Legs 2 Tom 0

Today’s picture shows the magnificent Kenwood House literally under wraps.  This is not some modernist art installation, they are renovating the place.  It was photographed by my sister Mary on one of her walks across Hampstead Heath.

kenwood under wraps

Our hills were also kept under wraps by a low and murky cloud but at least last night’s rain had stopped when we got up.  Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy morning, first going to the choir practice and then going to work.  I had an early pedal up to the health centre to get some blood taken and then I had plenty of time to go for a proper pedal before the afternoon’s threatened rain arrived.  Sadly, my legs had other ideas and told me in no uncertain terms to sit down.  I sat down.

Mrs Tootlepedal had gone out, greatly cheered by an article in her paper from the readers’ editor admitting to the perennial fault that Mrs Tootlepedal had written to complain about and mentioning a recent reader’s letter on the subject.   Whether it will stop journalists doing it again is another matter but you can but hope.

I did have permission from my legs to look out of the window from time to time.  There were no fancy visitors but the usual suspects kept me entertained.

blue tit
A blue tit in the elder seems to be contemplating making a catapult.
A chaffinch gets ready to kick another.
A siskin puts the boot in.


Two chaffinches sweep in.

I took a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal when she came back from the choir and before she went to work.  We sympathised with the efforts of the pink rose.

pink rose in tears
It needs two days of sunshine but it doesn’t look as though it is going to get them.

I went round the back of the house to pay tribute to the potentillas there which have been going well for four months.  They come in three colours.


There are some brambles growing along the dam and in spite of the weather, they tasted very good when I tried a few.

I like the Virginia creeper which Mrs Tootlepedal has planted to cover up some of our compost bins.  It is just beginning to show its fine autumn colour.

virginia creeper

What hasn’t got quite so well is Mrs Tootlepedal’s attempt to get the clematis Jackmanii to show its face.  Yesterday, she pulled it out of the dark gap into which it had dived and laid it reverently along the top of one of the hedges.  This is a very bolshie plant indeed.

clematis hiding

It may not all be the plant’s fault.  The stiff breeze may have had something to do with it.

When Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work, I thought that I ought to do something useful so I combed the raspberry bushes and managed to find a pound of fruit which is just enough to make a couple of jars of quick raspberry jam, the worlds easiest jam to make (and eat).  I made it.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from work, we decided to sneak a quick bike ride in before the rain came.    Unfortunately, the rain came before we could sneak the ride in.  In the end, Mrs Tootlepedal wrapped herself up well and went off  by herself …

Mrs Tootlepedal cycling
The further she went, the worse the rain got.

…while I stayed at home and entertained my friend Sandy to a cup of tea.  He is doing as well as anyone can under the circumstances and is going away for a few days break after the funeral tomorrow.  He told me that he is hoping to post to his blog in the not too distant future after the break  and was kind enough to look over some of my pictures for the forthcoming show and give me some sound advice.  He had been much touched by the sympathetic thoughts from the readers of this blog.

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her ride so wet that she had to put her cycling clothes into the bath to stop them dripping everywhere.  She joined us for our second cup of tea.

Sandy was given a preview of what may or may not be the final set up for the tiles behind the cooker.

Note the jam on the right.

Mrs Tootlepedal would like to point out that she is going to use ceramic tiles not just little squares of paper blu-tacked to the wall.  There is an ongoing discussion as to whether the line of coloured tiles should be solid the whole way across or whether the chequered pattern will stay on the wings.

My flute pupil Luke came in the evening and yet again showed that he had been practising.  He can now hold a note for longer than I can which is quite annoying.  I’ll have to practise.

Later on, I went to play a very nice Telemann trio for cello, recorder and keyboard with Isabel and Mike.  It is impossible to convey in words the pleasure that this simple activity can give to the participants even though it will take a few more goes through until it sounds more or less as it should.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for Andy Murray in New York.  We’re grateful that it isn’t on the TV as we find it too nerve wracking to watch live.

Today’s flying chaffinch is a flying chaffinch.  I tried to get a siskin but they were too quick for me.  The blue tits are even faster.

flying chaffinch











Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Legs 2 Tom 0

  1. Not that it’s any of my business, but I vote for one style all the way across, be it solid or alternating . . .

    Hope your knees improve soon.

  2. I agree with mj on the tiles….and the none of my business. I also love that you made raspberry jam. Would love to have the simple recipe for the small batch. I have a few raspberry bushes of my own, but I won’t be getting any more berries until next summer.

    1. Equal amounts of raspberries and sugar, stew the rasps until soft, add the sugar, allow the sugar to dissolve, boil for three minutes, put in jars immediately, eat as soon as possible. Hey presto. The benefit is that you can use it with very small amounts of fruit. I used a pound of fruit in my last go.

  3. Glad you had some nice bits to your day despite your legs being so tiresome. Where is the photo competition being held, in another local town?

    Thanks for news of Sandy.

  4. Congratulations on the raspberry jam. Sorry your legs refused to cooperate. Glad to see that the kitchen tile decision is almost made.

  5. So pleased to hear on the Radio at 6.40 this morning of Andy Murray’s success in US – now come on Wiggins and Cavendish-Love your blog Tom.

    1. I think you might find mine too sweet as well as I have a sweet tooth but they are nice and fresh and don’t have that gluey texture of shop bought jams.

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