Today’s guest picture comes from camera club member Peter who not only helped with serving the cream teas at Waterbeck yesterday but also kindly sent me this picture from our camera club trip to Beamish last week.
The forecast seems to be pretty certain that it will rain all day tomorrow so I was very happy to make good use of another fine and warm day today.
I started with a look round the garden after breakfast where flowers seemed to be singing in trios…
…and then I drove south into England where I saw this fine display of rosebay willowherb…
…and had a very satisfactory singing lesson. I have reached the stage where I can now sing well enough for my teacher to be able to tell me that I am singing badly. This may sound paradoxical but good teachers will know that you never tell a pupil who is doing something badly that they are doing it badly as that only discourages them. You tell them that they are doing very well. You only tell them that they are doing something badly if they are actually doing it quite well and can improve. I was very encouraged.
When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal and our neighbour Liz setting the world to rights from the comfort of our garden bench.
Appropriately enough, since they are both grandmothers, not far away I could see that the Special Grandma rose has come out.
When Liz left, I had a walk round and was pleased to see the first flowers on one of our buddleias. I hope that it will soon attract butterflies.
It was a good day for some hard work in the garden so I gave Mrs Tootlepedal a hand with the settling in of the second of our new garden beds to replace the one crushed by the digger when the electricity pole was put in.
We are very pleased with our shiny new electricity pole but we are even more pleased with the new beds.
After lunch, I did the crossword and then set off to pedal a few miles on my bike. Mostly I pedal very gently and even on long rides, I eat enough so that I weigh the same when I get home as when I set off. However, the energetic pedal on Saturday had had the pleasing effect of causing me to lose a little weight so I resolved to get my head down and pedal as hard as I could today. This meant only two stops for pictures, one of the broad road….
…and one of a narrow path.
It is good to see unmown verges and flowery banks.
The effort put into the ride was very worth while as I enjoyed the pedal down to Canonbie and back and sweated off a little more weight.
When I got home, I had time to have a shower and then my flute pupil Luke came for the last lesson before a summer break.
When he left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I dug up another of our early potatoes. They are producing an excellent clean crop which is not helping my weight loss programme at all but they were very delicious with an otherwise cold meal for our tea. While they were cooking, I mowed both the front and middle lawns, a task which by happy coincidence takes just the same amount of time as new potatoes take to boil.
It was a pity that such a good day was then spoiled by the extremely capricious behaviour of my computer. It thought it would be amusing if it took several minutes to complete each and every operation so that the preparation of pictures for this post took me longer than my twenty mile bicycle ride had taken, Far longer. It was most annoying but at least it has spared the weary reader yet another picture of the salvia, as I had lost patience long before I came to it.
During the afternoon, I found a moment to watch sparring siskins at the feeder…
…and had another go at taking a picture of St John’s Wort. The camera just doesn’t like them at all.
As well as potatoes, we should be getting to eat peas and beans in the not too distant future.
And there were roses looking as close to perfection as a gardener could wish.
If it does rain tomorrow, the garden will be grateful even if I will be a bit morose.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin intent on higher things.