...talking to friends in the business and contacting the Facebook page run by enthusiasts of the marque.
Nowadays you have to be even more accurate to sell anything! We had hoped to use this one, but it isn't going to happen so sell we must.
Saturday, 25 September 2021
The days feel different now, as the day length reduces.
It is a dissatisfied uneasy feeling as I wake before dawn. Changing the clocks will put everything upside down again! At least for a while..until the last Sunday in October...we will only be 12 hours behind New Zealand, which will make Pirate's phone calls to friends easier! No need to guess if he is too early or late!
The cultivated blackberries are giving us about half a kilo a day, we are eating and freezing plenty..plus the wild ones we forage too. I need to pick some more elderberries as blackberry and elderberry jelly preserve is planned. Also apples for juice,
and keeping too if we can find the right ones.
Pirate has had a reassuring call from the head doctor in our local practice...but we still need that call from the specialist nurse next week. He is still Mr Grumpy...but it will pass!!
We are watching the fuel situation carefully. It should calm down in 48 hours..after all you can't hoard fuel like loo rolls! It's worrying though, with some neccessary journeys coming up.
We can't quite make South Wales without a fuel stop..or rather we possibly could, but that would leave us arriving with the tank lower in fuel than is comfortable, especially in an older vehicle.
Therefore one journey might have to be foregone.
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Not an easy day, still tired after yesterday. The shortening days are no help atall.
Ebaying starts again, with all the money from past sales spent!
Starting with a decent sale sent off today, and then the job of photographing, researching and listing...to start with little bits and bobs to revive the system and hope for the special reduced selling fees offers!!!
Pirate is stressing...another eight days until his specialist nurse phones him...it's a job to keep him positive and he is beginning to lose more hair..I am sure that is as much stress as age and health.
Monday was catch-up day again, before we headed off early-ish on Tuesday...it was supposed to be leave at 7am...45 minutes later we were on the road, this time heading South and East, past Dumfries and Gretna Green and a short hop to the next junction on the motorway to head off East on the A69. A nice change from the usual cross Pennine A66 to Scotch Corner, being far less busy and pressurised.
We turned south before getting too near Newcastle and travelled past Consett.
We might investigate there next time we head that way as there was an impressive viaduct behind the town.
On through Lanchester up and down and up and down over big hills to the edge of Durham, then turn South to Ferryhill where a very good frame builder and restorer lives. 160 miles from our home!
We had left two bicycle frames there nearly 18 months ago as the first lockdown eased.
He works on his own, and is very popular...but we hadn't thought that the wait would be that long!! We collected pirate's frames and the work was stunning, as it was on a friend's frame that we agreed to deliver. As he is a short way the other side of Carlisle it wasn't much out of our way
Heading for home again, this had to be by a different route, so we chose Weardale. We had been that way in the other direction a few years ago...
Our lunch stop was by Walsingham show fields in a lay-by. Unfortunately we had missed the show!
Then a phone call from our friend..could we meet him in Penrith?!
A quick check of the route and that was possible, just turn off in the village after going over the moor after Weardale...
Just that it wasn't that simple...the centre of Alston was shut..luckily we spoke to a local who told us which way the locals go!!
Heading back south initially then through the village of Garrigill, with narrow lanes and right angle bends over bridges...over the South Tyne River near its source...up hill again to the road we wanted then down to meet our friend for a drink in the pub on the outskirts of Penrith, just by where we used to compete on the grass track.
The grass track competition isn't held there any more...and the pub has closed too! However we did at least meet our friend and handed over his frame.
Back on up the A6 instead of the M6...an easy drive and no hassle...to Carlisle...then motorway to Gretna Green where we leave the motorway and the A road behind until just before Dumfries.
Good to be back in Scotland and see the sun gradually going down, shining down out through the clouds.
We aimed for a stop further north than our usual one of Thornhill.
Unfortunately we misunderstood a roadworks sign....or we would have gone a different way.
At Carronbridge we were diverted away from the A76 due to road closure, up the old Edinburgh road past Dunnisdeer.
It. Is. A. Stunning. Road!!! Neither of us had been through that valley before and we will go back again...it goes over the Southern Uplands over to the M74!
We could have done without the extra diversion, and as the sun set we joined the throng on the motorway for one hop up to the A70 and at last head back West through Cumnock to home.
So we left in the dark and returned in the dark...but saw many roads and landscapes new to both of us...drove the reverse way on some of the hilly sections of the Carlisle to Gateshead stage of the Tour of Britain...impressive....we did 40 miles extra overall on the return journey.
But looking at the frames....and with the experience..it was worth it!!
Sunday, 19 September 2021
Up at 5am...off by 6am....we headed towards the Kingdom of Fife to help at a race....that because if last night's heavy rain was cancelled because of flooding.
So what do we do with nothing special to do, 120 miles from home?
Be tourists for a change, have time out!!
Earlie..then along the coast to St Andrews...
Then back to Culross...where we missed the last entry to the bishop's palace by 5 minutes....next visit, hopefully!!
Saturday, 18 September 2021
I know we need to use the car less....but we couldn't do this from home...
We drove just under 40 miles to Moniaive and rode "round the block"...a bit over 20 miles!!
In the fresh air with very little traffic. Can't fault it and we feel much better, if tired.
In the garage...
No, not Trumpton!!
And....I know that some people were hoarding toilet roll....
In the mens' public toilets, photo courtesy of the pirate.
When packing our bikes back in the car we discovered that there was a guitar festival on this weekend!! It is quite a lively village!!