Rain stopped play

Today’s guest picture shows a spectacular display of blossom at Kenwood where my sister Mary was taking a walk.

 Kenwood 03.05.14 017

My hip was considerably better today but sadly the weather was considerably worse.  It remained mostly dry for long enough for me to go for a short pedal but the wind was so strong at times that I checked to see if I had a puncture because my bike was handling in such a peculiar way.  I resorted to cycling up and down a three and a half miles stretch twice to avoid having to put too much pressure on the joints without a rest and as a result managed both a respectable speed and a pain free journey.

I was thinking of going out for a bird watching tour on the slow bike later on but as soon as I thought about this, it started to rain and it didn’t stop for the rest of the day.

It rained so much that I didn’t want to take the camera outside even into the garden so a few feeder shots are all that I have to show for the day.

Goldfinches and siskins are our most frequent visitors at the moment.

siskin and goldfinch

The siskins are very restless.



The goldfinches seem more sociable.  Here they are in an earnest colloquium.


The topic of discussion for today was : “Early education, are the authorities mad?”*

Considering how many thousands of starlings meet at Gretna during the winter, we have had very few in the garden this year but we did have one today.


We were visited by Sandy in the afternoon.  He came for a cup of tea.  I cooked some rather unsuccessful ginger biscuits against his arrival but when dunked in a mug of tea, they became almost edible.  Poor Sandy, far from getting better, is getting worse and has been in bed for some days.  He is going to have an x-ray tomorrow to make sure that the doctors have diagnosed his problem correctly.  I hope he recovers soon as he is the ideal companion for a photographic wander.

I spent quite a bit of time practising choir songs while the rain fell steadily outside.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a great treat.  Instead of our usual Langholm Sings choir practice, we met in the sports centre with members of the youth theatre group, the church choir and the operatic society to have a practice of a  song written to celebrate the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  What made the occasion special was that the practice was taken by Alison Burns, who wrote the lyrics for the song and we were accompanied by Phil Cunningham, who wrote the music.   For the uninitiated this is a bigger privilege than meeting the Queen by far and is equivalent to being given a lift by Ayrton Senna but less dangerous.

We had a most enjoyable time learning the song and with about 50 singers present, it should sound good even when we sing it outside.

I quote from the information given to us about the song:

“This song will be sung all over the country – passed like a baton between choirs in different areas. The aim is to have 40 performances from 40 different choirs to greet the baton carriers as they run the length and breadth of Scotland in the weeks leading up to the opening of the Commonwealth Games on 24th July 2014.  This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together Scotland’s singers in a huge community of song and for you to be part of the vibrant and growing network of choirs and singers round Scotland.”

As an added point of interest, the rehearsal was extensively recorded by a television crew and should appear in a programme about the song as part of the cultural appendix to the athletic endeavours at the games.  Judging by past experience, if we do actually appear on TV at all, there might be as much as ten seconds of the two hours of recording actually used in the programme.  We live in hope.

The flying bird of the day is a passing goldfinch.


*The answers is: yes they are.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

42 thoughts on “Rain stopped play

  1. Glad your hip was better but sorry about the rain. Poor Sandy, do give him my commiserations. Hope you get your moment of fame on the telly, it will be fun doing it anyway.

  2. With so many great Scottish drivers to choose from, Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart, and Colin McCrea, I’m surprised that you picked Ayrton Senna as your example.Not that Senna wasn’t one of the best, but I thought you would have gone with a local lad.

    1. You’ve got me there. I actually took a moment to pick a driver with whom I thought all my readers would be familiar. You are obviously a motor sport aficionado.

      1. Joining a choir when one can’t sing, Tom, is an achievement. Remaining in a choir when one can’t sing suggest a talent for miming.

      2. I see. So you practice and progress together? Sounds like fun, Tom. Do you progress towards British Choir Championship Level?

      3. The Carlisle choir is entered in the preliminary heat of the choir of the year competition in the open access choir class. Our conductor has won choir of the year before but not with us.

      4. Excellent, Tom. What an achievement. It sounds very exciting and fun. I hope you and the choir do well. More people should get out there to do useful and exciting things that generate happiness.

        Good luck to you and the other choir members, Tom.

      5. Thank you for your good wishes. I am a great believer in social activities both like choirs and those which your volunteers do.

  3. Sympathies to Sandy and I do hope he will feel better soon.
    Great news about the singing – keep us posted re television coverage.

  4. Hope the results of Sandy’s x-ray are encouraging. Nice to see the starling – beautiful endearing birds. Good luck with the Commonwealth Games song – what an exciting experience!

  5. Best wishes to Sandy. Sorry about your hip and all the rain – I would imagine the latter doesn’t help the joints.

  6. Very impressive about the choir & an extremely cool idea they’re doing with the 40 performances! Be sure to capture that 10 seconds on video for posterity!! My son was interviewed along with others in a group recently. When we watched one of the clips online, searching for his interview, I was able to say “oh look Andreas, there!, that was the top of your head. I’m sure it was!” :-/

  7. What a wonderful honor for your choir! You are a man of many, many talents! So sorry that Sandy continues to feel ill. Good thoughts and prayers for his recovery and correct diagnosis.

    I am curious about your goldfinches and wonder if they are similar in behavior to ours. Do they tweet and chatter to one another incessantly while they are gathered together? I always love listening to the goldfinches here, they are quite cheerful in their non-stop twittering.

    1. All the small birds in the garden, chaffinches, siskins and goldfinches chatter away away like mad….when they are not shouting at each other that is.

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