An extra point

Today’s guest picture is another from my nephew Dan.  It shows the celebrated bapistery in Florence.  I don’t know how he got up so high to take it. Perhaps he was hang gliding.  Although it is probably disrespectful to say so about such a famous building, to a model railway enthusiast like myself its clean lines and sharp corners make it look very like one of the pre-printed cardboard kits you get to assemble and put on your lay out.

Dan's big pic of FB

After yesterday’s burst of activity, I had a calmer day today.  It started with a gentle ten mile pedal after breakfast up to the new bridge with Mrs Tootlepedal.  The grass on the hills is turning a rich brown and although Mrs Tootlepedal says it will may get richer still, I stopped for a picture.


She stopped a few yards up the road to pick up a bottle which a passing motorist had thrown out of a car window.

Litter picking

Why motorists do this is a mystery and I was interested to see that some of the roads round Nimes which we pedalled along during our recent holiday were just as bad as ours.   Perhaps there are fanatical litter tourists who drive round beautiful parts of Europe throwing old bottles out of their cars as they go.  Mrs Tootlepedal, who in general is quite a peaceable person, thinks that shooting would be too good for them.  I agree.

We had time for a coffee when we got home and then I went off to the Health Centre where I got injections in both arms.  This was one more than usual but it was good because the nurse reckoned that I was recovered enough from my cold to get my annual flu injection.     I am now officially unable to moan about anything at all.   I won’t know what to do with myself.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work in the afternoon and Sandy, who had a day off, rang to see if I fancied an outing.  It was rather a grey day and not very promising and things went from bad to worse when Sandy couldn’t get his car to start and had to go for a new battery.  This meant we got together rather later than planned and while we were having a restorative cup of tea, the heavens opened and a heavy rain shower started that lasted for five hours.  While we were drinking the tea, I got a shock when I saw a sparrowhawk flying straight towards the kitchen window at speed but it had everything under control and executed a perfect handbrake turn and flew back out of the garden unscathed but without a catch.

Sandy and I didn’t fancy going out with the cameras in the rain so we  stayed in and  put the time to good use.  Dropscone had given me some 6×4 photo paper and as I had some blank folded cards, we had a look at how to make some gift cards to sell for Archive Group funds.    It is hard to get your head round which way up and where text should be placed for double sided folded prints but we cracked it and I printed out a couple of test cards.

One landscape and one portrait.

This was a really good use of a miserable afternoon and I was glad that Sandy was to hand or I might have given up without his advice and experience.

I didn’t have any time to get out in the garden or much time to look out of the window.  When I did, the chaffinches were coming and going as usual.


There was an incident at one point of the day.

chaffinches beak to beak
I don’t know what set this off.  There were spare perches at the time.

In the evening, the rain stopped just in time for us to go to our choir meeting.  We are practising for three performances in December and it was hard work as a lot of us didn’t know the pieces we were trying to sing but we battled on and should have something worth listening to in time.  I’ll be pleased when I have got my voice back properly and singing is a bit less of a trial.

The flying bird of the day was yet another chaffinch.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “An extra point

  1. I have to agree with Mrs Tootlepeddle on the litterers. It’s a world wide phenomenon. We used to be able to get free litter bags for your car that you’d put your rubbish in then you chucked the bag full of rubbish in the nearest rubbish bin when you stopped. Probably still can get them. I just always have a bag spare in the car. Smokers chucking cigarette butts out of car windows should be drawn and quartered also. On a happier note, loved the birds and agree with you on that photo of the building in Florence 😀

  2. I assumed that littering was only an American pass time, it saddens me to learn that I was wrong.

    Maybe they built the bapistery in Florence the way that they did so that it lend itself to being used in model railway layouts.

  3. I have always found it hard to work out the text on cards. I have to make a mock up folded piece of paper to get it right.

    My uncle and my father both dealt in you trains so I grew up around big elaborate model train layouts. My favourite part was playing with the little trees and the farmyards.

  4. Sounds like a pleasant day plus getting the cards right and singing away regardless in the evening. I think that people who drop litter anywhere should be hung, drawn and quartered!

  5. Litter annoys me too. I quite often see people just throw things on the ground without a thought but, if I say something, it usually leads to trouble. Things look very colourful there at the moment. Here in Lanzarote there don’t seem to be seasons, at least not autumn, as there are hardly any trees apart from the palms. I like the idea of the cards, maybe I will have to do that if I find myself unemployed.

    1. We think it is mostly people on vans on tight schedules who are our litterers but some people go to extraordinary lengths to throw stuff away in the country rather than put it in their bin.

  6. I think litterers should be required to go out with a scoop to the middle of the Pacific Ocean and start cleaning up the mess there from all the litterers of the world.

  7. Speaking of hawks: I was so excited to see a hawk back in the neighborhood. Of course he landed on my fence– a huge Coopers. And of course, I jumped for the camera!

  8. The littering mentality is inexplicable. It used to drive me crazy back in my hiking days to find trash discarded in the backcountry. On a positive note, the views of your cycling trip are very fine.

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