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Today’s guest picture shows a fine burst of wild flowers at Threave Gardens.  It was sent to me by my friend Sue, who took some time off from turning her compost to visit this National Trust property not far from Castle Douglas.

Threave gardensWe had another fine day today but as I had had a rather sleepless night, it took me quite a long time to make the best of it.  I was still in my dressing gown when Scott, the minister,  arrived on his bike wondering if I was thinking about a pedal.  I was thinking about one but that was as far as it got and I waved him on his way and went back to munching my porridge.

I waved Mrs Tootlepedal off too as she was going to see Matilda in Edinburgh.

After all this waving, I was quite tired and sat down for a bit.

I roused myself enough to get dressed and make a cup of coffee for Sandy and we arranged to put some entries into the photographic class at the Westerkirk Flower Show this coming Saturday.

I did spend some time staring out of the window and even saw a coal tit but not when I had a camera in my hand.  I did catch several blue tits though, both on the old feeder….

blue tits…and on the new.

blue titThe feeder was frantically busy all day….

busy feeder…and I had to refill it twice.  I don’t know why the birds are so hungry.  Maybe they know something about the coming weather that we don’t.

I walked round the garden slowly.

anemone and rose

Japanese anemone and the Queen of Denmark.

poppies

Can there be too many poppy pictures? Don’t answer that.

privet and sedum

Two bee magnets, the privet, nearly over and the sedum, just beginning

I managed a little compost sieving and then it was time for lunch, after a thoroughly relaxing morning.

After lunch, I perked up and got the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a twenty mile ride.  It was sunny with some clouds about and for the first three miles, very windless too.   This turned out to be a temporary situation though and as soon as I got into the open country, there turned out to be a noticeable breeze.  It was in my face and I had to work steadily to get to Paddockhole Bridge.

Paddockhole BridgeI was overtaken going up Callister by a local cyclist who chatted for a while and then, telling me that he was taking it easy today, vanished into the distance.

Near Grange Quarry, I passed some road works and looked back to see a substantial new road being driven up the hillside.

Grange quarry trackThe only reason for this track that I can think of is for bringing in new windmills to add to our local collection.  There is certainly enough wind around to keep any amount of windmills turning.

The wind was at my back on the way home and this was lucky as going at speed seemed like a good idea when I looked at the weather just behind me.

Black cloudsThe occasional rumble of thunder added wings to my heels.

As it happened, the rain clouds seemed to slip off to the south and I arrived home a little puffed out but perfectly dry.

I had a cup of tea and mowed the middle lawn while the going was good and then I had a shower and  arranged with Sandy to go for a walk.

We drove up to the White Yett and enjoyed our favourite view up the Ewes Valley.  I put the panorama function on my new phone to the test and it worked well.

Ewes valleyYou can see why we like the view.

We went on down the other side of the hill and parked beside the Tarras Water.

The hills are just beginning to lose a little of their green…

Tarras…but they are still looking pretty good.

At this point, the Tarras Water  runs through a little gorge and has many small cascades….

Tarras…but as we walked further up the river, the valley opens out and it flows more peacefully.

TarrasThe sun came and went as we walked but we were well sheltered from any wind so it was pleasantly warm.  Unfortunately the midges found the conditions to their liking too and came out and bit us unmercifully.

We stayed long enough for Sandy to take a picture while standing on one of our less magnificent local bridges….

Sandy…while I admired a pattern of walls on the opposite bank of the river.

TarrasWe looked back as we turned for home and the sun came out….

Tarras….and then we were looked at in our turn….

Tarras sheep

There is a black and white class in the Westerkirk Show…and a class for animal pictures….hmmm.

The sun  stayed with us as we walked along the road back to the car…

Tarras road…and in spite of the midges, we enjoyed our short stroll.

I hadn’t been in for long before Mrs Tootlepedal arrived home from Edinburgh.  She and Matilda had been on an even longer walk than last week and they had also done putting socks into a basket and taking socks out of a basket so she had had a very good time.

In the evening, Susan and Roy came to play recorder trios and I must admit to making more than one mistake as we played but the others politely didn’t notice.

I managed to pick one out of the flock of busy birds this morning to be the flying bird if the day.

flying chaffinch

A little strained

Today’s guest picture was taken by my brother Andrew who was prevented by bad weather from doing anything more interesting than cycling to the shops in Derby but still found time to take this picture of the old A52 Bridge across the Derwent.

