A lot to do

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She was visiting the Tate Modern art gallery when she took this picture of the River Thames and a familiar landmark.

Our unseasonable warm spell continued today, but with only very fleeting glimpses of sunshine. It is mostly quite grey, but as it didn’t rain, we didn’t complain.

While Mrs Tootlepedal went off to take the minutes for a Langholm Initiative board meeting, I started today by getting the newsletter for the Langholm Initiative organized, and sending a preview copy to get it approved.

Then I got a quote for the repair of the stuck zoom of my little Lumix, and took my old already repaired Lumix out into the garden to see what I could find. What I could find was quite a lot of dahlias.

Not bad for two packets of mixed seeds and one or two saved tubers.

There are other flowers about . . .

. . . and I thought that the nerines deserved a spot of their own.

While I was photographing the nerines, a white butterfly settled on a sweet pea beside me.

I went back inside, and I had just made a large pot of coffee, when Dropscone arrived to help me in the task of drinking it. He bought some delicious scones with him, and I ate mine with some home made black currant jam.

Dropscone told me that he had recently been playing golf beside the Solway Firth on one side of the country and beside the North Sea on the other, so he is obviously getting about well, considering that he’s even older than I am.  (We will be the same age next month though.)

When he left, I checked on the quote for the camera repair, which the man who repaired the old Lumix had sent me extremely promptly. It was very reasonable, and I was getting ready to pack my new Lumix up when I thought that I ought to check it. Much to my surprise, I found that after a night on a radiator in the kitchen, it was now working perfectly. I took it out into the garden and photographed a few more flowers just to see if it really was working, finding yet another dahlia to add to my collection.

I don’t know how long it will last before the zoom gets stuck again, but I was very happy to be able to use it for the time being at least. Having run out of flowers to photograph, I put the camera away, got the hover mower out, and mowed the greenhouse grass and the vegetable garden paths.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her meeting and I cycled round to the shop for supplies, and made a pot of soup for lunch when I got back.

After lunch, I mailed out the newsletter, and then we did some much needed dead heading among the dahlias. Mrs Tootlepedal continued the task of clearing up old flowers. I left her to it, and went off for a cycle ride to stretch my legs after yesterday’s walk.

There was quite a gusty wind about, so I didn’t attempt anything ambitious, but merely pottered round my familiar twenty mile Canonbie circuit. The wind direction was friendly and after three miles battering straight into the wind, the turn to the south provided me with more or less helpful crosswinds for the trip down, and a generally friendly wind behind for the return journey.

I was in no hurry, and stopped to admire the resilience of this fallen but still growing tree . . .

. . . cattle posing on the skyline . . .

. . . the three sisters of Grainstonehead . . .

. . . two bursts of colour on the road to Canonbie . . .

. . . and early autumn views up . . .

. . . and down the River Esk a mile or two outside the town.

I also passed a new sign, put up by the Duke or his minions at Irvine House.

The use of the word curtilage, not a word on everyone lips in the normal course of life, is a by product of the right of Scots to roam freely over their countryside except in people’s curtilages. Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in our curtilage while I was cycling.

She was in the house by the time that I got home and we had a cup of tea before I had a shower and we joined my brother and sisters for one of our regular Zoom meetings.

I am going to have to stop looking at the weather forecast because every time that I check the weather for tomorrow’s walk over the moor, the forecast gets worse. It wasn’t too bad a day or two ago, but it doesn’t look very promising now. It will be another outing for the new waterproof trousers I fear.

It was too dark for bird photos by the time that I got home as the clouds were thickening overhead, and I had been too busy for any in the morning, so there is no flying bird of the day today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “A lot to do

  1. Good to make acquaintance with the word curtilage, not a word that trips lightly off the tongue. Enjoyed the wonderful blue of your final picture.

  2. Your certainly clocking up the miles this month..making hay while the sun shines as they say 😊
    Am I right in thinking your last shot is a gentian?a lovely plant.
    Many years ago I had an alpine house in the garden and the gentian was one of my favourites amongst the fifty or so ans I could fit into what was an average size greenhouse. Quite an absorbing little hobby.
    The word curtilage is a new one for me.
    It makes a change for our Lancashire weather to be preferable than that further north.
    Like the three sisters trees.

  3. I hope the Lumix stays fixed. From what I’ve seen and heard, it’s a great camera.
    The dahlias were beautiful. I don’t see too many of them here.
    I’m fairly certain that though swimming might disturb fish at the moment it doesn’t give them a lifetime aversion to that particular bit of water.

    1. I have never seen anyone swimming in that part of the river but I expect that having seen the notice, people might think of swimming there now.

  4. I wonder about the lumber used to make that sign. The posts look a bit like 4×4 posts we’d use here in the USA. The other boards look like what we would 2×4’s. But in the UK with their metric units, those lumber sizes we use here might not fit. How is lumber sized in the UK (and EU)?

    Oh… I just looked it up in Google and found that the sizes are basically the same, but besides the old 2×4 name, it is also sold and described by a metric name. SoI not only learned a new word, but I learned a bit about metric lumber.

  5. My dictionary translates the “curtilage” to a “space between buildings”. That fallen tree demonstrates the resilience of life. Flowers can’t get any bluer than this gentian.

  6. Curtilage is a new word for me, too. I enjoyed all the photos, especially the colorful flower panels. I like the fallen but still living tree, a testament to the tenacity of life. I’ve seen that here with two ancient feral apple trees in the back of the property.

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