A surprise outcome

As I know you have all been missing her, here is a recent photo of the world’s greatest baby as guest picture of the day, probably taken by her mother.

matilda (3)We are in an excellent spell of fine weather with light winds at the moment and the only downside is that this leads to chilly mornings and it was a stingy 8°C at breakfast time.  This meant that I had to put on an extra layer as I got the (fairly) speedy  bike out for a pedal to Gair and back. 

Dropscone was golfing so I was on my own which was lucky as I was in slow mode today.  When my legs are not in co-operative mood (usually because my breathing isn’t at its best), I tend to switch off mentally and conduct imaginary interviews with the great and the good as I pedal along in which my remorseless use of logic and the Socratic method brings them to see the error of their ways.  It doesn’t do anything for my average speed but it cheers me up a lot.

When I got back to the house, the birds on the feeder were busy discussing an opinion poll which has suggested that the Scottish people might be ungrateful enough to use the lovely referendum which the UK has kindly allowed them to have in the certain knowledge that no one would vote for independence actually to do that very thing.

bird feeder
It’s a serious matter

Whatever the result, the referendum has made everyone in Scotland think about and discuss politics in a serious way and this can only be a very good thing.  Newspapers, who like to think that they make up our minds for us, are having to recalibrate their opinions very carefully.when it appears that we might be able to make up our minds for ourselves.  We are hoping for an eighty percent turnout on the day. 

Unionist politicians are running round in circles trying to explain why they are offering us rich gifts in the last few days of the campaign which they hadn’t thought necessary to talk about during the previous two years.  The truth is that we know a bribe when we see one but then lots of people are happy to take a bribe…..especially if it’s a good one.  We shall see.  It’s all very stimulating.

I would have liked to have taken advantage of the lovely weather to go out and take some pictures but I only had time for a quick garden wander….

Another of the very pretty poppies has popped up
Another of the very pretty poppies has popped up
poppy with bee
The pollen must be right at the base of the flowers as the bees scrabble round upside down  in circles
The nasturtiums are doing well but continue to defeat my attempts to find the right camera settings for them.

…before going back in to make some soup for lunch.

I did keep my eyes open for butterflies though and rushed out if I saw one one.

I chased this peacock butterfly about but couldn't catch it with its wings open.
I chased this peacock butterfly about but couldn’t catch it with its wings open.

The sedum worked its magic though and I caught a red admiral at work.   At first it remained stubbornly at the wrong angle…

butterfly…but by creeping round carefully, I was able to get a better shot.

red admiral butterflyEither this butterfly or a friend visited the sedum regularly through the day.  This was taken half an hour later.

red admiral butterfly While I was chasing butterflies, I noticed an insect hovering.   It was very still.

It must be a hoverfly

I couldn’t spend all day butterfly watching though as straight after lunch, I had to drive to Dumfries to visit an orthopaedic consultant with regard to my knee.

I had to put up with the usual National Health Service treatment there.  I arrived a few minutes early and was sent off to X-ray immediately, I was X-rayed and back in the waiting room in ten minutes and seen by the consultant five minutes later.  After a short and very sensible conversation, he told me that he would be happy to provide me with a knee replacement within the next few months.  And for good measure he added that when they had sorted my knee, he would be more than happy to look at my hip too.  This is the sort of thing that you have to put up with when you use the NHS.

I am very happy but somewhat nervous at the same time about all this.

I was home in time to do a little more butterfly chasing as the red admiral was back again.

red admiral butterflyred admiral butterflyYou can tell that I like butterflies almost as much as I like poppies and flying chaffinches.

Speaking of which…

flying chaffinch
A flying chaffinch turning a sharp corner.

I would like to thank those who sent me their kind thoughts on my friend Jean’s death.  Looking through my photos, I found this picture of her and Mrs Tootlepedal sitting on the Solway shore seven years ago beside the very flat road that I cycled along last Thursday.  I had thought of this occasion then when I passed this spot.

Jean at the SolwayIn the evening my flute pupil Like came and told me that he had played a piece in front of a large audience at school.  I asked if they had given him a good round of applause and he replied, “Two.”  His dad said that he had played very well.  He certainly enjoys playing which is the first requirement in a pupil.

The good weather is set to continue for the next few days at least so I hope to get as much use from my old knee as I can before it is replaced.

