Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal and features one of our plums.
The picture itself might not seem to be earth shattering but the fact that Mrs Tootlepedal took on her new smart phone and emailed it to me, is a giant leap for her into a whole new world of tech.
The acquisition of the new phone was the main business of the morning and involved a trip to Carlisle. I had tried to get the phone sorted on-line yesterday but it proved an intractable business so we made an appointment to speak to real people in the EE shop in Carlisle. This proved to be a really good idea, as an admirably competent young lady was able to add the new phone to my account, get Mrs Tootlepedal an excellent bargain for the monthly charge and give me an extra gigabyte of data thrown in.
She told us that the staff in the shop are no longer paid commission for hard selling, and indeed get no bonus for completing a sale at all. They get their reward if customers speak highly of them when asked their opinion a week after the deal is done. This is a good idea!
She sold us what we wanted, didn’t try to sell us anything we didn’t want, gave us a tremendous amount of technical help and sent us on our way in a very cheerful state of mind indeed. We will speak highly of her when we are asked.
While we were in Carlisle, we bought some cheese, visited a bookshop where we had a cup of coffee, and wandered through a market in the middle of the town. All in all, it was a very satisfactory morning.
When we got home, we had lunch and then we went out into the garden. It was one of those days when the weather in Carlisle was bright and sunny but the weather in Langholm was grey and gloomy with the clouds down over the hills.
This is a bit hard to bear but I took a picture of Mrs Tootlepedal’s new phlox just for the cheery colour.
In spite of the cloudy day, it was warm enough and at worst there was only a faint drizzle so we got a lot done. I mowed the lawns and together we removed and binned what seemed like a hundred or more green plums from the poor old plum tree which is still overloaded with clusters of plums hanging on it like bunches of grapes. The plums are beginning to ripen and plum jam is in the offing.
After the de-plumming, we sat for a while on the bench while we rested and looked around. Some nicotianas looked back at us from behind the yew.
On the fence behind the bench, the runner bean flowers made a good show.
More actual beans would not go amiss but we had a few with our evening meal.
Across the lawn, a bee visited the lamium…
…while on the lawn, a harassed mother blackbird fed an ungrateful youngster.
We went in for a cup of tea and a biscuit and then I decided to go for a walk. I had only gone a few steps when my feet decided that a ‘bicycle walk’ would be better idea, so I got the slow bike out and cycled round an extended three bridges walk at a very leisurely pace.
You don’t see as much when you are on a bicycle, no matter how slowly you go but I couldn’t miss the gull on its favourite rock…
…or Mr Grumpy lurking more inconspicuously a few yards away down the river.
I cycled up the Lodge Walks and took a photograph. It was a bit dull so I took the liberty of asking my photo editor to put an arty filter on it. I quite liked the result.
At the side of the road, this massive fungus was easily visible at any speed.
The sun came out as I pedalled along, and it turned into a very pleasant evening.
In the low sun, the trees looked delightful both in general…
…and in particular.
I would have liked to have been on foot, but I bumped along the track on my bike happily enough.
I passed the Duchess Bridge but did not cross it…
…and went on to the Jubilee Bridge and the Scholars’ Field to make my way home.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their usual Friday evening visit, and Alison and I played some very satisfactory duets, including a Telemann Sonata which we haven’t played for some time and which went very well all things considered.
The hard working mother blackbird is standing in for the flying bird of the day.