Home alone

Today’s guest picture, sent on to me by the kind offices of my sister Susan, appears as a reminder from my sister Caroline, another special grandma, that there is more than one world’s greatest baby about.  This is her grandson Jamie with his yet to be named brand new sister,  daughter of Jem and Lotti.  The baby is my great niece and of course the greatest baby on the world.

Baby with her Brother Jamie_2_22072014

The day was another hot and sunny day at the start but by evening time the weather had broken and a light and welcome rain is falling as I write this.  We are promised cooler weather for the next few days which will be a relief for those of us who don’t do too well above 25C.

When we got up, Mrs Tootlepedal directed my attention to the excellent display of Shirley poppies in the border beside the front lawn.

Shirley poppies

This is a new scheme and the poppies are designed to be set off by some yellow crocosmia.   It is not easy to get everything to come out exactly at the right time and we are still waiting for the crocosmia to join in.  They are nearly out though.

The picture above shows the difference between looking and shooting.  When I looked out of the upstairs window, all I saw was eleven lovely poppies but when the camera looked, all it saw was a mass of green stuff with a few red spots.  You’ll have to take my word for the fact that the poppies looked outstanding.

There were two significant points in the day.  One was the moment when Mrs Tootlepedal went off with Al, Clare and Matilda to put them on the train home to Edinburgh (sad) and the other when I felt that my hip was well enough for me to mow the middle lawn (happy).

As a result of my programme of unusually sensible behaviour, I spent the day doing nothing much and continued to see improvement in my ability to walk around without crying.   I accomplished the lawn mowing by doing one or two strips at a time and having a sit down in between.

I was thinking about a short and gentle cycle ride to see if that would be therapeutic but by the time that the the opportunity had arisen so had the wind so discretion was the better part of valour and I watched the Tour de France instead and got my pedalling in vicariously.

During the day I had plenty of  time to stroll round the garden.

An unusual sunflower from Mrs Tootlepedal’s packet of assorted sunflower seeds.
A new colour of cosmos has turned up
The ones that have been out for a bit are looking well.
perennial nasturtium
The berries on the perennial nasturtium come in surprisingly different colours
shirley poppy
Currently my favourite shade of Shirley poppy

The recent spell of hot weather reminded me that I had a small ice cream making machine in the house so after Matilda had gone, I set about making an ice cream custard and then put it into the mixer to get chilled and beaten.  The result was extremely tasty.  It’s just a pity that I hadn’t thought about the machine a few days earlier when we really needed cooling down.

The side effect of making the ice cream is that you get left with a lot of egg whites so I made some meringues too.  Someone is going to have to eat all this stuff over the next few days but I expect that I will be up to the task.

There is an old saying that plenty of berries on the rowan trees mean a hard winter is coming.

rowan tree

I think that it is more likely to mean that we have just had a mild winter and a good summer.

Among the flowers, I was pleased to note a tortoiseshell butterfly.


I had time to look out of the window today too and the birds were a bit more active than they have been lately.

A chaffinch looking a bit the worse for wear
Another chaffinch looking rather debonair
And a third chaffinch arriving for a feed.

Sparrows and siskins are always around at the moment.

sparrow and siskin

And always squabbling.

sparrow and siskin

I am keeping and eye out for diseased birds and washing and changing my feeder regularly.  The birds seem healthy enough at the moment.

I am hoping to get out for a short cycle ride tomorrow to test how things are going.

The flying bird of the day was yet another chaffinch.

flying chaffinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Home alone

  1. That sunflower is a beauty and so is the butterfly. I hope the old saying about the rowan tree proves to be wrong. Last winter was bad enough for two years.
    I’m glad the hip is unclenching. It really is amazing how much wind something like that can take out of your sails.

  2. It’s good to hear that you’re feeling better!

    I know exactly what you mean about the difference between looking and shooting. I never have any luck with those types of photos either. The sunflower is unusual, but I really like it, along with the rest of the flowers.

  3. I rather like that scruffy chaffinch, I think he fancies himself as a peacock. Glad your slightly enforced resting is paying off. Gooseberry ice cream to come?

      1. I was thinking of you today. Mr. C and I went to this large antique mall and I spotted a book about Scotland. It was photos of interesting things/places around the country. I believe it was published in 1978. Anyway, I flipped through hoping to find a photo of Langholm or something you’ve mentioned in your blog and I was going to snap a pic with my phone but unfortunately Mr. C is not one to stand around while I peruse through books, so I didn’t get to look at many pages. I did see a page about the abbey ruins, I believe it was the same one you’ve shown photos of. Anyway, a book in an antique mall in Ohio made me think of you! 🙂

  4. Glad the hip somewhat better, and hope the improvement continues. Liked the luscious colour of the Shirley poppy and the variety of posing chaffinches!

  5. That poor chaffinch looks like it’s got its antennae up in search of a good radio station. That hedge is trimmed to knife-edge precision – very impressive!

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