Archive for Sep, 2011

Today’s picture, sent to me by my son Tony, shows the sunrise over Elie in Fife where he was up early to work.

sunrise over Elie

It was the last day of our short period of wonderful weather today and I did my best to make the most of it.  Mrs Tootlepedal had to work almost all day and felt sad to have missed such a rare day of sunshine.

Dropscone arrived for the morning run and for the first time in recorded history, I was actually ready to go as he arrived.  He recovered from the shock and we went round in very pleasant conditions and in an improved time.  Dropscone is getting back to form by the day.  His bike though, has a dodgy gear change at the moment and will perhaps need to visit the bike hospital for care and attention before very long.

After my shower, I took the camera into the garden to try to show the benefits of a sunny day.

The insects on Michalemas daisies

The insects certainly enjoyed the sunshine

Every flower had its quota of insect life.  I count nine on the Michaelmas daisies above.

two stripy things

I don't know what these are but there are a lot of them about

There were bumble bees of every shape and size as well and the sparrows were enjoying my grass seed, the ungrateful things.

The last crop of Michaelmas daisies, which Mrs Tootlepedal thought might not flower at all, are doing well in this warmer weather after all.


Mrs Tootlepedal intends to move them at a suitable moment to a place near my two fuchsias.

There were several red admiral butterflies about but the peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies are conspicuous by their absence.

red admiral

In the afternoon, I went up to the golf course to see if I could remember how to play golf.  I was the youngest of the three ball that played and I was also the worst as the other two played well.  I mixed excellent and atrocious in just about equal measure but it was a treat just to be able to play at all.  The course itself is in a very soggy condition and the few days of good weather this week have not made much of a difference to that though they have allowed the greenkeeping staff to get vital work done.  The green keeper has put some very good recent pictures of the course on his blog. He deserves great credit for the way he and his men have battled through some shocking conditions this year.

The first half of this month was not great for cycling and I found myself with an eleven mile shortfall from my target distance so when I got back from the golf course, I had a gentle spin up to the top of Callister and back.   When I was at the top, I met the clerk of works for the council who used to look after the schools where I worked.  He was having a moment of peace in a lay-by.  He told me of the many problems that he is facing in the current conditions and this made me even more pleased than usual to be retired and not to have to worry any more about reconciling irreconcilable aims.

In spite of the fine weather, the hand of autumn has been firmly laid across the countryside and everything is beginning to look brown.

Beside the Lockerbie road

I took several very fine pictures but sadly, as you can see from the above effort,  my camera lens was fogged up and I wasn’t able to use them.  This is the same stream looking in the other direction.

a stream

The sun was still shining when I got back and so I got my unfogged camera out again.





It’s sad to think that we may not see the sun again for several months if the rest of the year is anything to go by.

The sparrows had gone off to eat someone else’s grass seed and a small crowd of blue tits came to take their place.

blue tit

a coal tit joins in

A coal tit joins in

blue tit

blue tit

blue tit

coal tit

And a single coal tit

I finish with a green corner of the garden.

green corner

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Today’s picture shows Glastonbury Tor.  It is another from the camera of my sister Mary, who was there recently.

Climbing up Glastonbury Tor

It was another warm and pleasant day today and Dropscone was back from his golfing work so we set off round the morning run in good spirits.  My spirits were raised by the fact that I was on my speedy bike at last and as Dropscone is wisely still taking things easily, I was able to cruise round unruffled.  We took the same time as Tuesday but I put in about half the effort.  Once again, soon after we finished the ride, the wind got up considerably.  We have been very lucky with the weather recently.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy varnishing the new stair rails when we got back but was able to join us for a coffee.  After coffee, she got stuck into digging a hole by the front gate which gave her a good deal of difficulty because of stony ground underneath.  This part of the garden used to be a stonemason’s yard and it doesn’t make gardening easy.  Our neighbour Liz came round and got stuck in with a punchbar.

working women

I hope the box hedge which is going to go in here appreciates the trouble it has caused.  It hurt my back just looking at these two slaving away.

