Having a ball

Today’s picture is a wallflower. They are coming to the end of their season but some are hanging on.


Dropscone was too ill to cycle and was going to play golf (a paradox which those who know Dropscone will be able to decipher) so he was not available for the morning pedal. As it happened I was not available either as Mrs Tootlepedal had made an arrangement with a carpet fitter and someone had to stay in in case he came. Mrs Tootlepedal was called into work because some of her colleagues were detained by the volcanic ash cloud in Spain so I was elected to wait.

It was a pity because it was the first day for some time to have light winds and I was due to play golf myself but these things can’t be helped if people will go on holiday by aeroplane instead of staying in nice B & Bs in Scotland.

I put the morning to good use by entering a week of the E & L into the database and transcribing a set of letters concerning an almighty row about a bowling match in 1879. They amused me a lot and they also show that things haven’t changed much in a hundred and thirty years as we can manage an almighty row now and again these days too.

Before I set down to work, I had a wander round the garden. Mrs Tootlepedal is very fond of irises so I reflect that here.

iris 1

iris 2

iris 3

iris 4
It really is that colour

There is a saying that two heads are better than one and Mrs Tootlepedal has put that into practice.



I have been looking from time to time at the Chelsea Flower Show on the telly and whenever I see it, it seems that the exhibitors have popped up to see what is going on in Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden before they make up their exhibits. It is very flattering. They showed us Laurence Llewellyn Bowen’s garden tonight and all I can say is that he doesn’t know what a good lawn looks like at all.

The peas in their pea fortress stood up to the strong winds very well but the raspberries took a severe battering.

That'll be a blow to jam production in DG13

While I was watching the flowers, my eye was caught by a movement on Mrs Tootlepedal’s topiary chicken.

big chicken

It was a very small bird on a very big one.

little bird

When it settled down, I could see it was a coal tit.

coal tit

You can see just how small they are when you compare one with a chaffinch.

coal tit and chaffinch

Chaffinches photograph well when they are flying. They must flap their wings a little slower than the other birds because it is relatively easy to get a good  shot of them on the wing.


In the afternoon, I took the hedge trimmer out to give some of the box balls their annual haircut. The rechargeable batteries are obviously not recharging so after a while I put the machine away and fell back (but not literally) on a pair of hand shears.

I managed to clip three small and two medium bushes but that leaves quite a few to do. I took a picture of some unclipped medium balls at one end of the lawn…

unclipped box

..and two which I had clipped at the other end. You can just see the difference, I hope.

clipped box

I don’t like to get them to look too regular or it would be boring!

The chief visitors to the bird feeders at the moment are sparrows and chaffinches but there are occasional greenfunches too.

green finch

We get quite a few starlings as well but because of the canny shape of the feeder, they find it difficult to get on it and have to perch on the edge flapping madly to stay on. They soon get fed up (or not as the case may be).


We had a well attended meeting of the culture and heritage committee in the early evening and then I woofled down a cheese toastie and went out for a twenty mile ride in near perfect conditions. I went to the far end of the top of Callister and back and then did another trip up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back to make up the twenty miles. I was passed by a total of four cars in both directions in the course of the trip. I slightly startled an amiable group of young  scholars who were strolling up the road by passing them three times in opposite directions.

On my return, I rounded off a busy day by putting another week of the E&L into the database. We are back to windy weather tomorrow so I am pleased I got my cycle ride in today. I end with a picture of one of the azaleas which was at its peak today.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

8 thoughts on “Having a ball

  1. Glad you got your cycle ride in. What happened about the carpet? Is there a picture?

    I loved the irises and took two more birds off to my gallery.

    1. That is retired person’s energeticism. I had time to do three crosswords, read two newspapers and watch a little telly too.

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