Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony’s walk with his dog. He needed full colour to record this parakeet.
We woke up to a bright and frosty morning and I had to scrape ice off the car windscreen before I could drive south for another singing lesson with Mary, our Langholm choir conductor. It was well worth the effort of driving down into England as Mary is a most considerate and thorough teacher.
My eyes have been opened to just how many ways there are to sing badly and how many things need to be thought about and practised carefully if I want to improve. Still, it is very exciting to find something that can be progressive and rewarding when so many other things can only go downhill when you get to a certain age.
When I got home, I had little time to waste before I had to take our car into the garage to get its winter tyres put on. The frosty weather in the morning had been a signal that now might be a good time to get this done.
When I got home again, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had made a very tasty sweet potato soup for lunch and after tucking into a bowl of that with some good cheese on the side, I took a moment to look at the birds.
The brightness had gone out of the day by this time and a flying visit from the sparrowhawk, although it was unsuccessful, may have discouraged the birds as there were not many about. On top of that it was a day when the birds sneaked quickly up onto the feeder from behind instead of flying up slowly from the side so I didn’t get any good shots, just a few rather gloomy perching birds.
Most of my flying bird attempts ended up looking like this.
The one bright spot of the window watching was the sight of a tiny wren on the ground under the feeder.
They flit about the garden quite a lot but rarely stop for long enough to be caught by my camera.
I then spent some time wondering whether I should go for a bike ride or a walk. In fact I spent so much time pondering that the time for action came and went and the light faded along with my enthusiasm so I sat down and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database.
As the afternoon went on, we were visited by Mike Tinker who had come to wish Mrs Tootlepedal a happy birthday and a plumber who made Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday happy by taking out an old gas fire which she has long wanted removed.
In order to make sure that there were no unfortunate errors, Mrs Tootlepedal had bought herself a very nice light bulb which she gave to herself on my behalf as her birthday present.
My flute pupil Luke came and we got out a piece by Loeillet over which we had spent many months of hard work years ago when he was still a novice and greatly to my delight, we played though the whole sonata with none of the fingering or counting problems which had seemed almost insurmountable at the time. If we needed proof of our progress, this was it.
Mrs Tootlepedal made a delicious Thai curry for our tea and after enjoying that I went off to play enjoyable trios with the other Mike and Isabel.
The only flying bird that I caught today was this shifty looking chaffinch, trying to creep up behind the feeder.