Beethoven and the Box Room


Today’s guest picture was taken by my friend Sue.  She borrowed my camera and took this shot of an elderly walker near Talkin Tarn.


My day started with two surprises.

The first surprise was that I managed to get my bike out and go for a 14 mile ride before breakfast. The second surprise was that it started to rain soon after I set out and I got a bit wet.  Still I was very pleased to get out at all and as it was quite warm, the business of getting wet was not such a hardship as it is in cold weather.  I enjoyed myself.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a church choir practice almost as soon as I had got back while I had a wander round the garden (it had stopped raining).

iris and dahlia
A wet welcome for a pretty new iris and one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s dahlias from seed.
nasturtium and strawberry
The first nasturtium and a promising strawberry

Then I had some breakfast and a shower and finally a look at the birds.  I have put a second feeder out in a new place….

siskins and sparrow

…but the same old birds are visiting it…

siskin and sparrow

…in large numbers.

Then I got ready to go out as soon as Mrs Tootlepedal got back from her choir.

We had two things to do.

Our first port of call was Lanercost Priory….

Lanercost Priory

…where we listened to a short concert of Beethoven’s songs and piano music which was given by the conductor and accompanist of our Langholm choir as part of the Lanercost Festival.  They are both excellent musicians and the concert was very enjoyable.

It also had the inestimable benefit of being no more than an hour long so we were soon on our way to our second destination.

This was the garden of our friend Sue who had the brave idea of buying a shipping container and turning it into a garden room.  With a lot of very hard work from Sue and her children and a very obliging builder, it has worked out very well.

Sue's container

It wasn’t long before we were ensconced inside.

Sue and Mrs T in container

It has every comfort including running water, a wood burning stove and a small cooker.  There is still some work to be done, shelves and that sort of thing, but it already looked like a space that anyone would be happy to be in.  The doors, windows, stove and flooring were all acquired second hand.

Sue gave us a tasty lunch and then we went out for a circular walk in the lanes round her house, taking in Talkin Tarn en route.

Although it was midsummer day, coats were in order as we set out….

Farlam walk

…but by the time that we reached the Tarn, the weather had improved and the coats were off.

Talkin Tarn with Sue

It is always a treat to walk round the Tarn, though it is hard to capture its full charm on a camera. The Tarn is quite small and it is the whole picture rather than any single part of the walk that is so attractive.

I tried though.

Talkin Tarn

Talkin Tarn

We were watched by shaggy sheep on our way to the Tarn…

sheep at talkin

…and we watched some birds when we got there.

talkin birds

There were other things to look at too.

Talkin rower

wild iris

There was steep hill to climb from the Tarn back up to Sue’s house but there were plenty of things to look at beside the road as we went along to keep our mind off the hard work.

Talkin road

It wasn’t a long walk but it was very good value with something large or small, near or far to please the eye at almost every step (and good company too).

We couldn’t stay long when we got back as I had to get back in time for my flute pupil Luke’s lesson.

Luke came and we enjoyed our playing.

The weather had changed from the wet and windy morning into a beautiful evening and the garden was looking suitably refreshed by the rain.

I had time to look at the new feeder before tea. It is hanging from a variegated elder and has a more interesting background than the old feeder on the pole but because it is under a tree, there is less light available for the photographer.   For some reason the branches are covered with lichen and moss….and sparrows.

Elder sparrows

The flying bird of the day is a siskin under the elder.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Beethoven and the Box Room

  1. I’m pleased to see Sue’s shipping container after its transformation. It’s a most attractive garden room. I do believe that housing made of such containers would help with the housing shortages in many places, and some companies are doing very well designed structures. It’s a tough sell here on the prairies though, to get a city council to be open to the idea.

      1. Perhaps surprisingly, they’re not really much harder to insulate here than the usual kind of exterior stud wall.

  2. I think the shipping container room is nice. If there were a front porch outside the sliding doors it might be a good place to sit on a summer evening. I’ve seen whole houses built from them, mostly in hurricane prone areas and used because of their strength.
    The priory is a beautiful building and I can imagine that any music would sound fantastic there.
    The views of and around the tarn are excellent.

    1. I’m glad you like the container room. You are right, the next thing to do is make some decking so that we can sit outside… or porch, which is a nice word for it! When I was researching the container idea, there seemed to be very few in this country but it seems much more popular in the US and Australia.

    2. The acoustics in the priory were very good. As always church pews are not the most comfortable things to sit on but apart from that, it was an excellent venue.

  3. The garden room made from a shipping container is nicer in some ways that the apartment that I live in.

    Any concert that has Beethoven’s music played well is a real treat.

    The views from around the tarn were beautiful!

  4. Nice and active day! And there’s nothing wrong with the large numbers of the same old birds. They and the garden flowers are a joy to the eye.

  5. I love the shipping container as garden room and how they transformed it. What a great idea, and especially love the wood stove in it!

    The birds, flowers and Scottish countryside are a welcome start to the day here.

    Blueberries are almost ready to pick here on our farm, and then the blueberry-oat scone experiments begin!

  6. Thanks for the visit and putting up the photos of the box room! Great to see you both and thanks for your phone message. It’s really nice to read the comments of your other readers about the container as well.

    1. It was a great treat to see the (almost) finished project. You deserve a lot of praise for visualising it in the forst place and getting it finished with all the hard work that that involved.

  7. I too like the container/garden room and the Tarn is very pleasant looking. My favourite photo is the one of the Black-headed Gull – the feather details are excellent and I like the bird’s casual stance and the patterns in the water.

  8. Sue transformed that shipping container into a really lovely space. I love the little wood stove. Those sheep look as if they’d enjoy a shearing.

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