Two tests of memory


Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my friend Sandra who lives on the opposite side of town.  She has a fine crop of fungus on a tree stump on her drive.


It was Sunday so, as is traditional, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I prepared a venison stew for the slow cooker.

Before I started the cooking though, I took some time out to see how the garden had been doing during the absence of the gardener.

The nerines have thrived.


The sedum is out and attracting business.

sedum with bee

The dahlias badly need dead heading but there are a lot still going well, both neat…


…and rather shaggy.


There were a lot of takers for dahlia pollen.

dahlia with bees

The poppies also need dead heading but there were still a good number of them too which was gratifying…


…both for us and for many insects.

Some had given all they had to give though.


Other flowers are doing well as we don’t seem to have had much in the way of cold mornings while we have been away.



Japanese anemones


There a lot of poppies still to come.


The large lily and the rudbeckia area bit past their best.

lily and rudbeckia

There is even a new flower, Leycesteria formosa…

Leycesteria formosa

…commonly known as Himalayan honeysuckle and which can be quite a pest.   It looks very nice though so I hope Mrs Tootlepedal lets it some of it stay.

All in all, things don’t look too bad although there is a lot of tidying to do.

I went in and made the stew and then came out to give the greenhouse grass a light mow before finally getting into my cycling gear to see if I still remembered how to use a bicycle.   I have hardly done any cycling this month for one reason or another so although I didn’t have a lot of time, I thought it was a good idea to do a few miles.

I went for a shortened version of my customary Canonbie circuit which worked out at 16 miles and this was quite enough for a gentle reintroduction to the art of pedalling after two days of sitting in trains.

The country is gradually turning brown….


…and some of the trees are following suit.


…so I stopped for a couple of riverside shots on my way.

Hollows Bridge
The view from Hollows Bridge
Irvine House
Irvine House
Skippers Bridge
The view from Skippers Bridge

It was warm, the wind was light and my legs worked reasonably well so I enjoyed my ride. I didn’t have long after I got back before it was time for a quick lunch and a trip to Carlisle for a Carlisle Community Choir practice.

We are taking part in a concert in the Cathedral next Saturday with a celebrated Glasgow Choir and as a result we had a very hard working session.  I am happy to say that with two exceptions, I was nearly able to remember both all the words and the tenor parts for five of the seven songs we are singing from memory at the concert.  There will have to be a lot of work on one in particular of the other two before Saturday.  I only wish that I liked this particular song a bit more and then the work wouldn’t be quite as hard. It is our conductor’s favourite though so I will try to do it justice.

The flying bird of the day is a bee visiting a poppy.

bee and poppy

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Two tests of memory

  1. What a feast of colour you have in your garden, I also enjoyed the riverside Autumn colours. Glad you remembered so much of your repertoire for the forthcoming concert!

  2. You have many more flowers than we do now and they’re beautiful.
    Your fall colors are also far ahead of ours. Ours were well on their way but then summer decided it wasn’t done and we’ve had 80 degree days with tropical humidity for a week or more. That slowed the foliage colors down considerably.
    The view from the bridge is fantastic.

  3. It’s lovely to see your garden again with so many lovely flowers to enjoy. The views from the Hollows and Skippers Bridges are beautiful in any season but especially autumn. Look forward to seeing them again through the season as the colours intensify.

  4. Oh, that blue. Glad you are back on the bike. We had a two-week break, and are now back on the road again. Hope the concert goes well. Must be rough working on a song you don’t really care for. Looking forward to reading about the concert.

  5. Good to see so many flowers still blooming in your garden! Your grass is turning brown while our grass goes back to green now that the autumn rains have begun. I have a hard time explaining that to family and friends on the east coast who are used to brown grass in winter.

    Still very few larger birds seen on the farm these days. The quail have returned, but the other avian grape thieves have not shown up yet.

  6. It is good to see your garden again and the beautiful views of the countryside. I agree with Laurie that it is difficult to learn a song which gives you little pleasure. I have a Leysesteria in my garden and it is very popular with both the birds and bees. The blackbirds and robins cannot resist the berries!

  7. Your garden is looking fine. Did you know Leycesteria berries are edible? They taste like creme brûlée but with a bitter after taste. So they are worth trying once. It also comes in a couple of gold leafed forms.

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