The guest picture of the day was sent to me by my older son, Tony. He was much impressed by this robot lawn mower mowing a public space in Edinburgh. I was too so although it is not the sharpest photo, I have used it.
We had another day of incessant sunshine and I was pleased to have been able to get up, eat breakfast and get out for a 25 mile cycle ride by half past seven in the morning. The temperature was perfect when I started off but it was already getting too warm for comfort by the time that I finished.
I took a picture with my phone to give a general impression of the ride…
…and was pleased to find an early silverweed flower at my foot.
They seem to like the salt that gets put on the roads in winter.
Apart from avoiding the worst of the heat, my early start allowed me to be home in time for coffee with Dropscone and since it was Friday today, this involved treacle scones. He had laid out some of his cash on a better quality bag of flour and this had paid off as the scones were first class.
While I was awaiting for him to come, I killed a little time chasing butterflies in the garden.
I couldn’t help noticing a few flowers too. Some were big and brash….
Some were more delicate….
And the sunshine made for a couple of quite classy close ups.
It was good though to get back into the cool indoors out of the sun and enjoy the coffee and scones.
After Dropscone left, with a few sticks of rather weedy looking rhubarb in a bag, I thought about mowing a lawn but decided that discretion was the better part of valour today and went back in and did the crossword instead.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been having coffee with ex work colleagues at the Buccleuch Centre but after lunch, she got busy in the garden and I went out to supervise. I did manage to sieve another bucket or two of compost for dressing the vegetable beds and we put some netting on the strawberry beds, but mostly I drifted about, trying not to get too hot.
I noticed the first yellow rose of the year…
…and enjoyed peering into an allium.
Whenever I did get too hot, I went indoors and practised songs and/or flute and recorder pieces for the concert in the evening.
While I was out in the garden at one point, a tremendous racket announced the arrival of a bunch of starlings which sat on the electricity wires and chatted.
They didn’t stay long though and were soon off in search of food for the youngsters elsewhere.
Other birds were available.
I noticed that a blue polemonium had come out…
…and the lupins are now going strong.
I went back in and made a feta, tomato and potato bake for our tea and then we picked up another choir member and set off for Newcastleton where our choir concert was being held in the church.
The thermometer in the car said 30°C when we got in and even driving along with the windows open didn’t cool us down at all. I was hoping that when we got there, the church would be dark and cool but it was just as warm inside as the day was outside and by the time that the choir and a very satisfactorily large audience had piled in, it was a bit like a furnace.
The heat didn’t affect the singing too much but playing instruments when your hand is hot and sticky is not quite what you want so although the recorder piece went not too badly, the flute accompaniment was rather streaky. The pianist complained that he too was making mistakes because his hands were slipping off the keys.
The audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy the concert. As well as the choir, there were poems, solo songs and a terrific contribution by three of our conductor’s students from Carlisle who sang songs from musicals and some crisp close harmony work as well.
All in all, the audience got quite good value for their entrance money, though there was enough scope for improvement in the choir to warrant a another practice before we repeat the concert in another church next week.
The almost flying bird of the day is one of the starlings.