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.
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.
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.
The tulips are going over but they are going out in style…
…and there are still a (very) few lonesome daffodils to be found here and there.
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.
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.
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.
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.