A happy ending

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s sister Liz and shows the beach at Cromer in Norfolk which she visited last month while on a walking holiday.

Cromer June 2015 Pier and Huts 092 (12)Very stiff winds put all thoughts of an early morning pedal out of my mind and I did a little shopping instead and then had the pleasure of eating some of Dropscone’s scones while we chatted over our coffee.  We also had a tasty slice or two of cake.  This had been a gift to Dropscone but it had currants in it and he tells me that his children won’t eat cake with currants, apparently in case it poisons them.  They are otherwise quite intelligent people but their loss was my gain.

After Dropscone left to get ready to play golf, I did a little light mowing and a touch of dead heading before going back inside.  My good (unoperated on) knee was a bit sore so I didn’t want to tax it too much.

I set the camera up on a tripod at the kitchen window and took a few bird pictures.  It is certainly easier to have the camera on a tripod as my shoulders are a bit sore at the moment too and holding the camera with the zoom lens on steady for any length of time is a trial.  Even with the tripod though, the light wasn’t very good as we have lost all vestige of summer weather except for very brief moments.

sparrrow and chaffinch
If I was that chaffinch, I might make an excuse and leave.
siskin and sparrow
The siskins were being as rude as ever. There were plenty of spare perches.

There are a number of golden box balls in the garden…

box balls..and as we are at the time when they need clipping, I went out again and clipped a couple.  This one ended looking quite spherical which was pleasing as I don’t have the best eye for getting them right.

Today was the day of the first ride out of the year, the start of the two week build up to our Common Riding.  I had planned to walk  up a hill after lunch and see the horseman galloping across the countryside but by this time my knee was really sore and I had quite a bit of difficulty just walking the half mile up the road to the Auld Stane Brig.  Still, it was worth the effort.  Watching a ride out is a bit like watching a bicycle race.  First you get marshals and then you get the police…

Benty ride out…and only then do you get the main event.

Benty ride outSoon the whole road is full of horsemen….

Benty ride out…but no horsewomen, as even in this day and age, this ride out is an all male affair.

Benty ride out
This is Jamie, the cornet, who will carry the town’s flag round the marches on our great day.   A great responsibility.

Like a bike race, the horsey equivalent of the peleton soon passes by and disappears into the distance.

Benty ride outI was left to limp home, my dicky knee giving me plenty of excuses to stop and admire the verges on the way (without falling into any holes, I’m glad to say).

There were spikes….

sorrel and nettle…and more spikes and feathery things too.

umbellierfa and nettleI have had a lot of trouble trying to get sharp pictures of wild nettles but I have come to the conclusion that this is not just incompetence but chiefly because the nettles themselves are so fuzzy that the camera just can’t cope.

I was just about to pass another wild flower of no special interest when some odd colour caught my eye.

Wild flower with insects
It was certainly of interest to a variety of insects

One of which posed for a close up.

bluebottleThese insects are like mallards’ heads and look blue or green depending on how the light strikes them.  You can see one looking green on the right in the first picture.

I stopped at Pool Corner to look at the slow worms dancing and a rosebay willow herb looking delicate.

slow worm and rose bay willow herbAlthough it had rained on me while I was waiting for the riders to arrive, the sun had come out when I got back to the garden so I took a moment to look around.

Red flowers
I don’ know what the one on the left is but the one on the right is our first nasturtium

I need Mrs Tootlepedal to be on hand to help me name the flowers.  She is still staying with her mother for a few days.

poppy and honeysuckle
A rather elaborate poppy and the honeysuckle problem solved – catch it before it comes out.

The ornamental clover is looking wonderful and a close up reveals once again that things are more complex than they may seem on the surface.

cloverThere were other white flowers about.

The very last peony and Bobbie James just cutting loose.
The very last peony and Bobbie James just cutting loose.

My knee was quite sore enough to put paid to any scheme which didn’t involve sitting down when I finally got inside so I sat down and stayed there until it was time to cook my tea.  I don’t know whether the sore knee is a delayed result of falling down the hole two weeks ago or whether it a side effect of the pills which I have recently started taking.  We will see what a little rest does and that should give me a clue.

After tea, I went out with my neighbour Margaret to the Buccleuch Centre.  The Centre has recently become part of the live screening scheme which beams plays, operas, ballets and concerts into cinemas all round the country.  Tonight was their first screening so we were all a bit nervous about whether the satellite technology would work well but everything went like clockwork.

