Today’s picture is another from my brother’s recent walk on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border.  It shows a gate for very thin people or perhaps, one legged walkers..


It wasn’t a good day for a walk here or a pedal for that matter as it was raining lightly and steadily when we woke up.  On the plus side, it was quite pleasantly warm and it was possible, when the rain slacked off, to pop out into the garden and sample the roses and clematis that are out.

floral tribute
A floral tribute to summer

The birds didn’t look so cheerful when the rain was on.

A rook sticks its tongue out at the rain.
wet siskins
A group of wet siskins
damp goldfinch
And a damp goldfinch

Fortunately, the rain eased off and it turned into a humid, soggy, misty sort of day with no sign of the top of a hill in sight.   Nancy came round and a had a coffee.  She was passing on an enquiry from a visitor to the Archive Centre as to whether we could find a home for a mass of research on the farming communities of this and neighbouring parishes.  She said that he had obviously done an enormous amount of work but it is hard to say if we we can use it or not without further enquiries.   We have no storage capability so it will only be possible if he has got his work in easily transferable digital form.  Even so, if the project is large, it may be more than we can take on.

It was a day for archive business, as Mrs Tootlepedal played pass the parcel with a large envelope of stuff from the dusty recesses of the town hall which had been given to her for us to look at.  I haven’t had a chance to see what is in it yet as I had to go to the Archive Centre to meet a lady from America who had to Langholm from Edinburgh on the bus.

She wanted to look at the newspaper microfiches to see entries which she had unearthed on our index.  Sadly, as I could  have told her before she came if she had asked, the entries were very uninformative and did not help her at all.  In spite of this, we had a good chat and she went to see the photo exhibition and seemed quite cheerful about being in Langholm.  She told me that she intended to go for a walk in the hills.  As you can see from this picture…


… she wasn’t going to get much of a view. If she went, I hope she got round safely.

It wasn’t really a day for photographs at all but I couldn’t resist having a go at some passing birds once the rain had stopped…

flying birds

There is always a good crowd of sparrows about.

fatball fortress
Young sparrows crowd the fatball fortress

These young sparrows find it hard to work out how to get onto the feeder once they have got into the fortress.  That is why you can see two standing on the floor of the cage.  The one facing us was trying to bend over backwards  to get a peck in but kept falling off.

When I got back from the Archive Centre, Mrs Tootlepedal had disappeared to Hoddam and I had a late lunch and stared out of the window for a while…

a bluetit
A blue tit with a fully rotating head.
One or two had managed the trick of clinging on to the feeder itself.

My birthday peony is looking better every day.

birthday peony
A hint of pink has appeared in the centre

A clump of white irises are about to come into flower.  This first one had braved the rain to come out.


I got the slow bike out and pedalled up the Lodge Walks for a bit of light exercise.  I didn’t see anything interesting to look at in the wildlife department but my eye was caught by a couple of trees.

An Italic tree.
twisted tree
This one has been given an interesting twist by nature

When I got home, I found that Mike and Alison were inspecting the coral peony in the garden.

peony inspectors
They gave it the thumbs up

Mike and I had a cup of tea and decided that the world would be a lot better if we were in charge.

I am trying to get a convincing shot of a pigeon in flight but they are very skittish birds and shoot off into the sky at the slightest hint of me poking my nose through the door.

pigeon flying high

In the evening, we went to the final practice of this session for our new choir.  The choirmaster is offering lessons to people who want to improve their singing and I am thinking of taking him up on his offer as I have plenty of scope for improvement.   I have thoroughly enjoyed the singing and am looking forward to the autumn restart.  I am even going to practise singing in a relaxed and resonant way in the interim.  That will probably mean no bird photos as they will be scared off in no uncertain manner.

The chaffinch of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “Unhelpful

    1. A ball of fat (lard or the equivalent). It is cooked up with seeds and cereals in it. You can make your own at home but being lazy and not wanting too much evil smell in the kitchen, I buy mine.

  1. I suspect your Archive visitor came away glad she’d made the trip. Looking for historical clues is an absorbing hobby mainly because of all the lucky encounters.

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