Sunday 26 February 2012

(Not Just a) Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Friday first...

... towards evening, in a sky that has been grey all day, a small area of pink briefly appears. I take a pic for the flickr sky pool.

Hubby was due back from work soon which was good as there were a few things waiting for him at home...

...a small pile of birthday presents.

...and a big pile of birthday cake.

It was decorated with candles in hubby's cycling club colours. Rather appropriate as he was going out for a curry with the club that very night.

The little black blob right in the middle of this photo is a blackbird who was singing his heart out all evening till it was quite dark. The sound, with its promise of spring, made me ridiculously happy.

Then it was Saturday...

...It may still look like the middle of the night but it was about 9am. Off we go...

Pylons, brooding skies.

The big bike scuplture and the folly in the distance. I'm feeling lazy this morning so we're just heading out along the (flat!) cycle path.

The loch.

Swans at the loch, and a coxless four in the background ("From backstops, ready, row!")

The pair of pink footed geese are still about.

Past the castle. It's raininng now, I'm risking getting my camera all wet with this shot.

Along the cyclepath it's reasonably sheltered from the rain. It seems crazy that we have so much water here (more than we need or want!) and just a few hundred miles away parts of the country are preparing for a drought.
I go as far as these bike artworks. After taking a peek over the hedge to check the weather conditions for a possible route home via the hills, I decide to keep to the cyclepath - as one walker I passed commented it was "Not pleasant".

Rusty old bridge detail.

One last soggy view.


After my shower I put on my new top, the print seemed appropriate. It's from White Stuff. Tess from Driftwood doesn't know it but it was from a post a couple of years ago on her blog where she asked for ideas on where to buy clothes that I discovered White Stuff for myself. I love their tops - gorgeous prints, long and flattering cuts. They do free delivery and returns and often have special offers running. Thanks Tess!

Saturday night we have a babysitter and I take hubby out for a birthday meal. I have black pudding croquets, balmoral chicken and mud pie. Put that way it sounds basic, the menu did indeed look basic (and hubby looked a little worried) but it was all absolutely delicious. Hubby had salmon nicoise salad, sea bass with samphire and rhubarb tarte tatin. Yum!

Now to Sunday...

...and I have company, I decide to take A & N over part of my route from yesterday. I'd spotted some snowdrops I wanted a closer look at and persuaded them to accompany me with a promise of woods to explore and a castle to see.

Some of the trees we pass are completely decorated with lichen.

Close up.

The snowdrops! And lots of mud.

More snowdrops.

More mud!

This is from under a huge archway we discovered below the cyclepath which a farmer uses to store his combine harvester and some other equipment.

Looking out the other side of the arch back towards the woodland.

Out past the castle.



Admiring the view.



Back past the castle (with perched bird).

Some welly cleaning before getting back in the car to come home.

Now I'm jumping back to last Sunday (and well done if you're lasting this long!). It was a sunny day (woohoo!) and we went to the grounds of a nearby country house which are open to the public (for a fee) and have lots of different play areas.

More snowdrops! There's no sign of any other flowers yet, daffodils are still tightly budded and even the crocuses haven't flowered fully yet.

Pine cones on a branch (some came home to decorate a shelf).

On the new play train.

Looking up (gorgeous!)

Last snowdrop shot, promise!

Espalliered apple tree against an old brick wall.

The view.

N was most grumpy and spent much of the time crying to go home, so the visit wasn't a great success. We had much more fun today, despite the weather.

Isn't it nice when you can dictate your shopping list and someone else writes it down for you.

Phew, rather a gallop through the last week. I've been having a clear out and a big tidyup. Long overdue. Still ongoing...

Roast beef for tea tonight, mmmm.


Pene said...

Lovely photos especially the sky and the snowdrops.

Simone said...

You have had a couple of lovely weekends Anne! I bet Hubby's birthday cake was delicious. The bike ride did look a bit soggy yesterday but thank you for stopping off to get some wonderful shots for us all! I do like to get out even if it is raining. I hope you have a lovely week. x

Grateful4Crochet said...

There is always so much beauty in these posts, and I always find them so inspiring!!

Annie said...

Easy to read to the end, no 'lasting' about it, I love tagging along on your rides with you :D

The sky pic is gorgeous. I am hopelessly behind with mine ... still waiting for the new camera card to arrive and then I can upload a whole batch to Flickr.

Have a great week :D

Lyn said...

what a week! with two packed weekends. I love that cottage with the looks so inviting.

Claire said...

Hey Anne, another lovely post with beautiful photos.
Just love the 9am pic...trees, roof tops and chimney pots, it's just stunning. I think I would have been transfixed to the spot just looking at that wonderful scene.
The rusty old bridge detail and the colour of the metal riveting.....stunning.

Sounds like hubby had a lovely birthday and that cake looks delish.

Snowdrops.....the promise of Spring. enjoy your week.

Claire :}

Rosangela said...

Adorei sua visita e seu comentário.
Que lugar lindo...
Adorei as fotos.
Ótima semana.

Lesley said...

Love your description of the blackbird heralding spring ...
That castle looks like the sort of place some earnest young couple would restore for Grand Designs!
Have a good week.

sue said...

What a lovely weekend you've had, really enjoyed your spring themed photos and that cake looked particularly delicious!
I remember dictating shopping lists to my small people, brilliant. Look out though as they get older they do sneek extras on!!!

Mrs. Micawber said...

I love the "looking up" (at the trees) picture and the welly-cleaning picture.

Happy birthday to Mr. Andamento. The dinner (and cake) sound delicious. (Samphire is such a fascinating word - I have no idea what it is and don't want to look it up for fear it's not as romantic as it sounds.)

Those are some very gloomy skies at the beginning of your Saturday! Great bike artwork, and wonderful colours in the bridge detail.

P.S. Post all the snowdrop photos you like - we must have them here in Wisconsin but I've never seen any, so I love seeing yours.

driftwood said...

oh so many gorgeous photos! happy to have been a shopping influence on you! that top is gorgeous, I stalk the Whitestuff sales like a hawk now I've discovered them.....

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anne.
It must be spring already for the birds.They have 6 hours sleep from six pm to twelve pm in my back garden then they wake up at midnight after a good rest and sing their hearts out til dawn.I left the window open one night last week then had to get up and shut it again as they kept me awake for hours.Note to self...stop feeding them that high energy bird mix!
You can see from your photos how mild its been compared to last year.

* said...

Funny, as I misread the sentence a couple in and thought it said 'a smile' of birthday presents, which I think could be a good collective.

Your days out looked lovely, the snowdrops are just beautiful aren't they? my middle boy came home with a pot of narcissus today from school, he insists on calling them sunflowers despite me saying over and over they are daffs, but whichever they look very pretty indeed on our kitchen window.

Yum, lovely looking birthday cake and mud pie sounds like my choice off the menu!

Beth of The Linen Cat said...

Beautiful photos - I'm impressed you set off at all on your bike ride though, those skies would have put me off!!

Hope your OH had a great B-Day, there's nothing as nice as going out for dinner without the kids sometimes, it sounds delicious. Bethx


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