Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle correspondent who has deserted our cool damp weather for the blazing sun in California while she visits her brother who lives there. She sent me this picture of her children suffering from the heat there and being comforted by their cousin.
I had an appointment in Carlisle to get two watercolour paintings which have been entrusted to the Archive Group valued and Mrs Tootlepedal came with me to make sure that I didn’t run off if they turned out to be worth millions.
The valuer was a very charming man who was pleased to see the paintings which are by W H Nutter, a Victorian artist, well know and admired in Cumbria. He said that he had never seen paintings of Langholm by this artist before and added that this would oddly make them less valuable as it is the Cumbrian pictures that are most sought after. You can tell by the fact that I am still here, that they were valued at less than millions (or indeed thousands) but they are valuable enough to make sure that we look after them well. I have had them framed and the next thing will be to see if some restoration can be done at a reasonable price.
We made good use of the trip to Carlisle by adding a little necessary shopping to the morning. Because I have been asked to provide two copies of one of my local photographic views to a friend, frames and mounts were on the list and we added some French, Italian and English cheese to these so the morning was well spent.
I had a walk round the garden when we got back, as it was one of the moments when the rain was quite light. Mrs Tootlepedal recently bought and planted a buddleia for me which I hope will attract butterflies. It is growing well but has only got as far as attracting bees at the moment.
About three o’clock, another lull in the rain gave me a bit of hope and, clutching an umbrella to protect my cameras, I went on a short walk up the Wauchope road to see an unusual thistle. I had passed it while cycling and I had taken Mrs Tootlepedal to visit it in the car when we came back from Carlisle because she hadn’t quite believed what I had actually seen it but when she saw it herself, she was convinced.
It was a white thistle.
I was distracted by lichens on walls and fence posts as I walked.
…and found a bit more water going over the rocks than on my last visit.
There were fungi to be seen…
…and in the garden.
During my walk, I was conscious of agents keeping an eye on my movements.
The rain got heavier after I returned home and that was the end of that.
In the evening, our neighbour Margaret took us to a pre Common Riding evening at the Masonic Lodge where the chief speaker was her grandson. He did an excellent job and as he was joined by a competent and varied lot of local singers as well as other good speakers, we had an enjoyable evening. It had the added advantage of not going on too long which was very welcome.
I don’t want to get too excited but the forecasters say we might get a glimpse of the sun tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.