One of those days

Today’s picture is another of London park life from my sister Mary.

Hyde Park Jan 2012 003

After the wonder of yesterday’s sunny weather, we were back to a more normal routine today.  It was quite a pleasant morning with light winds and no rain but sadly, the temperature was below freezing and ruled out cycling.  The temperature inched up very gradually through the morning and just at the point when cycling became sensible, it started to rain and this kept going through the rest of the daylight hours.

I didn’t have the nerve to pedal on ice or  the energy to put on enough layers of clothes to pedal in near zero temperatures in the rain so plan B was called into action to fill up the day.

First: look out of the window:

The greenfinch in the rather blue light seemed to reflect the chilly morning conditions
Chaffinches beak to beak
The chaffinches kept themselves warm with sparring matches


Second: a cup of coffee and scones with Dropscone and Arthur.  This is always a pleasure.

Third: look out of the window again: we had birds of all sizes today.

Jackdaws always look very well turned out, never a feather in the wrong place.
male brambling
A male brambling in the plum tree
brambling on feeder
and on a feeder
two female bramblings
I think these look like two female bramblings

You can see that it had started to rain by now.

wood pigeon
My pigeon identification is shaky but I think that this is a wood pigeon
pigeon and chaffinch
Here it is to scale
more sparring chaffinches
The chaffinches were still trying to keep warm.

We did consider a walk after lunch and even set out along Eskdaill Street but in the end the rain got the better of us and we retreated.

The afternoon plan B: marmalade making.

I had purchased a good supply of Seville oranges in the morning so I thought I would put the afternoon to good use.  We have a vague plan to make 52 pots of marmalade for the coming year so this was a start.  Mrs Tootlepedal had called for a fine cut marmalade so I spent a good deal of time and effort slicing the fruit thin and when she came down from a session on the indoor pedalling machine, I showed her the results simmering in the pan with pride.  “Are these thin enough for you?” I asked confidently expecting an affirmative answer.  “Not really,” she replied.  I was dashed but it was too late to slice any thinner by then so I pushed on regardless.

Marmalade making is a lengthy business but at last I had twelve pots to show for my labours.

Medium cut marmalade

Meanwhile, Mrs Tootlepedal had sought a better way to create really fine cut marmalade and had embarked on a new and untried method involving simmering the whole fruit for two hours before slicing.   She was left with too much liquid in the pan at the boiling stage and the because the big pan doesn’t have a level bottom, it was hard to bring the mixture to a consistent boil with the result that it spent ages without getting to the setting point and turned rather dark in the process.

dark marmalade
We will have to see what the flavour is like tomorrow.

Variety is the spice of life.  I shall make another few pounds tomorrow using my tried and trusted method no matter how good hers tastes.  I am a man of fixed habits.  I will try to slice the peel thinner though.

Between the two sets of marmalade making, the day was used up and now we hope for more useful weather tomorrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

10 thoughts on “One of those days

  1. I am fond of marmalade, but perhaps not fond enough to spend all afternoon making it. I’ll be interested to hear how each version tastes.

    I believe dropping by here is good for my blood pressure.

  2. The marmalade, both colours, looked magnificent and I loved the pigeon with the little bird beside it, the difference in size was impressive. Sorry your weather was so mouldy and hope for better today.

  3. The jackdaws look extremely stern and disapproving. What were they looking at??
    Both lots of marmalade appear delcious and just what I would like on my morning toast.

    1. That’s just how jackdaws look. I think they were teachers in an earlier life.

      You know where to come for toast and marmalade. Very reasonable rates for family.

  4. Ummmmm…. Marmalade, just love it and both versions look great! There’s nothing better than making your own.

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