Today’s guest picture, sent by Bruce, shows that however many oyster catchers we may have in Langholm, they have more on the Isle of Arran where Bruce is staying at the moment.
It was another day when grey clouds and a brisk wind made a theoretically warm day here feel rather chilly. I didn’t much mind though as I spent a lot of the day indoors singing.
The days are getting longer and there was enough light to say hello to the goldfinches…
…before Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to sing with the church choir. We had a busy time, with four hymns, an introit and an anthem as well as a practice after the service.
This didn’t leave time for a walk of a cycle ride afterwards so I had a stroll round the garden instead. There is promise of new crocuses…
…but it would help if we could get some consistent sunshine for a day or two.
I noticed a smart miniature daffodil in the chimney pot by the bird feeder…
…and realised that it must have fallen into the shopping trolley when we visited the garden centre not long ago.
Time for nature watching was short because we had a ‘singing afternoon’ with our Carlisle choir stretching from half past one to half past five. Observant readers might suppose that any visit to our Carlisle choir should involve singing, but these singing afternoons are a cut above our usual sessions.
Young and talented singing teachers come down with our conductor from Glasgow and give small group lessons to the various choir sections with technique instructions as well as specific tips for various tricky moments in the songs that we are practising for the competition in Manchester next month.
You can learn a lot from these teachers. It is wonderful how much difference a small modulation to a vowel sound can make for comfort and quality in singing a specific word on a specific note. It is less wonderful to remember that you might have been taught this before and forgotten it. But that is life.
The teachers are very patient.
The process of humming into water through a straw which I have been pursuing daily on the instructions of the speech therapist must have been worthwhile as my voice survived the day much better than it would have done last year.
And it was still light when we left the practice to come home. Roll on spring.
The flying bird of the day is an early morning chaffinch.