Today’s guest picture, taken by on his phone by Tim, the husband of one of our choir members, shows Langholm Sings in full voice before breakfast this morning. The older people are Langholm Sings, the silent children in the shot are waiting for the next song.
The head in the foreground of Tim’s picture gives a hint of just how many people came out at 8 o’clock in the morning to enjoy the occasion of the Queen’s Baton arriving in Langholm. Many hundreds of people lined the streets of the town to listen to the singing of the specially composed Commonwealth anthem by the combined choirs of the town, the Brass and Pipe Bands marching along the High Street andthe massed ranks of the school children singing on the Kirk Wynd and of course, cheer the arrival of the baton itself, first carried by our mounted cornet one way up the High Street….
..and then paraded back down again by Olympic pole vaulter, David Stevenson, a man with even dodgier knees than mine.
Seventy schoolboys carried the flags of the competing nations at the games and formed a guard of honour for the baton carriers.
As well as the Commonwealth anthem, Langholm Sings sang three other songs, all rather less cheerful perhaps than the occasion demanded but nevertheless well performed and well received by the crowd.
When the baton had gone on its way to Gretna, the people of the town dispersed peacefully….
…and about half the choir retired to the Eskdale Hotel for a fine cooked breakfast. Everyone agreed that it had been a splendid event and one that obviously will not be repeated in the Tootlepedal’s lifetime so it was a privilege to be there.
Owning to the early start, all this excitement had not taken up much of the day and I had plenty of time to get my tripod out and try to get some sharper flower pictures than usual in the good conditions while I was waiting for Sandy to come down to visit. They are mostly old friends and I will put them in without additional comment and readers can judge for themselves whether the effort of getting the tripod out was worthwhile.
The good light and the very light wind helped.
Sandy arrived and he and I took the opportunity of the continuing fine weather to go for a short walk. He is steadily recovering from his pneumonia and will soon resume work on a part time basis.
We walked up a familiar track from Whitshiels and and saw some old favourites and some new things of interest. I had Pocketcam with me today.
One of the familiar things was this excellent gate which I took the liberty of photographing yet again….
..and which has the added treat of some fine lichen on the left hand gatepost.
One of the new things was a single orchid by the track.
Sandy spotted an interesting insect on a thistle.
And just like the track at Peebles yesterday, today’s walk was often enhanced by wild roses.
The views up the Ewes valley were as good as ever.
We were going to continue up through the fields but the presence of a number of hill cattle discouraged us.
These ones looked peaceful enough in the shade of the trees but in the open field, several cows had calves with them and coming between a mother and a calf on the hill is not sensible so we bent our steps along a track through the wood instead.
I paused for an arty shot before we got into the trees.
The cool of the shade among the trees was very welcome and as a point of added interest Sandy spotted some fungus beside the path. I envied his ability to crouch low and shot the fungus from a loftier position.
We came through the wood and joined the road back down the hill, passing a beautiful meadow….
…and stopping to admire two handsome horses.
It was quite warm by the time we got home and I was happy to rest for a while when Sandy dropped me off at the house but there was a lawn to be mowed and a hedge to be trimmed so it wasn’t long before I was out again. The weather has been so good lately that some of the vegetable garden was even in need of watering.
I took several more garden pictures but as this post is already far too long, I am only putting one in here. Mrs Tootlepedal personally authorised the insertion of this picture as she thought it showed off her garden well.
This took me up to lunch, which was another sample of my daughter’s well chosen gift of several tins of French sardines. I shall miss them when they are all eaten. This tin actually had a slice of lemon entombed with the sardines in the tin, something that I have never seen before.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off on a combined visit to the council dump and her manure mine (a real treat for her) and I settled down to prepare some questions for a quiz which I am presenting at the Langholm Sings end of season social next Wednesday. Writing quiz questions takes a good deal of time and I was still doing it when Mrs Tootlepedal returned.
During the day, I encountered this blackbird, looking a bit worse for wear I thought….
…but quite perky all the same.
After finding no takers for the fat balls all winter, the fat ball feeder is out again and the fat balls are going down a storm with the many families of sparrows that chatter all day long in the garden when they are not eating fat balls or nibbling Mrs Tootlepedal’s precious vegetables.
In the evening, Sandy and I went up to the Archive Centre but as the BT Wi-Fi signal was too poor to use, we rather gratefully packed up early and went for a refreshment.
The non flying flower of the day is a new bloom. The moss rose William Lobb was one of those taken with the tripod this morning.
End note: I got an email from WordPress the other day congratulating me on my fourth birthday as a blogger. I have posted over 1454 times in these four years, missing only seven days by my calculations, so I would like to thank regular readers for their patience and forbearance in ploughing through all this stuff and their kindness in commenting so politely, informatively and frequently.