I got the camera out to take a picture of the blue tits visiting the feeder. My bird feeding friends say that there are a good number of tits of all sorts in Langholm this year which is good news.

blue tits

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went to work and I thought I had better do something for the good of the garden.  I got my sieve out and finished sieving last years compost.  The product will go into the hole that Mrs Tootlepedal is digging to help enrich the soil.  I then turned this year’s early compost into the space I had made available by sieving and then turned some of this year’s late compost into the space left by the early compost.  In an ideal world, I would turn the compost much more frequently to speed up the process but even one or two turnings makes a big difference.

I then heeded a warning twinge from my back and went inside to put a week of the E & L into the database.  We are now well into 1881 and have only another forty years’ work, at the rate of three years per annum,  to do before we are up to date. We are hoping for big advances in medical science.

I was sufficiently recovered after that to get the winter mower out and mow the two lawns.  I had also given the new grass a tentative cut earlier in the day and generally things are satisfactory on the grass front.

The garden has benefited from the warmer weather.

clematis arch

The clematis, Luxurians Alba, over the arch to the vegetable garden looking healthy


A perennial cornflower has poked its head up


More and more marigolds are flowering all over the garden


Lilian Austin at her best


The nasturtiums have stopped looking bedraggled


A last lupin

In the evening, I went to the Archive Centre with Jean and Sandy, the first time for a few weeks that all three of us have managed to be there together.  Sandy was working on finding suitable pictures with two people who are putting on an illustrated lecture about life in Langholm, while Jean and I put another week of the E & L into the database.  Our life would have been easier if the internet connection had not dropped about twenty times in the course of the evening but we got it finished in time to adjourn to the Douglas for a well earned refreshment.

Tomorrow looks like being the last day of the lovely weather we have had so I mean to enjoy it to the full.

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Today’s picture shows the good effect that closing a bridge has on the traffic on a main road from a cyclist’s point of view.


Dropscone was off rating a golf course and Mrs Tootlepedal had gone to work again so I had the day to myself from a cycling point of view.  The forecast had promised a fine, warm day and a fine, warm day was what we got.  The only fly in the ointment was the non arrival from France of my speedy bike’s new wheel so once again, I had to get out the slow bike for a longish ride.  There is nothing wrong with the slow bike.  It is very comfortable and reliable but it is heavy and has thick tyres so it takes a great deal of energy to push it along.  It just doesn’t seem to get that lovely rolling momentum you get from a lightweight bike with thin tyres.  You have to pedal every inch of the way.

The inches I was pedalling were in the direction of Longtown so I stopped at the bike shop there to ask about my wheel.  They said it was promised for the middle of the week but it hadn’t arrived yet.  They would ring France and let me know later on in the day what was happening.

I pedalled on down the A6071 in glorious peace. They have closed a bridge at the far end and the lack of traffic made it a treat to cycle along. I turned off before the closed bridge and went to Irthington.  There is  a handsome church in the village and it was my intention to stop and eat a snack in the churchyard there.  Unfortunately the whole village was full of cars attending the funeral of what was obviously a very well known person.  I took a quick picture and pedalled off.

Irthington Church

After leaving the village, I made a short diversion to look at Carlisle Airport.  There is an air museum there and this is one of the exhibits.


I  waited a moment to see if there was any flying activity going on but there was none so I returned to my route.  I crossed the main road and headed for Newby East, looking for somewhere to have my snack.  I found this bench in the village.  It didn’t quite have the charm of an old church yard but beggars can’t be choosers.

Newby bench

I had done 25 pretty flat miles by this time and a couple of tuna rolls were very welcome.  I crossed the River Eden and headed for the only hilly section of the ride.  This runs through some lovely country with many small ups and downs and a background of the Pennines behind.

near castle carrock

I was heading for Castle Carrock, which would be my turning point.  There are some very nice houses in the area and the sunny day certainly made this one stand out.


I was not much further south of the border than Langholm is north but this is a different world.

From Castle Carrock, the road was downhill and the wind was behind so all was well.

The scenery here is very pretty with small fields and abundant woodland in the rolling country.  It is not easy to capture the character of the place in a single photo but here is an effort.

near castle carrock

I paused at Talkin Tarn to get a sausage roll and a cup of coffee.  The wind was rippling the waters of the tarn.

It looked like a great day for sailing but the boats were all parked.

Talkin boats

There was a good number of visitors to this popular spot and the picnic tables were surrounded by large plastic water containers on the ground indicating that dog walking must figure largely in the activities here.

