Today’s guest picture comes from Tom in South Africa. He was in a position to see the famous Table Mountain but found it covered by the cloud known as the Table Cloth.
We had another dry and cloudy day here today. In theory it was quite warm but in practice a real chill in the wind made it feel decidedly parky and it was a day for keeping a coat on if you were outside.
Mrs Tootlepdal went off to Hawick after breakfast on embroidery business and I entertained Dropscone to a cup of coffee (accompanied by some of his traditional Friday treacle scones, still warm from the stove).
After he left, I went out and did some grass cutting and compost sieving. I am trying to get Bin D emptied so that I can start the process of turning the other bins. I am getting two new bins made to replace Bin A and Bin B which are showing the same signs of dilapidation as their owner so I need a bit of space to get the new bins into position.
They should be here next week so I am quite excited.
I found a moment or two to watch the birds. They are still in deep discussion about the merits of Brexit and the Trump administration.
Sometimes things get heated….
…and there are signs of a hard landing…
…but other birds are anxious to join in the debate…
….it was rare but sometimes harmony broke out and birds flew side by side instead of straight into each other.
The chilly, sunless weather over the past few days has put flower development on hold for the most part but the daffodils are still looking good…
…and a marsh marigold has appeared in the pond.
Mrs Tootlepedal returned from Hawick in time for a bowl of red soup for a late lunch and when she had finished, she went out into the garden to take advantage of the dry spell. I made a loaf of bread in the bread machine and got the fairly speedy bike out and set off to do the same 20 mile ride as yesterday.
I did stop for a photo or two today. The interesting cow at Canonbie was resting…
…but it had arranged for a substitute to be available for passing photographers.
I stopped near Irvine House for a banana and a drink of water and fortunately chose an flourishing piece of wall to lean my bike against.
It was the wall that had everything.
The wind was cold but not unhelpful and after grinding into it up the hill for the first five miles at a snail’s pace, I did the last 15 miles in well under an hour. Interestingly (to me at least) I ended up doing the ride in the same time as yesterday to within a minute. I may be slow but I am consistent.
When I got back, I had a look at the yew topiary in the middle of the garden and signs of nibbling made me feel that Attila the Gardener might have been at work….
…and a look round the other side, showed that drastic surgery had indeed been undertaken.
In my role as Onegesius, Attila’s loyal assistant, I lent a hand in sawing off the ball on top of the bush, clipping a bit here and there…
… and soon the bush was transformed. I then helped in tidying up the debris and in no time, everything looked quite calm again.
Mrs Tootlepedal gave the ravaged bush some TLC and we have every hope that the side that has been trimmed savagely will soon start to grow again.
It was getting too tall for us to clip easily and it was also encroaching on the path to the bridge over the pond so action had to be taken.
Mrs Tootlepedal had purchased some mutton chops from a traditional butcher in Hawick and she cooked these for our tea. They were very good.
In the evening, Mike and Alison Tinker came round and Alison and I had one of those hours of playing where we were definitely better than the last time we played the same pieces. It is always enjoyable to play good music but it is more enjoyable if you play better than the week before so this rounded off the day very well.
We are promised a little sunshine tomorrow which will be very welcome.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.