Beer but no skittles

Today’s guest picture is another from Tony in sunny East Wemyss. He passed this delightful garden maintained by OAPs for the benefit of passers by.

We had another lovely day here with the only worry that it might get a bit too hot for us pallid northerners. One sign of the easing of the lockdown was the sight of several aircraft con trails across our otherwise blue skies. Like the increase in traffic, this is an unwelcome side of the return to ‘normality’.

I had a walk round the garden after breakfast and the crossword had been disposed of, and although there is not much startlingly new to be seen, it is always a pleasure to wander about among the flowers. And a white butterfly shared my enjoyment.

The blue lupins are going from strength to strength each day.

In the absence of the gaudy colour of the frost damaged azaleas, we are appreciating the more subdued corners in the garden.

I went back inside and noticed a goldfinch and a sparrow having a chat on the feeder…

…before Mrs Tootlepedal and I started a WhatsApp chat of our own with our son Alistair and our granddaughter Matilda in Edinburgh. Their south facing house is very hot at the moment but they found a cool spot where Matilda could read an amusing story about ‘Mr and Mrs Brown who are upside down’ to us. We also used another app that lets us play games at a distance and we passed a most enjoyable time with them. Alistair revealed that he had used technology to give an online Power Point presentation to 50 of his work colleagues. We were impressed.

After our chat, I made a beef stew for the slow cooker and then made lentil and bacon soup for our lunch. While it was cooking, I went out for another look round the garden.

Another rhododendron has started to come out in a shady spot in the back border…

…and a pink tinged rose caught my eye in a bush of otherwise white roses.

After lunch, I decided to brave the heat and go for a cycle ride. The temperature had hit 20°C which might have been a bit hot for a walk but cycling brings its own breeze with it. In the event, conditions were kind enough for me to enjoy a 30 mile ride. This was apart from the first five miles, where bad road surfacing had left the tar melting in little bubbles making the road very sticky and hard work. From then on, things improved.

The countryside is looking very green…

…and a calf had found some long grass to rest in.

I didn’t stop a lot as it seemed much warmer as soon as I lost the breeze of my own making. But I did want to record that the damage to beech hedges from the fateful late frost extends far beyond our Langholm.

There were brown patches on almost all the hedges that I passed. But plenty of buttercups in the verges made up for some loss of leaves in the hedges.

Mrs Tootlepedal had suggested that it would be wise for me to take things slowly in the heat and I had no difficulty in following her advice. My legs were content just to fill up the gap between my shorts and the pedals rather than to give me much help in the pushing department. Still, they have done a fair bit of work over the past few days so I can’t complain.

I got back in good time to join in the daily Zoom chat with my brother and sisters and then I had another chance to watch greenfinches on the feeder…

…and take another walk round the garden while the vegetables were cooking to go with the slow cooked stew.

I like the flowers in the late afternoon/early evening sun. It seems to sharpen them up.

…and bring out the colours better than when the full sun of the day is on them.

Especially on my current favourite lupin.

After our evening meal, we had a special treat, the better side of the easing of the lockdown, when Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday evening visit for the first time for many weeks.

As they are not allowed to come into our house yet, there was no music playing, but there was beer and conversation (socially distanced) on the lawn. As it was a beautiful evening, with virtually no breeze, and as it has been too dry for the midges to breed, sitting out in the garden was very acceptable and we enjoyed this slight move back to life as it used to be.

Alison thought that the clematis over the garage was looking well.

The good weather is set to continue but with a bit more breeze and the temperature down a degree or two, it might be a good day for a walk tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch again.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Beer but no skittles

  1. Irises are one of my all time favourite plants,and yours are looking very nice.
    Your bike ride sounds like what one of my younger more enthusiastic cycling friends calls a “recovery ride”.
    He also does something called “warming down”,whatever that is?😊

  2. Your iris looks a lot like our wild blue flags which are very late this year. I haven’t seen one yet.
    It’ll be interesting to see how the beech hedges and other damaged plants recover.
    I think my favorite flower today is the chive blossom. I like the pinstriped petals.

    1. I like the chives a lot and have to stop myself photographing them every day.
      We are worried about our walnut tree as all the nascent leaves seem to be dead. We just hope that new leaves will appear in time.

  3. I like the conversation between your goldfinch and sparrow. It appears to be quite civil, at least at the moment, unlike the human political scene, which is continually unruly and discordant.

  4. The two close-up photographs of flowers are worthy of framing, I think. How wonderful to have reached a point where you can entertain your friends in the garden at least. No visits to family or friends are allowed here yet, BUT you can attend a funeral along with a congregation of 49 other people and an agricultural auction with 99 other people – interesting logic!

    1. Strictly limited funerals have been a sore point here with the regulations being ignored in some parts, I believe. I have no information regarding auctions though.

  5. Nice to see you adhering to the lockdown rules, sadly, it’s very much a free for all down here except for queuing to get into supermarkets. Only on the outside, once you are inside there is no social distancing whatsoever. I don’t understand it? Cheers.

  6. Beautiful lupins – wish I could grow them like that! Lovely views from your bike ride – you were brave to cycle out in all that heat. Good to read that a tiny bit of ‘normality’ is returning to your social life…a beer in the garden on a summer’s evening sounds perfect.

      1. We said exactly the same when we were sitting outside looking at the hay field..there used to be clouds of insects billowing above the grasses and swallows swooping in…now there are very few insects flying and no swallows here either…so sad!

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