The show we saw was André Rieu’s live 2015 concert in Maastrict.  His billing describes him as “The King Of Waltz” and his concerts are a feast of light classical music laced with operatic arias, sentimental choruses and interesting guests (70 Romanian pan pipers and dancers and a 1920s style close harmony Germany singing group tonight).

The effect is akin to sitting in a warm bubble bath, drinking wine and being pelted with marshmallows and it was altogether delightful.  Everything is done to make you feel happy.  The ladies in his orchestra are dressed in elegantly puffy ball gowns in pastel shades, all the players are allowed to show that they are enjoying their playing by smiling and interacting, the audience are encouraged to join in, the staging is brilliantly colourful and André Rieu himself is a charming and witty host.   It would take a heart of stone not to enjoy the performance.  I don’t have a heart of stone so this was right up my street and tears of joy and laughter coursed down my cheeks at many moments during the evening.

As some of you will know, I usually regard any concert of more than and hour and a half as an affront to people’s patience but this one lasted three hours and was not a moment too long.

A chaffinch is flying bird of the day

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

46 thoughts on “A happy ending

  1. My local not-for-profit cinema is also part of that live transmission scheme. I love the feeling that I am enjoying the same show, if whatever kind, at the same time as friends in other parts of the country.

  2. Loved your photos of the ride out!! I miss my days of fox hunting, the pomp and tradition. Lovely that you got to enjoy it and I too am sorry to hear your knee is giving you trouble.

    1. There was no hunting involved in this ride out, just social exchanges, a sit down for a meal followed by some drinking and singing and then a damp ride home.

  3. Trimming a spherical shape isn’t as easy as it looks and I can imagine it being twice as tricky with a bum knee. That one looks like it came out fine.
    I love that poppy. I’ve never seen one like it.
    Nice shot of the fly, if that’s what it is!

    1. It is hard to give a description of Rieu that everyone might agree on. I can imagine that many people would just hate the whole performance but I have a sentimental turn of mind so it suited me.

  4. I enjoyed your description of the Rieu concert, especially the image of being pelted by marshmallows! Lovely portrait of the cornet, Jamie. I hope you find that rest fixes the knee issues.

  5. Your description of the concert was a joy to read. So sorry though about the bum knee and hope a bit of resting cures it. Thanks for hobbling out to take pictures of the ride out, a sight worth seeing.

  6. I hope that your knee mends soon, and that the weather improves, which may also speed up the improvement of your knee. A three hour long concert does sound long, but if you enjoyed it, it must have been worth that much time.

  7. Delighted to hear that the live screening was such a success, and no doubt made you forget your sore knee for a while. Hope the knee recovers soon.

  8. What a wonderful description of the concert you gave! It must have been very special for you to enjoy the entire three hours and have you laughing and in tears with emotion. I’m so sorry to hear about your knee though. I do hope the pain doesn’t continue. Beautiful photos as always, Tom. Thank you for sharing these words and images.

    1. It a pleasure to share with such a discerning and polite reader as you. The concert was great fun but the knee is less amusing. I hope it gets better quickly.

  9. I too am sorry you are being troubled by pain in your ‘good’ knee. Perhaps it is jealous of your ‘bad’ knee and wants sympathy. I have avoided listening to and watching André Rieu up til now mainly because of the ‘marshmallow effect’ and the fear of being smothered. I might give him a listening to now after reading your appraisal. I was fascinated by the amount of insects you saw on your walk on that one plant. It was also good to see pictures of the first ride out.

  10. I reckon the Rieu outing was just what the doctor ordered! Loved your description of the Andre experience and reckon that insect in it’s spangly outfit would not be out of place in the audience.

  11. I hope your knee is feeling better soon, Tootlepedal. I enjoyed your description of the Andre Rieu concert. We went to see one of his concerts, live, a few years ago and loved it!

      1. I’ve been wondering if you will have any photos of the horse racing this year? Or is it too early for it yet? (Or late, I can’t remember what time of year you posted them before.)

  12. Do me a favor and let me know if this comment is registered as coming from my new blog site. I thought I was going to have to find and follow all my blog friends, but they still all seem to be here when I sign in as the new blog. I’m confused.

      1. Hmm. Thanks. Since I got the new blog started, when I click on my top left icon to look at dashboard, under that it says now “My sites” and I can flip between apronhead and apronheadlilly (which is the new address for wp). Folks need to follow the new site, but I have the feed still of all those I follow. It also is using my same photo for the new blog as the old. Somehow it is just seeing me as the patron with 2 WP sites under the “me.” So when you get to that point, you will know what path I took. Confusing, but is better than I thought when I suspected I was to recreate everything.

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