Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruc. On his way to catch the train at Tweedbank a few days ago, he stopped to snap the fine pond in the village.
Today was day that can only be described as grey. To be fair, it could sometimes be described as ‘very grey and wet’ and there were moments when it was ‘exceedingly grey and wet and windy’ but for the most part ‘grey’ would do very well.
I had to walk up to the town to pay a bill and get a prescription, actions which were well suited to a grey day but otherwise, I spent the morning indoors, occasionally looking out.
Sadly, I wasn’t looking out on either of the occasions that a sparowhawk paid us a visit but the hawk must have found the light a bit tricky too because it was unsuccessful both times.
The small birds don’t stay away for long after the hawk has gone but they looked as though they found the day quite grey too. I have had to do a good deal of brightening in the photo editor just the make them visible in the pictures.
Greenfinches were much in evidence.
The weather hadn’t done much for their temper.
There was constant bickering
And it got to beak to beak business at times.
The chaffinches got into the act too.
You don’t often see chaffinches giving greenfinches the hard stare.
Then goldfinches got into fights as well.
No wonder this siskin was keeping a good eye for invaders while it ate a seed..
I put the afternoon to good use by practising songs.
First it was Langholm Sings songs with another of the tenors from the choir who dropped in for some confidence building before tomorrow’s practice.
Then it was Carlisle songs by myself. The trouble with practising by yourself is that you often seem to have got a tenor part off pat only to find that it has gone wonky when the other parts join in at the choir practice. In my perfect world, composers and arrangers would avoid discordant clashes and stick to simple harmonies but I realise that that would lead to some pretty dull listening for an audience. More practice it is then.
In the evening, I went out to a concert at the Buccleuch Centre given by the Dave O’Higgins Quartet.
Dave is described by one commentator as a post-bop jazz saxophonist. I would describe him and his quartet as the ideal pick me up at the end of a gloomy day.
I like serious jazz musicians like this. They wander onto the stage in an unassuming manner, looking for all the world as though they might have come to go over the books for tax purposes but then they get to work and magic spreads out from the stage and envelops the audience.
Best of all, the sax and drums were totally unamplified and the bass and piano had only the lightest touch so there was every opportunity to listen to the music without having to duck. A very rare thing these days.
The forecast is worse for tomorrow. This is my fault. While my cold was bad, the weather was good and now that my cold is getting better, the weather is getting worse. I apologise.
I did the best that I could as regards a flying bird of the day.