The Old A52 Bridge in DerbyWe had a lovely sunny day today but with a distinctly autumnal chill when we got up.  It would have been a good day for a pedal and as I only needed 22 miles to take me to 500 miles for the month, I would have been quite keen to go if I hadn’t had things to do and people to see.

The things to do related to the first meeting of the 2015-16 season of the camera club and the people to see included Dropscone who came for coffee.  He was in cheerful spirits because he won another senior golf competition last week and has ended his season with his handicap lower than when it started, always a satisfactory state of affairs.

To tell the truth, even if I had had nothing to do and no one to see, I wouldn’t have been able to go cycling because I  am suffering from a calf strain.  This was doubtless brought about by staggering from tussock to tussock on our walk yesterday.  I am hoping that sensible behaviour today will sort it out promptly.

I was able to walk gently round the garden where I encountered a patriotic range of colours: red…

fuchsia and poppy

Fuchsia and poppy

…white….

phlox and nicotiana

Phlox and nicotiana

and blue….

salvia

Salvia

…and some not patriotic ones too:  violet…

michaelmas daisies

Michaelmas daisies

…and yellow.

yellow flowers

Rudbeckia and sunflower

There was additional white….

hosta

Hosta

…and green….

runner beans

Rampaging runner beans

…and green and white.

clematis

Clematis

Mrs Tootlepedal had been at a church choir practice but she didn’t take long after she came back to get to work in the garden and I tested out the calf strain with some gentle mowing of the drying green and greenhouse grass.  I also had a first go at sieving some of the compost in Bin D and in spite of the material not having been there very long, it yielded some very usable stuff and Mrs Tootlepedal had it dug in almost before I had sieved it.

I couldn’t let a day go by without a parade of poppies….

poppies…and then I went in for lunch.

After lunch, it was time for a visit to the information hub on the High Street and the opportunity to dispense information to any passing tourists.  In fact, quite a lot of the tourists didn’t pass but came in and I was able to sell  both a Langholm Walks leaflet and a booklet with a  brief history of the area as well as give out useful advice on several subjects.   I think the total of ten visitors was my busiest ever day in the tourist information points over the years.

On my way home, I was passing the Health Centre when a strange squeaking made me wonder what they were doing to the patients.  A little investigation led me to this very unexpected sight.

Health centre birds nestTucked up in a corner of the entrance way was the source of the squeaking.  I only had my phone with me but they look like baby swallows.  If they are, they are going to have to grow up quickly if they are going to leave with the others.

When I got home, Mike Tinker visited to tell me that his buddleia was covered in butterflies.  I went round with him, camera in hand, but needless to say, the butterflies had all disappeared by the time that I got there. I shall try again if we get another sunny day.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a cycle ride and I started shifting the compost from Bin A into Bin B.  It had heated up so well in our recent spell of warm weather that there were signs of ash in the centre of the heap.

In the evening, My flute pupil Luke came.  His flute wasn’t working but luckily I was able to diagnose the fault and repair it (a rod had worked loose) and we had a good practice.   He is going to do grade exams with a music teacher at school so I will concentrate on playing duets with him and improving his technique.

I recently bought a new bird feeder and some bird food which promised to attract blue and great tits to the garden.  It seems to be working.

blue tit

A blue tit in the morning

great tit

A great tit in the evening

If we get a coal tit too, I will be a really happy person.

On the old feeder there was business as usual with birds coming from all sides…..

siskin and chaffinch…and chaffinches supervising things…

chaffinch…and a blue tit visited that feeder too….

blue tit…but it was only a flying visit.

The gentle gardening seems to have helped my calf strain and I am hoping to be at full speed again tomorrow.

A few days of kind weather during August helped me to achieve my highest monthly cycling mileage for the year so far and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some calm weather in September to continue this good work.  I am also going to try not to fall into any holes.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Today’s guest picture shows what is needed to stop erosion at a very popular hill top.  My brother Andrew visited the  summit of Mam Tor in the Peak District and took this striking picture on the way.

Mam torAs the main roads are generally free of lorries on a Sunday, I used to go up and down the A7 quite a lot on Sunday mornings while Mrs Tootlepedal was singing in the church choir.  This year, because of the recovery from my knee operation and the persistently miserable weather, I haven’t had many opportunities so I was really pleased to find a Sunday morning and some good weather arriving at the same time today.

Thinking of the wind direction, I headed south, hoping for a breeze behind me on my way home.  The wind was light enough not to be a problem either way though and I made good progress down to Longtown and then to Newtown on the Roman Wall. The fairly speedy bike stopped there and took a selfie at its favourite bench….

