Today’s guest picture comes from my neighbour Liz’s recent jaunt to Spain. She saw the point.
The morning radio was full of talk of heat waves and burning sun but when it came to our part of Scotland, low cloud and a pleasant warmth was the order of the day. As I am not very fond of very hot weather, this was fine by me and I was able to do quite a lot of useful work in the garden after we had had coffee with Liz and Ken and mastered the art of getting Spanish pictures from her phone to mine.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Carlisle to do some shopping and I turned Bin A into Bin B, edged the lawn, sawed some logs and trimmed the front hedge along the road. I felt quite good about this and rewarded myself with a tomato and feta cheese salad for my lunch and a good sit down afterwards.
At various times during the morning I wander ed round the garden looking at flowers. I often concentrate on single poppies and cornflowers so today, I took a more generous view.
The perennial nasturtium is going to seed…
…but I like the little green berries as much as the flowers.
I was just enjoying a little snooze (and watching the Tour de France at the same time), when I was disturbed by the phone ringing. It was a welcome call from my daughter who was sheltering indoors from the fierce heat in London.
I was just settling back when the phone rang again and this time it was an even more welcome call. What could be more welcome than a call from our daughter? It was the power company ringing up about the Archive Centre electricity supply. At last, after months of delay, a person who knew what he was talking about to talk to. This may be connected to the fact that I had told the customer service man last week that I would go to the ombudsman if no one contacted me.
After some conversation, he wiped off the amount that they claimed we owed them, reduced our monthly payments, assured me that our meter was now telling the truth and that readings could be successfully submitted and promised me that we could go to another supplier without penalty. Oh frabjous day! It has only taken since November for this happy state of affairs to come about. Mind you, I wait for the written confirmation of all this before I open the champagne.
When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from Carlisle, she was quite impressed by my industry in her absence except in the matter of edging the lawn. It turned out that although my lawn trimming looked neat enough, there was still a large fringe of grass overhanging the actual edge and this needed remedial action by an expert. She did it quickly and efficiently.
The sun had come out by this time but it was still far from unbearably warm so we sat and had a cup of tea under the walnut tree. I looked at the vibrant honeysuckle behind the bench and the fading euphorbia in front of me.
I had taken a picture of the Rosa Wren in the morning and looking at the flower as we sat and sipped, I was impressed by how much a good day had brought it on.
But not everything had improved in the same time. I took a picture of a new poppy in the morning and looked in vain for it in the afternoon.
Mrs Tootlepedal drew my attention to some pinks that she had been given by our older son Tony and his partner Marianne on Mother’s Day back on May 6th. They came in a fancy little wicker basket and after keeping them for some time, Mrs Tootlepedal planted them out. They are doing very well indeed.
After the tea had disappeared, I went off on the slow bike to pursue a flying bird.
I passed the oyster catchers in their favourite spot on the bank of the Esk. They were having their tea too.
I soon found an obliging gull or two by the Ewes. Once again they came straight to the point.
I pedalled over the Saw Mill Brig, across the Castleholm and then over the Jubilee Bridge. I have often mentioned it and I thought it deserved a portrait on such a nice evening.
The sides really do lean in, it is not a camera aberration.
As I had a little time in hand, I pedalled on up to Pool Corner, which was also looking quite mellow.
I checked to see if the slow worms were in their warm spots.
The phlox was looking very fine when I returned.
When I got home, I heated up yesterday’s chicken in a gravy with mushrooms and peppers and it went down very well with another of our large new potatoes. There was some gooseberry fool left for afters.
In the evening, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and we had a good time playing sonatas by Boismortier, J C Schickardt and Telemann. There isn’t a large repertoire of pieces for flute, cello and piano so we have to play the same pieces several times over the year. Tonight we felt that we might actually have played one or two of them better than ever before. There may well be room for more improvement though.
The flower of the day is a day lily…
…and the flying bird is a young black headed gull.