Farewell to Andrew

Today’s guest picture comes from Bruce’s stay in Aberdeenshire.  He visited Lil’ C’s American Diner near Oyne and sent me this picture.  The beer, Doom Bar, had come a long way as it is brewed in Cornwall and Bruce and I had drunk a pint of it ten years ago in a pub in Cornwall when he was acting as driver for the Tootlepedal Lands End to John o’ Groats cycle tour.

doom bar

In an effort to preserve my voice as much as possible, I didn’t go to sing in the church choir today.  While Mrs Tootlepedal went off, I stayed quietly in and cooked a beef stew for the slow cooker and checked out the garden after the overnight rain.

It looked refreshed…

foxglove

hosta with raindrops

…although one of the delicate peony flowers had found it all too much.

peony after rain

A white spirea is just beginning to show the first of its many little flowers…

spirea

…and the mini forest of orange hawkweed is thickening up.

orange hawkweed

As we had a practice in store before the concert itself, we had to leave for Carlisle not long after Mrs Tootlepedal got back from church, packing a snack to fortify ourselves after the practice and before the concert.

We picked up a fellow singer from Canonbie and got to the venue in good time.  We were singing at a new venue for us, St Barnabas Church, and it looked a bit run down as we approached it….

choir church

Inside, it was a different story entirely…

choir church interior

…and I wish that I had had the time and a camera to do it justice.  The church was built in 1936 and has been thoroughly refurbished inside so that it may well be the most cheerful church that I have ever been in.

As is often our custom at concerts, we were joined  by a local primary school.  This has the excellent twin effect of adding variety to the programme and numbers to the audience.  The children sang very well and I was pleased to see several boys in the school choir.  Our choir was about eighty strong and the acoustic was rich so we were able to make a good sound too.

The church was packed when the concert got under way and it went off pretty well and I managed to get through it surprisingly well.   We sang a little tribute to Andrew, our departing conductor, as a final number and he was much touched.  We will miss him.

Our Carlisle concerts are never too long so we got home in good time to eat the slow cooked stew and although it had obviously rained a bit more while we had been away….

pulsatilla

…it was still, warm and pleasant when we arrived back so while we were waiting for the kettle to boil for a refreshing cup of tea, we took a quick stroll round the garden.

The irises are looking well….

blue iris

…and Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out the latest arrival, a very dark and attractive variety.

dark iris

The naked eye sees it as almost black.

While we were looking around, a blackbird paused for a moment on its way back to the nest.

blackbird with worms

There will be no worms left in the garden at this rate.

There should be some food for us later though, as the plums are looking promising.

plums

Now the choir season is over, I am hoping for some good weather to get value out of my new bicycle.  The immediate forecast is looking promising.

I didn’t get a chance to catch a flying bird but the feeder was busy while we were outing singing and I had to refill it when we got home.  It was soon in use again.

siskins and goldfinch

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Farewell to Andrew

  1. What a pity that your excellent conductor is leaving but well done for organizing a tribute to him as your final piece.

  2. The nearly black iris is a stunner, but all the flowers are in my opinion.

    I’m happy for you that the concert went well, but I’m sure that your conductor will be missed in the coming years. I hope that the forecast is correct, and that you’ll have plenty of chances to test out the new bike in the coming weeks.

  3. The dark iris is the top flower today! It’s sad that the conductor that you like has moved on but there’ll be fresh ideas and a new routine when someone replaces him…all helps to keep everyone interested. Fascinating church with the inside not really matching the outside!

  4. I haven’t seen a peony in bloom yet, or an orange hawkweed.
    I like that deep purple iris. It could pass for black.
    I’m glad you’ll have a little more time for cycling. The views are always great no matter where you go.

  5. Just curious if you can tell me what the flower is about the lighter purple iris? It’s very unique looking. How nice that you gave your conductor such a nice sendoff.

      1. Thank you! I googled it and the flower is lovely to begin with, but the seed head is beautiful as well!

  6. That church is indeed bright and cheerful. Glad the concert went so well and that you were able to sing without too much difficulty. That iris does indeed look almost black. My, my!

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