Newtown bench

No puddles under benches today

…while I took the chance to eat  a banana before turning to complete the twenty miles back home.

Although the wind wasn’t quite as helpful as I had hoped, I was a little quicker going back than going out but in spite of trying quite hard, I arrived back two minutes later than I would have wished.  Still 15.9 mph is nearly as good as 16 mph. (No, it isn’t)

I took a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal when I got home.

yellow crocosmia and lily

We noticed two new arrivals

But couldn’t ignore the latest poppies.

poppiespoppiesI don’t think that we have had poppies with so many layers before.

There are two clematis entwined in a philadephus next to the pond…

clematis…at least, I think it is two different plants as they have six and four petals respectively but they look remarkably similar.  Can the same clematis have different numbers of petals?  These are self sown so Mrs Tootlepedal could shed no light on the question.

After lunch, we sat and watched the final events of the World Athletics Championships and then went off for a walk as it was still a very fine, dry day.

We went along to the Becks burn again, passing through the woods there…

Becks wood… but this time, instead of turning back to the town when we emerged from the trees, we turned towards the hills.

Becks viewThe road was lined with flowers old and new….

wild flowers…and one which caught Mrs Tootlepedal’s eye.

Wild flowerI had seen some of this beside the road at Gair earlier in the week but nowhere else.  They look like a seed heads at first sight but a closer look shows that they are flowers.  I have no idea what they are and would welcome suggestions.

Our walk continued along the ‘Crab Apple Loaning’.  The are reasons for the name of this lane.

crab apples

And here they are.

It was fairly dry after all the rain….

Crab apple loaning…and very restful to stroll along.

Crab apple loaningThings changed with a vengeance when we got to the open hill at the end of the lane.

We hadn’t reckoned on just how wet the hillside would be and crossing the trackless waste was really hard work.

The track to GlencorfOne moment Mrs Tootlepedal was there….and the next she had disappeared into a bottomless bog.

I exaggerate a bit.

But not much. In the mile or so until we got to the Cleuchfoot road, we hardly took two steps without having to hop from tussock to tussock, suck our feet out of a squelchy bog or leap across a marshy rivulet.  It was harder work than we expected and there were moments when we felt that we might have bitten off more than we could chew.

We finally arrived at the Glencorf Burn…

Glencorf burn…and struggled along it until we hit the road.

The three miles back home along the Wauchope road were blessedly easy walking but felt quite a long way.  We had things to look at as we went along though.

ruined cottage

Hard to beat as a picturesque location but needing some work done as they say.

Bonnie purple heather

Bonnie purple heather

interesting flower

And another interesting flower, unknown to us.

We were more than pleased to get a sit down and a cup of tea after our hard working six miles but we didn’t have long to relax before it was time to go out again.  This time we were headed for the Buccleuch Centre and a concert.

There was a small but select audience to hear Jeff Barnhart, an excellent jazz pianist, give us an enjoyable selection of eclectic Americana with his wife Anne pitching in with some decidedly hot flute playing and good singing.  This is the third time I have heard Jeff and his infectious good humour, combined with a wide repertoire and some adventurous improvisation always makes him good value.  Anne displayed some ferociously impressive ‘blue’ flute technique and together they rounded off our day in fine style.

In all this, my opportunities for catching a flying bird of the day were limited and this chaffinch turned up after the light had gone.

flying chaffinch

All change

Today’s guest picture shows a quiet corner of Regent’s Park in London and was taken by my sister Mary who was probably coming back from playing tennis in the Park.

Regent's parkWe had another morning of strong winds and violent showers so it was lucky that I got up late and had an entertaining crossword to help me pass the time.  Like yesterday, the forecast promised better weather in the afternoon and unlike yesterday, it was right.

I put a rain jacket on just in case and went out to do battle with the brisk winds on my fairly speedy bike.  I didn’t have any faith that we were.’t going to get another heavy shower so I settled for a trip to Wauchope School and back done three times.  This gave me twenty miles with regular breaks from bashing my head against the wind.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was bitten by the bicycling bug and set off herself on a hilly ten mile circular route and I took a picture or two in the garden…

clematis

The clematis are among the flowers that have enjoyed the weather.

sunflowers

The sunflowers are attracting friends

poppies

And the poppies are doing the best that they can

crocosmia

Crocosmia beside the dam

…and then went for a walk.  I am trying to mix walking and cycling to keep my legs as well stretched and exercised as possible.

