Getting on

Today’s picture, from my sister Mary, shows my sister Susan standing beside the golden postbox in Dunblane, a tribute to local boy and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray.  She had to queue to get this opportunity.


There were forecasts of rain. There were reports of heavy showers in Dumfries, 30 miles to the west. Rain was observed in Carlisle, 20 miles to the south. There was even a spot or two of rain in Langholm.  In spite of all these portents, in the end we had a lovely summer day, very warm and with a lot of sunshine in the afternoon.  I didn’t go cycling as my joints were sore but I did more than enough to make them worse in the garden instead.

We had a bit of a lie in as the joiners had another job to do before they restarted work on the kitchen.  When they came, we retired to the garden for our morning coffee and crossword and sat under the privet, serenaded by bees and snowed on gently by falling blossom from the shrub above us.

After coffee, I had an errand to run, taking a fresh supply of Archive Group leaflets to the Tourist Information in the Town Hall and when I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden.  She had worked so hard yesterday that she had snapped the handle clean off the spade.


The nasturtiums are in full flower all round the garden at the moment and between them, the sunflowers and the cosmos, it is quite a colourful place.


The perennial nasturtium has almost finished flowering but has given us a crop of surprise blue berries instead.

perennial nasturtium berries
They start off white but soon turn blue. I wonder if they are eatable.

The clematis have not done very well this year but a new one is out.


clematis with green tipped leaf
The green tip is surprising.

The one on the fence is perhaps the best of them all.


I think that this may be the last rose of summer.  They have found it hard this year.

last rose of summer

I sieved some compost out of one of our concrete bays while Mrs Tootlepedal removed the last of the unsieved stuff from the other to use as a rough mulch round some rhododendrons.  This left a bay free and so after lunch, while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work, I turned out the newest heap into it.  Mrs Tootlepedal has been following a policy of thinning out her beds to give plants more of a chance to flourish and this has produced an enormous amount of green compostable material so there will be no shortage of compost for me to play with during the autumn.  Turning compost is like keeping lawns neat.  You don’t have to do it but it is very satisfying.

Talking of keeping lawns neat, I mowed the middle lawn in the afternoon and the recent spell of good weather allowed me to lower the cutting height a little.  Being able to lower the cutting height is a special treat.

I made another trip with the leaflets after lunch, this time to the Kilngreen Tourist office.  The volunteer there was fast asleep when I arrived, so busy had he been.

The tradesmen’s vans have made garden bird photography very difficult so I phoned up Sandy and we went up to the moorland feeder station as I am under orders from Julie Goyder to put more bird pictures in the blog.

When we got there, there was a congregation of large birds hoovering up the seeds that had fallen from the feeders.  They looked a bit unusual.

Young pheasant

Not quite like a partridge but not coloured like a pheasant.  It dawned on us that they must be young pheasants which have just been put out by the keepers from the rearing pens.  One turned round and displayed its feathers for me.

young pheasant.

The feeders were quite busy but although it was sunny, the light wasn’t helpful so we didn’t stay too long.  We saw some of the usual suspects, both big and small.


coal tit

There were a lot of insects and butterflies about too.

white butterfly
I hope it can still fly all right with its torn wing.

In a nearby field, a couple of tractors were gathering up crop tightly wrapped in black plastic.


Two for the price of one.

When we got home, I had a cup of tea with Sandy and he kindly ran an eye over my pictures for the Canonbie Show.  I had used my own printer to print them out but he felt that they were good enough to put into the show.

The joiners had left so I was able to fill the feeder and stare out of the window.


A set of birds on the feeder and a bee on the right as a size comparison.
A set of birds on the feeder and a bee on the right as a size comparison.

I didn’t just look out of the window, I looked at it too.

What big eyes you have.  It was making a fly-on-the-window documentary.

In the evening, Susan took me to Carlisle and we enjoyed a good evening of playing recorder quintets.  We had some particularly rich music out tonight, the richest of all being some pavans and galliards by Thomas Simpson.  The evening was rounded off by some of Jenny’s finest chocolate ginger biscuits.

Here is the latest kitchen update.

kitchen, day 2

Mrs Tootlepedal is agonising over draw and cupboard handles but I think a decision has been reached.

The interruption to the bird feeder pictures is sad but it is saving me so much money in bird seed that the new kitchen will have nearly paid for itself…but not quite.

Here is today’s rather fuzzy flying picture of the day.

fuzzy chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

10 thoughts on “Getting on

  1. A perennial nasturtium?! Will need to get some of these I think, even if you can’t eat those berries they look great.

  2. Tom, Your shovel looks like my garden fork after Bob got done with it this weekend! I haven’t been around much and feel that I have missed much. Well, maybe not the fly… I have enough of those here from the chickens and geese! 😉
    I was confused a bit, is that your kitchen you are remodeling? It looks like it will be wonderful when it is all done! ~ Lynda

  3. The kitlchen seems to be taking shape very rapidly. Sorry about your sore joints – but you seem to have managed an active day, notwithstanding. Splendid nasturtiums, and I am sure the lawn looks as smooth as a billiard table.

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