Unexpected interruptions

The guest picture of the day comes from Sandra who has a feeder outside the window of her house which sits up on the hill overlooking the town.  It is not the sharpest picture in the world, as I suspect that Sandra took it on her tablet through the window but how often do you see two baby mice (there is a third one round the back too) on a bird feeder? Wonderful.

mice on feederMrs Tootlepedal had just gone off to a church choir practice and I was all togged up and ready to go out bicycling when the phone rang.  It was Nancy, one of the data miners from the Archive Centre.  A bulb had popped on a microfiche reader and the team there couldn’t find where the bulb was in the machine, let alone replace it.

I cycled up to see if I could help.  After a good deal of head scratching, I found out where the bulb was hiding and replaced it.  A Tootlepedal triumph….but sadly the new bulb didn’t work either. We took it out and pushed it in again. Still no joy.  We tried another bulb, changed the fuse in the plug, tried another bulb, kicked the machine, used well chosen language and all to no avail.  Finally, I noticed an internal fuse had come out of its socket,  Hurrah, this must be it.

No it wasn’t.

Data miner Ken took charge of the fuse with a view to trying to get a replacement and while I was chatting to another team member, he found that fuse just needed to be pushed more firmly back into its socket than I had managed and finally the light came on.  A task that should have taken two minutes had taken well over half an hour.

I finally set off on my cycle ride and did a rather sedate 20 miles out to the Grange Quarry and back.  My legs were not quite so keen today after yesterday’s extravagant effort but they worked all right.  It was a miserable 13 degrees with a brisk north wind but as I was dressed for early spring and not summer, I was quite snug and enjoyed the ride.

When I got home, I wandered round the garden.

The Scotch Burnet roses look delightful but tend to be a little scruffy.  Occasionally a neater one puts its head up.


The tall alliums are fading fast. Only a few have flowers left, most are bald as a coot.

alliumsThe astrantias, on the other hand, continue to delight.

As well as being very pretty, they are quite hard wearing.
One of the lupins has finally reached its peak.

Welsh poppies are a bit of a weed and pop up all over the garden, sometimes with unwelcome colour clashes.  They are pretty flowers though and Mrs Tootlepedal has made a feature of them in a bed against the front of the house.

Welsh PoppiesAnother weed is the orange hawkweed but Mrs Tootlepedal has found a good spot for some for these among a clump of her grasses and they are just starting to show.

orange hawkweedThe big flag irises are so susceptible to bad weather that Mrs Tootlepedal is considering doing away with them next year but when you catch them at exactly the right moment, they look pretty impressive.

flag irisOn the back wall of the house, a fuchsia took a battering from the late frosts but here and there a flower can be seen.

fuchsiaNearby, an elder is flowering fruitfully.

elderMrs Tootlepedal had cooked a very tasty chicken dish for our lunch and it went down very well.

The sparrows were eating well too.

busy feederHaving had to cut my morning ride short owing to my incompetence at changing a bulb in the morning, I set off for Hawick with Mrs Tootlepedal in the afternoon full of chicken and hope of better things.

My plan was to pick up the trophies that were in for engraving and come home by the scenic route taking a feast of photos on the way.

This would have been a good plan if the trophies had been engraved but they hadn’t been done and we had to wait for half an hour to pick them up. This left us with less time for dallying on the way home than we would have liked but still, we set off up the Slitrig road to Newcastleton in good heart.  This cheerful spirit lasted for the few miles that it took us to come to a completely unheralded “Road Ahead Closed” sign.  There was no readily available return route that would get us home in time so we made a short circle back to Hawick before turning for home down the main road again.

Our circle gave us one good viewpoint…..

The Cheviots above and the Eildon Hills below
The Cheviots above and the Eildon Hills below

…but that was small compensation for the dozens of lovely pictures that I would have taken going over Whitrope summit and back by the Langholm Moor,  (Actually, it was rather a dull day by this time as you can see so perhaps I didn’t miss much.)

(As a side note I might mention that getting the trophies engraved cost £16.  As the total prize money which I won came to £3, this was in the nature of a Phyrric victory.  I shall try just as hard this year but hope not to be so lucky.)

In the evening, music made up for any disappointments during the day.  First my flute pupil Luke came and played well and then I went off and had a singing lesson and played a Schickhardt and a Handel Sonata with Isabel.  The third member of our usual trio, Mike, was otherwise engaged this week.

A fleeting chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.  I wasn’t very successful their either.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Unexpected interruptions

  1. These road ahead closed signs are the bane of my life at the moment! The diversions are so lengthy and quite often as you found, there is no warning that work is being done! I will be grateful eventually when I drive along roads with no potholes! I can understand Mrs T thinking she might get rid of the iris as they flower for such a short time anyway but I hang on to mine as I love the scent and the rich colour. Beautiful photos of your garden flowers and the hills seen from the Slitrig road.

  2. Those are great shots of the distant hills. I keep telling myself I’m going to do some panorama shots but always forget when the opportunity is right in front of me.
    The astrantias are very beautiful flowers, and so is that iris.
    Nice macro of the single allium flower too!

    1. Astrantias don’t look that brilliant in real life but they just love being photographed. I should take more panoramas but they can be tricky to get right.

  3. The photo of the Welsh poppies set against the house is wonderful. The colour really “pops” against the stone, and the composition is pleasing.

  4. The trophies turned out to be no prize at all, and that’s a shame. I too hope that you’re not so lucky this year.

    Mrs. T’s flowers, and your photos of them are looking as good as ever, I hope that you never get tired of strolling through the garden with your camera.

  5. What an astonishing sight in your guest picture. I loved the lonely fuchsia, one of my top favourites. Glad that your cycling legs worked well enough even if not as good as you had hoped.

  6. What patience in solving the Archive Centre problem!
    Glad you managed a ride in spite of interruptions. Amazing sight on Sandra’s birdfeeder!

  7. The mouse on the feeders was not what I expected. I can send you a picture of a bird feeder completely filled with a rattler ants nest if you like. 😉 I’ve given up on feeding the birds as the ants always get in and the birds don’t like them. They even make nests that join a few oranges together on my trees. Even though the Welsh poppies and the orange hawkweed are pests, I would love a bit of their colour in my mainly green garden at the moment. Your close-ups of the flowers are excellent. The engraving seems terribly over-priced! At least Mrs T’s chicken dinner was tasty and you managed a cycle. I’ve done a similar thing with the fuses by the way. Frustrating.

    1. I’ll pass on the rattler ants’ nest picture if you don’t mind. I haven’t any experience of engraving costs recently so I don’t know whether this was expensive or not.

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