I pedalled on through Brampton and took the A6071 again. As the second bridge that I would come to was closed, I was going to cross the first of two bridges and then take a diversion to miss the closed bridge.  The diversion would not only take me on roads I hadn’t cycled on before but would offer some good photo opportunities.  What I didn’t know, as I cycled down to the river from Brampton, was that both bridges were closed and my diversion was unattainable.  I was soon turned round by a helpful official and had to pedal back up the hill into Brampton.  A route reshuffle saw me cycle back to Carlisle Airport again.  This time there was plenty of air traffic with planes landing and taking off at frequent intervals.  It was only after a while that I realised that it was the same plane going round in circles, practising landing and taking off without stopping.

I took a new route from the airfield through Laversdale and even if I hadn’t got my original route, I did have two miles of road that I hadn’t been up before as a consolation.  When I rejoined the A6071,  I found that my diversion had given me exactly the same distance as my original choice so nothing was gained or lost except a photo op.  I called in at the cycle shop on my way back through Longtown and by coincidence a van delivered my wheel while I was talking to the owner.  I agreed to pick it up later that afternoon and pedalled off home with a song in my heart.

The round trip was 63 miles and with the flat nature of most of the route, I managed to squeeze the average just above 14 mph.

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal up a ladder.


She was trimming a climbing hydrangea which has a tendency to swamp the gutter above it.  She had planted her new bed while I was out pedalling.

bottle plants

This is the concept of the mini greenhouse in action.  The plants are ornamental grasses which need protection from very cold weather. I took a moment to look round the garden.  The hot day had brought out the insects in force.

bees on sedum

red admiral butterfly

peacock butterfly

And it had encouraged another Lilian Austin rose to bloom.

Lilian Austin rose

After I had had a shower and a cup of tea, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to Longtown in the car to pick up my new wheel.  It looks very shiny.  When we got home, we went for a short pedal round the Castleholm to enjoy this beautiful weather while it lasted.

Mrs Tootlepedal en route

The trees are turning very early indeed.

trees turning 1

trees turning 2

Although our journey was only two and half miles long, we were able to enjoy a fine variety of views.

whita hill

The duchess bridge

The Duchess Bridge, the first completed cast iron bridge in Scotland

Lodge walks

The Lodge Walks

Langholm Castle

Langholm Castle

I may possibly have taken pictures here before but it is so lovely that I think they stand a second or even third viewing.

I had a grand fry up for my tea which rounded off another excellent day.  After I finish this post,  I will put a week of the E & L into the database as I have been a bit behindhand with this task lately.

I finish with another look at the gerbera which our son Tony gave Mrs Tootlepedal on Mothering Sunday, April 3rd. It looks as though they may last for ever.


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Today’s picture shows some nicely trained nasturtiums rising to the occasion.


Today went as a Tuesday should – a cycle, a sit down and a tootle and all three parts were good.

It was cloudy when Dropscone arrived for our morning pedal and it was also a rather windy day but we hadn’t gone far round the usual route before the wind dropped and the sun came out.  When we turned at our furthest point at Glenzierfoot, we saw a horrendous dark cloud in front of us but as we pedalled towards it, it receded and as soon as we made the final turn for home, the wind rose and blew us down the road.  The result of all this was a very pleasant pedal at a very satisfactory pace.  By the time we had finished our coffee and scones, the wind was blowing hard and it would have been a struggle to get round.

I took a moment to see what was what in the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal was at work today so there was no new scheme to watch.

rambling rose

The rambling rose is making a great effort to flower.

red admiral

Red admiral butterfies were back in spite of the lack of sun


The dark nicotiana is ragged but surviving


The coloured cosmos have survived better than the white ones which are all past


A bunch of marigolds brighten up a part of a border that has been cleared

The first signs of the new schemes are in place too.


A newly planted acer with a Virginia creeper take their place in a redone bed

The Virginia creeper will cover up the compost bins behind the fence.

After lunch, I did my last stint of the season in the tourist information point at the Kilngreen and just when I thought that I was going to have another session without a visitor, the door opened and two people came in who were looking for exactly the tourist information that I was able to provide and so the season ended on a high note.

