Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to the park in Madrid. This was his favourite fountain.
After some heavy rain overnight, we had a generally pleasant day today, often sunny but still with a brisk “feels like” wind to keep our coats firmly buttoned up for the morning and most of the afternoon too.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day doing some early gardening and then going to the dentist for the final bit of her treatment. When she had recovered from that, she went back out into the garden and planted the rest of her potatoes. The strong winds may have kept us cold but at least they have been drying out the soil.
I had a very quiet morning, being firmly resolved not to make my hand any worse and to try to make it better. To this end, I acquired a packet of frozen peas and used that as a cold compress in between some self administered massage and bending and stretching the thumb. And of course I put plenty of turmeric into the soup that I made for lunch.
I walked round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal after breakfast.
The pond repairs are holding up well and the tadpoles are grateful as it gives them plenty of swimming room. A lot have survived the cold spring.
The tulips are flourishing, though the wind is damaging some almost as soon as they are out and the grape hyacinths are looking good.
At the back of the house, our neighbour Kenny has an exciting looking plant developing.
In general though, I did very little before lunch and I felt the benefit as the swelling in my hand went down noticeably. I did find a moment to watch the birds with the big camera on a tripod.
A regular stream came flying in…
…and there were a good few redpolls among them and on one occasion at least, they monopolised the perches.
One posed for a portrait.
I would have liked to go for a pedal on the slow bike after lunch to get my May mileage under way but as it is quite possible that doing several hundred miles on a bike with straight handlebars had caused my arthritis to flare up in the first place, I sensibly shelved this plan and went for a gentle walk instead.
My route took me through the town and up the Kirk Wynd to the top of the golf course and out onto the hill.
There was plenty of new growth to catch my eye as I went up the hill…
…but when I got out onto the hillside, one plant trumped all the rest.
It was that striking member of the pea family, gorse, a.k.a. furze or whin.
It wasn’t hard to spot.
And framed many of the views.
I walked through the gorse and enjoyed a grand view up the Ewes Valley….
I walked on as far as the road to Copshaw, where the water was bubbling along under this very old bridge.
Then I turned downhill to follow the road. It has a rewarding wall.
And I enjoyed these dogs looking keen to get to work in rounding up a sheep or two.
I didn’t go right down to the man road at Whitshiels but walked along the track on the Lamb Hill, enjoying (almost) fifty shades of green…
…whichever way I looked.
I strolled through the little wood at the end of the path…
…and made my way down to the Kilngreen where I enjoyed an ice cream from the van and a selection of waterside birds….
…as I walked home. The oyster catcher in the third panel was between the town and the suspension bridge. I took this picture of that stretch of water to remind Mary Jo of our walk on Monday when we crossed the suspension bridge.
When I got home, I was able to give Mrs Tootlepedal a small helping hand to get the very last of the potatoes in. I took a quick tour round the garden and was pleased to see the first apple blossom developing, catch a late opening daffodil of the day and admire a couple of clumps of yellow tulips beside the pond.
Then we sat on our bench and found that the late afternoon had got quite warm (if you could keep out of the wind).
Our neighbour Liz joined us for some serious bench testing and conversation until it was time to go in to cook our tea.
This was one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pies and it went down very well.
Fortified by fish pie, I went off to sing with Langholm Sings. In spite of just having had a concert, we are facing two more at the end of the month so there was a lot of work to be done. I found it hard going and was pleased when it was time to go home for a rest.
The flying bird of the day is one of the few siskins to visit us.
I am very hopeful that the combination of frozen peas, massage, careful use and a tube of magic cream are going to ensure that my hand will soon be fully back in operation again. And of course the good wishes of readers help too. Thank you.