A 5% chance

Today’s guest picture comes from East Wemyss where our son Tony spotted a heron going somewhere on business.

We had a day that was not quite as warm as yesterday but whichmanaged to be more muggy. I arranged to have coffee with Sandy and then went out into the garden to see how the flowers had enjoyed a little rain.

They seemed quite cheerful under the circumstances….

…and the peonies which can be a bit sensitive to rain had kept their heads well.

I was happy to see a new flower, the first campanula of the year…

…and I was equally pleased to see that regular dead heading has kept an excellent supply of Icelandic poppies on the go….

…though when it comes to orange flowers in bulk, nothing can compete with the orange hawkweed.

Mrs Tootlepedal has bravely taken down the sparrow defences round the peas in the hope that they are sufficiently well grown to resist the depredations of the little feathered blighters. We are certainly going to get some peas whatever happens.

The Goldfinch rambling rose is filling out every day….

…and there will be scores of them out soon.

Because our days are following a well rehearsed routine at the moment (and for the foreseeable future), there is a certain similarity between one of my posts and the another. You will just have to forget how many tropaeolum pictures you have already seen, and marvel once again the aerodynamic sleekness of the flower.

I marvel at it it, every time that I pass.

Coffee with Sandy was most enjoyable as he has got a very good Sumatra bean on the go at the moment. He has been managing some short walks lately without making his foot sore, so he is very pleased to be getting some real progress at last. I am hoping that he will be able to walk down and have coffee in our garden soon.

When I got home, I was in for a shock. The neighbourhood socially distanced coffee morning was not in the street, it was not in the shade of Margaret’s garage, it was not under our walnut tree. Where could it be? It was in Liz’s garden. All this gadding about is making me quite dizzy.

After we got back into the garden, I had a look to see how the gooseberries are doing.

Pretty well was the answer.

I went in and made some soup for lunch and then we considered our options. There had been threats of rain when I looked at the forecast in the morning, but a check after lunch showed that there was now less than a five per cent chance of a shower in the opinion of the Meteorological Office. We decided to go for a walk so that Mrs Tootlepedal could sample the new track on Castle Hill that I had walked recently.

Mrs Tootlepedal took a rain jacket just in case but I had faith in the forecast.

As we left, I took a picture of a rose in the garden that can only be seen from the road.

We walked up the river, crossed the Duchess Bridge and went round the pheasant hatchery, where I liked this collection of old trees among the general greenery.

It was dry and warm as we walked past the North Lodge passing elderflowers…

…and Pyrenean valeran…

We had just girded our loins for the uphill section of the walk when Mrs Tootlepedal detected a drop of rain. We walked on. Mrs Tootlepedal detected several more drops and soon even I had to admit that in spite of the forecast, it was in fact raining.

We sheltered under a tree, grateful for the good protection the summer leaves gave us. The rain got heavier and the leaves buckled under the strain so we got wetter. We were considering how long we might wait under the dripping tree in the hope that the shower might pass, when the shower turned into a deluge and a burst of thunder made standing under any tree a less than attractive proposition. We headed for home in an absolute downpour and when we got there, Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge showed that an inch of rain had fallen on us in half an hour. There was some very impressive streams running down gutters and off the slopes but I didn’t dare take my camera out of its protective case so you will just have to take my word for them.

I was quite sorry that I hadn’t taken a rain jacket with me but we were both thoroughly soaked when we got in and a warming shower and a complete change of clothes were needed before we could contemplate life with equanimity again.

I contemplated some birds too.

The thunder and lightning hadn’t discouraged them from coming to the feeder.

On the ground, a dunnock crept around…

…and on the pole, our resident blackbird kept a wary eye on the weather.

The rest of the day was a slight anticlimax after walking through the storm (at no time was I alone).

I had received a note from WordPress this morning to say that I have now been blogging for ten years and I see that I have produced 3651 posts in that time so I was hoping t have had time and some nice landscape photographs to produce a better than usual effort today to celebrate this. However, the rain put paid to the photographs and then Adobe thought that this was the night to mess me about unmercifully when I tried to use my photo editor to improve what photographs I had got. As a result I have spent hours grumpily watching the little window that says “updating 50%” instead of cheerfully honing my deathless prose.

All the same, I would like to thank all those who read the blog, with a particular mention to those who comment either online or in real life when I meet you. Your kind words keep me enjoying the task of taking the pictures and writing the words. Especial credit goes to those few hardy souls who have actually read every one of the posts. They have gone far beyond the call of duty. In the course of the ten years, I have written literally millions of words and cycled roughly 40,000 miles so it has been a long journey for all of us.

Here’s to the next ten years.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Footnote: I have had a look at the new format for the blog as it appears on mobile phones and I must say that it doesn’t work very well on their small screens. If you normally read the posts on your phone, try them on a tablet or laptop if you can, and you will see the full effect of the changes.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

56 thoughts on “A 5% chance

  1. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging. It’s not an easy thing to keep up with but I think my 10 year mark will be the first day of spring 2021.
    That Lillian Austin rose is a very beautiful thing. I’ve never seen another rose like it.
    It’s good to hear that Sandy is walking again. I always enjoyed hearing about your outings together.

