Today’s guest picture comes from from my Welsh correspondent Keiron. It shows a handsome bandstand in Victoria Park, Neath.
With the clouds sitting heavily on top of our hills when we got up, the day started out slightly chilly and grey.
This didn’t stop me walking round to the shop for essential supplies after breakfast, and following that by watching the birds for a bit while a siskin shouted abuse both downwards…
Observant readers will notice that there were free perches available while the siskins were shouting. Siskins don’t do because they need to do it, they do it because what they really love is shouting at other birds.
Then I did a bit of work on the drive project. My back was enormously improved and I was feeling very cheerful about life as I used a fork to disturb the surface of the drive where it needed levelling off. Then in a flash everything changed and fate took a hand. My foot slipped off the edge of the fork and I gave my knee a savage twist. If you are an arthritic old person, twisting a knee is not a good scheme. All the good work in managing my back was undone in a moment and I was back to full moaning mode for the rest of the day.
Still, it didn’t stop me helping Mrs Tootlepedal to finish off levelling the section of drive or from having a cup of coffee in the garden with our neighbour Margaret. Things improved too as the sun came out while we sipped and chatted, and apart from an extremely sore knee, it turned into a good day.
I got the push mower out of the garage and gave it a good clean and sharpened the blades. Then I gently pressed the moss on the middle lawn down by pushing the mower over it, co-incidentally shaving off some of the rare bits of grass poking up among the moss. The theory is that this will encourage the grass to grow a bit more strongly. The truth is that I like mowing the lawn and this felt like a lawn mowing day. I could hear our neighbour Hector mowing his lawn too.
Mrs Tootlepedal made a very tasty curried parsnip soup for lunch and afterwards I took my sore knee out for a walk round the garden.
It was a lovely day by now, and daffodils were glowing in the sunshine…
…a celandine had appeared…
…the tree peony buds had continued to develop…
…and there was a lot of this about.
In the pond, a frog was pondering on life and the future.
I went upstairs to watch the birds for a while and change into my cycling clothes to see if some gentle exercise would ease my knee pain.
There were plenty of chaffinches about for a while…
…but they were rudely interrupted by the arrival of a sparrowhawk.
They all got away safely though, and after a look round…
…the sparrowhawk went off too.
As there were no birds to watch, I went to see if the cycling would help my knee. It didn’t take long to see that for once cycling was not the answer, and I quickly came home and changed out of my cycling clothes. The fearless small birds were back on the feeder twenty minutes after the hawk had left.
So by mistake rather than by design, I found myself watching the second half of the Scotland vs Italy rugby international and eating Mrs Tootlepedal’s banana and walnut loaf. Scotland won handsomely, which was a relief, but the game was so one sided that it was not very exciting.
When it had finished, I went out to do a bit of sieving of gravel for the drive and then, feeling that it was too good a day not to go out at all, I took a very gentle flat walk round the shortest three bridges route.
It was a fine evening.
I took a better picture of the early blossom beside the Esk…
…and followed that with the crocuses and daffodils on the bank of the Ewes water at the Kilngreen.
Between the crocuses and the daffodils, the sun went in and I feared that I was going to have chilly stroll. I was too pessimistic though, and the sun was out again when I had gone a few yards further…
…and the Castleholm looked very inviting.
The sun had gone in again by the time that I got home but I was happy to see that our neighbour Hector’s flowering currant was adding colour to the evening.
The walk hadn’t done my knee any harm but it hadn’t done it any good either so I was content to sit out the rest of the day watching further rugby games from time to time and eating an excellent evening meal of brisket of beef cooked to perfection by Mrs Tootlepedal. She had an outstanding cooking day today.
The flying bird of the day is one of the chaffinches that escaped from the sparrowhawk. (You will note that it has got a siskin shouting at it. They are indefatigable shouters.)