Mostly quiet

diesel loco

Today’s guest picture shows one of the two diesel locomotives that together pulled Dropscone and his daughter Susan to Scarborough on a railway special to celebrate her birthday.  They didn’t have ideal weather for a seaside outing.

diesel loco

We had another pleasant morning and it was further brightened by the arrival of Dropscone bearing traditional Friday treacle scones.

I had enough time for a good look round the garden before he came.  The combination of the Japanese azalea and sweet woodruff is delightful even with the azalea not fully in bloom.

sweet woodruff

New flowers are turning up all the time.  This is Veronica…


…and these are two other white flowers which I haven’t had the time to identify yet.

white flowers

The tulips are going over but they are going out in style…

yellow tulip

red tulip

…and there are still a (very) few lonesome daffodils to be found here and there.

late daffodil

I like an aquilegia and this one caught my eye today.


The garden is well ordered but if you get the right view, it can look quite satisfyingly wild too.

garden in May

When Dropscone came, I got the full story of his trip to Scarborough with Susan.  In spite of some rainy weather, they had enjoyed the outing, although the fact that the weather in Langholm had been very nice in their absence was a little hard to bear.

I cheered him up with some rhubarb and he went off intent on shopping and golf.

I looked at the forecast when he left and it offered heavy rain by four o’clock so I had a quick lunch, got my fairly speedy bike out and got ready to go for a ride.  My saddle has been making creaking noises recently so I took it off and cleaned and greased the fittings.  This is always a risky business because it is hard to ensure that you put a saddle back in exactly the same position that it was in before.

I set off to see whether I had managed this trick.  It turned out that it was fractionally different but as it now seems to be in a better position when I cycle uphill, I may leave it for a while and see how comfortable it is on a longer ride.

It didn’t get much of a test today because I stopped after 23 miles.  I had intended to go a bit further but I felt good when I started and pedalled harder than I meant to so I stopped before I got too tired.

I only took one photo opportunity as I was busy pedalling.

bull and calves
A bull pretending to be a bush and two of his progeny

The short ride gave me the opportunity to mow the drying green and have a chat over the back fence with a neighbour who has just come back from America.  He said that the temperature had been in the 80s there and he was finding our 50s a little chilly.

I sieved some compost for Mrs Tootlepedal who was planting out a couple of rows of carrots and then had another wander round the garden.  I found another newcomer.

lily of the valley
Lily of the valley
A set of alliums with a decided aversion to growing up straight like a good allium should

The hostas are beginning to put on a show.  I like this variegated variety.


We went in and had a cup of tea and then I put some time into practising both playing and singing.  I wish our conductor wouldn’t make us learn songs off by heart.  It is more trouble than it is worth for me, though I must say that when I do finally get the tenor part of a song confidently off by heart, it does feel like a genuine achievement.

I have always relied on being able to sight read music reasonably well and have never developed a musical memory as I should have.  However, this is a lesson too late to be learned now.

I should say that it rained exactly at four o’clock so the forecast was bang on time today.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had an enjoyable time playing pieces that we know well (but haven’t had to learn by heart).

No flying birds today but some crouching sparrows, house and hedge, on the ground beside the fat ball feeder.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Mostly quiet

  1. You have such a wonderful variety of flowers in your garden! I too, always have relied on my ability to sight read well and never have been able to learn anything by heart with ease. I also lose confidence when performing and need the words/music with me ‘just in case’.

  2. Totally agree with you about learning stuff off by heart. Conductors seem to think it’s the only way they can get singers to look at them. Wrong thinking in my view.

  3. The shot looking into the columbine blossom is excellent, and not easy. I tried and failed on our wild ones.
    And that shot of the lily of the valley is one of the best I’ve seen. I’ve rejected at least 30 photos that I’ve taken of them. I’m going to try again tomorrow and if I can come close to yours I’ll be happy.
    The alliums are pretty, straight or not.

      1. If you have a Lumix TZ60 or the like, it will probably be there as long as you are not using ‘auto’ mode. I can find it in the ‘record’ menu if I am on A or S mode.

  4. Your neighbours must be happy to live next to your garden – lovely views from all sides. It seems your hostas are on schedule, as they usually don’t appear until it’s quite warm. Very oddly, our collection poked their heads out of the ground at least a month earlier than usual and must be regretting it, with frosts the last two nights.

  5. I know..I hate having to learn by heart, even though it’s probably good for me in some painful way. You have reminded me that I need to have a go at it before tomorrow’s​ practice..

  6. I liked the bull in the bush.
    It must be very difficult to learn the tenor part of songs by heart. Well done for managing it.

    1. You can usually find the RAW is a possibility of you move away from the auto setting. You have to have a photo editor of some sort to deal with the RAW files.

  7. I cannot sight read, and play entirely by ear. I envy your ability. I had piano lessons for a short time when I was 7 years old, and started learning to read music, but most of that is lost now.

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