Sing, sing, sing

Today’s guest picture shows a fine stone bridge across the splendidly named Manifold River.  It was taken by my brother last month.

Manifold Bridge

After a night of rain, the morning was still gloomy and dank but for a moment it looked as though there might be a gap in the weather and while Mrs Tootlepedal got ready to go off to the church choir, I made a tentative start on some cycling.  My plan was to pedal about until either the rain or the wind, or possibly both, got too much and then stop.

I was wet enough by fourteen miles to call it a day.  The Wauchope was in good voice as I pedalled along its banks and every little side stream was in spate, rushing headlong off the hillsides.



Pool Corner was far from its usual tranquil state.

Pool Corner

All the rain has done the daffodils in Mrs Tootlepedal’s borders no good at all  and they are in a rather depressed state.

beaten daffodils

It was hard to take cheerful pictures in the garden with drizzle falling and a brisk wind blowing but I did my best.  It has been noticeably warmer in recent days in spite of the wind and rain and some flowers are doing very well.

currant and aubretia
Currant and aubretia
cardamine and pulmonaria
Cardamine and pulmonaria

A new arrival is a pulsatilla, doing its best to look happy in the wet.


There were plenty of birds to watch….


…but not enough light to make it worthwhile to try to take pictures.

Mrs Tootlepedal was quite correct to say that there is a blackbird on the nest in our lean-to.  I saw it out and about and in situ.


We were going out for the afternoon and early evening and so we made a sausage casserole in the slow cooker.  As it had a lot of beans in it, I might for the sake of my Mediterranean diet dignify it by calling it a cassoulet but that would be pushing the thing a bit too far.

The afternoon expeditions were to practices with both our community choirs.  First we went to a practice for Langholm Sings.  This was with the Langholm Concert Orchestra at whose concert we are singing.  It was a novelty for some of us to sing with a live orchestra, though those who take part in the opera performances were well used to it.  It went off pretty well and the concert, which is at the end of the month, should be passable at worst and quite good at best.

We rushed away from that practice to go to the usual Sunday afternoon practice with the Carlisle Community Choir.  We had another stand-in conductor today and he was very keen on presentation and instructed us in using our ‘choir faces’ while we were singing.  To be honest, I think that trying to look bright and intelligent at the same time as singing may well prove to be beyond my modest capabilities.

By the time we got out of the practice, my voice was showing the strain of two rehearsals but Mrs Tootlepedal, who had sung in three choirs in the same day, was in remarkably good condition.  As a bonus, the sun had come out and the drive home was a treat.

When we got home, I got the camera out just to show that the sun had shone at least for a moment or two.

a corner of the lawn

Mrs Tootlepedal has been pleased to find that I hadn’t mowed out all the fritillaries behind the drying green…


…and several tulips have put on a spurt and are nearly out.


It was so pleasant at 12°C that even some of the daffodils had almost lifted their heads.


The birds were still active in the low sunshine.



The slow cooked sausage, bean and bacon casserole was excellent and rounded off a day that had started gloomily but finished very well.

A fairly fuzzy goldfinch in the morning rain is the flying bird of the day .


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

15 thoughts on “Sing, sing, sing

  1. Love the rushing streams. Can’t wait to follow along as you photograph the progress of the baby birds. We have had a very wet and gloomy day here. I’ve spent the afternoon and evening toweling off sopping beagles who insist on running in and out the doggy door despite the wet.

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