A new look

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, my Somerset correspondent. She has taken advantage of the new latitude allowed in England to visit Lytes Cary Manor where she found a doorway of infinite promise.

I have been fiddling about with the new editor and have settled on this layout at least for the time being. I hope that it is acceptable to readers, especially as it may not be possible to go back to the old layout easily.

Unfortunately, it was a grey and windy day today with occasional drizzle so perhaps it was not the best day to try to enter the new dream of putting in clearer pictures.

It was windy enough to cause the morning neighbourly coffee meeting to be cancelled and there was not much work done in the garden bar some wind protection schemes in the veg garden by Mrs Tootlepedal and a quick mow of the middle lawn by me.

I did have a look around while I was out.

In spite of the chilly conditions, there were bees about, and this one was clever enough to find one of the few azalea flowers left by the frost.

Hostas are filling out well, but I noticed that a faddy eater has been picking a few holes in this one.

A dunnock was upset about something and filled the garden with piercing cries for some time.

I soon went back in and turned my hand to making some soup. We have decided to try to eat a bit more healthily, so I roughly followed a recipe out of a book involving leeks, chick peas, tomatoes and spinach. I was a bit worried as the recipe provided enough soup for several meals but it turned out to be quite tasty. This was a relief.

As it had been so windy, I was considering going for another walk even though it should have been a cycling day, but when I looked out of the window after lunch, the wind had dropped a bit. I rushed to put my cycling clothes on and set off for a ride before it picked up again.

The wind may indeed have dropped a bit but it was still pretty vigorous and it blew me up the road to the top of Callister in fine style. I noticed that even the sheep thought that some shelter was a good idea in the conditions.

I didn’t want to go too far with the wind behind me, so I turned back when I got to Megsfield after six and a half miles….

…and set off home into the breeze.

I adopted a policy of using a low gear and keeping my head well down and managed to get back down to Wauchope Schoolhouse quite happily. Here I took a two mile diversion up and down the Bloch road as a break from pedalling into the wind, and then puffed my way back to Langholm.

As I cycled through the town, I found a wild rose growing beside the Esk.

In order to add a few miles to my trip, I went out of the town and up the main road north for a couple of miles. This was straight into the wind and was hard work, but it did give me two splendid wind assisted miles back home to round off an unexpected twenty mile addition to my monthly total.

It had been drizzling sporadically during the second half of my ride so I took a walk round the garden when I got back in case it started to rain more heavily later on. I often take pictures of individual flowers and I thought that I might put some of them in context on this occasion.

There should be more peonies to marvel at soon as the ones on the middle lawn are nearly out.

The astrantias are looking very healthy….

…as are the little yellow alliums moly.

A Polemonium was at a bit of an angle…

….but all the lupins seemed to have enjoyed the rather odd weather this year and are standing up very straight….

…and the yew bush is getting covered by the Tropaeolum.

I went in and went upstairs to change and have a bath in the hope of easing a few of the aches and pains that come with having had too many birthdays. When I checked, I found that I still had my camera in my hand, so I opened a window and looked down on the bird feeder.

A little greenfinch and sparrow drama played out before me.

Scene One: greenfinch ignores sparrow:

Scene Two: greenfinch tales exception to sparrow:

Scene Three: what was that all about?

A chaffinch landed with great elegance…

…and a greenfinch adopted the usual greenfinch threatening manner.

The bird being threatened is a goldfinch but I think that it must be moulting as it has lost its head colouring.

Refreshed from my bath, though even a good shot of Radox can’t heal the all the ravages of age, I came down in time for the Zoom with my siblings. My sisters have all been caught out by being enrolled unwittingly in Amazon Prime but they were very pleased to report that they had all managed to extricate themselves from the net. A triumph.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a delicious chicken casserole for our tea and that ended another day that didn’t deserve to be classified as a summer day at all, no matter what the date is.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch at full stretch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

43 thoughts on “A new look

  1. I like the width given to photos, and the ‘white’ around the text. It’s going to take a while for the new look to become associated in my mind with Mr Tootlepedal.

