Hopeful

Today’s guest picture comes from Gavin, one of my neighbours, who wonders whether having the builders in can have caused this overnight outbreak of toadstools on his lawn.  I would be more worried about what has been taking the great bites out of them.

toadstoolsDropscone came round with some scones in hand to have a cup of coffee this morning but we hadn’t bothered with cycling first as the forty mile an hour gusts and the driving rain had made cycling an unattractive proposition.  In fact it made more or less everything rather gloomy and we are badly in need of a burst of sunshine to cheer us up as we are in a run of very grey days at present.

The wind and rain made bird pictures difficult to come by and I had settled for a chaffinch perching, or rather hanging on for grim death in the plum tree as my only shot of the  morning….

chaffinch in plum tree…until a robin popped in and brightened my day.

robinThe bird possibilities were not just limited by the weather.  Our local sparrowhawk spent a good deal of the morning flying low passes past the feeder too.  No small birds were harmed in this process but it kept the feeder pretty quiet.

I did pop out into the garden during a drier spell to see what the wind damage was like.  It was noticeable but not too severe.

casualties of the wind
The watering can was retrievable, the delphinium was not.

In the sheltered spot under the walnut tree and between two hedges, Lilian Austin survived

Lilian AustinAnd my favourite Fuchsia flourished.

FuchsiaBut the healthiest and sturdiest plant in the garden at the moment is Mrs Tootlepedal’s kale.

KaleShe is living on a kale heavy diet at the moment.

I was able to dig up, cook and eat some very tasty beetroot today.

After lunch Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off for Carlisle where we combined a little shopping with a visit to the infirmary for me.  I enjoyed two happy moments there.

The first was when I arrived twenty minutes early to get as far up the queue for the clinic as I could and met my consultant waiting at the desk.  Within minutes, I was consulting him and before my appointment time was even due, I was back out on the street.  This was very good and even better was the fact that he said that I could stop taking the medicine for my rheumatoid arthritis and see if I was one of the fifty per cent who don’t need to start on it again.

As it is the sort of medicine where you have to have a blood test every month to see if it is doing more harm than good (and you can’t drink alcohol when you are on it), I will be pleased if it turns out that I am in the lucky half of the draw. Interestingly, the consultant says that the figures that say 50% can stop are very consistent but there is no way of predicting who will be in which 50 %.  I am feeling very optimistic that I will be one of the lucky ones.

Here is a picture of the original part of the Cumberland Infirmary, a building which I hope that I won’t have to see for a while at least.

Carlisle InfirmaryHaving been given my discharge, I walked back to town to join Mrs Tootlepedal in a shopping extravaganza which included a new pair of shoes and some delicious cheese.  On my way into the centre of town, I passed through the cathedral precinct and got my phone out to snap a building which can only be described as a very desirable residence…

Cathedral Close…although from the shuttered windows, it looks as though it might be offices now, at least in part.

The shoe shop was offering three pairs of shoes for the price of two and since Mrs Tootlepedal and I both bought a pair, we were entitled to a third pair.  After considering the wisdom of buying one shoe each, we settled for a second pair for Mrs Tootlepedal.

Although it is still October, the centre of Carlisle is already getting dressed up for the Christmas shopping spree….

roundabout….but we haven’t had the obligatory German Market yet as far as I know.

My flute pupil Luke came in the early evening and we worked hard on some Grade Three pieces, which should be well within his capability with some practice.   They will stretch him a bit and this can only be a good thing.

During the day, I prepared another sourdough loaf using Sue’s excellent starter and it came out very well.

sourdough loafIn the evening, I went over to Newcastleton to the Liddesdale Camera Club.  Sandy is away enjoying some gales and heavy rain in the West Highlands so I went by myself.  We were treated to a judgement on our entries in an open competition by a very competent and expert competition photographer.  He had many useful things to say and I hope to have learned quite a lot  from the evening.

Competition photographers, he told us, start with what comes out of the camera and then make an image using one or more photographs as a basis for the finished work.    This makes for some striking images but the connection between them and real life is often tenuous and not being very good either with design or colour and being very short of patience too, I find it hard to produce work of this nature so unsurprisingly, my efforts this week didn’t detain him very long.

I would like to produce some good images though so I shall persevere even it means taking pictures in RAW format which I find adds a lot of work at the end of the day.

I shan’t stop taking dodgy pictures of flying chaffinches in poor light though.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Hopeful

  1. This: “After considering the wisdom of buying one shoe each, we settled for a second pair for Mrs Tootlepedal.” brings big smiles to your otherwise gloomy post. You cannot imagine how good it is to read about gray days when ours have ceaselessly been over 90 off and on for for weeks now beginning in April.

  2. Do please continue posting your dodgy photos! I am so pleased for you not having to take your RA medication anymore and I hope you are one of the 50 per cent who don’t need to start again. I take RA medication that entails a blood test each month and can’t drink either so I can imagine the feeling of satisfaction you are experiencing.

    1. It’s a feeling of hope at the moment. The satisfaction will come after a couple of months. Mind you, being unable to drink has prevented quite a few headaches.

  3. I hope you’ll soon be able to toast your freedom from the meds – a proper toast with something other than tea! Lovely looking loaf. We’ve also had a series of grey and windy days of late, but the snow tonight should brighten things up [insert sob here].

  4. Your friend’s mushrooms didn’t have anything to do with the builders. Most likely it was rain that caused the mycelium already in the soil to fruit.
    I don’t think I’ll ever be a competition photographer, by the sounds of it.
    Good luck with the RA testing. I hope you’re in the 50% that can lay off the medicine.

    1. It takes a lot of work to get a photo up to standard and that is assuming that you took a good one in the first place so it is definitely a question of whether it is worth the effort. I think that I will keep travelling hopefully although I may never arrive.

  5. I wish you well in stopping your RA medicine, I hope that it works out for you!

    I think that since the advent of digital photography, competition photographers should now be called competition photo editors, as photography has little to do with the final image these days.

    Your loaves of bread are looking better, I hope that they’re even tastier.

    1. They are tasting good.

      I think that even in the old days before digital whenever keen photographers processed their own negatives, a great deal of artistic alteration could be made during the processing.

  6. I do very much hope that you are one of the 50% that can give up the drug, fingers severely crossed. The robin picture was perfect and I always like your fuschia.

  7. Very glad to hear of your encouraging visit to the hospital, and hope very much that you are one of the 50% that can stay off the medicine.
    That loaf looks good enough to eat, which I expect you have done!

  8. Ever tried kale crisps? I had them recently. Chop the leaves, drizzle bit of oil over them, sprinkle with salt, sugar and paprika. Bake for a few minutes 200C.

    I did actually like them!

  9. I learned to love kale while living in northern Germany. It’s not just a green, leafy vegetable there, but an EVENT! People gather, ride in buses, or walk in groups, to the local pub for special kale dinner banquets, accompanied with lots of alcohol to thin the heavy pork meat cooked with the kale. Some nice potatoes, and there you go… by foot back home, if you can make it without falling over. To be quite honest, I only had kale cooked by a relative. Delicious! PS: glad to hear about stopping of the medicine. Best wishes and positive thoughts!

  10. We have had a wet, miserable week too but Halloween was a real bright spot like a summer day. I’m hoping yours was too and, if I ever catch up on my reading I’ll find out. I like Gavin’s fungi. They could visit my lawn any day.

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