Choral chaos and an outing

Today’s guest picture come from our friend Bruce. He spotted a septic tank cleaning lorry on the Kilngreen and was amused by its tag. I was too. ( I don’t know if ‘meals on wheels’ is an international institution, but here it provides home meals for those unable to get out of the house or cook for themselves. Bruce has been delivering them lately.)

We had a damp and gloomy day with occasional rain.

I watched the birds after breakfast, and was pleased to see the feeder was a bit busier today. A chaffinch enjoying her breakfast caught my eye.

I had quick look at the dahlias, and was surprised to find a soggy bee on one . . .

. . . and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I cycled to church, while Tony and Marianne walked up to a local cafe for coffee with Michael.

At church, we had an exchange minister and she was confronted with the problem of the non appearance through illness of the stand by organist. Our organist was on a week off.

As everyone is a technical wizard these days, she had solved the problem by obtaining pre-recorded music for the hymns. As the congregation aren’t allowed to use hymn books at the moment because of the virus regulations, the words for the hymns are displayed in real time on a screen at the front of church, a long way from where the choir is. All would have been well if the music had not been different to the tunes in the hymn book, if the choir could actually read the words on the screen and if the words had born any relation to the verses that we should have been singing.

When finally a hymn with the right tune and the right words appeared together, we sang with such gusto that we had to wait for the recording to catch us up at the end of each line.

To add to the fun, it was raining when we came out of church and we cycled back home with soggy bums again.

The rain soon stopped and I wanted to stretch my legs before lunch. Tony and Marianne, back from their coffee, came on a short three bridges walk with me, while Mrs Tootlepedal slaved over a hot stove.

The Erskine Church was getting newly wrapped as we went past. It will soon be safe but an eyesore again.

When we crossed the Sawmill Brig, we thought it was looking just a bit autumnal . . .

. . . and I passed more signs of autumn as I walked sedately round the new path on the Castleholm . . .

. . . while Tony and Marianne raced round the horse racing course.

We met on the far side of the castle, and strolled along the wild flower lined path (with added lichen).

The sun came out for a moment, and as we crossed the Jubilee Bridge, we could see that it was illuminating quite a lot more water in the river than lately.

We timed out short walk well. It started to rain again just as we got back to the house.

After an excellent meal of roast lamb, new potatoes and cabbage, we had a last opportunity to sit and chat with our visitors before they left to go back to sunny East Wemyss. The potatoes for the meal came from our garden, and the cabbage from Tony’s garden in East Wemyss. He brought down a couple of fine specimens . . .

. . .which Mrs Tootlepedal declared were of the best quality, crisp all through and with no slugs, snails or other small beasties involved at all.

After Tony and Marianne had left, we plucked up our courage and went off to Gretna to do some essential clothes shopping.

There was a small tortoiseshell butterfly sitting on our car when we went out. It flew off, but looking around, I could see several more, and a red admiral too.

The shopping outing went well as far as getting the required articles went, and it was very sunny while we were there, but it was a bit of a nervous occasion. The Gretna Gateway shopping village was quite busy and many people were not wearing masks. We were pleased to be on our was home as soon as possible.

We were slightly less pleased when we saw a very threatening bank of clouds in front of us as wee drove north. The temperature dropped three degrees C in a mile as we approached the clouds and it started to rain heavily. We were a bit worried about a thunderstorm, but it was a false alarm and the shower soon stopped. By the time we got back to Langholm, we were in our customary grey weather again but with no rain.

All this excitement was too much for us and we subsided for the rest of the day.

I roused myself enough to have an evening meal and another look at the feeder . . .

. . . and a last look round the garden.

Annoyingly, Tony sent me a video message when he got back to East Wemyss showing a lovely blue sky and a neighbour complaining about the heat.

No time or energy for a flying bird today so an old friend, whom we passed on our walk, is happily standing in.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Choral chaos and an outing

  1. What a magnificent close-up of Mr. Grumpy! I laughed at your choir’s tale – sometimes things are so bad you just have to give in and enjoy the chaos!

    We also have meals on wheels here.

    As I type this I’m listening to the lovely sound of rain on the porch roof. We had 2.75″ yesterday and .75″ so far today.

  2. We have meals on wheels, also.

    I do wish people would take the pandemic seriously. It’s really bad where I live right now, both the pandemic and people not wearing masks.

  3. I enjoyed all your photos. Mr. Grumpy makes a fine Standing Bird of the Day.

    Back in the days when we used to travel around the country, I did see a septic truck with the logo to the effect of “Steve’s Septic Service. It’s our No. 2 Business”. I just looked them up. Their trucks now read “Steve’s Septic Service. #1 in the #2 Business”. Seems like a business that would always have plenty of work. 🙂

  4. Beautiful photos as always. Mr. Grumpy looks as if he knows you very well. Love the orange centers on the purple flowers with the matching orange butterflies. So far we are still playing it safe with our choir, with no live performances scheduled, but I will have all your stories to fortify me with courage when we resume.

  5. I had to look up Erskine Church. Based on what I could tell, it has some association with the Scottish Presbyterian pastor Ebenezer Erskine. Of course, that does nothing at all to tell me what the church looks like. But some of the American followers of pastor Erskine apparently only use the text of the biblical Psalms for singing in church. So congregants at that church might have somewhat less risk of the choral chaos you experienced.

    1. They had a choir in the Erskine Church which was a United Presbyterian Church. The church became united with the Church of Scotland in the 1929 but I don’t know when the Erskine church closed.

  6. I had to snigger a little over the hymn songing debarcle; very Mr Bean-like. Our septic tank man has the slogan, “Your business is our business.” Everyone’s a joker🤣

  7. A challenge for the choir! Glad you managed a fairly dry walk and successful shopping.
    Good to seeMr G, not too grumpy this time.

  8. Great spot by Bruce. It’s sad that the mask mandate has been removed (assume it has in Scotland?). We still have it here indoors and we’ll keep to it whatever is decided.

  9. Always love a pun! Your choir experience could have been an episode from The Vicar of Dibley. Sweetheart cabbage is my favourite- I have two a week on order throughout the year! Not only does your son have wonderful sunshine he has perfect cabbage too! Brilliant to see the butterflies.

  10. Oh Tom, thanks for the chuckle! I can just picture the ‘choral chaos’ as described!
    It’s likely that I’m repeating myself, but we are still longing for a drop of rain here. It would be very much appreciated if you’d send some of yours our way. 💦
    What a superb portrait of Mr Grumpy!!!

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