I returned to find Arthur in the house, kindly returning an empty pot which had held plum jam.  He had enjoyed it but he had eaten very little of it, he said, because his wife had had most of it.   He was also  seeking computing help which I was able to provide.  I followed him out when he went and took a couple more pictures to record what the garden is like at this time of year. One was the nasturtiums at the top of this page and the other showed that the borders are not quite finished yet although they are certainly past their best.

a colourful border

We are expecting unseasonably warm weather for the next day or two and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens in the garden.

In the evening, I went to Carlisle with Susan to play recorders with our group at Heather’s.  We played a wonderful selection of music including an aria in canon in five parts by Bach which just floated by as we played it.  A couple of pieces by Purcell provided a contrast and a rousing march by Sousa changed the mood entirely.   The trip was made even better than usual by a magnificent sunset as we drove down.  I wished that I had taken my camera with me.

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Today’s picture is from Dropsocne.  He had to get up early to go to a golf competition yesterday (organising, not playing) and he caught this sunrise on the way to Kelso.

Kelso 011

He got up quite early again today and came round on his bike ready for the customary pedal.  I am still using the slow bike and he is still recovering from his sore leg so we were well matched for speed.  Unlike yesterday, the wind wasn’t at all co-operative today but we got round in a very reasonable time under the circumstances on a cool but brilliantly sunny morning.  The coffee and scones added to our feelings of well being. This was a feeling not shared by Mrs Tootlepedal who was ironing B & B stuff and who kept on finding mysterious small marks on otherwise clean sheets.  These entailed stain removal and re-washing and did not add to the happiness of nations in any degree.

During the morning, I re-sowed some of the bare patches on the new piece of lawn.  Dropscone suggested putting up a ‘keep off the grass’ sign for the sparrows but as he knows I don’t speak sparrow, I think he was joking.  I covered the seed with netting instead.  He spotted this robin though.


I like robins, they don’t eat grass seed.

After my shower, while Mrs Tootlepedal dug up more plants as part of improving a flower bed, I got the onions out of the greenhouse where they have been drying and hung them up in the garage for use over the next few months.

onions in store

It is in the lap of the gods as to whether they keep well. I hope this is a good year.

I had a quick bite of lunch and set about sieving some compost.  This is one of my favourite occupations because unlike many other things in life, success is guaranteed. You start with this pile of last year’s garden clippings…

compost heap

… you stick it through this rather Heath Robinson looking piece of kit…

rotary sieve

…and a few minutes later, you end up with this…


Not long afterwards, it was being put to good use by Mrs Tootlepedal in her quest for improved soil quality.


The bits that don’t go through the sieve get used as mulch so nothing is wasted.

While I had the camera in my hand, I took a picture of a clematis that has failed in its task.  It is supposed to grow through the azaleas after they have flowered and give a fresh splash of colour to that corner of the garden.  Only one flower actually gets it head above water so to speak.

lonesome clematis

There are other flowers but they blush unseen. It’s a pity because it is a fine flower.

At the other end of the garden, I put the little camera into macro mode to look at these spirea seed heads.

spirea seed heads

Mrs Tootlepedal kept toiling away but I know when to stop so I went in and made a nice cup of tea. Actually, to be correct, I went in and made a dull, tasteless cup of tea.  Tea bag quality seems to have got worse and worse over the years and on this occasion I put two bags in the mug at once to see if I could detect any better flavour that way.  It turned out to be just as dull and tasteless as usual but even more so in some indefinable way.  I should just get a grip, buy decent tea leaves and use a proper tea pot so it is my own fault if I drink horrible tea.

In the morning, while I was out cycling, the joiners had come round and installed a new par of handrails up our rather steep B & B stairs, replacing the single one that had been there before.  After my cup of gloop, I went out and sawed the old one up for firewood.

I spent a good deal of time supervising Mrs Tootlepedal who was doing amazing amounts of work.  She had bought some very reasonable priced bulbs which she planted in her new bed.  They were so reasonably priced that she will be mightily pleased (and rather amazed) if they actually come up in the spring.

I took the good camera out into the garden from time to time to take advantage of an entirely rain free day.

rose Lilian Austin

The Lilian Austin rose has come out



The late flowering fuchsia goes from strength to strength


This astrantia keeps producing new flowers

clematis jackmanii

The clematis jackmanii has really got going too and does well with the nicotiana behind

I have been trying to get a photograph that does justice to the brilliant  orange of the marigolds in the garden but the very brilliance of their colour give my camera a hard time.  This will have to do.


