A day of different shades

Olympic Stadium

The ‘London Trip’ picture for today is a glimpse of the Olympic Stadium in the Olympic park.  It is now chiefly a football ground and was a disappointment to me as I expected something more imposing.

Olympic Stadium

I have not much to say about the morning as it was a sad time.  My older son Tony came down from Edinburgh and together we went to the funeral of Ian, the son of our next door neighbour Liz.  He had died very unexpectedly, being the same age as our two eldest children and it came as a terrible shock to us all.

The words and demeanour of Ian’s wife and three sons made the unconventional funeral service very touching and it seems that they will have the inner strength to cope with this tragedy.

After the funeral and a short visit to the subsequent family gathering, Tony went back to Edinburgh and I finished off making a couple of jars of blackcurrant jelly which I had started at breakfast time, a mundane but soothing task

I wasn’t expecting to take many photos today but the unrelenting rain, which had made the morning even more sombre than it should have been, finally eased off and the sun came out.

I checked on the poppies.


They were battered but surviving.

As Tony and I had walked over the bridge after the funeral, we had seen a family of goosanders sitting on the bank of the Esk wondering whether it was good weather for ducks or not.  I went back to see if they were still there.


There were four of them but I couldn’t get them into one shot as they swam off in all directions when they saw me coming.


While I was at the bridge, I checked out the rock creation which I had seen  being built a few days ago.  It turns out that it is not a bench at all but a fine tortoise.

Rock tortoise

Nearby, I noticed a very badly painted robin.


I had to put gloomy thoughts behind me as the next business of the day was a final practice for our little choir which was going to sing at the Common Riding Concert in the evening.   The practice went very well and there was time when I got home to inspect the garden.  The front lawn was awash with about thirty sparrows pecking away….

sparrows on lawn

…but like the goosanders, they saw me coming and flew off before I could get a good enough picture to identify the guilty parties.

Could this have been one of them?


The sunshine persisted and I had time after my tea and before the performance to go for a quick walk round Gaskell’s.

A horse posed at a gate…


…hoping perhaps that I had an apple in my pocket.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk….

Manse hill

…and although I didn’t have time to dilly dally, I did see some things as I went.


Everything is so green and lush at the moment that the path almost disappeared at times.

It’s in there somewhere

The wind had dropped and even the grasses and docks were still.



When I got to the Stubholm and looked at one of my favourite evening views…


…I noticed a lot of furtive movement in the field in front of the house.  It was rabbits.  They all scampered off to hide in nooks and corners….


…except one who thought that by remaining very still, he could escape my eagle eye.


Does Bright Eyes come to mind?

It was a beautiful evening for a walk…

Castle Hill from Gaskells

…and I was sorry to have to rush round but my speed did bring me back to the Park just in time to hear the beat of a big drum coming up Caroline Street.

Langholm Pipe BandLangholm Pipe Band

It was the Langholm Pipe Band marching through the town to draw attention to the forthcoming concert.

They were perfectly in step.

Langholm Pipe Band

Their skirling music reminded me that I had no time to waste so I hurried home, put on a clean white shirt and made my way to the Buccleuch Centre and the concert.

It was a most enjoyable evening.  Our eighteen strong choir sang as well as it possibly could and was very well received by a packed house (the tickets for the concert are free which might have helped the attendance).  We hope to sing at the concert again next year.

As the concert ended, the heavens opened and we had to scurry home in a tremendous downpour.  There has been some heavy rain and even flash floods in nearby towns in recent days and I was worried that we might be in trouble but the rain soon stopped and all is peaceful again as I write this an hour or so later.

It was a day of clouds and sunshine, both literal and metaphorical, a day that made me think hard about the unfairness of life and count my blessings.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “A day of different shades

  1. Death is never an easy thing but it seems doubly hard when the person is young. I hope Ian’s family finds peace in the coming months.
    The tortoise builder should immediately find a stone mason to work for.
    That’s a beautiful horse and it’s nice to see some rabbits. I haven’t seen a single one this year.

  2. I’m sorry to read of your neighbour’s sorrows – it seems so against the natural order when a parent has to bury a child.

    The tortoise builder would be very good with dry stone walls. As for rabbits, they are soon going to be over-running our city. They have become very adept at dodging traffic and treat every garden as a salad bar!

  3. Very sorry about your neighbour’s sad loss.

    The pipe band look to be in splendid form. Glad your choir was well received.

  4. So very, very sorry about Ian’s death. Too young, too young! A sad day, but nature somehow always soothes during such times.

  5. All your followers above have written very eloquently about your day and I, too, send my condolences to your neighbour.

    Some lovely scenes today and the Pipe Band look splendid. Is that their own tartan?

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