Sunday 1 April 2012

Bike Riding, Bargain Hunting, Baking...

...But first we begin with a bit of crochet...

...garish isn't it! The bright sunshine doesn't actually help, the colours are not really so bad in real life. It's what you get when you allow a 3 year old to help choose colours - for his blanket after all. If it were up to me I wouldn't have the yellow anywhere near it but it's his favourite colour. I did remove a hideously bright neon orange he quite fancied, I don't think he's noticed. It's my third BLanket In Progress (BLIP). I hope to finish the first BLIP within the next week and or so, so should have a tada for that soon...

On to the baking. I've done quite a lot recently (for a Rainbow coffee morning and the car boot sale) but haven't been organised enough (or tidy enough!) to photograph it. However, I hosted craft night this week and made...

Raspberry, blueberry and chocolate loaves (one to freeze),

and a key lime pie without the lime but with a little lemon and...

...served with macerated strawberries (which involves sugar, vinegar & black pepper, nice!)

Now to some bargain hunting. Just the local chartity shops after a visit to Lidl...

Brambly Hedge boxed set (39p), Simply Scandinavian book (99p), little wooden stool (slightly orangey pine, even for me, may be tarted up at some point, £3), various toys, crewel threads, candle holder (all 25p each). I also found a new shop stocking the yarn I often use for blankets (£1 per 100g).

OK, bike ride time. The first for a while. Off at about 8:30 on Saturday morning. A fine, clear, sunshiny day, I decide to head up the hill on the opposite side of the strath.

It's a long steep climb up this particular hill. I've never made it to the top yet without having to stop to catch my breath. Fortunately that's a good excuse to admire the view and take a few photos. The biggest mountain seen in the far distance is Ben Lomond.

Farm buildings and trees crest the hill.

Looking back. In the distance is a fine view of the mountains to the north, hard to capture well in a photograph though.

Little dumpy ponies.

The skylarks are singing in the vast sky.

I like the long tree shadows across the field.

Through the avenue, can't pass this without taking a photo.

I like the sheep wool caught on the fence, the black branches against blue sky, the beautiful line of trees.

Once the effort is made to get up here, the land is actually fairly flat. It's always so peaceful, hardly ever any cars. I'm passed by just one MAMIL* - one of the rude ones who doesn't say hello.

A back lamb with its Mum. The only lamb I see, the other ewes are still waiting.

Unfortunately one of the ewes is on the road. It's impossible to get past them on a bike, I'm hoping she finds her way back into the field soon.

Uh oh, three of her friends have now joined her and they're hot hoofing it down the road ahead of me. Just before they reach the corner they manage to squeeze their pregnant bellies through a gate back into the field. Phew!
Across from the corner is where the men are flying their model aeroplanes, just a couple of them are out so far this morning.

Lone tree, old cottage remains, reflective puddle, Ben Lomond in the distance.

Empty roads - cycling heaven for me. I love to cycle the back roads where there's little traffic and lots of beautiful country views all around. Other cyclists (mainly of the MAMIL variety) apparently don't - they're too worried about the poor surfaces of the country roads damaging their expensive bikes and consider there to be too many twists and turns and hills for them to maintain a constant fast pace. Each to his own, I don't mind as it keeps them away from me!

Here I am.

Cows down below.

A new photogenic fence post to look out for!

I'm at the point where I need to leave the high roads and descend to join another network of roads. There are several routes I can take, I thought I'd cycled them all, but realise I've never been down this particular road before.

Some clouds are starting to appear, they're of the fluffy, pretty variety.

I lean my bike against a gate and walk up a drit track lined with daffodils. Up ahead is an interesting old abandoned cottage or barn.

It's in a fantastic location with great 360 degree views.

Someone else has been here before me.

Heading back down the track to the road.

This particular road turns out to be my favourite route down. It offers unexpectedly good views of the northern hills (here's Ben Lomond again!)

Looking the other way to the south and the clouds are tremendous.

I'll add this photo to Project 365.

We're under the flight path to the airport.

