Knees up

Today’s guest picture shows the birthday present that we siblings gave my energetic brother.  This little gadget will record his many, many steps.  He should have hours of fun with it.

gadgetWe had another -2° to +3°day but there wasn’t so much malice in the wind today so it felt more relaxed than yesterday.  The repeated melting and freezing though is producing some nasty sheets of ice in unexpected places.  Car parks tend not to be thoroughly cleared because if the owners clear most of a car park and someone slips on an uncleared part, the owners fear that they will be sued.  In the world created by ambulance chasing lawyers, it now seems better for twenty old people to run the risk of slipping tight outside the Day Centre rather than just one or two in distant corners.  Ho hum.

Our day started very promptly when a man came to pick up our insurance loan car before breakfast.  Luckily we were up and about because we were expecting the preliminary work to begin on our end wall.  With the front room cleared, it looked a bit depressed before they started….

front room 1…but a lot more depressed when the joiners had wielded their axes.

front room 2A wooden frame to protect the rest of the house and an acro-prop to stop the roof falling down soon made the thing look more business like….

front room 3….and by the end of the day, it had all been neatly wrapped up.

front room 4The comings and goings involved in the work seemed to put the birds off even more than usual and there was hardly a chaffinch or a goldfinch to be seen.  In fact in a reasonable length of time staring out of the window, I only saw three birds so today I am going to show you all that I saw.

A robin approached the seed feeder by degrees.

robin
A reconnaissance from a nearby bush…
robin
…followed by a hop to the pot…
robin
…and a final leap to the seed.

It hardly looks like the same bird but I can assure you that it is.

Beneath the feeder, a dunnock tripped through the snow.

dunnock
Checking for falling seed this way….
dunnock
….and that.

The sole chaffinch representative posed on the chimney pot.

chaffinchchaffinchI shall have to find out whether any other local bird feeding enthusiasts are experiencing the same dearth or whether it is just me.  Mike Tinker says that they have been visited by a pair of bullfinches.  This is a mixed blessing because although they are very handsome birds, they tend to eat all the flower buds off their ornamental cherry tree.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a church choir practice and while she was away by coincidence, the minister dropped in for coffee.  As he is a man of religion, I shared half my last hot cross bun with him.

Before and after the minister’s visit, I put a week of the newspaper index into the database and I am finally catching up with the data miners.  If I can do two more weeks before Thursday, I will be there.

In the afternoon, Mike very kindly drove me across to Dumfries so that I could see my knee surgeon.  He was very happy with the progress of his work and he gave me the go-ahead to do what I like with my new knee.  This is a great relief because up to now, when my knee was sore after exercise (which it often was), I had been afraid that I might be damaging the new joint. He tells me that it will remain sore and swollen for some time but that I can’t damage it by normal exercise.  I am free to cycle but sadly, the weather is against me and that pleasure will have to wait until the ice has gone.

As we drove back from Dumfries, we called in at the body shop where our battered car is resting but they were too short handed to answer my questions and I will have to wait for a phone call before I see whether we will get it back. Interestingly the receptionist told me that I would get a different quote for the repairs than the one they gave the insurance company.  I wait with interest to see whether it is higher or lower.

After a rewarding visit from my flute pupil Luke and another delicious meal provided by my resident cheffe, Sandy picked up me, my computer and our digital projector and we went to the Day Centre for the monthly meeting of the Langholm Camera Club.  Our theme was portraits and street photography and we got an excellent selection of pictures from India via Madagasgar,   Gambia and Edinburgh to more local scenes and faces.

A very satisfactory turnout of eighteen enthusiasts, ranging from point and shoot travellers to keen image makers ensured that  advice was available when asked and demonstrations were given when necessary.   It was hoped when it was started that the club would be friendly and welcoming for beginners and interesting for experienced shooters as well and it looks as though it it turning out to be just that.

Langholm Camera Club
The assembled company – though I managed to cut off half of the lady who had kindly brought the biscuits.

Owing to a chronic lack of birds, there are no flying feathers today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Knees up

  1. All in all, a very eventful day. Hooray for the knee go-ahead and work starting on the wall. The two car repair quotes sound rather intriguing and the camera club sounds like it’s turning out to be all it was designed for. Here’s hoping sharing half your hot cross bun with the minister makes up for cutting the biscuit lady in half!

  2. Welcome as they are, the repairs to the end wall will certainly be intrusive; I’d envisioned most of the work being outside (foolish, when you’d written of leaks and buckets and interior damage, I know, but there it is). Good news about the knee. Wonderfully fluffy robin!

  3. Good to know that you can use your knee as and when. However your idea of exercise is greater than normal so don’t push you knee too far. You took a winning selection of bird pictures, everyone a gem. I looked at your building at unionhomestead’s building one after the other, rather a difference in degree of task!

  4. Very pleased to hear of the good report from the surgeon.
    Lovely pictures of the robin.
    Nice to see a picture of the camera club being so well supported.
    The building work looks very neat and tidy so far.

  5. Great news almost all the way around, other than the lack of birds. You got the green light for your knee, the work has begun to fix your leaky wall, and the camera club seems to be off to a good start. I hope that the good luck continues!

  6. Isn’t it typical the work on your end wall can go ahead now it’s nice and cold. Delighted to hear you’ve been given the go ahead to do what you want with the knee.

  7. I first thought the guest picture was of a kind of knee brace, such as I wear sometimes to help my own jippy knees.
    No sooner have the shops done with Christmas than they are marketing Easter with eggs and hot cross buns. Ho hum.
    And too many puzzles over your personal transport: insurance car gone back but your own not returned yet, and the machinations over costs…

    1. That was because I refused their offer to scrap the car so their responsibility has finished. I will be interested in the quote when and if the body shop ever send it.

  8. Glad to hear that you made it to Dumfries and very pleased that you got good knee news. Dont go mad on retraining too much too soon you already do more in a day than I can do in a week….

  9. Great news about your knee! I hope it continues to improve. I love your robins. Sorry about the reduction in birds. I’ve seen less in my yard but that is because we’ve had good rain and there is food elsewhere for them. I might join a camera club one day as I would love some handy tips. I am not very good at understanding technical manuals. A lovely collection of bird pics.

  10. Your end wall being so effectively shut off from sight makes me think of conjurors. A lot of magic is to be done behind that screen! A satisfying visit to the knee specialist and an enjoyable evening at the camera club as well as being on the point of catching up with the data miners too! All good news. The birds in our garden arrive in fits and starts. We often go for a few hours with hardly any visitors and then lots turn up all together.

  11. I want a Fit Bit!! You will have to report how your brother likes it.

    I hope the builders will rebuild the built-ins in your front room, they were fabulous! I’m glad they got started and hope things will progress in a timely manner. Renovations of any kind always seem to disrupt the entire household. (I know because I lived in what felt like constant renos for about 15 yrs, there isn’t hardly a stick of our original house left! LOL)

    Thank you again for such sweet robin pictures! And glad your camera club is going so well. I wish my community had something similar. I would enjoy it. Glad you have the go-ahead to resume normal activities. You will be on the speedy bike before you know it! 🙂 (Optimism, optimism!)

    1. It will have to get quite a bit warmer before I am out on the speedy bike as the constant thawing and freezing is leaving some nasty patches of ice on the back roads.

  12. The bird photos, particularly the Robin, are priceless in that your commentary matches exactly what the birds seem to be thinking. Congratulations on your knee recovery. I suspect warmer weather eventually will help all our knees.

  13. The claim culture seems to be making life more difficult rather than easier. I hope that ice soon metls so you can get outside and get some good use from the new knee 🙂

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