The joint was jumping

round house

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone, who has been doing more walking than golfing lately.   He went past the Round House recently, just before the snow came.

round house

We had rain overnight and the garden was clear of snow when we woke up.  I would like to have been able to report on the state of the snow on our hills but the clouds were so low that we could hardly see our chimney pots let along any hill tops.

I had to go back to the Health Centre this morning to get my dressings changed where I have scraped my arms on the bike when falling off.  As I also got some of the plasters off my face at the same time, i thought that this was a good bargain.

When I got home, I had a look at the dam bridge repair works.  The men have put a longer pipe on the pump from the coffer dam….

dam bridge repairs

…and it gurgles away in a very satisfactory way.

dam bridge repairs

It is surprising how much water comes though the pipe.  It provides a very good flow for the dam downstream.

dam bridge repairs

It has kept the water out of the works so well that the men have excavated all traces of the bridge with only our gas pipe left standing.

dam bridge repairs

There were signs of reconstruction starting as we left to go to Edinburgh after lunch but it was dark by the time that we got back so I don’t know what has happened yet.

Before we left to drive to Lockerbie to catch the train,  Mrs Tootlepedal made a sticky toffee pudding and some soup and while she worked, I watched the birds.

It was pretty gloomy but the birds didn’t seem to mind the light rain or the noise at the bridge.  A chaffinch gave me a cheery wave as it showed off a nifty one footed landing technique.

chaffinch and siskin

A bunch of mean looking greenfinches turned up and I was impressed by the sang-froid with which this one ignored an impertinent siskin.


It didn’t look very happy about it though.


Another siskin took the more sensible option of attacking from the rear and in this case it did dislodge the greenfinch, though I missed the actual moment of triumph.

goldfinches and siskin

In a separate incident, two goldfinches quarrelled aerobatically.


Other birds came and went under the feeder or in the plum tree.

There were black blackbirds…


…and brown blackbirds.


There were pigeons (and a dove which I missed)


A couple of starlings dropped in.


And a lone dunnock made a welcome appearance.


The trip to Edinburgh went very well and we found Matilda and her parents on good form.

We had a display of balletic dancing from Matilda, games of snap and pelmanism and some very gentle and kindly jumping on Grandpa’s chest so tons of fun was had by all.

For our tea we had a very tasty selection of pizzas with home made toppings made  by Alistair.  This was followed by Mrs Tootlepedal’s sticky toffee pudding and the faint sound of groaning which we could hear in the background was being made by disgraced millionaire ex-executives of bankrupt building companies realising that all their ill gotten wealth couldn’t buy them a better meal than the one which we were enjoying.

The trip home went equally well.

The flying bird of the day is an ultra cool goldfinch doing its “Look mum, no hands!” routine.


When I see birds in this attitude, I am always irresistibly reminded of the Rev Walker skating on Duddingstone Loch, as painted by Raeburn.

Untitled-1 copy


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “The joint was jumping

  1. Glad to read things about your face are healing up well, it’s been quite some winter hasn’t it! I don’t suppose at one time Mrs. Tp will share her recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding would she? Perhaps not, as then I might venture to ask for her fish pie recipe as well. I can only ask.

  2. That’s a great shot by Dropscone. The roundhouse could be part of a castle.
    I hope the construction of the new bridge goes as well as the deconstruction of the old.
    I think it would be great to have that channel full of water right outside my back door.

  3. Loved your commentary on and photographs of all the activity at the bird feeder. Glad your various injuries are healing and that you had such a pleasant trip to Edinburgh.

  4. I’m surprised that you had the time to shoot so many wonderful photos of the birds in your backyard and have your wounds looked at before your trip to Edinburg. It sounds like a fun day overall, despite a visit to the health center, although the overall news that you’re healing well is a good thing.

  5. I believe some who climb the ladder of success lose their common sense at about the sixth rung. Food made and shared with love always tastes better as it isn’t seasoned with bitterness and greed. The birds seem to enjoy the competition and mock fighting. And the Reverend just skates. Very clever end to a great post.

  6. Oh, yes! The bird and skater are quite the pair. Glad Matilda and family were in form, and how right you are about millionaires with their ill-gotten gains. Let’s hear it for sticky toffee pudding!

  7. Great photos of your acrobatic birds and the skater, which I hadn’t seen before. Last Wednesday he could have skated on our front lawn today he could be swimming the length of it! Pleased that your injuries are healing well and the bridge construction is well underway- all set for a good weekend.

  8. The trouble with my erratic reading method and reverse catch-ups is that I seem to have missed you being injured. I hope the damage is mending well.

    I’ve always liked the skating vicar, though I can never remember the proper title or artist.

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