No icing on the cake

Today’s picture shows some creatures encountered by my daughter Annie when she was out on a cycle ride in London.  These big cities are dangerous places.


I just had time to pop along the road to the producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre and take a few flower pictures for the record before it started to rain and, as I felt that I might have a touch of my cold coming back, that put paid to any thoughts of cycling.

The weather got steadily worse through the day and I was pleased to have plenty to do inside.

The flower pictures came out as well as could be expected considering that I put the ISO down to 100 and there was a bit of a breeze blowing.    Mrs Tootlepedal, who had got up before me, told me that the temperature had dropped to 2°C when she looked but there was no sign of frost and the flowers that remain in the garden, although battered, were mostly unbowed.  I gave my new second hand tripod a run out as Dr Tinker has named a very, very reasonable price which I have gratefully accepted.

There are still quite a few nasturtiums lurking in the shelter of their own leaves.


The dahlia is barely surviving.


The sedums are still glowing with rich colour and as there are some just outside the kitchen window, they are a bonus to look at on a grey day like today.


The tall nicotianas are doing very well considering that they look fragile even in good conditions.


The green and white clematis is still struggling on but has now turned to a brown and white clematis.


And a surprise addition to the colour in the garden is some mustard which Mrs Tootlepedal is growing as green manure on the beds that held the potatoes earlier on the year.  They are thriving.  It is no wonder that Mrs Tootlepedal is keen on them.


It became really very gloomy as the day went on and I had to switch the ISO on the camera from 100 for the flowers to 5000 for the birds just to get a shot at all.

blue tit
A blue tit gets a little shelter from the roof of the peanut feeder as the rain comes down.

We have an enterprising robin about which is quite happy to go to the sunflower seed feeder if there are not too many other birds about but I think that this is only the second time that I have seen it try the fat balls.

robin on fat balls

Inside, I made a pot of vegetable soup for lunch with onions and potatoes from the garden but with brought in carrots.  For some reason, carrots just don’t do well in our garden.  As Mrs Tootlepedal had made the chicken stock which I used, the soup tasted all the better for being almost completely home made.  I admit though that the cheese that I had with it came from Greece.  This added a few food miles to the meal.

After lunch, I spent quite a bit of time putting together a rehearsal CD for the tenors in our choir for a tricky carol with which we are having a bit of a battle.  If I have time,  I am going to add as many as I can of the songs which we are doing at the moment with the choir to the CD .  As I often find myself emphasising the value of frequent practising to my flute pupil Luke, it seems only wise to listen to my own advice for once.

Needless to say, I also found time to have another good look at the new photo editor and get through a few more pages of the big book of advice that I bought to go with it.

The apples from the garden have not turned out to be as sweet to eat as they  were impressive to look at on the tree.  We had a good summer but it never got very warm for any length of time and that may be why they are a little sour.  As a result, Mrs Tootlepedal  took some and made a delicious apple pie with them  for our tea.  As she enhanced the apples with some cream and brandy in the cooking, it is not surprising that it tasted very good.

Amid the encircling gloom, I spotted a flying goldfinch.

flying goldfinch




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

14 thoughts on “No icing on the cake

    1. I liked the nasturtium shot and it definitely show the value of shooting in raw as the camera finds it hard to separate the colours in a nasturtium when shooting in JPEG

  1. The flower photos are awesome, I hope that you have some better weather soon so that you’ll be able to really try out the tripod and photo editing software on some of your landscape photos.

  2. That soup sounds delicious, as does the apple pie.
    Still plenty of colour in your garden.

  3. When I was a kid, and an aspiring paleontologist, I had a book with a picture in it of those woefully anatomically incorrect iguanodon statues in London. Both seemed about equally exotic and faraway to me–the era of dinosaurs, and England. Remains about the same now, though I still have hopes that someday I’ll cross the Atlantic.

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