Today’s guest picture shows we are not the only people in town to have siskins in the garden. Our friend and near neighbour Bruce took this picture of one of his visitors.
It was another grey and chilly morning here and apart from going out to mow the lawn again to clear up more jackdaw depredations, I had a quiet time of it in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal.
She was up visiting Matilda as she had stayed the night in Edinburgh after going to our young church organist’s degree recital in St Giles. She had been very impressed by the 32 foot organ stop which had caused the whole building to tremble.
She has been busy recently making a little stump work embroidery of Matilda sitting on our back stairs the last time she visited us. It is not framed yet but I think it is very charming.
The usual birds turned up at the feeder and had the usual conversations.
The greenfinch was back again. They never look very grateful for the seeds.
A siskin took a rather patrician view of what was going on below.
The garden is still very much on hold in the cool weather but individual flowers are appearing on the rhododendrons…
…and two of the azaleas are trying their best.
I took a picture of two Welsh poppies and although it didn’t come out at all well, I have put it in anyway just to show you how annoying my pocket camera can be when it wants.
How can it possibly have thought that I didn’t want the two very noticeable poppies to be in focus and what I really wanted to look at was some dull leaves and stones? I will visit the poppies again tomorrow and try to get it right.
A blackbird appeared on the chimney pot at the feeders. As it is carrying worms, I hope that this means that we will see little blackbirds soon.
My neighbour Liz tells me that she has blackbirds with young already in her garden.
I set off after lunch to drive to Lockerbie to catch a train to join Mrs Tootlepedal in Edinburgh. The little electric car behaved very well but when I got to the station, things went downhill.
I had pondered so much on the car before setting off that I had completely forgotten to take my card wallet with me so I had left my railcard and my bus pass behind, not to mention my debit card as well. I had no money in my pocket as I was expecting to pay for my (cheap) ticket with my car. Disaster! Luckily I remembered that I had a secret twenty pound note stashed in a secret pocket in my phone case for just such an emergency so I was able to buy my (expensive) ticket for exactly £20 and catch the train. It was late again but it was actually running this week so I was grateful for that.
When I got to Edinburgh, because I didn’t have my bus pass and had spent all my money, I decided to walk down to Matilda’s house. Things were going well until just outside the Scottish parliament building, my Achilles tendon gave up almost entirely and I had to limp painfully the rest of the way.
The pain was made worse by the subsequent discovery that I did have enough money in a ‘wrong’ pocket to have bought a bus ticket and saved my ankle. I shouldn’t really be allowed out by myself.
The visit to Matilda and her parents went well. We introduced Matilda to the delights of Beggar My Neighbour, a card game, and as she won handsomely, she thought that it was a very good game indeed.
She has birds in her garden too.
She and Mrs Tootlepedal had spent some of the morning making sticky toffee pudding so together with a delicious pasta dish knocked up by Clare and Al, we had a good evening meal. As Al then kindly drove us back to the station, our journey home was uneventful. Of course I had a minder on the way back or who knows what else might have gone wrong.
I was interested to see whether driving home in the dusk with the headlights on would make a big difference to the power drain on the car’s battery but it seemed to take it in its stride.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin, not the greatest shot I know, but I put it in to show that it is another ringed bird. Someone is keeping a good eye on our visitors.