A happy but quiet birthday

Today’s guest picture is another from the seasonal treats offered in Nottingham.  My brother didn’t just have the chance of curry, he could have had Belgian waffles too.

nottingham fun

It was my birthday today but since when you get to a certain age, just arriving at another birthday is a treat and a privilege, we didn’t make a lot of fuss about it and just enjoyed the day as it went along.

It was a colder and greyer day than ever today, with a touch of frost on the lawns when we woke up.  Under the circumstances, a brisk half hour on the bike to nowhere in the garage was the best way to start the day.

The morning was brightened up by the unexpected arrival of the Scott, our former minister, for coffee.  His coffee radar has obviously not been blunted by his weeks in his new parish in Glasgow.  We had a very interesting talk about the challenges his parishioners face  in one of the poorest parts of the city and we wish him well as he plays his part in trying to help people meet these challenges.

When he left, I spent a little wasted time peering out of the window to see if there was enough light to photograph a  bird or two.  There wasn’t really enough but I clicked away regardless.

There were birds to watch if I looked hard.

busy feeder again

And it was good to see a sparrow among the goldfinches.  The chaffinches always seem to be last at the feast when the feeder is busy.

busy feeder

A male blackbird was hard to pick out in the gloom…

male blackbird

…but a female stood out better.

female blackbird

After lunch, we went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda.  She welcomed me with a hug and a handsome handwritten birthday card and showed off a whirling light on a stick which was most impressive.


Matilda treated us to a wonderful dance show to music by Tchaikovsky and Ravel and after tea, we played a family game of hide and seek.  Mrs Tootlepedal was the most successful hider.

The evening meal was worthy of anyone’s birthday.  A dish of crispy onion and mushroom dal with a coriander and ginger chutney, cooked by Alistair, followed by an orange and lemon chiffon pie, cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal and brought up on the train with us, provided a meal fit for a king.

On our way back to the station we passed rather bigger set of twirling lights on a stick, part of the Edinburgh Christmas fun.

edinburgh funfair

I was surprised to be able to catch a flying bird of the day at all today and even more surprised that it turned out to be a blue tit and not a chaffinch.

flying blue tit

I should add that Sandy has posted pictures of some of the people that he met on his recent Thai holiday.  You can see them here.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “A happy but quiet birthday

  1. Such interesting containers you and Mrs. T. must take with you to Edinburgh! (p.s. – happy birthday!).

  2. After a certain age, birthdays become a privilege, not afforded many? I am delighted that you work so well to earn and enjoy the said privilege. and share them. You deserved a good day and long may it be so.

  3. Oh, that birthday dinner sounds wonderful. And what more could you have asked for than twirling lights and a dancing grandchild? Also, I really like the way you wrote about being poor, which is a huge, huge challenge. Most people don’t understand how much work it is to be poor, but it seems as though your minister does. And you, too.

    1. I agree, I liked that, too. Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado is a good book about what hard work being poor can be. She wrote an essay on the topic before writing the book.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday! What a wonderful way to celebrate! I’m with you on the past-a-certain-age thing, birthdays take on a whole new meaning. We have had a lot of gloomy gray weather too, as if one needs more reminders of shorter days, but your bird captures are admirable nonetheless.

  5. Oh, today was the birthday, and because you were in Edinburgh, there was a bigger dessert than the usual very small cake. I am glad you had such an excellent day.

  6. Belated happy birthday-mine is three days before yours if I’ve counted correctly (and backwards too!). I like the quiet part of celebrating but happy when friends and family call. i thoroughly enjoyed a Happy Birthday sing from the grandson.

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