Choir on fire

Today’s guest picture is another from Mike Tinker’s visit to his grandchildren in New Zealand.  While there, he and Alison visited the Abel Tasman track.  It looks like a grand place to visit.Abel Tasman trailIt was a reasonably sunny morning but any joy at this was tempered by a mean minded and penetrating wind which made it feel more like March than May.  After a little light housekeeping, I went out for ride on the fairly speedy bike just to keep my legs working.  I hadn’t made up my mind how far I was going to go but after only managing five miles in the first half hour, my mind was made up for me by the wind and I turned back.  That the five miles back were accomplished at an average speed of nearly 23 mph gives some indication of how annoying the wind was when it was in my face.

The tree fellers have been doing such a good job….

tree felling up Wauchope…that there is very little shelter from the wind left.  They have certainly destroyed the charm of the wooded valley of the Wauchope along with the trees.

I took a look back from the top of the hill past Wauchope School….

View over wauchope School…just for the record.  I expect that the dark patch of tall trees that can be seen on the distance will go soon.

Mrs Tootlepedal (with a little help from me) has nearly finished putting everything away in its new home after the disruption of the great end wall saga.  The new rooms, upstairs and down, are very satisfactory and the complete lack of the sound of water dripping into buckets when wind and rain combine has made all the fuss feel well worth while.

We have also solved the mystery of the falling seed feeder.  Mrs Tootlepedal caught two rooks in the act of dislodging it and so I have come up with a working solution.

taped feederMrs Tootlepedal saw the two rooks back again this morning but after hanging around in a mystified sort of way staring at the tape, they went off and haven’t been seen again.

Other less destructive  birds arrived.

I liked this bright eyed pair of chaffinches
A goldfinch waits patiently until there is a spare perch on the feeder.

I had to go for perching birds because the flying variety were very uncooperative this morning, either not getting in to the frame fast enough for my itchy trigger finger…

chaffinch… or turning their back on the camera at the vital moment.

chaffinchThere are days like that.

Mrs Tootlepedal was working in the garden so I went out to have a look round.  There were signs of coming and goings.

pulsatilla allium
The pulsatilla going and the allium coming soon.

The apple blossom is superb this year…..

apple with insect…but this was the only visitor that I saw among the blossoms today.  More work is required. The bees were too busy visiting the dicentra which is always a favourite with them.

bee on dicentraThe ballerina tulips were perhaps at their peak today.

ballerina tulips….but I couldn’t decide which way was the best to take their picture to show them off properly so I took them twice just to be sure.

ballerina tulipsThe chief business of the day was a trip to Carlisle in the afternoon to sing at a concert with our Carlisle Community Choir.  Although we were only scheduled to sing for 20 minutes at the formal opening of a new arts venue in a converted old Fire Station, we left just after four and didn’t get home until just after nine.

We had  a rehearsal to get used to the venue first and then some of us found time for a quick meal at a chip shop nearby. (The owner obligingly kept it open for us although he was actually closing up as we arrived.)

Then it was back to the venue again for the opening.  We were subjected to a ‘humorous turn’ from a local radio celebrity which went on too long and wasn’t very humorous and then a speech from the council chief who had overseen the conversion of the venue.  As this contained the words, “responsible for taking our vision forward”, you can guess that it was too long as well.  Finally after a short (and interesting) few words from the mayor, we got to sing at last.

It went well as far as we could tell but as a lot of the people who had been invited to the opening were still in another room, talking loudly and drinking throughout the performance, it didn’t quite have the éclat that we had hoped for.  We choir members enjoyed it though and that is the main thing.

I should add that someone, obviously with great vision going forward, has named the venue “The Old Fire Station”.  I hope that they were well paid.  The mayor told us that the fire station was built on the site of a Victorian music hall.

We rounded off the day by doing some shopping on the way home as we are expecting visitors on Sunday.

The flying bird of the day is one of those chaffinches that didn’t quite get into the frame.

flying chaffinchI should mention that a polite note from Dr Barlow, the blog’s resident bird expert, tells me that yesterday’s supposed sighting of a female hen harrier was just a buzzard after all,  I must learn to read my bird book more carefully.  Sorry about the misinformation.  We definitely did see a male harrier though.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Choir on fire

    1. They generally get cut so regularly that you get used to it but the ones along the road make a big difference to how the countryside feels as you pedal or drive along.

  1. Beautiful garden shots again. I do admire your green thumbs.

    Unfortunately, I could make the same comment about the trees being removed in my area. In the six years I have lived here, development has taken off and some places that used to be forested are unrecognisable. It is quite deflating.

    That looks like a simple but effective solution to the birdfeeder problem. Here, the cockatoos are very clever. I’ve seen one in a tree pull up a chain holding a tray-feeder so that it tilts and the food is tipped all over the ground. It preferred eating on the ground to balancing on a small swinging tray meant for smaller birds such as lorikeets.

  2. It’s a shame that the crowd wasn’t more attentive of the choir when all of you worked so hard and gave up a large portion of your day to be there.

    It’s also too bad that the wind interfered with your cycling, but that means more flower and bird photos for the rest of us to enjoy. 😉

  3. Sorry to hear the crowd was noisy. I am normally background music in the venues I play, but occasionally the noise or distractions go over the top. In a bookstore, long ago, the stage area I was playing in was attacked by a toy wind-up dinosaur launched by a bored child.

    Beautiful photos, as always. So it was Rooks knocking over the feeder!

  4. Sorry about the fierce wind but glad about the splendid picture from NZ of a place I have been to, it was great to see it again. The whole business of opening the new arts venue sounds rather trying but glad the choir felt that its contribution went well.

  5. Good title Tom and I couldn’t agree more about the speeches.. the Mayor’s was definitely the best, shortest and most interesting. Great description of the evening!

  6. Lovely picture of the Abel Tasman track. The ballerina tulips were worth two pictures!
    Glad the choir singing went well, even if not everyone was listening.

  7. ‘Less is more’ said Coco Chanel (as I was reminded by someone else earlier) and two out of three of the speakers at your concert should have taken this to heart. I am glad your choir’s effort went well.
    Rooks! We have a rookery a few hundred yards down the lane and the trouble they cause is quite amazing.
    The chaffinches and the ballerina tulips are my favourite photos.

  8. It is a sad fact that humorous turns are very seldom funny and a “few words” is usually several chapters too long. Still, nice to try out a brand new (albeit repurposed) venue, even one with a rather unadventurous name 🙂

    1. By general agreement after consulting with other choir members, this humorous one was outstandingly bad. I was glad to find that it wasn’t just me.

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