Today’s picture is a photograph of a sunny day at Wisley, an RHS garden which was visited last month by my recorder playing friend Jenny.


The Wisley picture is there to act as a contrast to an otherwise grey and gloomy day of weather here.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work and I started off a sourdough loaf while looking out of the window at the same time.

sparrows and chaffinches
A chaffinch approaches as a young sparrow munches unconcernedly

I saw my fist goldfinch for some time today but it didn’t wait for me to get my camera out.  The drop in temperature is increasing the demand for seed and the feeder is busy all day.

I set the loaf to rise and drove off to Carlisle to buy some money for our holiday and some bird food to keep my little feathered friends happy when I am away.  I also looked into buying a little cheap tablet to use when away from home rather than lugging my laptop about.

It was a satisfying trip.  I got the money (and in conveniently small denominations) from a clothes shop rather than a travel agent or a bank because that is the way the world works these days.  I got the fat balls for the birds at such an advantageous price that I added a bag of ‘gourmet’ fat balls to my basket thus wasting any savings I had made by buying cheap.

I looked over a selection of tablets and came to the conclusion that I didn’t need one even though I might have wanted one.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was back from work and we decided on a cycle outing after lunch to see if the men had finished the new bridge at Westwater.  By the time we had got our cycling gear on, it had started to rain but we were undaunted (and well wrapped up against the elements) so we set off blithely.  It is hard to put into words the sheer enjoyment of cycling in a persistent Scottish drizzle so I will leave it to this picture to sum it up.

Road to Westwater

We arrived at the bridge to find the men packing the traffic lights away.  There is even a neat piece of pavement to park your bike on while admiring the stonework.

Mrs Tootlepedal
You can see what fun we were having.

The structure of the bridge is complete but there are still some ground works to be finished.

bridge at Westwater

The ride home was into the wind and correspondingly wetter than the ride out, although it was raining exactly the same.  The humidity was 85% and the conditions caused us to wonder how this is measured.  Some research on Wikipedia reveals that this is the amount of moisture in the air compared with the maximum amount that there could be at the current temperature.  It was hard to believe that it could have been much damper.

Naturally the rain stopped as we got home and we took a walk round the garden.

The sedums are finally getting their full colour
Lilian Austin
Lilian Austin battles on
Japanese anemones
The cool weather and rain does not discourage the Japanese anemones
The red crocosmia is gone but yellow and orange remain.
A clematis, as elegant in passing as it was in flower.

I had put out some of my ‘gourmet’ fat balls to see how they went down with the customers.

old and new fatballs
They are certainly more colourful than the normal ones.

A coal tit seemed to ask if I was expecting it to eat this new stuff.

coal tit

Time will tell how it goes down.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I enjoyed some playing.  My brain was not at its best so she had to be very patient but we enjoyed ourselves nevertheless and are putting a new Handel sonata into our repertoire.  She is going to look after the birds while we are away.

I couldn’t do better than another chaffinch for flying bird of the day.







Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

15 thoughts on “Grey

  1. Buying money, that struck me as odd, until I remembered that you are going to France soon. Up until a few years ago, we didn’t need to exchange money when going to Canada, but I haven’t been there since the difference between their dollar and ours became so great that businesses will no longer accept Canadian money here in the states. We used to have open borders as well, darned terrorists.

    The bridge is looking good, but my favorite is the rose.

      1. I would assume that since stores no longer want to accept Canadian money that theirs is no longer close to the value of US money. In the 60’s and 70’s a store or a bank may have groused a little if you used Canadian, but they normally would take it.

  2. When my Mother In Law was alive she used to live in Crawley which entailed a trip around the M25 past the road sign to ‘Wisley RHS’. Without fail, every time we passed it I would say, “Wisley Right Hand Side”, after a few years my wife became less and less amused by my witticism ! 🙂

  3. That is a very smart bridge – well done for braving the wetness. I think you have exported the dampness down here now. The rose is beautiful. Glad you enjoyed the music making.

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