A tea tray moment

Today’s guest picture comes from a visit to Birmingham by my brother Andrew.  He took the opportunity to show us the BT Tower there on a beautiful day..

Birmingham BT Tower

I am trying mix gentle exercise with good quality rest for my foot so I went back to lie on my bed after breakfast and was fortunate to find a tricky crossword in the paper which took some time to finish and gave my leg plenty of opportunity to have a relaxing stretch.

When I came down, I joined Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden and we had a look around.  I once again marvelled at the agility and pertinacity of the slug who crawled up a  stem and took a single bite out of the trumpet of just one of this bunch of daffodils and then crawled back down again.

nibbled daffodil

That’s what I call a discerning diner.

The pulmonaria hasn’t done very well over the winter this year but it is producing a few flowers.

pulmonaria

We got out hedge trimmers and a saw and trimmed a couple of bushes next to our neighbour Irvin’g fence and then sawed off two branches of a lilac which were leaning over his fence (and not doing very well anyway.)

After that, we got into the car and drove off to a garden centre where we had a light lunch and made some judicious purchases.  Mrs Tootlepedal bought some plants and I bought a novel product for the lawn which claims to combine fertilizer for the grass with bacteria which are going to eat my moss and make it disappear without me having to rake the dead moss out.  This sounds a bit too good to be true but I won’t find out if I don’t use it and the grass needs a boost even if the moss doesn’t get eaten.

We came home by way of the Gretna Outlet shopping village.  I recently broke both my coffee cups by dropping one of them on the other so I was looking for replacements.  I was resigned to having to buy two unnecessary saucers to go with the new cups, and I was very pleased to find that I could buy cups without saucers thus saving both money and space in the cupboard.

Instead of going straight home when we got back to Langholm, we completed our little outing by driving through the town past my favourite view.

ewes valley

I looked back down the hill towards the town.  The foresters have been very busy in the recently felled wood and the wood is now full of the plastic tubes that go with new planting of deciduous trees.

new planting

We did see some goats on our way up to the county boundary and it is a sign of how well they blend into the background that you might think at first sight that there were four goats in the picture.  In fact the ‘goat’ on the left is a clump of heather.

three goats

They were busy eating but did keep half an eye on me to see what I was up to.

goat eating

And sometimes even both eyes.

goat staring

When we got to the county boundary we met an expert local naturalist who had parked there and was looking for interesting birds.  Had he seen anything?  Not a single thing.  If he hadn’t seen anything, we wouldn’t either so we set off  back down the hill.

We had to slow down as a goat crossed the road in front of us but by the time we had drawn alongside, it had its head down and was ignoring us entirely…

disguised goat

…as were its friends.

goats hifing

We left them to it and continued down to the Tarras bridge.  On the far side of the valley, we could see family groups of goats with their young.

goat family

When we got home, we took a moment to watch our own birds…

siskin in need of a perch

…and as there was a lot of demand but not much seed, I refilled the feeder…

not enough perhces

…but there was still more demand for perches than supply…

busy feeder full

…and things turned ugly.

threatening goldfinch

Very ugly.

two goldfinches

We left the sparring  goldfinches and siskins to it and went out to do some gardening.  The task was to use our petrol driven rotavator to dig over a grass strip between two narrow beds to make a larger bed for this year’s potato planting.

Things didn’t go well. The machine was hard to get started and when it finally burst into life, it was extremely reluctant to do any digging.  Instead of burrowing into the soil as it should, it just moved backwards towards the driver in a vaguely threatening manner.  We took the tines off and turned them round and that made no difference at all.

Mrs Tootlepedal went in  to study the handbook for the machine and I looked at it in a curious way.  I wondered vaguely what a rather faded label on the front of the machine might say and bent down to peer at it.  “The driver must always be facing this label”

This was what they call a tea tray moment, i.e. when you bang your head with a tea tray after making a discovery which should have been obvious all the time. When the machine had been reassembled after coming back in the post from its service, the handles had been put on the wrong way round. Duh!

We set about putting them on the correct way and took the machine out for another try.

Success!

rotavator

The soil was tilled.

