Midsummer but not as we know it.

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Mike Tinker and shows Cable Bay NZ – where the first telegraph cable came across the Tasman Sea from Tasmania in 1876.   He is on holiday in Wales now but this was taken on his visit to NZ in April.Cable bay NZWe had another unseasonably grey, chilly and sometimes drizzly day again here.   A report in the paper said that this was shaping up to be an unusually cold June in Scotland and I can believe that.  It is the fault of the jet stream apparently.  It  is too straight.  What is causing the jet stream to be too straight was not discussed.

 Anyway, the upshot was that while Dropscone had a cold and windy battle round the morning ride on his bike, I was happy to wait at home for him to come round afterwards bearing the traditional Friday treacle scones.  I am finding it very difficult to get motivated to get out on the bike in these conditions after having had some nice warm weather to enjoy not long ago.

As a result I had a dull but pleasant day.  I finished the cards with the views of Langholm and took them up to the newsagent on foot and that was my sole exercise for the day apart from a quick walk round the garden.  The cold spell has put the brakes on growth  but the things that are out don’t seem to mind.


I asked Mrs Tootlepedal what this is and she said it was an onion. I don’t know whether to believe her.
I think that this is an alchemilla with a tear drop or two.
sweet william
You can’t get a punchier colour than a Sweet William….
sweet william
….unless it is two Sweet Williams
The tall alliums are going over but in a decorative way
I think the cool weather may let the lupins flower right to the top before the bottom blossoms start to fade.
The first of many foxgloves
orange hawkweed
And the first orange hawkweed
The new geums are better at holding up their heads than the existing red ones.
And finally, the first hydrangea flowers have come out in a sheltered nook

It was too gloomy to have much fun taking bird feeder pictures so I sat in the front room with a few logs on the stove and read the papers exhaustively.

Mrs Tootlepedal had an explosive day.  In the afternoon she went off with a friend to visit The Devil’s Porridge exhibition at Eastriggs.  This museum deals with the giant cordite factory that covered literally miles of the coast along the Solway during the First World war.  Having come back from that, she went off again on the evening, this time to Timbertown Girls, a production by our local youth theatre group, performed in the Undercroft at Carlisle Station, having found that there were tickets available after all.  This tells the story of some of the young girls who worked at the factory.

As I never knew that Carlisle Station had an undercroft, I shall be interested in  hearing about that as well as the production.

I went to Brampton to hear the community choir give a concert.  I am one of two people who have applied to be their conductor as this was the final concert of their founder and present leader.  We are going to have a beauty contest in September over two weeks to decide which of us the choir likes best (or least worst).

In the concert, the choir were very attentive to the conductor and worked really hard throughout but were handicapped by having too few altos compared with a big number of sopranos and very many too few tenors and basses to get a well balanced sound.  They sang songs which made the best of their resources though and a large audience gave them a warm reception. Three of the choir members sang solos in the course of the concert which I enjoyed.

The singing was padded out with rather a lot of old jokes from the compère and conductor and when it went over two hours, I felt that I had been delighted long enough.

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from Carlisle having enjoyed the performance a lot and now feels that she knows a tremendous amount about cordite.  The Undercroft was long and thin and rather chilly but very atmospheric and she could hear trains going overhead during the performance.

The flying bird of the day is a rather imperious chaffinch.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Midsummer but not as we know it.

  1. You’re always giving me things to look up! Today I found a recipe for ‘molasses’ scones (having now learned what treacle is), and discovered Undercroft is the crypt of a church. Such a teacher you are!!

  2. Gorgeous lupins, a wonderful description of the f.b.o.d., and a remarkably brave comment questioning Mrs. T’s gardening knowledge!

  3. Allium moly, perhaps?

    I empathize with your chilly weather problems. This was the first day lately that I have been able to wear a light cotton instead of a flannel shirt.

  4. I love looking at your garden through the eye of your camera, such detailed pictures. I hope you get the job as the Brampton conductor even if the make up of the choir is a bit unbalanced. Thanks for the NZ guest picture, I have never been to Cable Bay.

  5. “Imperious” is certainly the right word for the chaffinch! I had to laugh at your words, “I felt that I had been delighted long enough.” I do like your sense of humour. I very much enjoyed the wonderful variety of patterns, textures and shapes in the flower shots and I agree that the Sweet Williams are a stunning colour. I hope the jet stream starts to be a bit wobbly rather than so straight. 😉

  6. I am relieved that you do not force yourself to go out on your bike if you don’t feel like it. My approach to life exactly. Feeling guilty has no place in it (unless of course others are affected).

  7. Splendid picture of Cable Bay.
    The lupins are doing extremely well, helped by the weather.
    Glad both you and Mrs T had interesting evening outings.

  8. Amazing flowers. I will never feel the need to grow my own with your photos and Mrs Tootlepedal’s gardening talents. I hope you get the conductor job.

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