Today’s guest picture shows the railway station from which my brother began his walk up Snowdon earlier this month. The mountain is in the background.
We had a traditional Sunday today. Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with the church choir and I prepared a beef stew for the slow cooker.
She came back from singing in the church, we had an early lunch and then we went off for an extra long ‘singing day’ (1pm to 6pm) with our Carlisle choir.
We came back from the singing and got ready to eat the stew only to find that although I had put the stew in the slow cooker and switched the slow cooker on, I had not actually managed to switch on the socket in the wall so slow cooking had turned to no cooking.
Traditional methods were applied and we ate the stew an hour and a half later than planned.
Not my finest moment and ironically, Mrs Tootlepedal had remarked as we drove back from Carlisle that it was really good to know that we would be coming back to a ready prepared hot meal. Ah well.
This was not the only disappointment of the day.
It was raining when we got up but by the time that I had prepared the stew, the sun was shining so I went for a walk, hoping to see a wonderful display of bluebells in the woods beside the river.
The park looked very springlike….
…and the wild garlic beside the path along the river bank was in fine form, both collectively…
…but the bluebells were a bit underwhelming. They were there…
…and very pretty but in no way forming the complete carpet of the woodland floor which I had hoped for. The growth looks thin for some reason. Perhaps the trees came into leaf too soon and stopped the light getting through. Leaves seem to be coming rather early this year and oak trees and our garden walnut are already out.
I had a last look at the bluebells….
…and went back home to have a look round the garden.
There was some good blue there in the shape of the lithodora which is flourishing.
And a cornflower too.
Mrs Tootlepedal has two cultivated geums. This is the louder of the two.
It is in competition with one of the azaleas for the loudest orange plant in the garden.
I was very happy to see quite a few infant plums on the plum tree.
Mrs Tootlepedal picked the first crop of the year from the vegetable garden.
…and found the first salad leaves of the season to go with the radishes for lunch.
I look forward to having lettuce and marmite sandwiches on the menu soon.
It was such a lovely day that there was still plenty of light when we got back from the choir and I had another look round.
The Japanese azalea is showing its first flowers….
…as is the fuchsia on the back wall of the house.
Late tulips are still doing well, including some that Mrs Tootlepedal bought at Alnwick…
…and some slightly curly yellow ones which were the last to flower.
We have one or two Solomon’s Seals about and they have done well this year…
…and I am keeping a close eye on them (and the gooseberries) for any sign of sawfly.
I had time, while the stew was cooking, to mow the middle and front lawns and the drying green so the slow cooker failure did have an upside.
In the continued absence of any birds, he flower of the day is the clematis at the back door.