Redeemed by music

In the absence of more recent contributions, I have gone back to my friend Bruce’s trip to Spain last month for a splendid fountain for today’s guest picture.fountainAfter a horribly wet and windy night, we enjoyed a horribly wet and windy morning.  It was no good for anything outdoors at all.  After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off under a big umbrella to sing in her church choir and I prepared a lamb stew for the slow cooker.  I spent quite a bit of time staring at the rain out of the window.

great titThe bad weather at least had the effect of bringing quite a lot of birds to the feeder…

birds at feeder…and gave them plenty to talk about when they got there.

blue titThe goldfinches always look bedraggled when it rains and they didn’t look to be too happy about things today.

goldfinches

goldfinch
This one looked the most miserable.

After Mrs Tootlepedal came home from church, we spent some more time sorting, arranging and sometimes discarding the stuff taken from the front room which is still lurking upstairs.  We have not finished yet but the end is in sight.  It is amazing how hard it is to decide whether you really want a handbook for a device that you never use any more.

It stopped raining for long enough to let me walk up to the High Street to do a little business in the Archive Centre and walk back again in the dry.  Mrs Tootlepedal and a  neighbour had told me that there were ducklings in the dam so I had a look when I got back but there were none to be seen so I photographed a flower instead.

aubretiaThere were lots of blackbirds about all day.

blackbirdAfter lunch, we set off early to Carlisle to give us time to search for, and buy if we found them, some lampshades for the front room.  We have two extra wall lights in the room now and the existing shades were too big for the new fittings anyway. We managed to find a shade that was not only the right size, but also the right colour and, even more importantly, with five of them in stock.

The weather was really quite pleasant in Carlisle.  This was a bit annoying but it let us get into and out of our choir practice there without the need for coats and brollies.  The practice went well and we were much cheered both by the singing and finding a positively warm day when we got out after our very chilly morning in Langholm.  We were less pleased to find that it had clouded over and the temperature had dropped 4 degrees by the time we got back home.

There were still a lot of birds at the feeder even though it wasn’t raining….

busy feeder…and still very grumpy.

While Mrs Tootlepedal made some mashed potatoes, I put our bikes in the car to be ready for an early start tomorrow as we are going to St Bees in Cumbria for a cycle ride with the minister and Dropscone.

After the stew and mash, we walked along to the Buccleuch Centre to round the day off with some more music.  This was a concert by the Trio Gitan, featuring a violinist, an accordion player and a guitarist.  The theme upon which the show is built was a trans-European journey on the Orient Express.  Although the links were sometimes tenuous, the trio gave us a charming and very eclectic selection of European tunes, including well known pieces by Bach, Mozart and Verdi and some delightful folk pieces from the Balkans.  They finished with with a burst of pieces from Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli & Le Quintette du Hot Club de France.  As all the pieces, including the classics,  were interspersed with improvisations from the accomplished players of the group, you never knew what to expect next.  The guitarist also had a very bass voice and sang one of the lowest notes that I have ever heard.

The sound was absolutely excellent which is a rarity and the whole evening was a treat.

It was raining when we walked home but the music made us impervious to the gloom and we ended the day in cheerful mood.

The rather gloomy flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.  (The light was never kind all day.)

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “Redeemed by music

  1. Not a bad day, all in all, even if the weather was less than wonderful. Grappalli has been a great Homestead favourite since a second hand recording of his was stumbled on by chance, reigniting our resident violinists flagging interest. Sounds like a fantastic way to end the day…love those folk songs!

  2. Music has a remarkable way of lifting the spirits! I hope the weather is kind to you on your cycling trip tomorrow. The birds do look a little grumpy in the rain but they are fortunate to have a five star Tootlepedal “restaurant” to feed them though. Stew and mash sounds perfectly delicious on such a day.

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