Today’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker’s New Zealand trip last autumn and shows the Japanese garden in Queens Gardens in Nelson on the South Island.
I had a very restful day today, with three moments of activity in sea of peacefulness. The peace was helped by the continued absence of birds in the garden apart from a handful every now and again.
The first event was entertaining Dropscone to a cup of coffee and enjoying two of his tasty scones enhanced by some home made blackcurrant jelly.
He is going away to the south of England for a few days holiday with his daughter Susan soon so not only will I miss the scones but I won’t get any recorder playing either. I will try to be brave about this.
A very small group of goldfinches gave me something to look at after coffee.
But that was the maximum. A chaffinch tried to swell the numbers but was rebuffed.
I have bought a smart new feeder which holds a block of treats guaranteed to attract high quality birds to my garden….or so it said on the packet. I have hung it up but the sum total of high quality birds attracted so far is a a single coal tit…..and that arrived when my back was turned and had gone by the time that I looked round.
(Before you ask, I saw it out of the corner of my eye.)
As a result of the new feeder, the fat ball cage has been put on the bench but it is still has loyal customers who spurn novelty feeding blocks.
After lunch, I went off for a dull pedal on a dull day, going up and down the five miles to the lower slopes of Callister twice. I didn’t even take my camera as it was too gloomy but at least I got some gentle exercise. My Garmin computer, which records my rides, is still working on the bike but it has taken a huff and won’t talk to my computer any more so readers will be spared any little maps of forthcoming rides until it has recovered its good humour.
I have tried all sorts of things – WD40, resetting the factory settings on the device, reinstalling the program that it talks to, woggling wires, kicking things and even carefully modulated bad language but none of them works. This sort of thing is very annoying when something has been working perfectly well for years. You might begin to suspect that is part of a dastardly plan by the manufacturer to tempt you into buying a new device.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to be a front-of-house volunteer for a screening of The Pirates of Penzance at the Buccleuch Centre and I went along later to enjoy the show. I very rarely see a production these days with which I have no quarrels but this was one. Director Mike Leigh put before the audience a clean and simple production, well sung and acted, staged in an imaginative and clean modern setting which worked very well and which was well lit and at no stage did he put awareness of his clever direction before the audience’s enjoyment of a very witty show.
The only blemish on a charming evening was W S Gilbert’s tendency to make a mockery of an older woman. It jars a bit.
I did manage to find a flying chaffinch in the morning’s bird desert.