Toady’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker and shows part of a small army of ladybirds which he and Alison encountered on their recent Welsh holiday.
We had another sunny day here but unlike the the past few days there were definitely clouds in the sky.
I spent a quiet morning resting my leg while Mrs Tootlepedal was busy first getting her hair done and then going off to help out at the Buccleuch Centre cafe.
I didn’t have long to look at the birds but I did enjoy the contrasting attitudes of the goldfinch (supercool) and the greenfinch (super intense) to whatever was catching their attention.
For some reason, the two of them reminded me of those rather staged paintings of military men by the sort of artists who get into national art galleries.
One of the sunbeams picked out a greenfinch on the feeder.
The reason that I didn’t have long to watch the birds after the sun had reached the feeder was that I had an appointment at the hospital in Dumfries with a speech therapist. I was hoping to get some guidance on exercises to improve my voice and keep it fit for singing.
I didn’t know how well my leg would stand up to 35 miles of driving so I left in plenty of time. Rather to my surprise, I passed some quite glowing autumn colour on my way but as there was no suitable place to pull off the road, you will have to take my word for that.
In the event, my leg stood up to the driving well enough and I had time in hand when I arrived so I visited a farm shop near the new hospital to stock up on cheese and other necessities of life.
When I got to my appointment, I was greeted very warmly by the speech therapist who turned out to be the same lady who had given me some very sound advice on looking after my voice ten years or so ago when I had gone to get help on retiring from teaching with rather worn out vocal cords. I apologised for not having kept the worksheets which she had given me then but she was very happy to give me some more with some more sound advice with singing in mind.
Interestingly, some of the exercises which she gave me were identical to the warm up exercises which our new Carlisle conductor gives us to do. In this case though, she advised me to use them as a warm down after singing.
In an exciting if slightly nervous leap into new technology, my next appointment with her will be via a video link on my computer to save the time and expense of the long drive to the hospital. I will miss the opportunity to buy good cheese though.
Because I had missed good photo opportunities on the drive, I took a view from the hospital car park instead.
The drive home went smoothly and I would have been very pleased with my leg if walking from the car park to the hospital entrance and then back again, a fair distance, hadn’t been quite a painful experience. However, I now know that if I can’t walk far, at least I can drive.
We seem to have just missed some very bad weather as I could see pictures of the Loire valley under snow and Venice under water as I watched the TV news in the hospital waiting room and our son Tony told me that the sea on the Fife coast was very rough this evening.
All is calm and pleasant here.
The flying bird of the day only qualifies for the title by millimetres.