We never stopped

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She visited Trafalgar Square on the final day of the lockdown in London. I wonder if it is busier now. It could hardly be quieter.

We had a busy day here with fun from morning to night. The weather wasn’t very helpful as it was another chilly day but at least it didn’t rain.

After breakfast Matilda and I went on an expedition to the park. We stopped on the bridge over the Wauchope and Matilda remarked that she liked to look at the ripples and listen to the chatter of the water as it went over the stones.

She is a girl of sound tastes.

Then she gave every piece of equipment in the small play park a thorough testing. While she slid and twirled and swung, we couldn’t help noticing how many blackbirds were to be seen pecking for worms on every side. I took a picture of one of them, and added a crow who appeared as we left the play area, and then two robins who hopped onto the fence as we walked along the riverside path.

I had brought Matilda this way to show her the wild garlic and the bluebells, and she was amazed and delighted when she saw them. We walked along the beechy plains and then up my favourite bluebell path.

We walked along the top of the banking and then took the steps back down to the park, where I introduced Matilda to the delights of the park wall. She liked the wild strawberry and the herb Robert, but was less impressed than she might have been by the lichen.

Although the bluebells in the woods were a wondrous sight, it has to be admitted that the Spanish bluebells in our garden are individually a lot punchier and you can see why they were introduced.

Looking at the Spanish bluebells made me think of the other blue (and blueish) flowers in the garden, and I went round looking at them.

There were more than I thought that there would be.

Other colours sneaked up on me when I wasn’t paying attention.

We had a splendid lunch and afterwards, I took a moment to check on the birds. For once the first bird that I saw was not a siskin, but a sparrow.

Considering how many sparrows there are about, it is surprising how few come to our feeder.

Normal service was soon resumed and some theatrical poses were deployed.

There was a break in the siskin stranglehold when a chaffinch and two greenfinches arrived.

I didn’t watch the birds for long though as another expedition was being organised.

This time we went in cars up the hill to the car park at the MacDiarmid memorial. Matilda inspected the memorial…

…but found it hard to read. There was a hint of sunshine up the valley…

…but sadly it didn’t shine on us. It was a chilly day to be standing around so Matilda set off to lead the party up the track to the monument.

We followed on as best we could. Oh to be young and to be able to run up hills just for fun.

Matilda was intent on adventure, so she and I left the track and walked across the rough hillside up towards the monument…

…where we met up with her father and Mrs Tootlepedal, who had tamely come up the track.

Matilda was pleased to find that you could see Langholm if you looked down from the top of the hill.

It was cold and windy on the summit so we didn’t linger long. Matilda and I came down the path through the mosses and tussocks while Alistair and Mrs Tootlepedal once again took the track. Because we stopped to look at mosses, they got ahead of us this time and we had to hurry to catch them up.

The algae on the monument and the red of the sphagnum moss on the hillside added colour to the outing.

We combined the visit to the monument with a little shopping on the way home, and we met up with Matilda , Alistair and Clare in time for a cup of tea and a sice of cake.

Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do some gardening and I got out a small bicycle which we had been given by our friends Mike and Alison some time ago. It was just the size for Matilda and she did some very energetic cycling round the garden, including riding across the pond bridge in a style very reminiscent of Evel Knievel.

Mrs Tootlepedal and she went round to show Mike and Alison how well she was doing on the bike and to say thank you for letting us have it when their grandchildren got too big for it.

I had a quick clean up of the latest jackdaw moss peckings while they were gone, and then enjoyed watching more cycling in the garden while I gave our car a rare wash. It is due for a service on Monday so I thought that I ought to get it looking a bit more respectable than it was.

In between times, I noted that the siskins were back in force…

…and that it had warmed up enough to get a geum in the garden to raise its head.

Alistair cooked us a very tasty evening meal of vegan burgers in ciabatta rolls with oven baked chips, which we followed by the last of the sticky toffee pudding sauce on ice cream.

The day for Matilda had also included piano playing and dancing with her mother, gymnastics on the lawn and a long game of Ludo with Mrs Tootlepedal so it was not just her who was quite tired by this time. She went off to bed and the older ones watched the Eurovision Song contest. It is at times such as when the Eurovision Song Contest is on that I am grateful that producing these posts means that I don’t have a lot of time to watch the telly.

The flying bird of the day is a lark which soared above Matilda and me on the hill, singing for all it was worth.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “We never stopped

  1. Goodness, what a busy day! Matilda is so grown up: I have been following your blog since before she was born, I think. Where has the time gone?

  2. She is a girl of sound tastes, is she? 🙂 You have a great deal of catching up to do and it looks as though you made the most of the day. Each and every one of you must be exhausted!

  3. The geum picture is superb and this statement “I am grateful that producing these posts means that I don’t have a lot of time to watch the telly” is very amusing.

  4. You had a lovely day, walking in the park and going up the hill with Mathilda. Apart from the company of her, you also collected lot of pictures. The flowers and the birds are beautiful as always. You are lucky to have a granddaughter that’s a real sport ! The tea and cake was more than deserved 🙂

  5. What a busy day! I very much liked the header picture and agree with Matilda as to the ripples and chatter of the water. She is a girl with a good vocabulary..

  6. I feel quite tired after reading about all your activity. Lovely picture at the Monument. Glad the bicycle was just right for Matilda.

  7. That sounds like a delightful outing with Matilda, and I also enjoyed the three generations photo. The time when they are young and see the world through fresh eyes is short, and I am glad the family was able to get together in person again. I enjoyed all the photos from your day.

  8. I’m quite exhausted reading what you managed to do in your lovely family day together. It’s wonderful seeing the world again through the eyes of a young person especially when they are family. It’s good to see the resemblances in the family pic and also in character too.

  9. Such a busy day! I was glad Matilda appreciated most of the interesting things you found yesterday. I was going to say that lichen is an acquired taste and it may grow on her but that doesn’t sound particularly pleasant! The geum is wonderful!

  10. I’m so very pleased to read and see this account of your visit with Matilda and company. Looks like a good time was had by all! 🌿

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