All was not entirely sweetness and light though because the machine bumped up and down rather alarmingly at one end of the bed instead of tilling the earth.  Mrs Tootlepedal got into full archaeologist mode and dug an exploratory trench…

new bed with trench

…which revealed a double row of bricks a foot below the surface, obviously the foundation for  an old structure of some kind.

new bed bricks

Our garden has had a long existence in various forms and uses and Mrs Tootlepedal is used to finding all sorts of things under the soil when she is digging. We found a lot of big stones under the soil too today.

new bed stones

The bricks will come up and the machine will leap into action again and the potatoes will be planted.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and after Alison and I had experienced the benefits of doing some practice as we played Telemann, Corelli and Vivaldi, we all sat down together to watch the final of Masterchef.  Jilly, our local competitor, did herself proud but narrowly failed to carry off the prize.

Having watched some very good cooking, we will have to up our own game in the kitchen.  I am going to ask Mrs Tootlepedal for some quails eggs in a fig sauce to go with my porridge tomorrow…. or perhaps not.

There are not one but two flying goldfinches of the day today.

two flying goldfinches

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

29 thoughts on “A tea tray moment

  1. Tea tray moment – it’s easily done. I have to think hard about my lawnmower, without even the excuse of handles on the wrong way. Mind you, they look the same from both directions. And I certainly don’t cut the grass as frequently as you do.

  2. It seems amazing that herds of goats roam free there. I can’t think of anywhere over here where I’d see that.
    It’s also amazing that you can go on archeological digs in your own yard. That’s something I’d love to do. I hope the bricks come out easily.
    Those little tillers are handy things. I’d hate to have to dig that bed by hand.

  3. What archaeological excitements in your garden!
    Sorry your local competitor did not win Masterchef, but she has certainly set you a high standard.

  4. The shaggy goats are just wonderful. I love how they blend in with the landscape. It also occurs to me we never managed to do that as a species… Also love the feisty goldfinches.

  5. I have had many tea tray moments in life. 🙂

    I am glad these are friendly goats. The horns are impressive.

    Your FBOTD is excellent. The goldfinches appear to be having a good chat on the wing.

  6. Excellent Masterchef final and the finalists all did brilliantly- I marvel at all their cooking skills and wonder how on earth they all manage to know such things! Well done Jilly …maybe she’ll open a restaurant nearby! I like the sound of that fertiliser and bacteria! Great photos of the goats and birds. I wonder if there’ll be more discoveries in your potato patch.

  7. With the improved weather comes all sorts of work to be done. I really liked the picture that sprang to mind from your description of the machine leaping into action. Be sure to keep that aching foot out of reach of machines.

  8. Do report back on the miracle moss destroyer. Garden machinery, eh. We’ve had virtually everything we own break down this spring. Extremely frustrating but at least you were able to sort yours yourself.

    1. I will but as the weather has turned cold again, it may be a bit before I can test the stuff out. Sorry about your machinery woes. It is very annoying when things don’t work properly.

  9. Thank you for the tip about the new fertiliser and bacteria moss control. I will have to look out for that in our garden centre. I am already tired of raking moss!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Tiny Potager

Mindful, Seasonal Living in Middle England - with a family of seven

Ohio History & Travel

You can find a rich experience close to home.

That and a little bit of this

My name is Meg and in my blog I share my thoughts and philosophy of life and faith.

Occasional Adventures

A record of our travel adventures

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

Reclaiming Paradise

Tales from an organic gardener

Movin' on

Meandering with camera...

Notes From the Hinterland

A blog about nature, home, community, books, writing, the environment, food, and rural life.

PedalWORKS

... the man who goes alone can start today - Thoreau

quercuscommunity

Life after the Care Farm

Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire. www.llettycottage.co.uk

The Geek Homestead

Homesteading, homeschooling, gardening and baking with some geeky hobbies thrown in

Klarinet

Simple life with cacti

Salmon Brook Farms

Official Home of Lavinia and Rick Ross

rambling ratz

Rambling and bimbling around Herefordshire: mostly Credenhill Wood

thegardenimpressionists

Outside musings from our garden in Carmarthenshire

%d bloggers like this: