Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who took a trip to Greenwich Park and enjoyed the view on a sunny day.
I started the day with a visit to Dropscone to return his hat and gloves which he had left behind after coffee yesterday and then pedalled on to the producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre where I stocked up on necessities such as honey and cheese.
When I got home, I found the birds in a rather subdued mood after some frantic to-ings and fro-ings at the feeder in the past few days.
Even the threatening behaviour seemed strangely gentle.
Our neighbour Kenny appeared with some grass cuttings for Mrs Tootlepedal who was going to lay them as mulch on one of her beds. I purloined some to make a green layer in compost bin A.
While I was out, I had a look round the garden. The recent cold spell has put new growth on hold without discouraging the plants that were already out…
…but there were a few promising tulips to whet the appetite for things to come.
No one could say that they were fully out…
…but it is better than nothing.
In the pond, tadpoles are beginning to break away from the crowd.
I liked this blackbird which came to listen to our conversation with Kenny.
Mrs Tootlepedal was well enough to do a little light gardening like digging up an old potentilla from beside the dam and I gave her hand and shredded the plant when it had been uprooted.
I got the mower out and had a test go with it on the middle lawn but there has been so little grass growth that it was a pointless and I put it away again and had another walk round.
The Christmas tree has thoroughly settled into its outdoor situation and is developing well…
…as is the rhubarb growing beside it. I am dreaming of crumble.
I took a picture of the first plum blossom of the year…
…and we can only hope that a few bees show up soon or I will have to get busy with the pollinating brush again.
Mrs Tootlepedal planted out a very cheerful primrose, which she purchased recently, into the chimney pot beside the feeders.
The fact that it had been on offer at a very reduced price made it all the more attractive we felt.
The euphorbias are showing their claws.
I got my slow bike out again and pedalled back up to the town to buy some gel insoles for my shoes. I had received some sage advice from arthritis sufferers to the effect that some padding in the shoe could only be a good thing so I am resolved to give it a try and see how it goes.
When I got back, I went in for lunch and had another look at the birds…
…and among the usual suspects, I was pleased to see a coal tit paying the plum tree a visit.
It soon came down to the peanuts and had a check out and a nibble.
It didn’t stay long but I hope it comes back soon and brings some friends.
After lunch, I put my new insoles into a pair of shoes and went off on my new bike to do a few miles and see what life on the road was like. Now I know that there is no structural damage to my sore foot, at least I can can give it as much exercise as it will take and cycling is a very stress free activity.
I haven’t been out for ages so I stuck to doing ten miles but it was a great pleasure just to be out and about and turning the legs over in a meaningful if steady manner.
This view from my turning point may not be very scenic but it was welcome all the same.
It was a grey day and there were no wild flowers in the verges so the only other picture I took as I went along was this diagonal procession of sheep.
Mrs Tootlepedal was recovered enough when I got home to go for a shopping expedition to Gretna and we were organised enough to get home in good time to watch the Grand National steeplechase.
After the race, I went over the hymns for tomorrow’s church service and cooked some sea bass, which I had bought at the market in the morning, for my tea. Mrs Tootlepedal had hot smoked salmon, a favourite dish, for her meal.
I am hoping that my new foot regime will let me get out an about a bit more and a look at the forecast shows that it should be cold but dry which will help, though a bit of warmth would be even more welcome.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch