The rain it raineth every day….and all that jazz

Today’s picture was taken by my brother Andrew recently in Norfolk and shows his wife, Catherine taking the dry route across the ford with her bicycle.


It rained again today.  It rained often.  It rained heavily.  It did stop about 3 o’clock in the afternoon but only after the heaviest downpour of the day.

There was thunder and lightning too.  My friend Bruce tells me that after one particularly loud crack, their lights went off and they sat without electricity for a while, imagining that there had been a power cut.  When the lights didn’t come back on, they rang the power company who suggested that they might like to look at the trip switch on the fuse board in their house.  They looked at it, they pushed it and their power was restored…which all went to show how close to the house the lightning strike had been and how sensitive modern equipment is.  They only live a hundred yards from us and we were OK.

I did manage to find a dry moment during the morning to walk up to the town and do a little shopping but mostly I was stuck indoors staring out.

When the rain was at its heaviest, the birds stayed under cover but as soon as it slacked off, they were out in force.

The chaffinches were very active.

The chaffinches are our most frequent visitors at the moment and they can be seen on the feeder and waiting in the plum tree too.

chaffinches in the tree

But the place to see most of them is under the feeder where they congregate in large numbers.


They don’t like the fat balls and they don’t use the peanut feeder like the siskins and tits.


The other big crowd are the sparrows which like the fat balls best but aren’t averse to the seeds…

Sparrow arriving

…if they can find a seat.

At the height of the rainstorm, Mrs Tootlepedal set off rather fearfully for Hoddom and the driving for the disabled but when she got there, the weather was lovely.  As she also visited the dump on her way home to get rid of the pyrocantha cuttings, she had a really enjoyable afternoon.

The rain redoubled its efforts after she left.

A neighbour’s shed

The lawn was not for mowing today.

lawn under water

And our new swimming pool is taking shape outside the back door.


We had B&B guests today.  They are doing the Land’s End to John o’Groats cycle ride and and I was expecting them to arrive like drowned rats but in the event, they arrived dry and smiling having been blown up the road for sixty miles by a strong southerly wind without seeing a drop of rain.

The birds enjoyed the better weather too.

chaffinch kicking
They weren’t any better mannered though.
coal tit
A coal tit looking for fatball scraps.

After our visitors were settled in and Mrs Tootlepedal had returned, I got out the (fairly) speedy bike and set off in bright sunshine to see what the roads were like for myself.

When I started, it was sunny…

Wauchope road

…and the roads had dried for the most part.  There were signs of the heavy rain everywhere.  This was just one of the landslips that I saw.


I was intending to go ten miles up the Wauchope road and back but the sunshine soon gave way to menacing looking clouds so I turned left at Wauchope School and headed south.  I could still see the sun behind me…

sunny hill

..and hoped to complete a circle and get back to the sunshine before it started to rain again.

Every big dip in the road had a puddle in it and it was a nervous business ploughing through them and hoping that there wasn’t a pothole there too but I made it safely down to the Hollows where I stopped to take a picture of a good deal of water coming down the Esk.

Esk at Hollows

Once again, in spite of a lot of rain, the rivers haven’t been as big as I expected.    Many of the culverts under various roads have been blocked but the water seems to have got away well.

From the Hollows, I took the old A7 towards the bike path.  There was a small river crossing the road just before the path starts.

Looking back: the little stream wasn’t a bother, it was the thick mud and stones this side that gave me a scare.

I took the bike path so that I could take a picture of the fall of stones across it that constituted a danger to cyclists but some very inconsiderate person had come along and cleared them all away.  I wasn’t expecting that.

When I got back to Langholm, I took a picture of the protective barrier that has been put across the gap where the flood washed away a wall on Monday.  It is not a dramatic picture but this is a blog of record so I have put it in anyway.

No wall at all
It knocked down quite a lot of the wall.

Across the road, there was a lively stream flowing down the Ashley Bank drive and across the road.

Ashley Bank

The sharp eyed will be able to see a fine waterfall over the wall further along the road.

The trip ended up at 14 miles instead of the twenty that I had hoped for and when I got home, I just had time to photograph a dahlia…

It seems to be rain proof.

…sign a form to nominate our neighbour for the community Council, have my tea and a shower and then go off to the Buccleuch Centre for a concert.

This was given by Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, a band from New Orleans where they really know what bad weather is like.  It was a most enjoyable evening.  Here is a list of good things about it:

  • New Orleans Jazz music
  • No drum solos
  • No trombone, just trumpet, clarinet/sax and guitar playing delicate counterpoint.
  • No announcements of any sort until the fifth number.
  • No one asked us if we were enjoying ourselves.
  • An outstanding and original singer with very competent traditional musicians.
  • One number started as soon as the previous number finished so we got excellent value for money.
  • Two wonderful dancers who danced as a couple to most of the numbers in a very stylish way in a tiny space.

I bought an CD at the end of the show but a quick listen shows that while it is good, it isn’t a patch on the live performance which we heard tonight.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been at work in the morning and I had listened to Paul Simon’s Graceland, a Simon and Garfunkel selection , some Beach Boys and some Beatles, which is a fair selection of popular music but I think that I enjoyed the evening concert most of all the music I heard today.  I am not saying that it was the best but there is something about good live music.

There are two flying birds for the price of one today.

two flying birds



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

9 thoughts on “The rain it raineth every day….and all that jazz

  1. This is what happens when you tease someone about their ride in the rain! Or perhaps this is what happens when you live in Scotland.

  2. Well, the hurricane finally made landfall in New Orleans… and they do know what rain is like tonight for sure. The storm seems to be stuck over them for awhile. Have heart…. today we actually had a clear cool day.. and I suspect it’s because the hurricane is pulling all the water down there…. We’ve had enough all summer….it’s rained almost every day this summer and we are extremely waterlogged. But it felt so very good to be able to go out for a walk today and take some photos…

    I hear we’ll be getting the remnants of Isaac the end of this weekend or early next week, so we’ll be right back in the rain again…. but there is hope that soon it will turn to autumn…. and a drier cooler air will prevail. I’m not much good for tropical weather … never expected to find it up here in New England. So I have some idea what you’ve been feeling.

    1. It’s not that our weather is really disastrous (though I wouldn’t want to be a farmer just now) but that it is a lot worse than it should be that is getting us all down.
      We shouldn’t moan as much as we do if we consider the other places that have cyclones, typhoons, monsoons and hurricanes. We just have miserable weather sometimes.

  3. I totally agree with you as regards live/recorded musi, on the whole I don’t listen to recorded music these days much preferring the occasional burst of ‘real music’.

    Loved the birds in the plum tree, is the plum still there, you don’t say?

  4. What a lot of rain!! Glad you are not completely inundated. The concert sounds just the sort of thing I would enjoy.

  5. You certainly are having your share (and probably many others) of rain. We actually had rain yesterday, too. I was out photographing one drop, three, ten! I knew it was going to be a pleasant desert rain when the drops actually connected! I’m sure you can not relate to that. 🙂

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