Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Gavin who is on a visit to some Scottish islands. He looked over the water to see the Paps of Jura. In my distant youth I ran in a fell race that went right over the tops of those hills. It was very hard work.
It was an all singing (but no dancing) day today and it set the pattern for Sundays for the next few months with the Langholm Parish Church Choir in the morning and the Carlisle Community Choir in the afternoon. It was just a pity that it was also fine and pretty calm so from a cycling point of view, it was a wasted day.
Still, it was good to cycle the few hundred yards to church in bright sunlight. We said farewell to Scott our minister. It was his last service before leaving to take up a post in Glasgow and he will be missed.
There was no choir practice so we had enough time to do a bit of gardening after the service and while Mrs Tootlepedal toiled, I did dead heading and some shredding….and looked about.
The chilly mornings lately have stopped the grass growing so I had time to spare to stare.
The garden was alive with butterflies with both buddleias pulling their weight…
…and many other plants offering attractions too. Oddly, the sedum hasn’t pulled a single butterfly or bee in yet…
…although it looks quite inviting to me.
The Michaelmas daisies were literally covered with bees.
Some flowers had found the chilly morning too much for them but a lot survived more or less well.
And the star of them all was a dahlia.
I went in and made some potato soup for my lunch and watched the birds while it cooked.
Daddy sparrow supervised the children on the mixed seed feeder…
..and Blue and Great Tits took sunflower hearts off to peck at in the plum tree.
Chaffinches leapt from the sunflower behind the feeder onto spare perches in the shade…
…while a little later on, a goldfinch enjoyed sunbathing.
A jackdaw gave me a sideays look.
We had to go early to the choir to help give out and take in music at the start of the session. Our new conductor was very impressed by the efficiency of the system. This term, we have all been given lanyards with our names on. This is to help members to remember who they are.
Our new conductor made an excellent start. She is full of pep, knows her singing, has a great sense of humour and is very encouraging so all should go well.
We were able to buy a DVD recording of our last concert with Andrew, our old conductor and I put it on our DVD player when we got back with a great deal of trepidation. I had two areas of concern. One was the fact that I was standing in the front row near the conductor so I hoped that the video wouldn’t show me making faces or scratching my nose. This turned out all right and both Mrs Tootlepedal and I appeared fully committed and singing cheerfully whenever the camera rested on us.
The other concern was what the choir was going to sound like. This turned out well too as we sounded well prepared and pretty musical so the DVD will be a good memento of the very enjoyable years under Andrew’s direction.
Mrs Tootlepedal had made the slow cooked stew in the morning and it turned out very well. With the addition of some home grown potatoes and marrow, it rounded a very satisfactory day off well.
The flying bird of the day came out of the shade of the sunflower.