Bad back back


Today’s guest picture is another from Annie’s visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.  Alliums are Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourites but hers don’t usually look as regimented as these.


As it happened, I had a chance to look at Mrs Tootlepedal’s alliums this morning after breakfast and I thought that they looked very good…

Allium alley

…even though they are not so perfectly spherical as the ones at Chelsea.

I had taken the camera out into the garden because I had spotted a frog in the pond…


…and while I was out there, I looked at the Camassia…

It has nearly gone as far as it can go

…and the Irises….

…which are just starting out on their journey

I went back in and saw one of our many beady eyed blackbirds through the kitchen window….


…before packing up some newspapers and a packet of Jaffa Cakes and setting off to to do two hours in the Information Hub on the High Street.

The Hub is hosting an art exhibition by two talented local artists so I was quite busy in my role as ‘curator’ of the exhibition as well as answering requests for information from several actual tourists and I had a good time.  As a bonus Dropscone dropped in to give me some company.  I will be sconeless for a while, as he is going off to act as an offical at a big international children’s golf competition near Edinburgh for several days.

I had hoped to  make good use of another very fine and sunny day with some extensive lawn care and a cycle ride but for some reason or other, my back had taken the huff and I was having a bit of difficulty walking let alone doing anything more vigorous.  It is just a twinge from a long standing problem and should be gone soon with some careful management.

After lunch, I went out and had a longing look at the lawns, which could have done with some tender care, and then looked at flowers instead.

A brisk wind was fluttering the geraniums
The fancy tulips by the front door are being reduced in number every day and their red companions have all gone.
The clematis round the back door is coming on strongly

It was such a lovely day that staying indoors seemed a sin.  I was able to pedal my slow bike about if I was careful so I went off to the nuthatch nest to see if the parents would be about.  They were obviously feeding young as they went in and out with great regularity…


…and even took some time to tidy the nest out.


The sun is in the wrong place for getting good pictures of the birds in the afternoon and I should try to get up early if the weather is fine again tomorrow and take some better shots.  I wouldn’t bet the house on that happening though.

The nest is in a fine pair of trees, worth looking at in their own right.

Nuthatch trees

While I was watching the nuthatches, I could hear some flapping nearby and after some investigation, I could see a pigeon sitting on a nest on a branch of the same tree.


From time to time her partner arrived with food and on one occasion, with some additional furniture for the apartment.


I pottered off on the slow bike just to turn my legs over for a mile or so and stopped to look at a cheerful patch of wild flowers on the Castleholm.

Castleholm Wildflowers

Castleholm Wildflowers

Garden escapes provided some other colour beside the Lodge Walks.

In the surroundings of green this azalea stands out like a flickering flame
There are plenty of rhododendrons about too

I was hoping to get a flying bird or two at the Kilngreen but being a bank holiday, the Kilngreen was full of human visitors rather than birds so I settled for a nougat wafer slider from Pelosi’s ice cream van and pedalled home slowly.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was just finishing her gardening for the day. After a look at a promising peony…


…we went inside, where we were soon joined by Mike Tinker who arrived in nice time for a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit.

My back was giving me enough trouble to persuade me to reluctantly cancel an evening of trio playing with Mike and Isabel but I managed to give Luke his flute lesson before retiring to sit down for the rest of the evening.

I didn’t spend much time looking at birds out of the kitchen window so this was my best effort at a flying bird of the day.   Must do better.

flying siskin




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Bad back back

    1. Knee problems are tricky. I won’t need to tell you to take care with but I will anyway. They are just about the only thing that can stop you cycling.

  1. Sorry to hear your back is playing up and kudos for getting out and getting some blog fodder anyway. I like Mrs. T’s allium display much better than the one at the flower show.

  2. Mrs Tootlepedal has to be a master gardener. Her flowers are just gorgeous! And your bird pictures are great despite being on the wrong side of the sun. I hope your back will be back in order soon.

  3. I also send back commiserations but that looked like a very nice day indeed all things considering. The Chelsea alliums were almost unnatural in their perfection, I think I like Mum’s rather better.

    1. The tree is great at this time of year and on a sunny day, I agree. We are really lucky with our weather at the moment when everything is so green.

  4. Compared to our “green”, which is rather a meadow than a proper lawn your beautiful lawn will be content to wait out till the greenkeepers back behaves dutifully (which will hopefully soonest). I envy Mrs T’s peonies!

  5. My back has been nagging me for a couple of weeks, so I can sympathize. All it takes is time.
    I like Mrs. T.s alliums much more than those at the flower show. They’re a bit unnatural looking, in my opinion.
    That’s a very happy looking frog!

  6. A lovely set of photos (again!). I especially like the shot of the irises. I do like the vertical lines of the leaves, and the flowers are beautiful set against the green.

  7. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Quite a beautiful set of photos in spite of it. I love the frog.

    Sorry to hear you will be sconeless for a bit as well. A bad back and no scones?

  8. Back problems are no fun, not that I need to tell you that, hope that you’re feeling better soon! It has to be even worse knowing that there won’t be any scones for a few days. I agree with the others, Mrs T’s alliums look much better than the artificial looking ones at the flower show.

  9. More delightful images along with witty and informative prose. I too have a bad back with sciatica-induced pain, tingling and numbness in my left leg. It wasn’t like this 40 years ago.

  10. The frog photo is compelling. In the first place t’s an unusual capture of the froggy face, and in the second place the overall composition is very pleasing. I think you might put it on your short list for the next photography competition.

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