Langholm enjoys itself

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….

baton carriers

..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.

flag 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….

Baton relay
The streets had been close to traffic for the occasion.

…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.

yellow iris
Yellow Iris
Lilian Austin
Lilian Austin
Candelabra Primula
Candelabra Primula
Crown Princess Margaretha
Crown Princess Margaretha
Clematis Earnest Markham
Rosa Gallica Complicata
Rosa Gallica Complicata

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.

The bright light was a handicap in trying to catch this delicate flower.

Sandy spotted an interesting insect on a thistle.

insect on thistle

And just like the track at Peebles yesterday, today’s walk was often enhanced by wild roses.

wild roses

The views up the Ewes valley were as good as ever.

Ewes Valley

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.

arty shot

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.

Sandy and a fungus
It’s not the getting down, it’s the getting up again.

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.

garden flowers

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.

This was a typical moment.

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.

moss rose

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.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Langholm enjoys itself

  1. The choir were excellent this morning but I agree with you the choice of the other songs they sang was very poor, although they sang them well. This was an occasion for something a bit more jovial and certainly not what they chose. It was a brilliant morning and one the youngsters who took part in should always remember.

  2. Another great collection of photos and updates. I too, have found the fat balls suddenly in demand again. In my case it is young blue tits feeding. Many congratulations on your blogging record, such consistency! Your posts are always a pleasure to read.

  3. It’s clear that it must take you quite some time to prepare and post each day; your consistency is admirable. I do enjoy that your blog gives me the chance to “armchair travel”. Thank you – and to the gardener, as well!

  4. I think I can see a bit of difference with the use of the tripod, but nothing dramatic. It’s something I have to do more of, too.
    The garden is beautiful as always. It’s no wonder that Mrs. T picked that view.
    I’m glad that the singing went well and that Sandy is getting better. Pneumonia is a tough slog.
    Congratulations on 4 years of blogging. My 4th anniversary will be on the first day of spring, 2015. I don’t know how you keep up with a post each day but I know that it’s a lot of work and you do it very well.

  5. I haven’t managed to see all 1454 blogs but I have seen many and they are always interesting with beautiful photography and witty commentary. Thank you Tom.

  6. Congratulations on the morning’s festivities, and for four years of blogging!

    Your flower photos are always great, but I would say that using the tripod bumped the image quality up another notch. It looks to me like you also stopped the lens down a little more for more depth of field as well, but I could be wrong about that.

    1. I don’t know what stopping the lens down means so I can’t say whether I did it or not. I am always fiddling about with the shutter speed and aperture in an effort to make the pictures interesting so perhaps I did do what you said.

  7. The morning’s excitements were very interesting, thank you for documenting them. It was well worth getting out your tripod for those splendid pictures and the final shot of your garden was a pleasure to look at. Congratulations on four years of blogging, they have brought me a great deal of pleasure.

  8. Happy blog birthday (or as near as dash it). I thought today’s was a vintage post. The Cornet carrying the baton has made the Times apparently (page 4), and I thought the tripod definitely paid off. I also like the gate, the wild rose and the arty shot.

    Keep on blogging…

  9. Congratulations on an excellent anniversary blog. Something for everyone. I was particularly taken by the insect photo. Also, for those of us who don’t read The Times, it was good to know about Her Majesty’s baton.

  10. Congratulations on your four years of blogging. This latest post is as interesting as usual and the flowers as beautiful. I have seen the picture of the Cornet in the Times – Langholm is on the map now it seems!

    1. Now that the Times is a Murdoch paper it is not quite so distinguished to feature in as it was in times past but I am told that it was a very good picture.

  11. What a wonderful day for your town – thank you for sharing it with us! I thought your flower photos were particularly sharp and clear today, so perhaps that is thanks to the tripod? I always enjoy your flower photos, though. And tell Mrs. T her garden ALWAYS shows well! I don’t blame you for detouring another way when meeting up with the cattle. Growing up on a farm, I had some run-ins with cows that I would hope to never repeat! I would love to give those two gorgeous equines a good scratch. Congratulations on your four years of blogging! I’ve only been along for a short portion of the ride, but I have enjoyed every post to the utmost.

    1. The hill cattle round here are notoriously protective of their young and walkers are strongly advised never to get between a mother and a calf. I am glad that you enjoy the posts.

  12. Congratulations on all the posts – I don’t know how you do it, I can’t keep up with you as it is, and have only been following you less than a year, I think. Love the tripod shots and the horses.

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