Today’s guest picture shows the suitably decorated head and shoulders of William Wallace. This is a giant statue on a hillside in the Scottish Borders. It was taken by my friend Bruce, who was on a tour of the borders.
It was a grey day today both meteorologically and spiritually. In spite of not really believing in my heart that the Yes vote would win, last night’s referendum defeat was still very galling as it seemed to both Mrs Tootlepedal and myself that here was real opportunity to improve life for everyone in Scotland, an opportunity with many risks and a cloudy vision but nevertheless a real opportunity. That opportunity has gone, perhaps for ever. It is a gnawing disappointment.
The weather did nothing to lighten my mood, with thick clouds excluding any glimpse of sunshine all day. Only the arrival of Dropscone with some of his traditional Friday treacle scones stopped me from crawling back into bed and hiding from life once Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to visit the world’s greatest baby.
I was taking a day of rest from cycling as I have had a busy time in the last month thanks to the dry weather and I managed to make a start on tidying up my office, which has got into quite a mess recently. My tidying mostly consists of moving unclassified heaps of stuff from one place to another and staring at them and is consequently not very productive…but at least I tried.
I did take a quick walk round the garden. There was an immense amount of dead heading to do but it is a worthwhile labour as cosmos, poppies, rudbeckia and marigolds are all still flowering freely.
After lunch, I went off to the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen where a single brief visit from a couple of tourists was all that I had to keep me amused. After I locked up, I went down to the waterside to see how Mr Grumpy felt about the referendum result.
The gulls and ducks were firmly planted on the bank of the river and I was just wondering if a passing flock of crows would do for the flying bird of the day shot….
I shot a sitting duck as I left for home.
When I got home, I was busy in my office getting some more things sorted when a strange noise drew me out into the street. It was two men riding Silent Velocettes They had stopped to talk to Mike Tinker who was passing with his daughter Liz.It was my friend Bruce and his son Kevin. I didn’t have time to question them closely but I will be interested to find where they had got these wonderful 150 cc bikes with four-stroke, water-cooled, horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engines. Bruce told me that he had ridden one of these in his youth.
They were much used by police forces before the ‘Panda’ car superseded them.
This cheered me up quite a bit. I walked round the garden with Mike and Liz after the motor cyclists had gone on their way. Liz is a professional gardener so it is always interesting to look at the garden through her eyes. She enjoyed Mrs Tootlepedal’s poppies.
In the evening, I put on a bow tie and went off to sing with our choir at a fund raising concert in the church. It was basically a showcase for the young singers in the town and we are fortunate to have a lot of talented youngsters at the moment who have been encouraged and developed by our local youth theatre group. The choir was in the programme to provide some mature contrast and in fact we sang quite well. This was as pleasing as it was surprising as we had not had a lot of practice.
The talented youth were very good and considering that the concert was far too long at two and a half hours, the time slipped by remarkably well, a tribute to their skills. We were on in the second half and Mrs Tootlepedal arrived back from Edinburgh in plenty of time to join in. As the concert raised £1000 for church funds, everyone agreed that it was a splendid affair.
One of the obliging gulls is the flying bird of the day. It is not the sharpest bird picture I have ever taken but it was a very grey day.