Events

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair who went up on to Calton Hill with his wife and daughter to see the lights of Edinburgh.

edinburgh night

We had another grey and rather miserable day here today but it was dry enough for a while to let my step mother Patricia and me get out for a short three bridges walk while Mrs Tootlepedal was off on a fir cone hunt.

Pictures from the walk follow but news on the fir cones will have to wait for a later date.

Patricia and I crossed the Town Bridge and walked along the Kilngreen, passing this fine tree on the way…

berry at kilngreen

..until we came to the Sawmill Brig…

sawmill brig late november

As we approached the bridge, I said to Patricia that on occasion one could lean on the parapet and watch a dipper on the rocks below.

As it happened, today was one such occasion, although the dipper was on a branch and not a rock.

dipper at sawmill brig 1

As a treat for Patricia, the dipper flew off (to a nearby rock) and was almost immediately replaced by another.

dipper at sawmill brig 2

I felt very sagacious.

There was a very fine drizzle so we didn’t hang around and managed to get home before it started to rain more seriously.

During the morning, I kept an eye on the feeder and was pleased to see that it was quite busy.

A greenfinch took advantage of one of the old sunflower stalks to weigh up the situation.

greenfinch on stalk

A goldfinch was kept waiting by other goldfinches who had got there first.

goldfinches at feeder

A blue tit stood up very straight…

blue tit straight

…but a chaffinch stood up even straighter.

chaffinch straight

Mrs Tootlepedal made some soup (with croutons)  and we enjoyed that with some biscuits and cheese for our lunch.

Then we piled into the car and drove through some steady but light rain to Tweedbank where we caught the train to Edinburgh.  Patricia had organised a get together at a restaurant in Edinburgh to celebrate her recent ninetieth birthday with our two sons and their families and we caught a train which would leave us half an hour to walk down to the restaurant.

And indeed it would have left us half an hour for our walk if it hadn’t been half an hour late.  On a 35 mile journey, this was quite a feat.

Even so, the taxi from the station would have got us there only a moment or two late, if it hadn’t got stuck in desperate traffic several times on the short  journey to the restaurant.  Still we eventually all arrived and met and had our meal.

Tony and Alistair sat beside Patricia…

Pat's party edinburgh

…and unfortunately a party of about twenty cheery people squished onto a rather small space behind them so our meal wasn’t quite as peaceful and orderly as we might have wished.  The party behind had booked as eight people so the restaurant was rather overwhelmed when more than double the number turned up but they battled on and we got our meal.

All  this meant that we were a bit rushed by the end but Tony kindly gave us a lift back to the station and we caught our train back to Tweedbank with minutes to spare.  There were more minutes to spare as the train’s guard and driver spent about ten of them persuading a drunk man to get off (and stay off) the train at a station down the line.  It just wasn’t our day for trains.

Still, we got back to Tweedbank and drove home through a very light drizzle, relieved that forecasts of continuous heavy rain had proved to be alarmist.

These unexpected events were a bit disappointing for Patricia but she took them in a very good spirit.  We hope that her train back to London tomorrow runs smoothly.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

I would like to thank all the readers who took the time to wish me a happy birthday.  I did indeed have a happy birthday and would have answered all the comments individually if I hadn’t been quite tired by the time that I came to write this post for some  mysterious reason (perhaps old age).

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Events

  1. Frustrating to have a raucous crowd so close to you in the restaurant, but it still sounds like a good time was had by all…the railway even a threw in bit of light entertainment😊

    1. I have a friend who would call that “dinner and a show.” It is disappointing when a restaurant has a group of loud patrons during what should be a peaceful meal.

  2. Riding a train where I live is a very special occasion to be looked forward to, but they aren’t used as public transportation. I can see how they might lead to some frustration and they do in this country where they’re more common.
    Happy ninetieth birthday to Patricia. She’s quite remarkable, from what I’ve read.

    1. She is remarkable. The trains seem to have got worse lately for some reason which is not absolutely clear but may well relate to the companies trying to run them with very tight margins of manpower and maintenance.

  3. Talk about a day of transportation woes! I am impressed by how wee birds like the greenfinch can grasp a near vertical perch.

  4. So many frustrations for Patricia after all her capable organising. I feel for her, and all of you who will have been sad for her. Still, a family get-together is a family get-together, in whatever circumstances.

  5. I am kind of stumped for words here. I am happy Patricia has celebrated her 90th birthday and hope she has many more. As for yours… I must admit I have been lazy about post reading this past week, so I missed your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    1. I have had so many birthdays now that they are not the novelty that they once were but thank you for your kind wishes which are much appreciated.

  6. Happy Birthday tootlepedal, I’m sorry but I thought it was today. My eldest son is 45 today, and like yourself I invariably think I’m actually a year older than I am. I hope that doesn’t increase with age. I used to see dippers on the river here in Glynneath and all the way down the valley, but sadly haven’t of late. They are a great sight to see, and are actually related to robins. Perhaps we can call them the robins of the river. Just like robins they are very territorial, chasing each other back and fall a stretch of river. Cheers.

  7. The early evening photo of Edinburgh Alistair took was quite beautiful, and I enjoyed the photos from your walk along the Kilngreen with Pat.

    I am glad to hear the birthday dinner for Pat went through in spite of things. I am sorry about the drunken man on the train.

  8. Your day out was certainly eventful but turned up trumps ( don’t like using that word now but can’t think of another!) in the end. Pleased the dipper dipped politely to recognise the significants of two birthday watchers. Lovely family photo and view over Edinburgh.

  9. sorry to have missed sending birthday greetings but looks like you have been having a busy time. its sp good when generations of the same family are able to get together

  10. I would as well would have been amid the birthday well wishers but had no acess to a computer while undergoing a kataract operation. Meanwhile everything is back to normal and I only have to read a lot of your posts to catch up.

      1. Indeed it was very successful. From near zero back to normal sight within a 30 min operation – of course had to stay for three days in hospital.

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