Down in the dump

Today’s picture is another from my sister Mary, taken on the recent Scottish tour.  It shows that the sun was shining not so long ago.

harbour near Ayr
A harbour near Ayr

It was raining heavily this morning and Dropscone and I decided that cycling was not on the menu.  The kitchen made more progress with a flying visit from the electrician on his way to another job.  This let the joiners get on and by mid afternoon, they had done all they could do, the electrician had returned and gone again and at last we could get into the kitchen and use it more or less as normal.  There is still work to be finished; plastering,  painting and some final joinery stuff but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I kept out of the way while this was going on and happily found an interesting crossword in the paper which helped the soggy morning slip by.  The rain stopped about midday and I put some of the bits and pieces that we are throwing away as a result of the kitchen and garage clean out into the back of the car.

The heavy rain hadn’t made taking pictures much fun in the morning but at one o’clock, with no van outside the window and only a light drizzle, I had a go.

A chaffinch looks about
A chaffinch looks none too pleased with the rain.
sparrows and siskins
Sparrows and siskins
sparrows. siskins and chaffinches
Some chaffinches join in.

At least two blue tits are regular visitors now and there have been glimpses of great tits and coal tits too but unlike the blue tits, they are here and gone in a moment.

blue tit

As you can see, it was pretty gloomy and damp so instead of sitting around moping, I got into the car and discharged three tasks in one go.

I went to Canonbie first to collect a missing ticket for my show entries.  Then I headed to the bike shop in Longtown.  They had said that they might take my daughter’s old bike, a twenty year old Peugeot in reasonable working order.  They looked at it and agreed that it might be some use and I was glad to find a home for it.

I headed on to the council dump where I threw away everything but the kitchen sink.  No, that’s a lie, because I did throw away the kitchen sink too.  That’s not something you do every day.  With the car much lighter, I headed home.  I had the camera with me and I had intended to take some scenic pictures on the way but a cloud base of about 300ft put paid to that idea.

Instead, when I got home and found that it was not raining, I went for a walk. I went to see if the herons were still in the field.  I was disappointed to find only a single bird on guard.


It looked a bit hunched and grumpy but when it saw me, it stood up straight for the camera…

standing heron

…stretched its wings…

heron flying

..and flew off, passing a swallow going in the other direction…

swallow flying

…and settled down in reflective mood beside a pond.

reflective heron

There was some talk a week or so ago of the swallows being ready to go away but there were many still about in the heron’s field today.  I took lots of pictures with little success but as usual that hasn’t deterred me from putting one in here.


I was snapping away like mad when I became aware of Langholm’s answer to Bradley Wiggins looming up behind me.


Not only is this man a serious cyclist but he is also the father of our kitchen joiner.  I stood with bowed head as he pedalled past.

He told me in passing that he had seen the group of five herons in the field a few times lately.  We noticed yesterday that one of the herons seemed detached from the others so perhaps the one I saw today is not a member of the family.

I walked on along the Murtholm road and enjoyed the sight of the Esk running strongly past me.

House at Distillery

I would feel a bit nervous living in this house with the river pounding at the wall below.  The wall has been there for a long time though.

I took yet another picture upstream from Skippers bridge to show the full river.

esk in full flow

In spite of dire weather warnings and some heavy rain, we have escaped the worst and the river has never threatened a real flood yet this year.

I looked back at the bridge as I headed up to the town.

Skippers bridge

I got home without further excitement and took the opportunity to walk round the garden.

genuinely the last roses of summer
I was wrong earlier when I said a rose was the last rose of summer. These two rather scruffy moss roses are them.

Someone liked the astilbe and hostas yesterday and so I took another picture from a different direction today to try to give a truer idea of their colour.  The hostas still look paler than they really are.

astilbe and hosta

When I came back in, I had the pleasure of cooking a proper meal in the new kitchen.  Not everything has been moved back in but Mrs Tootlepedal has been very busy finding the best home for things in the new cupboards and drawers.  As a result finding the ingredients and utensils for cooking a Spaghetti Bolognese was an adventure in itself.  The spag bog wasn’t too bad though.

In the evening, we went to Mike and Alison’s where I enjoyed playing the flute and recorder with Alison as always and Mrs Tootlepedal was fortified after the rigours of the day with a comforting G & T.  It was raining again as we walked home.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, probably not singing in the rain.

flying chaffinch

Note: Even in the rain, the white phlox is so bright that its colour has spilled onto the chaffinch in the picture.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

15 thoughts on “Down in the dump

    1. Of course you can have any one you want quite free. Just steal it (or get that admirable boy of yours to do it) off the blog or send me an e-mail telling me which one you want. You can get it mounted which would be more sensible than me mounting it and posting it at great expense.

      1. Oh thank you! I will go back through your blog and pick one and take it from there, It will have to somehow have your signiature. Thank you Tom!

  1. Good-bye Peugeot. It’s good for an old bike to find a new home. We do an awful lot of that at the community bike shop I volunteer at.

    Did you bring the Pug to the shop that you were planning the new slow bike with? I think it was a belt drive you were thinking of. How is that proceeding?

    1. The belt drive scenario is proceeding slowly. After some discussion which has got nowhere because of difficulties in adapting frames or expense of new ones, I am now thinking of just buying a new belt drive bike off the shelf if I can find one at a reasonable price and specification.

      1. I don’t know your price range/specs but the Trek Soho seems like a decent unit if available. I’ve chatted with a couple of people around here who ride them and they are pleased with the bike.

  2. Loved all the pictures of the Esk. Glad your kitchen is usuable again even if finding stuff is tricky. Good luck with your photos in the competition.

  3. I look forward to some kitchen photographs soon. It must have been very satisfying throwing ‘everything’ away including the kitchen sink!
    Glad to see another bridge picture.

  4. I think the lone heron is the Wise Old Heron of Langholm. The other herons come to visit, and he enjoys their company, but he lives on his own in his field. Gives him time to think.

    I’m glad the kitchen is coming together. It’s good to have a cozy place indoors when it rains and rains and rains. And rains.

      1. I should add that the heron (or at least a local heron won first prize in the B/W section of the Canonbie Flower Show Photo competition, though not in a picture taken by me.

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