Today’s guest picture was taken on a sunny evening in Spain by my neighbour Liz, who was on holiday there last month.
We were back to the fine warm weather here again today and I managed to get out on my fairly speedy bike before it got too hot. It was not as early as I had planned but at least it was before coffee time.
I was in gentle mode as I was testing out my joints after putting my foot in in it at the weekend and I am happy to report that all went well and I lasted the twenty miles without crying. Although the colour has largely gone out of the verges there are still splashes here and there.
I was on the hunt for orchids and finally found a couple on the road to Gair.
Naturally we walked round the garden. We were both pleased to see that the potatoes are flowering at last.
There are still more to come out.
After lunch, I did some mowing and dead heading while Mrs Tootlepedal took out some flag irises and consigned them to the compost heap. They were too prone to falling over to be good value where they were in an exposed position.
It was too hot to be out for long so I retired from time to time to watch the tennis.
Although I didn’t spend much time bird watching, I couldn’t miss the basking blackbird on the lawn….
The main business of the day was a concert for our recorder group in the evening so I spent some time practising the pieces and some time writing a little introduction to them, as I am spokesman for the group when we play.
After a light tea, we went to pick up Susan and headed twenty five miles south to the little 18th century church in Hayton.
It was a handsome building but too closely surrounded by the village to let me get a good shot of it with my phone. We were putting two ten minute spots into each half of a program of choral singing by the Brampton Chamber Choir. The church was quite small but it turned out to be the best venue that we have played in with this choir. It has a raised chamber to one side of the body of the church…
…and we were able to set up shop there like minstrels in a gallery. The light was very good and there was enough space so that we could set our chairs out in a semi circle and see and hear ourselves as we played. As a bonus, we didn’t have to move away when the choir sang. This all made for a very comfortable evening and we played pretty well with only one or two moments of anguish.
The choir sang a selection of English part songs from Tallis to Elgar and I enjoyed their work a lot. Add in a beautiful sunset as we drove back to Langholm and the whole excursion was thoroughly worthwhile.
Mrs Tootlepedal calculated that she personally constituted 4% of the audience so it was one of those concerts when the question of whether the audience outnumbered the participants was moot.
Owing to all the garden activity through the day, catching a flying bird was hard and I have had to settle for the nightly flocking of the rooks above the roofs of the town in the late evening when we got back from the concert.