Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia, who like Dr Foster went to Gloucester but, unlike him, found that the weather was fine. She enjoyed a singing day in this lovely building.
Our fine weather continued and with the breeze still coming from the south, we had an even warmer day than yesterday. The watering seems to have encouraged the azaleas (though it may just have been another sunny day that did the trick) and there was a lot more colour about when I went out for a walk round the garden after breakfast.
Every flower had turned its face to the welcome sun.
There were colourful corners about.
…and the clematis by the front door has finally plucked up the courage to open its buds and see what life is like outside.
Among the flowers, I found a siskin having a rest on the pond bridge.
I went in to make coffee in preparation for the arrival of Dropscone (with scones) and I got so excited when he came in that I knocked over the full coffee pot which was standing om the counter top, covering the counter top, my hand and the floor with a rich stream of coffee and grounds. I said a bad word and put my hand under a cold tap.
On the advice of Dropscone, I got old newspapers out and laid them over as much of the mess as I could before keeping Dropscone happy with a cup from yesterday’s coffee pot while I got everything as clean and dry. Mrs Tootlepedal came in, took one look at the carnage and went out again.
Thanks to the good work of the much reviled mainstream media in soaking up the excess liquid, it didn’t take as long as I thought it might to get tidied up and I was soon able to sit and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and a scone while Dropscone told me of his recent golfing triumphs.
After Dropscone left, I decided to test out some shoe advice I had received from our daughter Annie and go for a walk. It proved to be good advice and I managed to walk a mile without too much trouble.
I went round Easton’s Walk and as I strolled through the park, I saw that a wood carver had been busy on a fallen tree.
My main object was to see if the wild garlic was out and it didn’t take long to see and smell the pretty white flowers…
…which lined my walk on all sides.
The were still some bluebells out so it was a walk to exercise the nose as well as the eye.
Although garlic and bluebells were by far the most numerous flowers to be seen, other plants were available…
…and the first sighting of vigorous grasses…
…were a hint of more pollen to come.
The hawthorns which are in a position to catch the sun are coming out and it will not be long until there is blossom everywhere.
It was a glorious day to be out for a walk even with slightly sore feet…
…and my mellow mood was enhanced by azaleas and rhododendrons in the park.
We have so little rain lately that our rivers are reduced to a trickle and I could see a reflection of the suspension bridge in the Wauchope above the Kirk Bridge.
When I got back home, I made some vegetable soup for lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a short course on how not to set the customers on fire at the Buccleuch Centre where she is a volunteer.
She had spent the morning slaving over her Embroiderers’ Guild branch accounts as she is the treasurer and had finished up with that most annoying of all accounting errors, a difference of £1 in the balances. I trained as an accountant for a few years after leaving school so while she was out, I went over the books and pinned the error down to a slight mistreatment in the recording of the petty cash and when this was regularised, the books balanced and all was well.
Mrs Tootlepedal returned and before I could even show her the books, she whisked me out of the house to record an emperor moth which she noticed sunning itself on the side of a building on Henry Street. It was worth looking at…
…but annoyingly, it wouldn’t spread its wings for me, so we left it to bask and went home.
Mrs Tootlepedal got her accounts ready to print and then we went out into the garden and finished off netting the fruit cages. It was still very warm but the sky had clouded over and it felt for a while as though we might get a thunderstorm. Happily, the rain stayed away and we completed the task and went in for a cup of tea and a moment to watch the birds.
Two goldfinches were in hot competition for the same feeder…
…and when I looked, I saw that some bad bird had made off with the perch from the opposite side of the feeder which might account for the pushing and shoving.
I just had time to go for a nine mile bike ride on the slow bike before tea and when I started out, I was very pleased to see our friendly partridge trying to work out a reason for crossing the road in Henry Street (you can see the loss of feathers on its neck)…
…and I came across an oyster catcher nesting in the middle of the bus park at the Rugby Club near the end of my ride. It got up when I stopped and stamped off in a huff so I took a quick shot and pedalled off apologetically.
In the evening, I went to the last practice of Langholm Sings under the direction of Mary my singing teacher, who has been our conductor for the past few years. I will miss her when she has gone and rather annoyingly, I will also miss her final concert with the choir as we will be on holiday next week. We had a very good sing though.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch heading towards the missing perch.