    1. Perhaps we will be able to get out for a walk together by autumn. I hope so. I agree with you about the Lilian Austin rose, it is beautiful.

      I look forward to your posts and hope to be still reading them when your tenth anniversary comes round.

  2. Congratulations on 10 years with WordPress, and wishing you many more. I enjoy reading these posts about your life in Scotland, and how daily events register in the Great Ledger of Life. I often think about that. We are all lucky to each have a Great Ledger of our own. The world is full of turmoil and horrific things, but there is also so much beauty and goodness to appreciate. Your blog brings that out, and I appreciate it.

    It is good to hear Sandy is walking without too much trouble, and I hope he will have morning coffee with you again soon.

    I enjoyed the photos from your day. There is nothing like a stand of orange hawkweed, unless it is a stand of orange Asclepias tuberosa. 🙂

  3. 10 yrs that’s true dedication,which hopefully never becomes a chore..
    I’ve only been following a year or so and must say I enjoy your photos immensely.
    Being a bit if a cyclists myself your rides are an inspiration.
    The odd smattering of humour to keeps it light hearted.
    Hears to another ten years 🍺

    1. Hello Tom I just want to say thank you for your blog and all of the work, words, photos, energy, effort, wisdom, wit, humour, miles, knowledge, calmness, honesty, happiness, inspiration, and all of the other happy and positive thoughts you have given me through the screen in this increasingly dizzy world (sometimes greatly needed).I thankfully discovered your blog around eight years ago and I appreciate you. One day I hope I am fortunate enough to meet you to say thank you.I wish you and Mrs Tootlepedal love, health, happiness and strength for the rest of your journey. Best wishes Ryan (43 and a half) – Amisfield D+G

      1. What an unexpected comment that was, Ryan. I am bowled over! You have been a very loyal reader if you have lasted eight years. If you ever come to Langholm, let me know.

  4. I don’t know how many years it’s been since I discovered your blog, but it was a fortuitous day for me and I admire your dedication. I do enjoy the vicarious visits to Langholm and its environs, and I was absolutely tickled to be able to meet you and Mrs. T.

    The risk of lightning strikes makes sheltering under a tree a very bad idea, and I’m glad you moved on!

  5. Congrats, congrats! Your blog posts are a great pleasure to read. Today’s description of the sparrows and the peas was matchless. I read it aloud to Clif. Here’s to another ten years.

  6. I too only occasionally comment but your blog is a daily inspiration to me. I constantly marvel at our similar climate for plants and birds. Congrats on ten years blogging. It is truly appreciated.

  7. Tootlepedal blogs unfailingly provide uplift. They are informative, witty and representative of the highs and lows that characterise the lives of many, if not all of us.
    Thank you.

  8. Congratulations not only for ten years of achievement on so many fronts but for constant innovation in one direction or another too.

  9. Many congratulations Tom, and of course MrsT should not be missed for providing many of the inspirational photo opportunities, often the sustenance, truly the great lady behind a great man! overall a great team! Thanks to you both, and to those you love [and often include]

  10. Well done that man. I enjoy your prose, both witty and deathless as much as your pictures and look forward to another 10 years of viewing if I make it that far!

  11. Hard to believe it’s nearly 4 years since I left Langholm albeit after only 2 years in residence. Your daily blog is a great reminder of the hills, rivers and people I fondly remember. Keep up the good work -it is greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

  12. Your flying bird just about equalled Tony’s. So in 10 years you have hardly missed a day – congratulations indeed. We have a clematis at the front which can only be seen from the street – but it would be suicide to try to photograph it. I should have done it before the lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

  13. Like all your other blog followers I want to congratulate you on 10 years of providing us with your very entertaining commentary of daily life in the beautiful borders. Long may it continue. See you tomorrow and the next, and the next………… Cheers

      1. There is always something around the next corner, which is why we just have to keep pedalling. Our bicycles give us the opportunity to see so much at little cost and every pedal stroke rewards us with a great sense of achievement. I did this, I saw that, and I got there under my own steam. Wow! Cheers, Tom.

  14. Ah, gooseberries. Mouthwatering.
    And standing under trees while thunder is about is definitely not a good idea…
    Well done on ten years of blogging, I have only been following since the start of the year and I especially enjoy the birds.
    Alphie

  15. Ten years blogging…time passes quickly when you are having fun! Congratulations on writing daily and keeping everyone hooked on life in the borders! The peas look great!

  16. I’m trailing behind as usual, but wanted to add my congratulations to your ten years and wishing you many more posts and miles and years! 😀 I’ve enjoyed being along for at least part of the ride!

  17. Happy blog birthday! It gives me a great deal of enjoyment, and I have read every post except for missing quite a few just after Matilda was born Something in my life…can’t remember what…was overwhelmingly busy that summer and fall so I just checked In intermittently. I want to to go back and catch up there sometime because the rest of that year was the saga of waiting for your new knee. I can’t remember what month and year but you would because of Matilda’s birthday. Haven’t missed a post since you got that tin knee, though.

  18. Congratulations, Tom. I am somewhat late in wishing you well but felt I had to let you know how much I enjoy your witty and beautifully illustrated posts every day. I enjoyed the Gerry and the Pacemakers reference!

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