I walked through the park….

park bench

A park bench with own swimming pool

….and along the Murtholm, which was looking gorgeous in the sunshine….

Murtholm

The grass is growing again after its recent haircut.

…but not without some sogginess.

Murtholm

There was enough water on one field to attract two herons.

There were less wild  flowers and more seed heads about but still some colour to be seen…

seed head and geranium…though the flower spikes are getting very near the top.

musk and willow herbI crossed Skippers Bridge and thought that I could see the first signs of the leaves turning in the trees along the river bank.

River esk treesThere was the usual natural graffiti on the parapet….

Skippers bridge…and some wild and garden flowers to cheer me up as I walked along the road back to the town.

buddleia and umbelliferaI saw two lots of fungus on my walk, one set around the trunk of a growing tree on my way out and one round a dead tree stump on my way back.

fungusI stopped at the Co-op to pick up some milk as I still haven’t got fully organised in my milk buying habits since our milkman gave up delivering to our doorstep and we keep running short.

I was nearly home when I met a new acquaintance sharing my path.

emperor moth caterpillarYou can see where illustrators of science fiction books get their inspiration from.  I think, from peering about on the internet, that this is an emperor moth caterpillar but I am open to better ideas.

By the time that I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had successfully conquered wind and hills and was there before me.  I suspect that she had done more climbing in her ten miles than I had done in my twenty.

Mrs Tootlepedal is eating bucket loads of veg from the garden with her healthy evening meals just now and I used our own potatoes in a feta, tomato and potato bake, garnished with two sorts of green beans.  I would like to have used our own tomatoes but the crop this year has been terrible.  We are fortunate though to have a good commercial grower only ten miles away.

I was also able to have some raspberries from the garden with a drop of ice cream for my pudding, not necessarily very healthy but jolly tasty.

Because of the bad weather in the morning and the activity in the afternoon, I didn’t spend much time looking out of the kitchen window but I did see a male chaffinch casually standing on the back of a female until she made way for him at the feeder.

chaffinchEven a siskin was shocked by this ungentlemanly behaviour.

My flying bird of the day got overtaken.

flying chaffinch

Washed up

Today’s guest picture was taken by my flute pupil’s mother Sharon, who encountered a special treat on her way to work this morning.

sharon's rainbowIt was that sort of day today but only from time to time.  Most of the time it was just raining and there was no sun at all.  And not just raining but pelting down.  I got to the corner shop in a dry spell but got wet on the way back. I took a picture of a soggy poppy…

soggy poppy…and had to nip back indoors before taking another picture.

A look at the forecast suggested that there might be a rain free spell in the afternoon so Mrs Tootlepedal and I got ready for a walk across the hills but by the time that we had got suitable footwear on, the rain was pelting down again so we gave up.

I waited until the rain stopped and shot out with the aim of a quick walk but I only got a few yards before it started again and I retreated.

We watched the World Championships on the telly to pass the time and just when it looked as though the whole day would be wasted, the sun came out again and we sneaked out for a little walk.

It was windy and chilly but the views were good.

WarblaWe crossed the Becks Burn which was running strongly….

Becks Burn

We used a proper bridge not that tree trunk.

…and paddled through the puddles in the woods.  I liked the way that the oxalis ground cover was creeping up this tree.

tree with oxalisAnd I enjoyed the pictures that I could see in the curiously etched bark of another one.

bark art We got through the woods and onto the road…

Becks road…where the leaf cover was thick enough to have kept the surface almost dry.  Just round the corner that you can see in the picture above, my eye was caught by a flash of red.

roseMrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is a rose and a little research tells me that it is a covered with a gall, probably from a wasp of some sort.  It certainly was very striking.

There were other flashes of red to be seen too.

sedumThey turned out to be sedum but I don’t know if they were genuine wild flowers or a garden escape.  Research tells me that I should have looked more carefully at the leaves to find out.  It was very pretty.

I am fairly confident that this is a horse.

horse at hallcroftsAlthough it looks like a lovely day from the photographs, there were always dark clouds looming up in the brisk wind so we didn’t dawdle.

I liked the sight of this flood of cotoneaster flowing over a wall as we got near to the town….

cotoneaster…and it was matched by the flood of water flowing over the caul at Pool Corner a couple of hundred yards later.

Pool CornerWe beat the rain home and were pleased to have got a walk in, even if it was a quick one.  We even had time for a circuit of the garden.

