Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who has been enjoying café society in the sunshine on the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park.
In a surprise but very welcome move, Mrs Tootlepedal invited me out to lunch today. The Buccleuch Centre, where she often helps out, is having an Italian week and she thought that I might enjoy a lasagne.
The weather was better today and this kind invitation gave me a big decision to make. Should I go cycling before or after lunch? The question turned out to be too difficult for me altogether and in the end I couldn’t choose and didn’t go cycling at all. Choice is very overrated in my view.
The plus side was that I had a relaxing morning, had a good lunch and then did some useful work and had a walk in the afternoon.
Mrs Tootlepedal decided that it was time to lift the first of the early potatoes and the results were very satisfactory.
We got a good crop of clean potatoes from the first row of plants and Mrs Tootlepedal soon had the space replanted with spinach (well protected from the marauding sparrows).
I took time to wander round the flowers. Yesterday’s rain hadn’t done any damage and even the sodden poppy looked quite perky.
There is colour all around….
…although the orange hawkweed is going over.
The paler astrantia is pulling in the bees.
The star of the morning was a rose once again.
The lasagne at the Buccleuch Centre was absolutely excellent and as it was washed down by a glass or two of red wine and followed by coffee and cake, I was more than happy to sit down when we got home and watch the final kilometres of an enthralling stage of the Tour de France.
When it had finished, I went out for a short walk, just to work off the lunch. I chose a route along the river to the Kilngreen, then over the Sawmill Brig, across the Castleholm and home by way of the Jubilee Bridge and the Scholars Field.
I saw a large number of ducks on the Kilngreen and among the usual mallards there was a unusual white duck.
It was sitting peacefully with the regulars but I have no idea where it has come from.
I got another surprise when I got to the far end of the Kilngreen and saw these two very large fungi.
As I often pass this way and have never knowingly seen them before, either they have grown very quickly or I am not paying as much attention while I walk along as I should be.
While crossing the Castleholm, I took a look at the horse racing track which is being prepared for a race meeting this weekend.
On the outside of the neatly mowed track, all is long grass and clover.
After leaving the racetrack, I passed through a gate with a rotten top to one of its gateposts.
A rotten gatepost is always worth looking into.
I passed many trees with things hanging from them….
…and noticed that the sheep were keeping a very low profile today.
I liked this….
…and I liked this even more.
On my way home, I peeped over the hedge into a couple of gardens….
…and then I peeped over our own hedge to show the view of the garden that passers by see.
We had some of the new potatoes with our tea and they tasted very good. I hope the next rows turn out as well as the first one has.
During the day, Mrs Tootlepedal and I were busy with our bow saw and we cleared a literal backlog of logs by sawing them up ready for the stove. In addition, I mowed the middle lawn which is looking better for its dose of weed and feed and sieved the last of the compost in Bin D.
I know readers will be feeling that they haven’t seen enough compost pictures recently so here is Bin C and Bin D with half the compost removed from Bin C into Bin D.
I will shift the other half later. Exciting times.
In the evening, I went off to practise with Henry’s Common Riding choir. We now have three basses and we are doing our best to provide a sound foundation for the rest of the singers. The songs are relatively easy and I am finding it most enjoyable to have a sing without any pressure to master tricky parts and memorise large numbers of words.
The flying bird of the day was one of the many young blackbirds in the garden. It was flying a few moments after I took its picture.