Anything went

Today’s guest picture is a swan posing for my sister Mary by the Serpentine.

Swans by the SerpentineIt was a bright and sunny day at breakfast time but cold enough at 3 degrees C to make me grateful that Mrs Tootlepedal had to go out to help record  the newspaper for the blind while I had to stay in in case a delivery came.

This gave me time to take a couple of end wall pictures.

End wall
The scaffolding and the skip have both now gone and the road is completely clear. Hooray.
end wall upstairs
Inside the wall upstairs has been plastered and is drying satisfactorily.

By the time that Mrs Tootlepedal returned, the clouds had come up and the temperature had gone up to a reasonable 8 degrees so I set off for a pedal on the fairly speedy bike.  Everyone agrees that although the temperatures should make things comfortably warm, the moving air that we meet when out and about at present makes things feel decidedly chilly.   It was the same today, exacerbated by the briskness of the wind and I was thinking of quite a short ride when I set out.

As so often happens though, once I got going, I felt a lot more purposeful and cycled twelve miles up the Lockerbie road before turning for home.  I took it very easily into the wind and enjoyed myself in a faintly masochistic way.  Some kind person had cleared the bank of scrub at the Paddockhole Bridge so I was able to stop and add a clear picture of it to my collection of local bridges.

PaddockholeI pedalled on past the bridge until I got to a spot where an owner seems to be digging a large pond beside his house.

PondI don’t know whether this is part of a grander scheme as there seem to be ground works going on all round the house.

MinscaThe Minsca windmills in the background gave me the heartening message that the wind would be straight behind me on the way home.   I was grateful and enjoyed the trip back a lot, especially the last five and a half miles, which I accomplished at an average of 22 mph.  It’s amazing how well your knee feels when pedalling downhill with a brisk wind behind.

After a light lunch and a shower, I set off back up the same road.  This time I was in the car with Mrs Tootlepedal and we were paying the first visit the year to the manure mine.   While she filled a bucket or two, I wandered across to some larch trees.

Larch treesLarch treesSince I had taken a bridge picture earlier, I thought I ought to add a gate picture to keep gate fanciers happy too.

gate at manure mineWhen Mrs Tootlepedal had filled her buckets, we took the time for a stroll along the banks of the Wauchope.

In shady parts there were still little patches of the hail from three days ago.

There was not much water in the river but it chattered away over its many small cascades.

Wauchope riverWauchope riverThe underlying sandstone is often coloured by minerals and the stones on the beaches can be very pretty.

Wauchope riverAbove our heads, a pair of buzzards circled in the sky, giving off their mournful cries.  They were too high for a picture.

We left the banks of the river and found a gate…

wauchope gate…to walk through into the field and back to the car.  The wall beside the gate was home to some very bright green lichen.

green lichenDuring the day, a friend had been cutting trees and shrubs down against the fence of the garden next door and he was kind enough to throw the cherry tree over the fence and into our garden.  He even sliced it up first.

cherry treeThere is a good deal of chopping in that pile,  We made a little start on the task.  This will be fuel for our new stove in a year’s time.

I shall miss the cherry blossom.

I looked round the garden but old faithfuls were the only colour available.  I took pictures of two of them.

chionodoxa and primulaAfter the cycle and the walk, I sat down to listen to the radio but owing to outbreaks of spontaneous somnolence, I couldn’t tell you what I was listening to.

I roused myself enough to make some tea and then we went off to the Buccleuch Centre to attend a production of Anything Goes by our local amateur operatic and dramatic society.  The hall was well filled, and the audience appreciated a very good performance.

I personally enjoyed Cole Porter’s lyrics more than anything else but the tunes are catchy and the singers put them over well.  The musical director rattled things along at brisk tempi throughout and nothing dragged. The show had two excellent young ladies to sing the leading parts and everyone else joined in with competence and pep.  There was a sad lack of tap dancing but you can’t have everything.  The mark of a good amateur performance is when the audience feels comfortable with the production and confident with the performers and the show tonight passed easily on both counts.

Bird visitors were scarce again.  The tree felling next door probably didn’t help.  I did manage to catch a flying chaffinch though.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Anything went

  1. I found your wonderful blog about a month ago (perhaps through New Hampshire Garden Solutions, I’m not certain) and have been lurking ever since. I now aspire to a retirement very like yours.

    I’m not much of one for leaving comments, but the picture of the inside wall was too much for me: I’m dying to know the story of the Twister board. Is it just a convenient tarp? Something for the builders to do while on break?

    The young larch cones were exquisite. I am particularly fond of your second gate, as well. I have never learned British birds, but through your blog am becoming familiar with at least a few of them (which are quite lovely to me, even if rather commonplace for you). I look forward to your blog every evening.

    1. Thank you Sara for taking the time to make a comment. Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she found the Twister mat in the garage and it is just a conventient tarp…though the image of our sturdy builders having a go during their (very short) break is beguiling.

  2. More great lichens, including a couple of nice beard lichens. I’ve never seen the green one that was on the wall beside the gate. It looks like a map lichen.
    The landscapes are beautiful as always, and the larch flowers make me wish spring would hurry up a little here. They’re one of my favorite spring flowers.
    It must seem nice to see the end of the work on the end wall.

    1. I think you are right. I found a picture of the grandly named Rhizocarpon geographicum that seemed to fit. They are rock based and ours appear frequently on our stone walls round here.

      We are very pleased that the work has gone well and is in sight of being finished.

  3. You do sound rather enthusiastic and cheerful. Being able to cycle longer distances again, the building work being over (or almost) and springtime about would certainly brighten my spirits too. Your weather at the moment is colder than most of our winter days though! I can’t remember hailstones remaining more than a few hours. Lovely pictures as always.

    1. The hailstorm was unusual to say the least. The fact that it only affected a very small area added to the interest. I am very cheerful, it is true.

  4. The wall looks very good and I am glad that things are progressing in a satisfactory manner indoors too. I loved the bridge and those colourful stones and could almost hear the stream chattering away.

  5. A great shame to lose the cherry blossom but the wood will be a treat for the new stove. The end wall looks great – already looking comfortable with the rest of the house and will weather in beautifully.

    1. The casual passers-by (passer-bys?) agree that it does look quite in place. This is a relief as we didn’t really know quite how it would look when finished.

  6. The end wall is looking very good and you have some lovely bridge and gate photos which I, for one, appreciate. Bad news about the tree although those logs will keep you warm.

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