Today’s picture shows a lovely vase of roses from my sister Mary’s tiny London garden.
The forecast offered a twenty per cent chance of rain but luckily we got the other eighty percent and it was a sunny day when I snapped a couple of bird shots while I was eating my porridge.
Surprisingly and encouragingly, my joints were in good condition after yesterday’s pedal and when Dropscone arrived, we set off round the normal 20 mile course but going the wrong way once again. The sun was out and there was only a light wind so it almost felt like summer at last.
I was aiming for a slower run than yesterday as I didn’t want to push my luck so I had to restrain Dropscone’s early enthusiasm. He kindly slowed to my pace and I took care to be in a good low gear for every slight hill. I am trying to develop a smooth pedalling style to make sure that I don’t punish my ankles unnecessarily by stamping on the pedals to go uphill and the lower gearing helps with this. I was pleased to find out when we finished that we had gone round a minute quicker than yesterday. I thought that I had put less effort into today’s ride so perhaps things are beginning to look up.
This good ride was rewarded with some particularly tasty scones from the griddle of Dropscone. While we were sipping our coffee, Dropscone looked out of the window and remarked that we had white flowers in the garden that wouldn’t be out of place in a washing powder advertisement. He was looking at some phlox.
As Dropscone left, Mrs Tootlepedal arrived back from her morning’s work. She posed for me beside her tallest sunflower.
The sunflowers are looking better every day. She has some small ones in a row along the fence.
I wonder if I will be able to harvest the seed for the birds.
The astilbe seems to be surviving the rainstorms quite well to my surprise.
Mrs Tootlepedal drew my attention to the large number of bees on the privet but of course as soon as I pointed the lens at them, they made off.
Then we had to go in to watch the rowing from the Olympics and we were pleased when a rower from Aberdeen finally got a gold medal after trying for many years. She had a partner in her boat but no one seemed to pay her much attention.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Carlisle and I emerged from my couch potato act for long enough to mow the front lawn and sieve two buckets of compost. The compost will be used to help to bring the level of the new part of the middle lawn up to the old part. We thought we had got it level when we sowed the new part but time proved otherwise.
I did manage to snap a bee while I was out. It was on an orange hawkweed.
By the look of it, this brilliant cosmos had been visited by one or more bees as well.
The seed feeder was well stocked but there few if any birds about. I noticed that the fat ball fortress was empty so I put some new balls in it. Within minutes the fatball fortress was besieged by sparrows and the seed feeder was suddenly very popular too. It’s almost as though they were lying in wait for me to get my act together.
Among the flock of sparrows, a lone blue tit appeared to see if it could get any of the action.
It hung around on the edge of the fortress looking in for some time but finally it plucked up courage and joined in the feeding. The sparrows seemed very tolerant of it.
A green finch arrived but left without joining in.
But mostly it was sparrows, sparrows and sparrows.
Then there was more compulsory Olympics to watch from the velodrome. I think I enjoy watching cycling more than any other sport but whether I would enjoy it quite so much if the Australians were winning everything rather than the British is another matter.
In the evening, because of the disturbance caused by our kitchen alterations, we went to the Tinkers for our usual Friday tootling and conversation. Alison has a real piano, unlike the electronic thing I have, and it cannot be converted to a harpsichord at the touch of a button so our playing sounded different today but it was still as enjoyable as ever.
I am keeping my fingers crossed (but not too tightly of course) that my joints continue to let me go cycling.
Today’s flying chaffinch is one of the many sparrows.