Today’s guest picture is a swan posing for my sister Mary by the Serpentine.
It 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.
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.
The 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.
There was not much water in the river but it chattered away over its many small cascades.
We left the banks of the river and found a gate…
During 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.
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.
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.