Our neighbour Liz came by to borrow our clippers for some destruction she is going to wreak on an innocent plant whose only crime was to grow too well.  While she was chatting, she was greatly struck by the fuchsia in the chimney, as well she might be, as it is doing magnificently.


Mrs Tootlepedal revealed that she had given it no attention at all after planting it but she thinks she might have put a long acting fertiliser plug in with it.  If she did,  it is a good advertisement for these things.

I was pleased to see a blue tit in the  evening enjoying both the fat ball and the peanuts.

blue tit

blue tit with peanuts

Giving me a hard stare


My flute pupil Luke came with his dad for his lesson.  He told me that he had been practising with his grandfather and the results were plain to see.  He played really well and concentrated very hard and at the end of the lesson, both he and his dad and I were all very pleased.

An excellent day was rounded off by a dish of lamb’s kidneys in a spicy red wine sauce and a small portion of raspberries and cream.  I don’t know what these sportsmen and bankers who earn millions could possibly find to spend their money on that would make them happier than me.  Of course, money can’t buy Mrs Tootlepedal.

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Today’s picture shows a butterfly sunning itself on a battered garden bench.

red admiral

Today was the opposite of yesterday, with a fine morning and afternoon followed by a wet evening.  Our B & B guests had a late breakfast which meant that I got a lie so that Mrs Tootlepedal could produce her work of culinary art undisturbed by my idle chatter.  The late start and the unavailability of my speedy bike (still without a back wheel) meant that a long ride was out of the question.  The forecast also promised that the wind would get up during the day so I decided on a flat forty miles with the first half into the wind and the return with the strengthening wind behind me.  My route took me to Longtown and then to Houghton by a selection of back roads.  It is a route that I use fairly frequently in winter as half of it is well sheltered by roadside hedges.

For once my plan worked perfectly and after managing 14 miles an hour down the slight hill and into the wind for the first twenty miles,  I whistled home up the slight hill at 16 mph, finishing the journey at a whisker under 15 mph which is excellent for me on the slow bike. I didn’t take my camera as photographically it is a very dull route.

The improvement in my speed compared with the past few days can be attributed both to a much more relaxed and flexible back and to pumping my tyres up hard which makes the bike roll a lot better.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I drove back down the road I had pedalled up earlier, this time to go to the garden centre at Houghton.  Mrs Tootlepedal stocked up with daffodils and I bought supplies of cheese and spinach so we were both happy.  We also got some more grass seed to fill up the gaps on the new bit of lawn.

The warm weather had brought the butterflies back out.

sedum with insects

A cluster of insects with a red admiral on a sedum

The sun had also tempted a battered gazania to open its petals out.


I read in one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s gardening magazines that the strong colours and stripes on this flower are signposts for insects as to where to find the pollen.  There must be some very short sighted insects about if they need this amount of help.

The sedum needs no stripes.

red admiral butterfly

You don’t realise how whiskery a butterfly is until you look at it closely.  I really love the little light bulbs on stalks.  They are very science fiction monster in style.

Some of the orange hawkweed is still out…

orange hawkweed

…Mrs Tootlepedal aims to have quite a lot more of these next year to go in front of her ornamental grasses.

The Icelandic poppies continue to flower in many places in the garden. They are a constant source of colour.

Icelandic poppy

There were several red admiral butterflies about.

red admiral

I like the discreet blue touch at the back of the wings

Life is full of little mysteries. The last time the butterflies were out, we had peacocks and tortoiseshells as well as red admirals but today there was no sign of them at all.

The Michaelmas daisies are thriving and I think they are my favourite flower of the moment, even including Fuchsias.


One of the coal tits was to be seen again.

coal tit

It was looking for space among the many sparrows.


We seem to have lost the starlings and jackdaws that brought up families here earlier in the year but the local duck is still there.  It doesn’t look ill.  Perhaps a neighbour is feeding it which makes it stay here.


We were going to put up a couple of end to end cyclists tonight as an overflow for another B & B which was pushed for space but one of them had broken his hand so they squeezed all the other three in and we had a night off.