I had taken a torch with me on the walk in case I found an exciting fungus in a gloomy spot that needed illumination to be photographed (I hadn’t) and I made use of it to catch the long lasting lamium that lurks near the back gate into the vegetable garden.

lamiumIt worked well.  It is quite a handy photographic torch as it has a range of three settings from dim to bright.  I shot this on the dim setting.

To celebrate the fact that the government has just added even more unnecessary peers to the House of Lords, here are our our own Lords and Ladies.

Lords and Ladies

Happily, these do not require £300 in expenses every day.

I went back into the house worrying about whether there will be enough sunshine to ripen the plums this year.

plumsThey look promising but are very, very green still.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I continued working on two new pieces with some signs of progress being enough to ensure that we enjoyed our playing.

I found a chaffinch as flying bird of the day.

chaffinchNote: It occurred to us as we talked about the weather with Mike and Alison this evening, that distant readers of the blog may get the impression that the sun shines in Langholm a lot more than it really does.  This is because it may be rainy almost all day but if the sun shines at all, I rush out and take pictures.  It was a miserable cold and wet day today in spite of the brief sunny period and it really has been a miserable spring and summer this year.  Honestly.

Singing in the rain

Today’s guest picture comes from a visit that my brother paid to Sheffield.  It shows the Victoria Quay.

Victoria Quay SheffieldMrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh after breakfast and the brisk winds and heavy rain that she left behind made me quite happy to settle down to putting some weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  The good weather of the past few days had once again left me well behind in my schedule so this was not before time.

I interrupted the work once to investigate getting my new phone to work,  This turned out to be relatively painless.

I discovered that I could ‘chat’ on-line with a disembodied being and he/she revealed that I needed to wait twenty four hours after putting in the sim card before it would work.  It was as simple as that and I wondered why the email saying that my phone was ‘ready to go’ hadn’t revealed this but I assume that they think that everyone knows this already.  Anyway, on the stroke of the twenty four hours, my phone worked.  Hooray.  Now there are just the 129 pages to read.

My other pause was to entertain Dropscone to a cup of coffee.  He was in cheerful mood as he had played a good game if golf in windy conditions yesterday at a seniors tournament on a tricky course.  His scones were good too.

I completed a couple of weeks of the index before lunch and finally the rain relented enough for me to get my camera out and walk round the garden…

poppy

The palest poppy that I have ever seen has come out.

…but it was too windy to spend time on flowers so I set the camera up to watch birds for a while instead.

chaffinches on the feeder

At one moment it was all chaffinches….

siskins on the feeder

…and a few minutes later it was totally siskins.

Variety is the spice of life.

The young blackbirds were lurking about the garden again today.

young blackbirdAt lunchtime, my new phone burst into life with a query from Sandy as to  whether I was up for an outing.  The forecast looked reasonable and the rain had almost stopped so we agreed on an excursion to Longtown for a walk along the river and round the ponds.

By the time that Sandy arrived (bringing a very nice home made carrot cake with him), the weather was looking up and we set off for Longtown in good spirits.

By the time Sandy had parked the car at Longtown…

Longtown…and we had got down to the river, the sun had come out to match the flowers and we had a very pleasant if breezy stroll.

When we started our walk, we met a striking yellow flower on the banks of the Esk…

Golden RodI think it might be Golden Rod but as always, I am open to correction.

There were signs of the turning of the season though.

seed heads and convolvulusThe most common sight on our walk was fluffy seed heads and actual flowers like this convolvulus were few and far between.

The exception was a burst of Himalayan balsam….

Himalayan balsam…which is pretty but rather invasive and so is not very welcome.

There was plenty of water going down the Esk after the rain….

River esk in spate..but the ponds were as peaceful as ever.

Longtown pondsOur plan was to to walk round the ponds but this was thwarted by an outbreak of cows…

cows…who had had the same idea.

They are very handsome animals….

cows…but we didn’t feel like testing their good nature as they grazed on the path we were intending to use.

We settled for walking along the river bank and back.

Esk at Longtown

There are worse places to walk.

Although we didn’t see anything particularly exciting, the walk itself was a great pleasure and the chance to stretch our legs after a morning of miserable weather was much appreciated.  As always at a sunny moment, the bridge over the Esk looked wonderful.

Bridge at LongtownIn spite of the lure of birds and flowers in a sunlit garden,  I settled down to put a third week of the newspaper index into the database when I got home.

