Today’s picture comes from Bruce who was showing Jedburgh Abbey to some visiting Brazilians as one does.

Jedburgh Abbey

Dropscone elected not to cycle as he was golfing in the afternoon so I was on my own.  Fortunately it was a very sunny, if chilly morning and I didn’t have too much difficulty in persuading myself to get on the bike.

This rather over exposed goldfinch shows just how bright it was at breakfast time.

sunny goldfinch

At the other shady feeder, two sparrows practiced for being bookends.  If only the sparrow on the left had chewed on the other side of its beak, it would have been perfect.

twin sparrows

It was only 6°C when I set out so, in spite of the sunshine, I had to be well wrapped up again and it was just as well that I was because it clouded over while I was out and got decidedly nippy.  I went up the Wauchope road and down to Waterbeck and back as a change from the standard morning run.  I had my camera with me but I found the pedalling rather hard work today and didn’t have the inclination to add extra stops and starts to the trip so it stayed in my pocket.

At one stage I thought I might have to stop for a breather even though I was going very slowly but I manged to keep going.  This turned out to be of relevance later in the day.

I had recovered after the final five miles of the trip which were downhill and downwind so I had enough energy to conduct a duckling check.


It’s a war of attrition out there and the family of twelve are now down to seven…

seven ducklings

…but to my surprise, the single duckling still survives.  It looks very small still and the cold weather won’t be doing it any favours.

one duckling

The chaffinches were back at the feeders today and with a slightly different angle of the tail feathers on one of these two, I would have had a striking picture.  It’s not too bad as it is though.


There were a number of entrants in the chaffinch of the day competition.   Legs up, wings in was the popular style .  Here are two who didn’t make the cut.



Mrs Tootlepedal had been at work during the morning and when she came back, we had time for a brief snack before we set off to visit the hospital in Carlisle on my behalf.

I was visiting the rehabilitation department.  This sounded a bit Stalinist to me but it turned out to be a very kindly outfit, well organised and welcoming.  I saw the occupational therapist first.  She gave me a telling off in the nicest way for cycling too much and too energetically and made me promise that I would not get tired cycling again for the next three months at least.  I told her that I had already cut my mileage by half from last year and she told me to cut it by another half and to go slower too so that has put paid to the morning run with Dropscone for the time being.

The carrot is that if I behave and let my joints recover from the attack and let the medicine work its magic, I should be able to bicycle good distances again as normal  before the end of the summer and for the foreseeable future.  This was excellent news and as a result I am going to behave well, cycle little and gently, walk slowly and have frequent rests and even have a little siesta after lunch until the aches and pains have vanished and not try to ignore them as I am doing at present.

After the occupational therapist, I saw the physiotherapist and she arranged for me to have some hydrotherapy to keep me exercised without hurting the joints.  That sounds like fun and I am looking forward to it.  The pool is kept at 35 degrees.

It was a really interesting visit because both therapists are rheumatology specialists and really know what they are talking about which is most comforting.  On top of that, the two sessions lasted over an hour and half between them which made me feel very well looked after.  Mrs Tootlepedal held my hand throughout and she was most impressed by the whole set up too.

We rounded off a satisfactory afternoon by purchasing embroidery essentials (Mrs Tootlepedal) and birdseed (me) on our way home.

All this fun meant that that there was not a lot of time to take photographs before I had to go off to the choir and it had got rather gloomy too so I will have to make do with some I took at lunch time before we went to Carlisle.

Here a redpoll and a siskin show how similar their body shapes are.

redpoll and siskin

While a great tit and a goldfinch show how dissimilar their shapes are.

great tit and goldfinch

O f course you can tell a redpoll from a siskin when it looks round.


Here is the chaffinch of the day.  There is nothing like a chaffinch for restful hovering when you want to take a flying picture.

chaffinch flying

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

15 thoughts on “Occupation

  1. That is excellent news. We are counting on your foreb earance and Mrs. Tootlepedal’s discipline should you not be able to restrain yourself.

  2. Well, that is excellent news about your joints. What a splendid carrot the therapist suggested. I had hydrotherapy at one stage trying to sort out my legs and, apart from having to get undressed and then dressed again which is a bore, it was splendid.

  3. I am so glad to hear about the rehabilitation program. I can’t imagine anything nicer than the hydrotherapy–except for the undressing and dressing, I agree with Susan about that part. The ducklings are glorious – these are some of the best shots yet – and I enjoyed the “bookends” too. My compliments to the goldfinch who didn’t quite make Chaffinch of the Day, but I believe that restful hovering is a very good theme for the next three months.

  4. Glad you had a useful and reassuring visit to the rehabilitation department. I trust you will enjoy a slightly more restful time for a while, and will be in less discomfort. Lovely redpoll.

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