Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my friend Bruce who obviously feels that there are not enough pictures of grandchildren of exiled Langholm folk on the blog. This is his grandson Sam from Sheffield.
It was a Sunday that started unpromisingly but got better as the day went on.
I had hoped to get up and put in an early cycle ride of a decent distance but so heavy was the patter of rain on the skylight when I opened my eyes that I shut them firmly and went back to sleep.
When I did get up, there was just time to make breakfast before Mrs Tootlepedal pedalled off to sing in the church choir. They had a service of hymns with no lessons and as a result she sang about fourteen hymns and was quite ready for a cup of coffee when she got home.
I waited to see if she would like a cycle ride when she got back but the garden called more loudly than the saddle so I went off for a ride by myself. My plan was to pedal until it started to rain and then turn back and I got to the top of Callister at six miles before a light rain shower and some fearsome looking black clouds turned me back.
The recent uphill work that I have done has paid off and my legs are feeling stronger than they have been for a couple of years and I was able to whizz home in fine style.
I stopped on the way up to take a phone picture of a bright green blaeberry bush beside the road.
It had stopped raining when I got home so I walked round the garden while Mrs Tootlepedal toiled.
The sun made the blossom look very cheerful. There were apples, azaleas and rhododendrons to delight the eye…
….tulips coming and going…..
….clematis hanging in a philadelphus….
…and by the back door…
…and finally a lovely little tree on the back fence which Mrs Tootlepedal thinks might be a prunus cistena.
She is widening the gap between the two hedges that guard the path to the front lawn.
She wasn’t the only busy worker in the garden.
The birds were echoing the sunshine too.
When Mrs Tootlepedal had done enough gardening and I had taken enough pictures, the weather took us in hand and sent us indoors from where we watched rain pouring down to the accompaniment of some very loud cracks of thunder.
Fortunately this didn’t last too long and it had eased off a bit when the time came for us to go to Carlisle for our choir practice. Our musical director was there this week and we had two hours of really hard working and useful practice. We concentrated on Mozart’s Ave Verum to start with and by making us aware of the sol-fa nature of the notes we were singing and how they fitted with the other parts, he got us to sing much better in tune. It is all too easy for inexperienced people to sing pretty near the right note and be satisfied so it was a welcome challenge for us to see if we could at least approach perfection. We tried really hard.
As we left, both Mrs Tootlepedal and I felt uplifted by the experience….and also a bit tired because it had been concentrated work.
The journey home kept us in our exalted mood as the light was out of this world.
The trees along the road are bursting with a hundred different fresh shades of green just now and with a low sun behind us and a bank of dark grey clouds in front of us, they were dramatically lit like some enormous theatre set. I should have many amazing pictures to show you but stopping in the middle of a main road to take a photo might have caused the other motorists some unwelcome delays, not to mention the risk of me being run over.
None of the lay-bys beside the road were in quite the right position so the wonderful images will have to remain inscribed on the tablets of my mind rather than on my hard drive.
Lashing rain from those dark clouds welcomed us home but soon the sun came out and looking out of the back window, I was treated to another burst of colour.
It was only a brief appearance but it rounded off a day of sensual delights.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.