  2. The new format is fine and if anything an improvement.
    Like your shot of the dunnock on the taxus baccata (I’m a show off)ha.
    You do what I often do,decide on a short pootle,then end up adding another few miles.😉
    Mind you due to feeling a bit under the weather I haven’t cycled for ten days,maybe next week.

    1. I have been lucky with my health and haven’t suffered any of the ailments that keep me off the bike for a bit. Fingers crossed that this keeps on. I hope that you are well enough to pedal next week.

  3. Your weather there was much like ours today, except for the wind. It has been relatively calm here today, just very wet, and not very warm. Your flowers and birds are able to brighten any day, though. 🙂

    Your disturbed dunnock has probably been listening to our national news.

  4. I like the new format. Flowers look especially lovely, color may be better due to cloudy skies.
    I saw my first Allium molly this week at a herb farm/nursery. They did not have any for sale but told me to call in March and they will dig some up. It’s a beautiful plant. Yellow is not stringent and the leaves have a nice grey color.

  5. That poor wee sparrow looks so forlorn!

    I like the new format. Larger photos, smaller font :), and lots of contrast with the lighter margins. Has your list of links/blogs disappeared?

  6. The photos are bigger and seem clearer on this new layout. I’ve thought of changing too but I don’t like not being able to undo the changes.
    I like the yellow alliums. I’ve never seen them.
    It’s nice to see the garden full of flowers. I hope summer weather will last longer than usual this year.

  7. Great format, I to had great problems trying to get rid of amazon prime, couldn’t do it on iPad had to fire up laptop . Our weather is much the same as yours on sun since Sunday, even lit fire last night , slightly warmer outside today. Love your bird photos .

  8. There’s something magical about doors in gardens..especially the guest photo today! Good job you managed to get out for a cycle ride even with all that wind. Epsom salts in baths really help muscular aches- buy in bulk!

    1. “Here lies I and my three daughters, died of drinking Cheltenham Waters. We wouldn’t be lying in these here vaults, if we ‘d just stuck to Epsom Salts.” My only thought about Epsom Salts comes from this rhyme from my childhood.

      1. Not sure I’ve heard that rhyme before, but as a resident of Epsom approve of the sentiment! Sad to say the original source of Epsom salts, dried up a long time ago.
        BTW your goldfinch is a juvenile, it’s a while before tehy get the red face.

  9. I have to say I really appreciate this new WordPress publishing format you are using, everything is so clear and bright, and I believe do your photographs better justice. I am pleased to hear your sisters were able to extricate themselves from the Amazon Prime trap. Unknowingly, I fell into it last month but managed to get out of it, by cancelling straight away on site. I had several emails then telling and confirming that my membership was cancelled and would cease on 12th June, yesterday, it has. Then to confuse the issue I had an email at the start of this week stating that Amazon would be renewing my membership and taking the yearly subscription (£39.99) from my bank account. As I had the email evidence that my membership was finishing on the 12th I ignored it but will keep a wary eye on my bank account. However, Amazon has been a great help during the lockdown, and have always given me great service. Hope the officials at Amazon are reading this now, I might get free membership for the next year lol. Cheers.

  10. I must say I enjoy the larger images. The header image in particular is so cheerful and bright. Very lovely! I admire your courage in diving into these changes. Somehow I’ve managed to stay with the old way of doing things. I have no idea how long that may last, but for now I seem to be able to keep going as is.

  11. The new look is, I have to admit, excellent, and possibly an improvement. On the other hand it is a bit too cheerful. I have signed up for Amazon by accident too, and it is more and more difficult to avoid.

      1. You are right, on my iPhone it’s quite different; the photos are small and the text is large. But on the iPad, the photos are big and in balance with the text.

        The new editor worries me, as I never know when that moment will come when I will have to start using it.

        Your peonies are gorgeous.

  12. We were very lucky to get to stay in Lytes Cary Manor to celebrate a friend’s significant birthday. Quite special. Your new blog layout suits your photographs very well — makes them zing even more. Well done.

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