Working hard

Today’s picture is another from the South Bank festival remembering the Festival of Britain of 1951. It came from my sister Mary. I wouldn’t like to say what it is.

Outside Hayward Gallery on South Bank

After my day of rest yesterday, Dropscone appeared for the morning ride and laughed merrily when I said I was hoping for a gentle pedal. As it turned out, with a light but friendly wind, perfect cycling temperatures and the legs feeling in good order, we went round the morning run at 14.5 mph on the slow bike which is as good as I have ever done on that bike.  We whizzed up one steep little hill so quickly that my heavy breathing brought up stuff from the bottom of my lungs that was reminiscent of horror films of the 1950s. ‘The Thing from the Blue Swamp’  springs to mind. All the same, it was most enjoyable and made me feel that I might be getting a little fitter than I was during the winter. Dropscone is certainly a lot fitter than he has been.

After coffee and scones, I delivered the 50 DVDs I had produced over the last couple of days to the Langholm Initiative and felt quite industrious for a retired person. When I returned, I was struck once again by the glorious colours in the garden at the moment.

wallflowers and tulips

 The more or less continuously  fine weather of the last two months has brought everything on in the garden far earlier than usual. The daffodils are now gone and the tulips by and large are now on the way out too. Some fresh tulips are still springing up here and there.

yellow tulip

A rogue white tulip appeared among a bunch of yellow ones.

white tulip

..and another sort of pink tulip has also shown up.

 pink tulip

Among the blossoms, our bird life is quite busy and we saw a blackbird feeding its young today. They certainly have been busy collecting worms.


You can see how fearless they are when this one has let me get so close to it. The dunnocks are more twitchy when I approach them but they too are getting calmer.


Not all the tulips are in your face. This one is blushing almost unseen in the midst of other plants.

tulip blushing unseen

…and not everything that is growing is flashy.

strange thing

If I knew anything about plants, I would be able to tell you what this is but I don’t so I can’t.  (My plant reference manual has gone to bed. She has to be up early for a B & B cyclist’s breakfast.)

It certainly looks as though it will be a great season for fruit unless we have a bad late frost. This Charles Ross apple is blossoming like mad. The white flowers in bright sunshine  pose problems for an amateur photographer and I am trying to read my manual to get help  but it offers so many features that it makes my head hurt a lot.

apple blossom charles ross

In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal and I turned some shredded compost into another bin and I sieved  some of the shreddings to make a nice batch of mulch. Compost is most satisfactory stuff as it really is something for nothing. Even if you don’t achieve your first object, you just need to leave it alone for a bit and it will turn out fine. There’s not much in life that is like that. After this bit of work we needed a rest from the heat and fortunately we saw a friend passing by our gate  so we made her come in and have a cup of tea with us.  Because it was still so warm, we entertained Mrs Tinker to the cup of tea (and a dainty cupcake) under the walnut tree. As you can see from their expressions, Mrs Tootlepedal and Mrs Tinker take life very seriously.

 setting the world to rights

On the other hand, Dr Tinker, on his way to join us, and our friend Bob, who was passing the garden, have a more light hearted approach to life.

bob and mike

In the early evening, after putting a week of the E & L into the database, I got the sprinkler out and gave one of the lawns a good watering. I have never had to do this in April before. I noticed that our wild lilac is out as well. Obviously the severe winter has not held things back at all.

I wonder what colour you would call this?

After tea, I went to the Archive Centre with Sandy and Jean and put another two weeks of the E & L into the database. I was helped by Jean and Laura who turned up as well. In spite of putting in three weeks in one day, I am still a bit behind the indexers because of the work making the DVDs. That’s the trouble with fine weather, it gets in the way of dull work. The pain of being a bit behind was eased by a couple of excellent pints of Deuchars in the Douglas and even more by the fact that I didn’t pay for either of them.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

6 thoughts on “Working hard

  1. Your garden is wonderful at the moment Mr Tootlepedal, and yes I totally agree with your comments on composting. A truly satisfying occupation.

  2. Glad about the speedy cycling even if it did bring up muck from the bottom of your lungs!

    I put the blackbird into my special folder and enjoyed the lilac blossom.

    The free beer sounded just what you deserve!

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