I caught  a straightforward flying chaffinch for the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A surprise outcome

  1. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, I wish you the best for you and all the people of Scotland. 🙂

  2. Oh I am sorry to hear of Jeans passing. I haven’t been in my reader for a week or so and have missed this post 😦 I hope all who knew her are comforted in the knowledge she is at peace now.

  3. The world’s greatest baby is seated in a very clever little chair. I’ve never seen one like it over here. She looks quite content. I’ll pass along my wishes for a good outcome for Scotland in the vote, as well.

  4. If you time it right, you could have your knee replaced over the winter and not miss much cycling.

    I too share your view that newspapers like to think that they make up our minds for us, instead of simply reporting the news. It will be interesting to see how the vote turns out.

    Loved the hoverfly, I know how hard it is to get that shot!

  5. Now that I’m a more “experienced” cyclist I find myself enjoying the scenery more either as a result of or as an excuse for that fact that riding fast isn’t as enjoyable as it once was.

  6. All very interesting today, your thoughts on the forthcoming referendum. So glad the NHS has treated you so well, I wish that sort of experience made the news instead of all the uninformed criticism. The pictures were good too.

  7. I enjoyed your description of your “logical arguments” with others in your head as you cycle sometimes. I always seem to have the best “arguments” with the people in my head when I am blow drying my hair in the mornings. I come up with all sorts of witty things I could say, which of course never actually come out of my mouth.

    Best wishes for a good outcome on the vote. Here in the U.S. you can’t even discuss politics anymore. People have such virulent opinions that a “discussion” quickly devolves into slurs and name calling and even the best of friends can quickly become sworn enemies. I try to avoid religious and political discussions even within my own family.

    Once again, loved the butterfly and poppy pics – wonderful! And your hovering hoverfly is pretty special, too.

    1. I was pleased with the hoverfly. They usually flit away just as you click. Politics in the US does seem to us to have got very polarised which is a pity as compromise is the way to get sensible progress.

  8. I, too, was late reading yesterday’s post, and am sorry to read of your friend Jean’s death. With regard to your knee and hip replacements, I know it’s easy to advise when it’s not my joints, but I do know several people varying in age from 50s to 70s who have had those surgeries, and when they did what the physiotherapists told them to do, their recoveries were seamless and the operation improved the quality of their lives beyond measure. Sorry to blather on so much today, but a final comment about Scotland’s upcoming referendum: as reported here, the numbers have shifted dramatically in the past few weeks. It will be an important vote, and I hope you’re right in predicting an 80% voter turnout. I’ve lived through two referenda re. Quebec’s separation from Canada, and it’s a stressful time, regardless of which side of the fence you’re on.

    1. Blather as much as you like.

      My cycling companion Dropscone has no less than two artificial knees and as he can pedal faster than me, he is a very good advertisement for the procedure.

      The vote will be important and the outlook, whatever the result, is very cloudy. We peer into the murk and hope.

  9. Beautiful picture of Matilda.
    I am so pleased to hear of your successful visit to the orthopaedic consultant. That all sounds very encouraging!!

  10. I don’t know why we put up with such shocking service from the NHS! Scary but sensible advice from the specialist – hope all goes well. (Soberingly, my husband’s cousin has had 10 cancellations for her shoulder replacement operation). I have been shocked but not really surprised by the bribes issued by A Darling et al recently. Snooks have been cocked and rightly so.

    1. From what the consultant said (and i am keeping my fingers crossed here), I am not expecting to have wait too long.

      Anent the referendum, what I like best is the barefaced cheek with which they have drastically altered course just before they hit the rocks. Of course they have had to change tack but a bit of ‘Ooops pardon!’ wouldn’t have come amiss.

      1. I have often thought that most politicians today believe that we have even shorter memories than their conveniently stubby ones – I am finding a lot of what is going on excruciatingly embarrassing and have even less respect for them than I had before. I am sure there used to be brave independent thinking politicians once-upon-a time, not afraid to speak their own mind and ready to apologise when necessary – where are they now? On the back benches if they are lucky. Good luck next Thursday!

  11. My sister has two plastic knees which have made her life considerably better so I hope yours will do the same when you get it. I’m trying to hold on to mine as best I can. Another nice picture of Jean and lots of beautiful butterflies, you certainly seem to get more than we do. Good luck for the vote. I’m not sure I have an opinion on it myself but then again I do live in England so it’s not down to me.

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