A welcome lift

Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle correspondent and shows some shortbread baked especially for Burns’ Night, the occasion of the annual celebration of the life of the poet Robert Burns on January 25th.

shortbread(Fiona has baked four good Scots words into her shortbread, words suggested by her reverend parents.  They are bahookie, blootered, drookit and glaikit. A visit here may bring enlightenment to those not familiar with the Scots tongue but I can say that a bahookie is what a philosopher sits on when he or she is thinking, blootered is what many people will be at a Burns supper tonight, drookit is what I would have been if I had gone for a walk today and glaikit is what you call people who drop and break their mobile phones.)

It was a miserable wet and windy day today and I was pleased to have the preparing of our evening meal to put into the slow cooker as an excuse not to even think of going for a walk in the morning.  We like to use the slow cooker on a Sunday if possible so that we have a meal ready for us when we come back from our Carlisle choir practice.

My sore back is not too bad if I am standing up or sitting on an uncomfortable chair but soon gets painful if I try to sit on a more relaxing seat.  This leads to rather jumpy behaviour.  I should have taken part in a national garden bird survey today but staying in one place watching and counting for an hour didn’t seem very attractive.  As it happened, there were very few birds about so it would have been dull work at the best of times.

A damp goldfinch sums the morning up well.
A lonely chaffinch

After Mrs Tootlepedal came back from the church choir, I retired for a soak in the bath.  This was comfortable in the short term but didn’t improve things much after I got out.

After lunch we got a lift to our choir practice in Carlisle from fellow choir member Jeremy .  This was very welcome as I had done enough driving recently and Mrs Tootlepedal wasn’t very keen to drive around in a strange car in poor conditions.

The choir practice was very hard work.  Our conductor first made us get a familiar piece to sound as well as we could make it by putting us in mixed groups of SATB in the four corners of the church where we practice so that we would have to listen to each other.  Then he took us through a new and tricky piece in great detail.  I didn’t think that we would be able to manage this piece at all but such is his drive and unfailing cheerfulness that everyone works really hard and I think that we will be able to do it justice.

I was so tired after concentrating on the singing and sitting on a hard pew that I was even more glad of the lift home.

The slow cooker produced an excellent evening meal, though it was helped by some last minute refinements from Mrs Tootlepedal.

There was one moment when there were two birds in the garden today and as a result we have a double flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinches

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “A welcome lift

  1. Splendid flying bird picture and enjoyed the Burns’ shortbread with explanation. So sorry that your back is poorly still, very tiring.

  2. You did well to get through choir practice. Sadly I do not have a delightful singing voice but always enjoy the beautiful sounds of a choir. I can just imagine how welcoming the smell of a slow cooker meal would be on a cold, miserable day. Lovely capture of the two birds in flight.

  3. You got flying birds coming and going today. Sorry that your back isn’t feeling better yet, but since you haven’t mentioned your knee in the last few posts, it must be doing well.

  4. I wonder where all the birds have gone.
    I find that when my back acts up it usually takes at least a week to ease up and sometimes as long as 10 days. You must be close to that now. it’s a hard thing to live with and takes a lot out of you and I hope it lets up soon.

  5. The shortbread looks scrumptious! That last bird looks as though it’s doing a belly flop – good timing to get them coming and going like that.

  6. I think you should write a Scot’s language dictionary – I enjoyed your definitions very much. Loved the flying birds, sorry about the back and the bad weather.

  7. I bet that in the end you’ll not only do the tricky piece justice but decide that all the effort was worthwhile What’s the piece please?

      1. Not a piece I know. A quick check with YouTube indicates concurrence with your view, so I hope that not too much more effort is required. Did see/hear a good solo+piano version on YouTube though.

  8. Very sorry about your sore back.
    Your choir conductor aims high so it is good that he gets encouraging results

      1. My daughter received a cookie cutter set for her birthday with letter presses you can use to spell whatever takes your fancy. The gift giver unfortunately can’t remember where she bought them. Good idea to brand the soap!

  9. The shortbread looks great. The slow cooker is great for cooking almost anything – we even cook fish and (oven) chips in ours.

    Your bird photos are great as always.

  10. The Scots words are interesting as the ones shown all have practical application and the language is a complete mystery to me. There are Scottish Gaelic speakers only a couple of branches up in my family tree, but none of Scots to my knowledge.

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