Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He is visiting Cambridge, and very fittingly sent me this nice picture of a bridge over the Cam.
We woke to a grey and drizzly day, but the birds were not discouraged and had got up early. There are some fairly undefined birds about at the moment, but I think that these two are a greenfinch and a goldfinch. It is hard to tell.
I can recognise a sparrow though.
We walked to church under umbrellas in a fine drizzle. We found that Henry, our organist, had returned after recovering from Covid. We were very pleased to see him, but we were a bit alarmed to hear that he had been doubly vaccinated before catching the virus. He was happy to be back playing again, but perhaps a little less happy to find that there were only three choir members present today. We did the best that we could, but it was not a big sound.
When we got home, we had coffee with the last of the home made ginger biscuits. We were in no rush to get out into the garden in the damp, but I did have a quick excursion before lunch to have a look round.
The helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ has done wonderfully well after being transplanted . . .
. . . and the nerines have now completed the row in front of the hedge at the end of the drive.
Mrs Tootlepedal has been digging up turnips.
They will go well in winter stews.
The Ginger Syllabub rose is doing its best to come out in unhelpful circumstances . . .
. . . but may have to hurry as it is to get cooler next week.
A green bottle fly produced a colour clash on a dahlia . . .
. . . while two other dahlias showed the difference that being visited by bees makes.
After being visited, looking a bit battered . . .
. . .and before, looking pristine.
Then I picked another of Mrs Tootlepedal’s late lettuces, and included it in a corned beef and tomato sandwich for my lunch.
I looked out to see how the birds were getting on, and found that a blue tit and a dunnock deserved two pictures each in my opinion for being out in the rain.
I was intending to go for a cycle ride after lunch, but when Mrs Tootlepedal turned on the men’s road race from the World Cycling Championships in Belgium, I was nearly tempted to sit down and watch it, as it looked as though it was going to be an exciting race. However, on this occasion, I managed to tear myself away, get my bike out, and go for a ride of my own.
There was a gusty wind blowing, so I chose a dull, flat 40 mile route down the main roads to Newtown and back. As it was Sunday, there would be very little heavy traffic to buffet me about.
I had chosen my direction in the hope that the wind would help me on my way home, and this turned out to be the case. I was quite a bit quicker on the way back than on the way out. In a way, it was a pity that I hadn’t chosen a more scenic route, as the light was very good for a cloudy day . . .
. . . and there was even a little sunshine on the northern English hills.
A rather informal milestone showed my progress from Longtown along the Brampton road.
When I got to my favourite bench after the twenty mile outward trip . . .
. . . it looked very different from when I had visited it in late May.
After a five minute pause for rest and refreshment, I headed home with the helpful wind making life easy for me.
I was quite lucky. Some wet roads on the way back showed that I had just missed a couple of what looked like quite heavy showers. I did catch up with the tail end of one, but it was just a sprinkling and I didn’t need to put my rain jacket on.
When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal reported that the World Championship had indeed been an exciting race, and we were both pleased that Julian Alaphilippe had won. He is a rider that we admire greatly for his enterprising spirit.
I had a cup of tea with a slice of bread and bramble jelly, and took the opportunity to watch the birds for a while before having my shower.
A blue tit was trying out the new fake tree . . .
. . . a goldfinch was wasting good seed eating time by shouting at a sparrow . . .
. . . and two other sparrows were posing and counterposing.
I had a last look round the garden before our evening meal and found that another ‘Stargazer’ lily has arrived . . .
. . . the bees were still steadily grazing the sedum . . .
. . . and Special Grandma is running riot.
My finger is now recovered and this post was produced by conventional means with many typos on the way.
The day was too grey to get a very satisfactory flying bird, so I have put in two less satisfactory ones as I couldn’t choose between them.