Not up to Downton

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She saw this early show of daffodils on her walk to Kenwood House today.


We were up and about quite smartly today as our church organist had arranged a choir practice in the morning as he had a day off work.   When we got to the church, we found other members of the choir hanging about on the bridge so it was obvious that Henyy had not arrived yet.

This gave us the chance to chat, admire the ample lichen on the bridge parapet…

lichen on church bridge

…and look up at two oyster catchers who perched on the church roof and laughed at us down below.

oyster catchers on church roof

A bird on the tree beside the bridge was doing more than enough singing for all of us.

thrush at church

Henry arrived after an horrendous drive down from Edinburgh, and as it turned out that he had had a very late night last night when the bus he was driving broke down, we were very sympathetic and did our best in the choir practice to keep him happy.

When we got home, I had a moment to exchanged nods with a chaffinch in Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree…

chaffinch in fake tree

…before I went off to visit Sandy for a coffee.  Understandably, he is getting a bit bored, cooped up in the house as he is, so I helped him out by eating several of his ginger biscuits.  This seemed to cheer him up.

I didn’t have time to do much when I got home as we were going out to a patrons’ lunch at the Buccleuch Centre.  The patrons’ lunch always comes embellished with a speaker and this month we listened to an encouraging talk about the project to build a new sports centre and swimming pool in the town.  The organising committee have gone about it in a very methodical way, and there seems to be much more chance of it actually happening than I had thought.  I hope that they succeed, as I would like to be able to go for a swim.

When we got home, the sun was out and the flowers were grateful.

crocus snowdrop crocus

I should have gone cycling but the forecast had a bit of rain in  it and the wind was quite breezy so I wasted time watching the birds and doing a tricky crossword and pretending that I was a cyclist.

I was pleased to see a chaffinch giving a couple of siskins a lesson in how to eat seed neatly.

chaffinch eating neatly

One of the siskins didn’t seem to be very interested.

A female chaffinch seemed a bit put out to find herself not just being abused by a siskin as usual but by a male chaffinch as well.

chaffinch being shouted at

This male chaffinch was in the zone though and paid no attention to a rude siskin.

chaffinch and siskin

There was plenty of action at the feeder as a counterpoint to my lack of action indoors.

I liked the optimistic air of this chaffinch as it circled round to the far side of the feeder.  It was due to be disappointed when it found that there was siskin already there.

chaffinch looking round corner

I finally managed to get myself moving and set off on the bike rather late in the day.  It was cloudy and cold but the wind wasn’t quite as strong as it has been lately.  I just pottered along and stopped to greet some reliable gorse flowers on the road to Cleuchfoot…

gorse cleuchfoot

… and admire these artistically posed sheep on the bank above the gorse.

artistic sheep

When I got to the top of Callister, I found a rather curious cloud formation.  It looked as though the clouds were breaking apart and had had to be tied together with a bit of old rope.

clouds with binder twine

The clouds did part enough on my way home to let a tall cyclist accompany me for a while.

shadow cyclist

And by the time that I got to the bottom of the hill, the light was gorgeous.

tree bigholms

There must have been some clouds still about though, because not long afterwards, I looked up to see this.

wauchope rainbow half

There was a complete bow, but unfortunately I was too close for my little camera to get the whole thing in…

wauchope rainbow most

…so I took three pictures and when I got home, Photoshop kindly stitched them together for me.  Not perfect but not bad, I thought.

wauchope rainbow stitched

I had hoped to do twenty miles but it got dark and rather chilly so I settled for eighteen miles instead.  I should have gone out earlier!

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy when I was pedalling and she was very happy to have done some good organising in the garden.

After tea, she invited me to go back to the Bucceuch Centre with her where the film of Downton Abbey was showing.  I couldn’t raise much enthusiasm for spending time with the gilded classes so I stayed at home while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to enjoy herself in the company of a very loyal blog reader.  As the blog reader is in the church choir and also sat next to us at the patrons’ lunch, she and Mrs Tootlepedal may well have run out of conversation before the evening is out.

I got two sunny possibilities for the flying bird of the day today and as I couldn’t choose between them, I have….

flying chaffinch

…put them both in.

flying chaffinch close

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Not up to Downton

    1. Our weather tends often to be quite changeable over a short period so rainbows are, as you say, not uncommon and they always cheer me up so I welcome them even if it means that there is rain about..

  1. As usual, Jackie read your post before me. Today she read out two sections – the ginger biscuits for humour and the rainbow for inventive skill. Who am I to quibble? 🙂

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