Bike shot against the gorse.

Mmmm, lovely sweet coconut perfume.

A glimpse of the reservoir, then I decide to head home.

On a whim I take another road I've not been down before...

...and discover the biggest patch of blackthorn bushes I've ever seen. I know where to come to try and get sloes in the Autumn now!

I return home to find a little boy wearing odd socks. The ones with the orange toes are his favourite, he couldn't find the other half of the pair. One is better than none..

And to finish...

...another little bit of bargain hunting. There a monthly small car boot sale near us. I've currently got the booting bug so took the children along this morning. This is my haul, everything was £1 each. I've been looking out for wooden fruit (as you do!), stoneware jars, and bone handled knives (which is what are in the box) so I was pleased!

*MAMIL:- Middle Aged Man In Lycra


Rosangela said...

Que fotos mais lindas.
Cada lugar maravilhoso.
Aquela estrada com àrvores dos dois lados, que lindo.
Ótima semana pra você.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

What totally brilliant views!!!

Claire said...

Hey Anne, another lovely bike ride, so many beautiful vistas. I particularly like the line of bare trees against the cloudy sky and your wee mans sock choice, to cute....
I'm a little worried as I knew straight away what a MAMIL was and I'm not a bike rider!!Maybe it's because we get quite a few bike riders around ehre....

Our local bike riding group are YOBBOS (of the nicest kind) Yackandandah Old Boys Bike RIding On Sundays and I can assure there's no lycra amongst this lot, hehe..

Have a great week,

CLaire :}

Meredith said...

Beautiful pictures today and I have to say I love that a three year old picks out colors for a blanket, perfect!
Have a wonderful week.

**Anne** said...

That blanket is going to lovely and bright, just perfect for your little fella.
Your thrift finds are fab.
The photos from you bike ride are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing,
Anne xx

driftwood said...

oh your bike ride seems even more glorious than usual. those clouds and that blossom. divine.
loved the odd sock shot. my son only ever wears odd socks, he will take pairs apart until he finds two he likes......

VintageVicki said...

Some stunning photos from your ride - much nicer route than being surrounded by MAMIL ;)

Great carboot/cs finds too - love the little pot in the last photo - I have several things that would match that well.

Laura said...

I like your photos!
Thank you for commenting on my blog!
...I really like sheep, horses and hills, it's a paradise!

Rustic Vintage Country said...

I don't know where to start!! Your finds are great bargains, lucky you! The baking, well....mmmmmmmm!
The bike ride.....all photos brilliant and empty roads, WOW heaven! Thanks. Suzy x

Louise said...

so many beautiful photos. Not many lambs born here yet either.

YarnRoundHook said...

What a lovely morning for a bike ride! The cakes look nice too.

Rattling On said...

Mega post! Love all your booting and thrifting finds, there's hardly a bargain to be had round here any longer. All the charity shops are getting above themselves!!

pembrokeshire lass said...

Hi, what lovely photography. Loved the scenery, blackthorn pictures and the shaddow!!
WOW your crochet work is so lovely! I really would like to be able to do that. Need to find some more hours in the day!
I'll definitely follow you as I love your sense of humour. Thanks. Joan

rockinloubylou said...

middle aged man in lycra! love it. i used to work for one particularly plump cyclist who arrived all sweaty in his lycra and walked through us all to the room where he got changed (without a wash). we were seated at desks so his extremely horrible crotch area was around eye level. Morning ladies!

Mrs. Micawber said...

"Chocolate loaf". Beautiful words!

I rather like that spark of yellow in the blanket.

What a wonderful set of cycling photos! It's nice to see the buds on the trees. That avenue is spectacular. I love the lone tree/cottage remains shot. And the shadow photo!

What an incredible shot through the old building window.

A very nice ride - thanks for taking us along.

I just realized I'm a MAWIL - but I always wave and say hi to those who pass.

Jacquie said...

Wonderful pictures Anne, the landscape looks so pretty in the sunshine. Loved your comment about MAMIL so true :0)
Jacquie x


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