Back to normal

Today’s picture comes from Switzerland courtesy of Dropscone’s sister Elizabeth.  The police think that this cow may be a ringer.

Zurich Sept 2013 016

We were welcomed back to reality with a cloudy day in Langholm and a temperature about 14 degrees C lower than Nimes but for all the contrast with our recent holiday, it was still quite a pleasant day for late September in southern Scotland and notably calm in the wind department.  Sadly I couldn’t take advantage of the good cycling conditions as I had to visit the health centre and the dentist straight after breakfast.

When I got back from these visits, there were lawns to be mown and flowers to be dead headed so I got busy.  Meanwhile, Mrs Tootlepedal was ploughing through a mountain of washing up.

Although autumn has definitely arrived there is still plenty to look at in the garden.  There are a few new flowers still to appear.  the latest are some nerines which arrived while we were away.


Plenty of old favourites are still around.


Some looking better than others.

A contrast in clematis

The Shirley poppies are still looking wonderful in spite of strong winds and rain when we went away which you might have thought would have wrecked them.

Shirley poppy

Signs of autumn are all around, some unwelcome such as worm casts on the lawn which leave ugly splodges when I mow over them but some more welcome like this Virginia creeper.

Virginia creeper

The sedum are gloriously red but there are no butterflies to be seen.  This has been a bad year for coloured butterflies in our garden but a very good year for bumble bees…

bee on sedum

…and I expect that bees are more useful to the gardener than butterflies.

In between lawn care and taking flower pictures, I picked some blackberries and raspberries and collected up a lot of windfall apples.   With this haul, I made two jars of raspberry jam and provided a delightful bramble and apple base for a fruit crumble which Mrs Tootlepedal made.  We have more apples than we can eat so I think that Mrs Tootlepedal is considering apple chutney.

After lunch, I selected some pictures for entering into the Langholm Agricultural Show this weekend and printed them out.  I am not going to be at the show but Sandy has offered to take the photos up for me.  I still have a lot more to pick and print but as I have to wait in for the gas man tomorrow afternoon, this will give me something useful to do.

I was happy to see that the birds have been well looked after by Alison Tinker in my absence and enjoyed having them to look at in the intervals between making bread and making jam.

blue tit and coal tit
A blue tit and a coal tit consider the feeder situation
chaffinch and goldfinch
A chaffinch and a goldfinch in possession

I like the tiny coal tits so I took another picture of one.

coal tit

In the afternoon, Sandy came round as it was his day off work and we went for a short walk.  The light wasn’t very good so we did more chatting than looking for photo subjects.

We did record the first signs of the autumn leaves turning on the trees.


On the Castleholm preparations were under way for the show on Saturday.

show preparations

I had enjoyed the vineyards and olive orchards of the south of France in the sunshine last week but I also enjoyed the green hills and pastures of the borders even though the sun was not shining.

green hills

After our walk, we were enjoying a cup of tea when we were joined by Dropscone who had kindly brought me a present from his recent holiday in Kent.  In return, I gave him a copy of Sean Yates’ biography which both Mrs Tootlepedal and I had read with great enjoyment while on holiday.  As we had been given the book by Gerry in the first place, Dropscone scored more points for thoughtfulness and generosity than I did.  He was in a good mood because he had been part of a six man Langholm golf team that had won a prestigious golf competition at the weekend.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to our usual choir meeting which was well attended.  I sang a wide selection of notes for the first half (some of them right) and waved my arms about and shouted for the second half and enjoyed both activities a lot.

The unusual flying bird of the day has flown all the way up to us from Kent thanks to Dropscone.

metal bird

I am looking through the pictures that I took in France and I have posted some from our first day in Nimes with a bit of narrative on the page headed French Trip.  I will post a bit more every day for those who are interested.








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

14 thoughts on “Back to normal

  1. Loved the pictures from your first day in France and look forward to the next instalment. You were just as busy as usual when you got home. I do admire your energy!

  2. The bird of the day photo is very sharp. You must have used a very fast shutter speed to freeze it in motion like that.

    Too many apples is a good problem to have. We had very few this year.

    1. The sad thing is that the fruits from tree that I was picking don’t have a very good flavour for eating. They look good but are rather feeble to eat.

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