Taking the long view

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by cyclist Lorne,  shows the results of a piece of well travelled sourdough starter in action.  The starter came to me from Talkin in Cumbria across the border, a gift from my recorder playing friend Sue and I passed some of it on to the clarinet playing mother of infant cyclist Sarah who took it to Linlithgow on Sunday and made this fine loaf with it.


The good spell of blue skies and warm temperatures has come to the end and Dropscone and I went out for the morning run in grey conditions and a thermometer struggling to reach 50°F.  Still, it was dry and the wind was reasonably gentle on us.

The wind gave us a helping hand on our way out but only became a factor in  the last 6 miles on the way home.  We drank our coffee and ate our treacle scones when we got back with a degree of contentment.  Nobody had got a puncture and nobody had fallen off so it had to be counted as one of the better morning runs of late.

The chief business of the day was returning 90 choir books to the public library in Carlisle.  These are heavy books in big boxes but Mrs Tootlepedal had whisked them into the car before I had finished my shower after coffee.   We had an early lunch and drove off with the books.  The library sits in a shopping mall with a multi storey car park beside it.  We phoned the librarian just as we got near and she was waiting for us with a trolley at the back door to the library which leads on to the top floor of the car park.  The transfer was completed in a matter of minutes.  If you want friendly and efficient service, the Carlisle Public Library is the place to go.

While I was in Carlisle, I took the opportunity to visit a camera shop.  I wasn’t looking for a camera though.  I have become a bit fed up with sitting or standing next to Sandy or Mrs Tootlepedal while they look at distant birds through binoculars and enjoy sights which are mere dots in the sky to me so I was looking for a pair of binoculars suitable for an old man with dodgy eyesight and specs.  They had a pair.  I bought it.   I am looking forward to using them over the weekend.

When we got home, I realised that I hadn’t taken a single photo all day so in spite of the fact that it was raining, I nipped out into the garden.  Some of our tulips are over but there are still many looking very well.


The bergenia is not the most elegant flower but it added a dash of colour to a dull day.


As did a healthy clump of lithodora.

Mrs Tootlepedal intends to divide this up for next year and spread the colour round the garden.

The rain unfortunately had turned the head of this geum towards the ground.


But this newly acquired euphorbia has settled in well and was smiling through its tears.


I didn’t stay out  in the rain for long and was soon inside looking out.

goldfinch action
The goldfinches were busy shouting at each other
Though some took a more detached view of things.
A siskin practises the one wing brush off gesture

I have left two of the perches off the feeder to try to save myself a little money but the birds can get at the seeds without a perch and still eat me out of house and home.

A rather bedraggled goldfinch on one side…
…and a calm redpoll on the other.

In the evening, the Linlithgow breadmaker’s parents arrived for their customary Friday evening visit and while Mike helped Mrs Tootlepedal to effect repairs on a seized up wheelbarrow wheel. Alison and I played a couple of enjoyable Loeillet sonatas for flute and harpsichord.  We were all happy.

The flying bird of the day was shot in rainy and gloomy  circumstances.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Taking the long view

  1. Enjoy those binoculars! A few years back I’ve developed the habit of carrying at least a small pair with me when hiking, biking, or canoeing. They open up a whole new world.

    1. We have a lot of home grown sunflower seeds but either you have to shell them yourself which is boring or clear up the mess which is also boring. I put some out from time to time but they go slowly.

  2. I think the photo of the tulip is wonderful – the sharp spikes of the petals are striking against the dark and textured background (“artsy fartsy”, even!). And that’s a very determined goldfinch!

  3. Let me know how you like the new binoculars. I’ve had a hard time also, finding a decent pair that work for me with my eyesight and glasses. Normally in order to use them I have to close one eye.

    Also, I’d be interested to know how well you prefer the shelled sunflowers. I have looked at them at my local feed store and considered changing due to the horrendous mess and waste of the in-shell kind, but the price difference per pound always puts me off and so I’ve stuck to the oilers in shell. But oh my word it leaves such a mess behind to clean up!

    I loved the tulip photo! So sharp and crisp with beautiful “bokeh”.

    1. I like the sunflower hearts (as we call them) just because of the lack of mess. They are more expensive but if you calculate how much uneaten ‘shell’ you are paying and which you have to clean up, perhaps the price difference is not quite so bad.

      I will report on the binoculars when I have had time to give them a good trial.

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