Hip hip hooray (modified rapture)

St Pauls

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew.  He passed a prominent landmark on a recent cultural trip to the capital.

St Pauls

I would have enjoyed a quiet day of rest today but medical matters intervened and I had to drive to Dumfries in the morning to see a specialist about my hip. It has been giving me modest pain for a number of years and I was hoping that getting a new knee would improve my walking enough to stop it hurting.

My walking has improved but my hip pain hasn’t so I went to see what was what.

I had a moment to look out of the window on another cold and grey day before I went.

A chaffinch looking a gift seed in the mouth.


You don’t think of birds arguing but these two chaffinches are taking the Brexit debate very seriously and if you look closely, you will see that one is putting his foot down most firmly.

When I got to Dumfries, a very nice doctor gave me the once over, was flatteringly amazed by my youthfulness and bendability (you might well worry about his judgement) and assured me that whatever else I had, I didn’t have arthritis in the hip joint and that no surgical invasion of my body would be needed.

This was quite a relief but did leave the question of what is giving me the gyp.  He was less definite about that, counting out a number of possibilities on his fingers and writing me a prescription to see a physiotherapist.  So, no arthritis and no cure.  I call that a 1-1 draw.

I was going to do a bit of sight seeing on the return journey but a smir of rain and a biting wind, coupled with the fact that I had carelessly come out without coat, hat or gloves, persuaded me that home was the place to be and I was back in time for lunch.

We had been promised rain but it hadn’t arrived by the time that lunch was over so I popped out for a walk to stretch the legs after all the sitting around yesterday.

I had the oyster catchers in mind and there was a pair at the meeting of the waters but they were very uncooperative.  When I was on one side of the river, they were on the other and when I crossed over to get closer, they crossed back.

oyster catcher
Distant views

Pairs of birds are noticeable now and both the oyster catchers and the mallards were keeping company.

oyster catcher and mallard

I was idly trying to take the perfect flying gull picture (not easy in the poor light)….

black headed gull

…when I got a multiple choice option, not just once…

black headed gull

…but twice.

black headed gull

I don’t know what had disturbed them  It certainly wasn’t me.

I crossed the Ewes and walked round the new path.  Life is on hold during the cold spell and exciting developments are hard to find..


I strolled on up the Esk, first on the riverside path…

Riverside path
Looking back down the path. There is not a lot of colour in the scenery just now.

…and then following the path that climbs up the slope beside the river on the way north.

Walk 2

This track was carefully cut into the steep slope many years ago and has survived remarkably well.  The cold, dry spell has made walking conditions very good for the time of year.

I did try to creep down to the waterside for an arty bridge shot on my way but I slipped over in a most undignified manner and got a very soggy spot on the seat of my trousers so I desisted.

Once I got to the road, I was going to walk back along an open hill track but a suspicion of rain made me think better and I scurried home along the sheltered road as best as I could.  In the end, it didn’t rain properly until the late evening so I could have taken my time.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I arrived back and she drew my attention to horticultural mathematics in action, kale fractals.


Instead of a long awaited phone call from the power company with whom I am in dispute on behalf of the Archive Group, I received a letter today.  This was quite exciting until I read it. It says, “I am sorry that you recently had to raise a complaint with Scottish Power. Unfortunately it is taking longer than anticipated to resolve your complaint.”   It didn’t specify why this should be.  In spite of the doctor’s kind remarks this morning, I am ageing fast.

I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and felt better.

My flute pupil Luke came and cheered me up even more with some excellent playing.

The flying bird of the day is a departing duck.

flying duck



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Hip hip hooray (modified rapture)

  1. I had a period of about six months with hip pain and the day after a particularly painful night it was fine and has been since. I think it somehow dislocated itself and had to “pop” back in. Maybe what we call a chiropractor could help with it. I wish I’d seen one.
    The flying duck of the day is an excellent photo!

  2. Love the departing duck. Fingers crossed for rapid enlightenment regarding the hip issue. As for the power company…words fail me…not something that happens easily

  3. Reading the title for this post, the first thought that came to mind was that the power company issues had been solved, I’m sorry to hear that is not the case.

    I’m also sorry to learn that your hip is still in pain, I hope that the doctors can locate and remedy that situation.

    All the photos are very good, especially the mallard in flight, but my favorite is the two chaffinches arguing, very well done, and very amusing as well.

  4. It really makes me wonder what time frame Scottish Power had anticipated. Do they have a record book of anticipated time frames or what?! Turn to page 14 for…

    1. The trouble in this case is that things are in such a mess that it would be hard for anyone to find out what has gone wrong. Since I can’t actually talk to anyone who could sort it out because of the way their system works, it is going to take quite a bit of to and fro before anything gets done.

  5. What a pain that power company is. Glad you haven’t got arthritis in that hip and hope someone can suggest what the cause of your pain is. The departing duck was my favourite today.

  6. Glad you got a good report on bendability from the hospital doctor even if he could not pin down the cause of your hip pain. Let’s hope the physiotherapist will be able to be help.
    You could write a book about Scottish Power.

  7. When I was cycling middle to long distances regularly, I developed bad hip and knee pain. I went to a very capable physiotherapist who had experience with cyclists and she gave me massages and exercises that really helped. Apparently our muscles can really tighten up and pull on the joints, and it’s worse if we grind away doing a tough cycle rather than gentle spin. Sometimes it’s our pedalling action as well that needs adjusting. I was building up some muscles at the expense of others. I hope your physio is able to help you with whatever is causing your pain. I thought the fighting bird and flying duck shots were particularly good. Still no satisfaction with the power company though – things move very slowly it seems!

    1. The hip pain doesn’t come from cycling. It is most likely to come from long standing nerve damage in my lower back or from a trapped nerve somewhere in the hip joint. I am very religious about stretching.

  8. Hooray for the physician who prescribes a physiotherapist rather than painkillers.

    Hooray, too, for the battling birds, the sculptured gulls, and the intricate duck. What a pleasure it is to examine the way its wings open up and work. Good work.

    1. I don’t like to take painkillers for joint pain except under extreme circumstances. If they work, they mask the pain and let you go on doing the things which created it in the first place.

  9. Hope the hip and pain gets sorted soon fingers crossed the physio sessions will help. Hope you don’t mind me adding a subject not related to your blog but my friend’s garden is being shown on the new Gardener’s World programme this weekend. It’s a lovely garden that struggles with all sorts of Welsh weather and I thought Mrs T may be interested. Julian has a blog too with fascinating photographs and studies…so many wonderful talented folk around sharing their interests and skills via blogs….hip hip hooray for hips and blogs!

  10. Good luck with the hip pain. Sometimes those can be pinched nerves. A chiropractor might be able to help if all else fails.

    Your power company sounds like our phone company….I feel your pain. 🙂

    Beautiful photos, and love the arguing chaffinches and fractal kale!

    1. I have no confidence in chiropractors having been put off in my youth by reading Raymond Chandler referring to something as being as ‘gaudy as a chiropractor’s chart’.

  11. Those two chaffinches had some serious foot-debate going on, great shot! Your mallard departing flight capture is beautiful, love seeing the back with wings full-spread. Hope you find comfort for your hip pain.

  12. Hips are tricky beasts. I had some trouble a few years back and never did find out what it was before it went away. I’m glad you got a nice walk in. You got some great bird shots, especially the flying duck.

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