Today’s guest picture comes from my daughter Annie. She would like to take all the credit for this fine hanging basket in her garden but has to admit that she purchased it from B&Q.
The clocks went back an hour in the middle of the night so in theory, I could have enjoyed an extra hour in bed in the morning. Things didn’t work out like that though. I had resolved to make good use of the extra hour of light in the morning by getting up early and going for a cycle ride before breakfast. Much to my satisfaction and Mrs Tootlepedal’s outright astonishment, I did just that.
I didn’t quite get up as early as I hoped but I was still out before Mrs Tootlepedal was awake and I completed my twenty mile round trip to Canonbie before she had gone off to sing in the church choir.
It was grey and the roads were damp but with the temperature just below 50F and with very light winds, it made a good start to the dark months.
It was too gloomy for pictures so I had to wait until I was home before I got a camera out.
The feeder was busy…
..until a jackdaw arrived and scared everyone off.
With the fat ball feeder enclosed in a cage and the seed feeder too finicky for its big feet, it didn’t stay long though and the greenfinches, chaffinches and sparrows were soon heading back to the feeder.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back from church and after a cup of coffee, set about clearing the dahlias from the second of the flower beds along the drive so that she could plant more tulips.
I spent a little time practising songs for our Carlisle choir and then went out into the garden too. I did some shredding of defunct dahlias, some sieving of serviceable compost and some wandering about with a camera.
I have sieved all the compost in Bin D and Mrs Tootlepedal tells that the rough compost that is left can easily be used for a winter mulch so it will soon be time to start the process of turning the bins again.
I made a pan of very plain and dull soup for my lunch and ate it with some freshly made bread and two varieties of cheese, which mitigated the dullness a bit.
After lunch, there was time for a little more gardening and bird watching.
Greenfinches played the tough guy.
Soon the new flower bed was planted and raked.
Mrs Tootlepedal was happy.
There was no time for a walk today as we had to set off for Carlisle for our regular Sunday Carlisle Community Choir practice.
Our excellent conductor was unable to come today but he had sent down a very adequate substitute and we had a useful and hard working session. We were in full Christmas mode as our next engagement will be our Christmas concert. Even though I had practised earlier in the day, the many mistakes that I managed to make showed that it is by no means too early to start work on the concert pieces.
They may well write on my gravestone, “More practice required,” and they will be right.
Now that the clocks have gone back, it was fully dark when we drove home and so there were no more chances to take pictures.
I had another plate of the dull soup for my tea in the hope that some resting time in the pan and another few minutes cooking might have enlivened it….but it hadn’t. Luckily there was still good bread and cheese to go with it. I followed it up with some stewed apples and custard. I mistakenly thought that my custard skills were up to being able to dispense with any accurate measuring of quantities and ended up eating apples and concrete. It has not been my finest cooking day.
The flower of the day is one of the surviving dahlias….
…and the flying bird is a chaffinch.