Stock response

Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Liz.  She has been going through her photographic archives and found this very odd picture from 40 years ago of me pushing her late husband down the street in a wheelbarrow.  Our strange expressions may be because we have large moustaches painted on our faces.  Memories have  faded but the feeling is that we must have been getting ready to take part in a charity fancy dress wheelbarrow race.


It was a miserable day here today and it didn’t stop raining until the late afternoon.  At times it was very windy too, so I was happy to idle about indoors doing the crossword, making soup and looking out of the kitchen window…

…where there was a lot of action all day.  The sparrows like the fat balls and the little shelter keeps the food and the eaters dry.

sparrows on fat balls

Other birds were soggier like this pigeon…

soggy pigeon

…and this starling…

soggy starling

…and this goldfinch…

soggy goldfinch

Somehow blackbirds seem to be more water resistant than the other birds and the raindrops roll off their backs.

damp blackbird

None of the birds looked very happy…

greenfinch and sparrow in the rain

…until this collared dove turned up looking very calm and dry.

collared dove on ground

The starlings are very busy feeding their young and this little fellow was waiting patiently while its parent collected some seed from the feeder.

baby starling

After lunch, we went off to get some more bird food and pay a visit to a popular DIY chain store  in Carlisle where we hoped to buy a decorative lampshade.  Mrs Tootlepedal knew what she wanted so we looked on the internet before we left and found that our local branch of the store had 20 in stock.  This was good news.

The bird food purchase went smoothly and we also got some straw for our strawberries so we were in a good mood when we got to the store.  Our smiles turned down a little when we searched the lampshade section and could not find the shade we had in mind.

We summoned assistance.  “I don’t think we’ve got any of them,” she said, “but I’ll have a look.”

She looked and she couldn’t find them either.

“They’re not in stock,” she said.
“Your computer says you’ve got 20 in stock”, I replied.

She consulted the computer and it did indeed say that they had twenty in stock.

“Ah,” she said, “but that doesn’t mean that we actually do have twenty in stock. They often say that they are sending us stuff, put it on the computer but don’t send it.”
“Ah” we said,
“Sorry,” she said…

…and we went on our way, sadder but wiser.

Still, we had other shopping to do nearby and that went well so we got home happy enough and found that the rain had stopped at last.

jackdaw going nuts

After a cup of tea, I went out and did some more compost shifting and sieving and then as it was very grey and windy, I went back in and resumed looking out of the kitchen window.

I thought that these sparrows were just doing the usual shouting at each other…

sparrow feeding 1

…but it turned out to be…

sparrow feeding 2

… another feeding experience.

sparrow feeding 3

The young are very demanding….

sparrow feeding 4

…and the parents have a very busy time…

sparrow feeding 5


sparrow feeding 6

In the evening it started to rain again but the gloom was lifted when Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I enjoyed playing Telemann, Parcham and Rameau duets before joining Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike to catch up on all the news.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow in the rain.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Stock response

  1. What a very wet day you had! I enjoyed seeing your blast from the past; I hope that bouncing bomb stayed in the bomb bay.
    My absolute favourite photo is of the young starling sitting amongst the geranium.

  2. I wonder if your old photo had something to do with the war. Didn’t the RAF actually have a wing called the dambusters? I think they dropped bombs that skipped over the water into German dams.
    The collared dove radiates tranquility.

    1. You are quite right about the dam busters but we almost certainly chose the name because of the dam which flows alongside our houses rather than for military reasons. 🙂

  3. So the computer said yes, but the human said no. Usually it is shoplifting that causes the disparity, but in this case it seems unlikely! You both looked very dashing in your comedy ‘taches 🙂

    1. Those were the days when I wasn’t carrying a lot of spare weight round my middle, just in the wheelbarrow. I tipped John out going round a corner in the race if I remember correctly (which I may not).

  4. That’s quite a photo of you from the archives!

    Customer service seems to be a thing of the past, sadly, especially with the advent of online shopping and/or browsing. I’d suggest calling ahead to confirm that an item is in stock, but I’ve learned from experience that it doesn’t work. The employee looks at the computer and says that they do have it in stock, only to learn that the computer inventory was wrong.

  5. Great guest photo maybe it will go in the archives! Everyone had a space hopper lying around in their gardens- glad you made some good use of it. A damp day indeed for you and the birds- they do look wet.

    1. We have had two and a half inches of rain which has been most welcome after several dry weeks but we are not sure that it knows when to stop.

  6. I hope you find the lampshade you are looking for, Tom. I’ve had similar experiences at the store where the computer says one thing and reality tells us something totally different. Very annoying!

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