Light work

Today’s guest picture is from the camera of Mrs Tootlepedal and shows Matilda in her grandly named ‘personal transport system’.

Matilda in pram

It was another quite chilly, grey and windy morning but my dental discomforts were a thing of the past and Dropscone and I set off on our own personal transport systems for the morning run to Gair with the wind behind us and in relaxed mood.  This cheerful state of things lasted for no more than two and half miles because  we came to a stretch of road which had been tarred and gravelled since we last used it.  Cycling along newly laid gravel is never much fun but there had been just enough traffic to compact the surface enough to let us go on.

After a mile of this, we decided to get off the Wauchope road at the first opportunity and go the wrong way round the traditional morning run only to find that this road had been gravelled as well.   We pressed on up the Wauchope road and found to our relief that the gravel stopped not far past the junction.  All went well after that until we got to the turn off to Gair only to find that the gravellers were actually there and the road was completely closed.

We took the road from Waterbeck to Dunnabie as an alternative and were relieved to find it untouched by the road improvers.

The brisk wind made the trip back to Langholm quite hard work and we felt that we had thoroughly earned our scone and coffee.  Dropscone had been playing golf yesterday and he regaled me with an account of a disastrous nine strokes at the final hole of the day which had ruined an otherwise reasonable card.  When golfers tell you heart rending stories like this, it is difficult to know whether to laugh 0r cry.   It depends of course on whether the narrator is looking at you as he talks.

After he left, I took a walk round the garden and looked at colour combinations.  Some cool….

allium and aquilegia
Allium and aquilegia
Allium and hosta
Allium and hosta

…and some hot.

Euphorbia and azalea
Euphorbia and azalea
Icelandic and Welsh poppies
Icelandic and Welsh poppies nodding in international unison

I have taken my seed feeder down but I have left my last few peanuts up and they attracted some house sparrow interest.



Some seemed to be wondering where the seeds had gone.


Including this collared dove.

collared dove

It was interesting to me to see how the colour of the same bird changed noticeably when it changed its position.

collared dove

Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to Edinburgh to visit Clare and granddaughter Matilda.   With regard to the picture at the top of the post, she realises that it shows ‘Mat in a Hat’ and is wondering if there might be a book in this thought.

I had a lonely lunch and then went off to the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen.  I had plenty of time to do the crossword but I did at least have two genuine enquirers both of whom I was able to help.  I had a third visitor but he was bringing information rather than looking for it.  This was Sandy with the news that the hospital had written to him to tell him that he has got pneumonia.  No wonder he has not been feeling very well.   However he was relieved to have got a definite diagnosis and has been on the right treatment anyway so he is a bit more cheerful about things.

After I had shut up shop at the TIP, I walked down to the riverside.  Mr Grumpy did not seem to be enjoying the chilly breeze as he kept his private parking space from encroachment.


I was entertained by a low flying display as there must have been a lot of insects about.  I am not very knowledgeable about birds but I am fairly sure that these two are swallows.


But I am not sure about these.  Are they sand martins?


And these?


Identification help is always welcome.

It is quite rare to be fortunate enough to find a lot of insects and a lot of birds and a river right in front of you so it was a pity that it was such a gloomy day.  Experience has taught me though that when the sun come out, the insects and the birds take to the skies and are soon out of camera range so you can’t win.

When I got home, I mowed the front lawn and the grass round the greenhouse and finished turning the compost.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned safely from Edinburgh with many pictures of Matilda.  This one shows her reaction when she was told that she would appear on the blog today.


She is a promising child.

The flying bird of the day is one of the insect eaters from the river.










Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Light work

  1. Not one but two pictures of Matilda, how splendid! Glad Sandy has got a diagnosis and that his treatment is on the right track. Loved the palette of garden flowers, most artistic.

  2. The flowers are coming along beautifully and little Matilda looks like a very sweet and happy baby.
    I’m sorry to hear about Sandy’s plight. I’ve had pneumonia twice and I’ve never been so tired. I’m surprised you can get him out of the house.
    I always though birds with forked tails were swallows, but I know very little about them.

    1. We get swallows, martins and swifts all flitting about in much the same way and it takes me quite a bot of time to sort them out. I think it would have been helpful for Sandy to have got his diagnosis a bit earlier and then maybe he would have rested more.

  3. The allium and aquilegia photo is absolutely gorgeous …as are the pictures of Matilda. How fab to see a wee lassie not completely clad in the standard girly pink, as is so often the case these days. Yes to swallow ID, the others are sand martins – such pretty wee birds. I so feel for Sandy. Poor chap, I hope he’s better soonest. I hope Jean is home again soon too. A wonderful post as ever, thank you Mr T.

  4. Lovely pictures of Matilda. Glad Sandy has a diagnosis and is on the right treatment. Great colour combinations of flowers

  5. Poor Mr Grumpy looks like someone stole his ride 😉 . I’m glad Sandy is on the up health wise. Pneumonia is a nasty beast that can come back and bite you if your not careful. Baby Matilda looks so snug in her little hat 🙂

  6. No wonder Sandy was under the weather if he has pneumonia. I hope he soon gets over it. Great colour combinations in the garden and some nice bird shots, especially Mr Grumpy, but the best if all were of Matilda, what a lovely baby 🙂

  7. The all black birds flitting over the water are swifts, the brown ones with brown collar and white bib on their underside are, I believe sand martins. The colours of the collared dove are impressive, we have a pair nesting in a very unusual place at work, I’ll have to try and get a shot. Cheers.

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