On the sporting front, Scotland very carelessly lost to Argentina in the Rugby World Cup but Cavendish won the cycling world championship and Europe won the Solheim Cup so it was an up and down sort of day for the sports fan.

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Today’s picture shows Mrs Tootlepedal’s  marrow which would have been on display at the Langholm Show in the heaviest marrow class, if the show had not been cancelled.


When we woke up, the rain was lashing down and the cancellation of the show looked like a good decision.  By ten o’clock though, the rain had  stopped and I got the slow bike out and set off round the morning run.  Dropscone had intended to come too but he was detained on business so I was on my own.  No sooner had I got going, than the rain started again and I had to stop to put on my rain   jacket.  The pause gave me the opportunity to have a few words with Luke’s grandfather, who was fortunately standing nearby,  about teaching Luke to play the flute and we were able to agree on a common strategy.

I pushed on and enjoyed the ride as the rain soon stopped and my legs were working well.  The wind  got up as I was going round but luckily, not until it was behind me.  This doesn’t happen often.

When I got home, I discovered Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work on yet more garden improvements.

Mrs Tootlepedal at work

She was employed in digging up a large clump of irises which have got a bit out of hand.  You can see their roots lying in a line along the path behind her.  I must say that it hurts my back just watching the amount of bending over that serious gardening requires.

I walked up to the other end of the lawn to see how the new grass is getting on.

new grass

Although it is still a bit patchy, thanks to the depredations of the sparrows, it is making steady progress and will be ready for its first mowing quite soon.

My legs were a bit sore because of my back so I didn’t offer Mrs Tootlepedal a helping hand today and went inside after lunch to waste some time watching the women’s world championship cycle road race.  This was very dull even by cycle race standards until the last half hour so I went out from time to time to check on the gardener’s progress. She was doing very well.

I took the camera out with me.

blackbird with worm


The last croscosmia is literally reaching the end of the line


The sedum was covered with insects again

After the road race was finished, I looked for something useful to do so Mrs Tootlepedal sent me off to buy mushrooms for the B & B breakfast.  I went on my bike and packed my little camera in my pocket.  By now, it was a really lovely day and I decided to see if I could capture some of this.

I did my shopping and continued down the road towards Skippers Bridge.


Skippers Bridge from the north

The Murtholm bank of the river Esk

Trees on the Murtholm bank of the Esk


Langholm distillery

The old distillery, home of Luke's grandfather

I crossed the bridge and headed back along the track on the other side of the river.

Riverside trees

Following the track, I came to the Buccleuch Park and admired the fine poplar trees reaching up to the sky.

poplar tree

Some of the poplars in this row were cut down earlier this year.  The stumps have been left and new shoots are growing vigorously.

new poplar

The trees serve a useful purpose in stabilising the river bank.  It was under attack from a full river today.

river bank

I left the park and rode up Caroline Street to Pool Corner. There was not as much water coming down the Wauchope as there was coming down the Esk and Pool Corner looked peaceful in the early evening sunshine.

Pool Corner

Wild campanulas were growing in the cracks of the wall beside the water.


On the other side of the road, there was a splendid slow worm, no doubt enjoying the warm weather as I was.

slow worm

I cycled up the Poor House Brae to Scott’s Knowe (though I had to walk up the last section) and turned my camera towards Whita Hill.

Whita Hill

The golf course was looking tempting and if the weather stays fine, I might go up and see how my back stands up to a swing sometime next week.

Looking closer, I could see the new lamp  posts that surround our house and this picture shows how Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden is tucked into the heart of the New Town.

Wauchope Cottage

I cycled carefully back down the track to Jimmy’s Brae and so home.

In the garden, a coal tit was enjoying a nibble at the fatballs.

coal tit

It wasn’t picky though and soon visited the peanuts as well.

coal tit on peanuts

I had picked a handful of blackberries during the afternoon and Mrs Tootlepedal made a pair of mini apple and bramble crumbles for our pudding.  These, and the memory of a wonderfully sunny afternoon, eased the pain of not having the opportunity to win a prize with my gooseberry jelly at the show.

The forecasters say that we may get another day or two of this pleasant weather. I hope they are right.  All the conversation about weather in the town is of a dire warning of another severe winter and an early start to it.  I don’t know where the warning came from but I hope it is wrong.

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