A pedal, a snooze and a tootle

Today’s guest picture was kindly sent to me by Sandra, a local reader, who was impressed by the Buttermere reflections and sent me a cracking reflection from the Tibetan Monastery at Eskdalemuir to go with them.


Photographers are often encouraged to obey the rule of thirds when composing a picture but today I applied the rule of thirds to life instead.

In the first third of the day I went cycling and had coffee and scones with Dropscone,  in the second third I did nothing (but I did it very well) and the third third was devoted to music.  It made for a harmonious composition.

garmin map Dec 2 2103It was a cold, grey day today with a light wind when Dropscone arrived.  In fact, it was so gloomy that we avoided going down the High Street and the main road which comprise the first part of the usual morning run and went to Paddockhole for our ride instead.  There was very little traffic for the most part but there must be some big construction project going on in the area (possibly the improvements to the A75 at Carrutherstown) because once we got near to the quarry, there was a stream of lorries in both directions.  They gave us plenty of room but they are large and dirty and they leave the road covered in mud so it will be a relief when they stop.

There was a gentle but persistent cross wind for most of the journey but as those of you with time on your hands can see if they click on the map, the last six miles were not a problem for us.

Today’s 21 miles took my total for the past seven days to 132 miles which is both a tribute to a settled area of high pressure and to my ability to cycle as slow as I need to avoid getting overtired.  However, it was enough combined with the gloomy conditions to persuade me to spend the afternoon doing nothing more energetic than peering out of the window.

I took a quick turn round the garden first and was delighted to find that Lilian Austin has not given up yet.

Lilian Austin rose
Not a show stopper but a good effort for December

The garden is full of blackbirds at the moment and it is rare to look about and not see one.


There seems to be plenty of food for them.  A dunnock was also looking for a snack on the lawn.


The main action was on the feeders.  We had elegant chaffinches…


…rotund sparrows….

rotund sparrow

as well as gold and green finches.  Our resident robin was popping about, now on a bush eyeing up the possibilities…


..and now on the ground searching for crumbs from the table.


Of course this may be two different robins but they all look the same to me.

I couldn’t resist the charms of a flying bird or two.

flying chaffinch
One checking for an empty seat….
flying chaffinch
…and another going for it when a space opened up.

And a regular supply of blue tits was at hand to brighten the day.

blue tit

blue tit

One even had a fully reversible head.

blue tit
A slightly unnerving picture

In the evening my flute pupil Luke came for his lesson and played well.  Like me, he is somewhat affected by asthma and we are working hard on the necessary breathing skills.  If you have never tried blowing a flute, you will have no idea of how much puff it needs.  We are working hard at a Loeillet trio sonata and we played the first slow movement right through, sounding almost like real musicians.  It was enough to bring a tear to the eye. (If you are wondering, Maestro Hewlett-Packard plays the harpsichord continuo for us.  He keeps very good time.)

Later on, I went for the last time in 2013 to play music with Mike and Isabel.  Mike is the cellist and Isabel the pianist in our trio and tonight we played two divertimenti by Mozart, two pieces in canonic form by Theodore Dubois and and a trio sonata for recorder and viola da gamba by Telemann, a really splendid way to end the year.

A goldfinch is the flying bird of the day.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A pedal, a snooze and a tootle

  1. I wish we had blue tits here. They are adorable. Your late rose trumps mine, as mine does not look as good, AND the photo I took of it today turned out too blurry to use!

    1. Perhaps because they have eyes on each side of their heads, birds have to turn their heads when we would just cast a sideways glance. When you see a group of birds under the feeder looking about, it looks as though they are doing tai chi.

  2. Sounds like an excellent day. Well done to arrange an accompaniment for the Loeillet – but HP does keep strict time, as I have found in the past!

  3. I like the idea of diving the day into thirds, just wish I could do that but work seems to take up way too much of mine. That robin is a bit of a poser isn’t he, he likes having his photo taken.

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