Triumph for Mrs Tootlepedal & co

Today’s guest picture shows the world’s greatest small person in reflective mood at a party.

MatildaAfter breakfast, I waved good bye to Mrs Tootlepedal as she set off to Dumfries with three colleagues from the Ewes WRI group to take part in a competition for 15 minutes of prose and poetry readings on the theme of childhood.  This competition covered groups from the whole of the South of Scotland and was a new venture for the Ewes group who were asked to enter to represent their larger local area.

I got a text from her in the afternoon to say that the group had won the handsome trophy, surprising no one more than themselves.  However, having heard all the other entries, Mrs Tootlepedal did feel that there had been no luck about the outcome and the four ladies were quietly pleased that their hard work had borne fruit.

In her absence, I spent a second very peaceful day, lazing about the house and only going for a short walk after lunch.

I had all the time in the world to admire the blossom on the plum tree.

plum tree with chaffinchI set up the camera on a tripod at the kitchen window and sat at the table with the wireless remote to hand doing the crossword and snapping birds simultaneously.

wet feederThe rainy morning helped me to avoid any strenuous activity.  The rain stopped from time to time and the light was reasonable.

chaffinchThe rain had brought a few siskins to the feeder and they were as rude as ever….

siskinsiskin and chaffinch…though not always successfully.

The weather took a turn for the better after lunch and when the sun threatened to come out, I went for a stroll round Easton’s Walk.  We have some way to go before everything is green….

Stubholm track…but I was delighted to see a bluebell (completewith insect visitor) in the woods beside the track…

bluebell…the first of a multitude to come I hope.

By the time that I got back to the park, the sky was blue and the poplars beside the river looked very fine, both when I was looking up to them….

poplars…and when I was walking along under them.

poplarsWhen I got home, there was time for a garden inspection.  Mrs Tootlepedal is aiming for a stream of hyacinths flowing through the flowerbeds round the front lawn.  The plan is developing well.

stream of hyacinthsI inspected the potential fruit crop and was happy to see gooseberry, apple and blackcurrant all looking promising.

fruitThe sound of bees was reassuring.

I chopped a few more logs for our wood pile and then mowed the grass round the greenhouse and on the drying green.

I had one last look at the plum blossom….

plum blossom…and a blackbird….

blackbird…before it was time to welcome Mrs Tootlepedal home, have a cup of tea and set out for a visit to Cockermouth in Cumbria.

We were going to see a performance by an amateur group.of a version of the Beggars’ Opera, with music adapted from the version written by Benjamin Britten.  The reason for our interest in this show was the presence of  no less than three of my fellow tenors from our Carlisle choir among the cast.

The drive down in the evening sunshine was glorious with the Lake District hills looking at their best so the forty miles passed very pleasantly.  We brought a sandwich to sustain us, admired the blue clock faces on the handsome church beside the car park…

cockermouth church…and went into the small theatre for the show.

The small size of the stage was a definite handicap to the production which lacked a bit of pace as a result but my three choir colleagues all did their bits with enthusiasm.  I can’t say that I think that Britten’s approach to the songs suits the show and the musical director’s rather careful tempos didn’t help.  The end result was a certain lack of out and out gaeity in the satire which is probably needed to contrast with the more sentimental moments.  The cast worked really hard though and the audience appreciated their efforts wholeheartedly.

The drive home in the dark was accomplished safely and unsurprisingly, Mrs Tootlepedal was quite tired when we got back.

The flying bird of the day is a down to earth chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Triumph for Mrs Tootlepedal & co

  1. Congratulations to the ladies on their win! I do think peach and other similar blossoms are pretty and I have to agree that the sound of bees is a comforting, reassuring sound, especially these days when there is concern about their demise. It certainly turned into a glorious day and I would have enjoyed the lovely paths you followed, with the poplars and the bluebell sighting. I also have some fruit growing here but the birds, possums and flying foxes enjoy most of the produce. At least I contribute to their survival I suppose. 🙂

      1. I used to grudge the loss too but after trying lots of ways to stop them, I have given up. They are just too crafty for me. Now I try not to notice. I succeed some of the time… 😉

  2. Congratulations to Mrs. T and friends. It’s not hard to imagine her working very hard for that trophy and I’m glad she got it.
    Little Matilda looked all tuckered out. It takes a lot to wear them down at that age!
    I can’t wait to see your woods carpeted with bluebells. I wish we had them here.

  3. Well done, Mrs. T. et al. – not surprised that writing is also on your resume! That’s a wonderful portrait of Matilda.

  4. Well done Mrs T and colleagues, always satisfactory to win something when you have worked hard. The garden looks lovely and I enjoyed the pictures you took on your walk especially looking along the river under the poplars.

  5. Please add my congratulations to Mrs. T and friends to the list for bringing home the trophy.

    You and my brother would get along fine, he sets his camera up on the tripod in his backyard and sits in the shade while photographing birds that come to his feeder. You’re both wiser than I, I lug too much camera gear around with me and chase the birds, it’s much easier to let them come to you. 😉

  6. Oh dear! Your photos of both female and male flying chaffinches have made come back that uncomfortable feeling that they should have arms! Perhaps I need to go and see someone about it…

  7. Congratulations to Mrs T and the Ewes WRI group. No wonder she was tired after a long drive and Beggar’s Opera as well!
    Lovely view of your walk beside the river.

  8. I love the plummeting chaffinch! Congratulations to Mrs Tootlepedal and her team on their well-deserved win. I remember singing in the Beggar’s Opera some years ago and really enjoying it. Not sure if it was the original or BB’s adaptation though. Another fine photo of the plum tree with chaffinch and Matilda is beautiful!

  9. Congratulations to Mrs T and friends. I love the idea of the stream of hyacinths – oh , that I were that organised! Matilda looks utterly angelic and nothing says “spring: like a bluebell 🙂

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