During the day, my new phone had brought me the exciting news that Mrs Tootlepedal and Clare had taken Matilda for a walk.  This, to coin a phrase, is a great step forward.  This was not just a few faltering footsteps but a genuine adventure involving going up the street and down another one and across…and down…and up the street again.  This was a journey of about 400 yards and from there to the World Championships can only be a matter of time now.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had to stand on her way to Edinburgh because the train was so full (we blame the Edinburgh Festival) but she got a seat on the way back and arrived home safely.

In the evening, I met Sandy again and we went to the Archive Centre.  Sandy changed the window display (we show a selection of photographs from our archives for the interest of passers by) while I put the fourth week of the day into the database.  This was a hard work for me as my typing is very erratic and I have to do endless corrections as I go along but it didn’t get me much further as the data miners had prepared another four weeks for me to take away so I was back where I had started after breakfast.

Still my new phone is working and I used it to take some of the pictures in today’s post so I am very content.

Although there was a moment on our walk when it looked as though we might have any amount of flying birds to photograph…

gulls at Longtown…they flew off before we could get near and so I found a flying chaffinch to be FBotD.

flying chaffinch

Trouser time

Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo in Manitoba and shows a really good excuse for taking a break from a painting job.

dragonflyOur good spell of weather ended with a day of strong winds.  However, the promised rain turned out to be no more than one or two early showers and I found a dry moment to go up act as relief feeder filler at the Moorland Project bird feeders.

I stopped for a while in the hide but there was nothing out of the ordinary to see….

chaffinch and blue tit…but no trip to the feeders is wasted if I see a woodpecker.

woodpeckerThe fungus that I saw on my last visit had vanished but new crops had sprung up to take its place.

fungusWhen I got home, I noticed a couple of curiously coloured blackbirds in the garden….

blackbirdOne flew up onto a telephone pole stay and regarded me with disfavour.

I only stayed outside for a moment as the very strong winds made taking garden photos difficult.  I have enjoyed the hostas this year as they have not only flowered profusely but lasted well too.

hostaMrs Tootlepedal was hard at work in the greenhouse and I took a picture of one of her thriving basil plants on the shelf there and twinned it with a very small thyme plant just outside.

thyme and basilI was quite happy to have a quiet sit inside after yesterday’s vigorous pedal but that pleasure wore off after a while and I went out and mowed the drying green and the paths on the front lawn.

Right on schedule, a delivery man turned up with my new phone and I spent some time getting it out of the box and fitting the card and battery.  To my surprise, it worked.  It is a cheaper deal than my old phone but seems just as good.  I only ever used about 5% of the capabilities of my last phone and I am going to work hard to get a bit more value out of this one (if I can), The manual has 129 pages so I don’t feel that I will master much more than a fraction of its potential.

As it is, I can make calls with it but I can’t receive calls so I visited my account page on the web to try to solve the problem and it said,  “Enter the number for your new sim card here.  The number is on the box that the card came in or on the card itself.”  There was no number on the box and although there was a number on the card, it didn’t look right.  I entered it anyway and a message came up saying, “That is not the right number,” and giving me a telephone number to ring.  I rung the number and a robot voice said, “Before you can proceed, please enter your sim card number.”  I broke down, sobbing uncontrollably.  I will try again tomorrow.

It takes good pictures though…

rudbeckia

Our first rudbeckia of the year

sedum

The sedum progresses

…so I am encouraged by that.

At lunchtime, I watched the birds for a bit.

various birds on the feeder

We had a multicultural day on the feeder today

great tit

We have had more visits from great tits lately and I was pleased that this one paused for a moment.

The chaffinches kept coming in in waves.  I took a couple of ‘coming into land’ sequences and as I am not sure which way round to pair them up, I have tried it both ways toady.

chaffincheschaffinchesIn the afternoon, we took two big bags, in which our logs were delivered, back to the garden centre and I took the opportunity to buy a new type of bird feeder.  It claims it will encourage more blue and great tits into the garden.  We shall see.

We went home by way of Gretna where I bought (under careful supervision from my stylist) two new pairs of trousers at a very reasonable price.  My old pair of trousers has been condemned by the trouser inspector as worn out and I dare say that she is right but it is very wearing having to rush out and buy new clothes every ten years or so.

I was hoping to go for a walk when we got home but the very strong winds and some gathering clouds, partnered with my natural indolence, got the better of me and I pottered about doing a little tidying up instead.

I did see a blue tit to go with the earlier great tit.

blue tit

Getting stuck in.

I look forward to an exciting day tomorrow trying to get my new phone working properly but as more strong winds are forecast, it may be a good thing to have something lengthy to do indoors.

The flying bird of the day is another of those chaffinches.

chaffinches

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