Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She came across this artwork in an outdoor exhibition in a park. It is called The Tudor Ball and it is by Lars Fisk. Sometimes I wonder if I should have been an artist.
It was even hotter today than yesterday and by the afternoon, the thermometer was showing 30 degrees C. I took the day easily but my friend Ken is made of tougher stuff than me, and set off for a ride in the morning as the heat was building.
I walked round the garden (slowly).
The salvia was sticking even more snakes’ tongues out than ever.
In the vegetable garden, runner bean flowers are appearing…
…and the biggest flower in the garden is the courgette.
The rosa complicata is doing its best to catch Mrs Tootlepedal’s eye with some late blooming…
…and once again the garden was full of butterflies sampling different flowers.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a meeting in Hawick regarding funding for the proposed community moorland buy out. Later in the day I spoke to another person who was at the meeting, and he remarked that when you meet potential funders, they are always much more keen to suggest other sources of funding than to commit themselves. There will be a lot of work to be done if the dream is to be realised.
I stayed at home and watched the birds.
They were quite heated too.
It made me tired just watching them.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her meeting and we watched a very exhausting stage of the Tour de France where these giants among men scaled ever more incredible heights.
When the stage was over, we got ready to welcome Matilda and her parents Al and Clare, who are coming to stay with us for the Common Riding. Matilda is dancing in a competition tomorrow afternoon.
We were somewhat dubious about whether it was a good idea to open some doors and windows to let some air in or to keep them all shut and keep the air out. In the end we opened the back door onto the dam and I noticed a fine leycestaria growing just beside the door.
When we went out into the garden, I saw that a fine crop of poppies which I had photographed this morning…
…had completely disappeared by the afternoon.
The heat had knocked off more heads than the wind and the rain.
The Wren rose doesn’t seem to mind the heat. We have never seen so many flowers in good condition on a single stem before. Usually one bloom starts fading before another comes to full flower.
Mrs Tootlepedal has five different phloxes on the go so I took a picture of all of them but as I can only cope with two, three, four or six pictures in a composite panel on the blog, I have had to sneak in a ringer.
Matilda and Co were held up by heavy traffic in Edinburgh and slow traffic on the way down so I popped out for a steady ten miles on my bike while we were waiting. Because you make your own breeze while you cycle, it didn’t feel too bad while I was actually pedalling but I was extremely hot when I stopped.
Our visitors arrived safely in time for an evening meal. This was accompanied by some growls of thunder, streaks of lightning and some rain. The storm didn’t last long though, and while Matilda was getting ready to go to bed, I went up to the High Street where the Town Band had been playing a concert. I was too late to hear the brass band play but there were still plenty of people on the street. They were waiting for the Flute Band to march through the town.
This is an informal gathering of musicians who gather together at the Common Riding. The band meets exiles returning to the town on the last train in the evening of the day before the Common Riding itself.
The fact that the last passenger train came into the town about fifty years ago has not stopped them from meeting it every year since. We like our traditions.
Henry, the cornet and our church organist was playing in the front row as they marched along the High Street…
…and I could spot my flute pupil Luke puffing away too.
The pink ties reflect the Common Riding colours which are always the colours worn by the winning jockey in the Epsom Derby earlier in the year.
The band crossed over the Town Bridge and marched off down Thomas Telford Road followed by a large cortege.
I followed the flute band along Henry Street and when they had reached the end of the road, I waited for a minute or two, turned round, and hey presto, another band appeared!
Watched by the traditional one boy and a dog, this was the Burgh of Langholm Pipe Band…
…looking very smart.
The bands march and play to remind everyone in the town, as if they needed reminding, that tomorrow is Langholm’s Great Day.
There were more rumbles of thunder after the bands had gone and we are just hoping that the weather will be kind to us.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.