A varied day

Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie.  As well as enjoying the delights of Venice lately, she also sampled a beautiful evening at Clapham Junction before she left for the continent

sunset over Clapham Junction

It was another day of variable weather but at least the rain was sporadic rather then persistent which was a relief.

I started the day by going to Longtown in the rain to pick up a new pair of glasses.  The optician has to deal with an extreme difference between my right and left eye and has given me a rather neat bifocal lens which he hopes will let me read with both eyes at the same time.  This will be a novelty if it works.

When I got home, I had time to have a coffee and the last slice of the oat, plum and ginger bake before I had to put on my sombre clothes and go to a funeral.  There was a good attendance as the funeral was for a local hero, Jimmy Maxwell, captain of Langholm Rugby Club in its most successful period ever, a rugby international and the chairman of the Common Riding committee for many years.

To us, he was the man who as a builder had done many alterations to our house when we first arrived in Langholm and who was responsible later on for putting in the ties that hold the house together and keep a roof over our heads.

Luckily the rain had stopped by the time that we came out of church.

I was sitting in the kitchen after the funeral when a knock on the door heralded the arrival of Sandy with two friends, Fred and Irene, who wanted to look round the garden.

Sandy with Fred and Irene

They are regular blog readers and wanted to to take the chance to measure my pictures against the real thing.  The enjoyed a garden tour and took an apple each with them as they went on their way.  Fred is just off to Africa where doubtless he will find interesting things to photograph.  I noticed as we finished our tour that the nerines beside the bird feeder are beginning to look their best.


Mrs Tootlepedal returned from Annan where she had been receiving treatment for a painful toe and was very pleased with the results.

I had to spend a bit of time getting everything organised for a trip back up to Bentpath in the evening where I was going to give a talk to the Women’s Institute there.

I did think of fitting a short cycle ride in but another heavy shower made me unthink.

There was time to watch the finish of the Tour of Britain stage before I checked on the weather again and went out for a short walk.  My plan was to take a variety of photographs which might help to demonstrate some good and bad  things to do with a camera and which I could use in my talk later on.

I started beside the river.

Langholm bridge
Considering how much it has rained, the river was quite calm as it flowed under Langholm Bridge
The sawmill bridge
The view up stream from the bridge
A local resident getting ready to fly

Then I walked up the Lodge Walks and across the Castleholm

fungus in fence post
I went from broad views to small with this fungus in a gate post
moss in a gate post
And this moss garden on another gate post
I spent some time trying to convey a feel that the trees are just beginning to turn but there wasn’t really quite enough contrast
Oak galls
The selection of oak galls gets ever gaudier
Rosebay willowherb
I was peering at the the final few flowers on the rosebay willowherb….
…when I was joined by a bee and a fly

I left the Castleholm, crossed the Jubilee Bridge and made my way home.

Warbla in evening sun
Warbla looking cheerful in the evening sun
Langholm Primary School
My old school looking a bit neglected. No use has been found for the building since the new school was built across the road.
A hoverfly in Mike and Alison's garden
A hoverfly in Mike and Alison’s garden which kindly opened its wings to make a better picture for me.

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal talking to two more garden visitors.  It turned out that our neighbour Isobel had brought ex Langholmite and now Canadian resident and  blog reader Joyce to see the garden in real life too.

Isobel and Joyce
It was very nice to be able to put a face to a long time reader and commenter.

Joyce particularly enjoyed the fabled compost bins and was pleased that I give the credit for the garden to Mrs Tootlepedal, the gardener and don’t pretend that I do all the work myself.

I just had time to make a sausage stew for my tea, cook a batch of rolls which Mrs Tootlepedal had shaped earlier in the afternoon and pack my stuff into the car before it was time to go up the road to Bentpath.  I checked the weather before I left and saw no need for a rain jacket. Needless to say, it was bucketing down when I got to the village hall, a mere six miles north of Langholm and I got quite wet getting the stuff from the car into the hall.

After the ladies had had a business meeting, I got down to business with a run through of various styles of camera and lenses and then a slide show of the pictures that I had taken for the recent flower show competitions with a demonstration of how they had been edited and a run though of the afternoon’s photos from the walk with some explanation of why some had been reasonably successful and why others had been failures.

The talk seemed to hold the interest of the audience…..

Westerkirk WI

…who kindly posed for a mass portrait afterwards.

The possibilities offered by photo editing led to some questions after the talk.

This was followed by an excellent cup of tea, sandwiches and cakes.  Giving a talk to the WI is always a satisfying experience because if anyone is skilled in providing a nice cup of tea and cakes, it is them.

The moon was out as I drove home.

No flying bird of the day as that dratted heron was too quick for me when it took off.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “A varied day

    1. Talking about things has never been a problem for me. Having the patience to acquire the knowledge and techniques to do things really well is a different matter.

  1. I am pleased you had a better day today. Your daughter’s sunset photo is glorious! I enjoyed looking at all your varied photos this evening and I am glad the WI did too.

  2. You are so clever, knowing all that about photography and being able to disseminate your knowledge. I liked the rosebay willowherb such a lovely colour.

  3. Quite a showing day with visitors to your garden and then your talk- how lovely for others to be able to share your interests and expertise. Old schools are empty here too- so sad. Love the willow herb photos. Dare I mention the printer…hope it’s working now!

    1. The printer is working and following some sound advice from Quiet Solo Pursuits, I have bought some good paper and got a good result with a print today.

  4. It seems like there’d be some use for an older building like the school, such as a home for a church or even some one’s house. Many of the older school buildings here have found new lives, which is rare here. We tend to tear things down and start over most of the time.

    They picked the right person to give a talk to the Women’s Institute on photography, you’re certainly good at all aspects of it, from macros to landscapes as well as wildlife.

    1. It is a big building with some leaky roofs and costs a fortune to heat so that it is not very attractive these days. I don’t now what will happen to it.

      1. I should have added that I bought some Canon semi-gloss paper after reading a recent post of yours and I am very pleased with the result.

  5. Yes, the school does look forlorn. But, another busy, creative day. Even if there was no bike ride.

  6. I can see your trees are starting to turn color, although it is still so green and lush there. We have had a tiny amount of rain, just enough postpone watering the garden for a day. It may be another month before we see any precipitation of consequence.

  7. I love the WI because of reading Home Fires and Nella Last’s diaries.

    Your mossy photo followed by the tree photo both look like evergreen forests.

    Sympathy for the loss of Mr Maxwell.

    How fun to have two blog reader visits. I am with Joyce on being a fan of the compost bins AND Mrs T!

    It would be a treat to attend a photography lecture by you.

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