Down came the rain

Today’s picture shows a lofty view of London and was taken by my sister Susan from New Zealand House where she was at a function. You can see Nelson’s Column if you look carefully.

Central London from New Zealand House 18th story
She was mixing in High Society

As forecast, the rain was pouring down as I woke. We were promised a short break in the morning so Dropscone came round. We waited a while to see if it would abate but when it didn’t, we went out anyway. I took the slow bike and had so many layers of waterproofs that just pedalling was enough to wear me out. By the time we got half way round, the promised break in the rain materialised and then, of course, I was far too hot. However, we struggled round with Dropscone politely waiting for me when I lagged behind and ended up with a surprisingly satisfying time for such poor conditions. We were rewarded by some of Dropscone’s girdle scones with our coffee.

What was also very pleasing was the return of quite a number of birds to the garden. I was startled to see this blackbird under a feeder as they usually lurk on the ground in front of the house.


The nyger seed feeder, which has been deserted for a few days, was busy again today. I saw these little brown birds and wondered what they were. Another one arrived followed by a siskin.

brown bird

I wondered if we had new visitors.

more brown birds

..and then a goldfinch joined them. It was just like old times.

and a goldfinch

There’s just a hint on the bird on the left as to what these little brown birds were.

siskins redpolls

For some reason their redheads weren’t showing but when they lifted their heads up, the pink chest showed that they were redpolls. Perhaps the rain had smoothed the feathers over the red patch that usually shows.


Here he is at last with the red head showing. Even if they weren’t some exciting new visitor, I was pleased to see the redpolls back.

The goldfinches had reappeared in larger numbers than yesterday too.


All this bird excitement was very fortunate as it gave me something to stare out of the window at as well as the rain. It rained all of the rest of the day and I didn’t venture out again. I took advantage of the weather to put a week of the E and L into the database and to complete the reorganisation of my hard disc which had taken 24 hours to finish. I was worried in case the procedure would have left me with a worse situation than when I had started but not only did it not wreck anything but I think it has actually made things work a bit more quickly.

We have been members of the AA for many years but for some reason this year, they sent us our membership cards twice and this made me worry that would charge us twice. Mrs Tootlepedal pays the AA and although I knew that they were expensive, I hadn’t really realised just how expensive they were. All this led to us cancelling our membership and joining Green Flag at a saving of £150 per annum. I just hope we don’t have to use them.

In the afternoon, we were visited by a great tit which was also a bit of a novelty.

great tit and chaffinch

..and a sparrow.


All in all, I was quite pleased by the renewed bird activity until Sandy Gill came to a meeting in the evening and told me that he had nuthatches and no less than two woodpeckers in his garden. I suffered from acute bird envy.

I ought to have gone to Carlisle to play recorders last night but Jenny, our hostess had flu and the playing was cancelled.

On the cycling front, the trip this morning took my mileage for March to just over 700 miles with a day to go. This is very satisfactory and it means that I have now caught up with my target of 500 miles each month after a very poor January. It has been done by lots of short rides because of the dry weather we have been having. I hope to some more substantial distances next month if the wind is kind. I don’t like riding long distances into the wind if I don’t have to!

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

4 thoughts on “Down came the rain

  1. Well done for getting all that cycling done up to your target.

    When you look at Green Flag ads they say they will be with you in 30 minutes, I wonder if that is true!

    I put your great tit into my bird file, the first one.

    I blew up the London picture twice and the detail comes out well, thank you for using it.

    1. There was another great tit on 2nd December last year. The detail in your London picture was really excellent.

  2. Great to see such a variety of birds. Congratulations to you and Dropscone for all that cycling in often adverse conditions! The scones must taste all the better after all that exercise.

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