Up and away

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.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “Up and away

  1. I agree with your comments about the value of Mrs Tootlepedal especially as she used to be my secretary many years ago.

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