Today’s guest picture is another from Dropscone’s Amsterdam trip. He took a tour of the canals in the city while he was there and saw the the Muziektheater, which is called now The National Opera and Ballet.
We are beginning to have only a distant memory of the sun and it was no surprise to wake to another very grey, windy and wet day today. It doesn’t make for good photographs or interesting outings.
In years gone by, I could rely on a busy feeder to keep me entertained on dull days but there was only a lone dunnock to see…
…before we walked through the rain to go to church.
The choir sang a couple of extra hymns for an introit and an anthem so we were kept busy today. As it was Candlemas, the church was was bright with twinkling candles and this gave the service a cheerful feel.
It was still raining, but not so heavily, as we walked home and the rain was light enough to let me walk round the garden before settling down to coffee and the crossword.
The lone crocus had been joined by two more….
…and when I looked around, I found a larger clump in another bed.
There is still some way to go before our daffodil gets a friend.
I did think of going for a walk in my new waterproof coat but the rain persisted for longer than my determination to enjoy the fresh air did, so I took vicarious exercise by watching heroic young women cycling through appalling mud in the under 23 Women’s World Cyclocross Championship. Anyone who calls young people “snowflakes” should be made to watch this footage by law.
I wasn’t entirely idle. I looked out of the window from time to time too.
The shot below shows the fine rain that continued all morning.
Quite a little crowd of siskins arrived in the end…
…and monopolised the feeder again.
The dunnocks kept an eye out for fallen seed…
…though it was sometimes hard to spot them against the background of winter vegetation.
A lone goldfinch flew down out of the mist to land on the plum tree…
…and a chaffinch came too.
The chaffinch didn’t venture up on to the feeder…
…but stuck to some ground level scavenging.
After lunch, we went off to Carlisle, with Mrs Tootlepedal at the wheel. As well as going to the choir we made good use of the energy expended in getting us there by calling in to pump up our tyres in Langholm, recycle paper, card and milk bottles in Longtown, and do some cheese and honey shopping in Carlisle.
We still got to the choir on time. We spent the first half of the session practicing a piece where the tenors have the melody for a good part of the time. This is very rare and made us a bit nervous. Fortunately, it was not a very difficult number so we didn’t disgrace ourselves. We weren’t big headed though, and we still talked to members of the other sections at the interval.
We are having to learn three pieces by heart for a competition in March and when we tried one after the interval, it was heartening to find that I pretty well knew it already. Only two to go!
I had prepared rolled shoulder of lamb and veg last night, and Mrs Tootlepedal had put this into the slow cooker in the morning so we had a good meal waiting for us when we got home. To add to the feast, she also made an apple crumble with some of the last of our apples from last year. There will be enough for one more crumble. We had to buy onions today for the first time for five months so we are entering the ‘hungry gap’. Fortunately our corner shop is on hand with supplies.
The flying bird of the day is one of the siskins.