A job well done

Today’s guest picture shows Chaddesden Church. Rupert Brooke asks, “Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?” My brother Andrew replied that the clock stood at ten to two and the nearby cafe was closed!

We had a bright and frosty morning here, and the cold weather had brought some early visitors to the feeder.

The seed had gone down below half way, so I filled the feeder up again later in the morning.

Although it was a lovely day, it was only just above freezing when I walked up to have coffee with Sandy and there was a thin blue mist hanging over the town.

Mrs Tootlepedal had sent our builder an email about our blocked drain last night, and he had replied saying that he would try to come round today. By sheer coincidence, I found that he was up on Sandy’s roof fixing some ridge tiles when I arrived. I gave him my warmest greeting, and he assured me that he would be round to us soon after he had finished his work on the roof.

Much cheered by this, I went in for coffee and found Sandy in a cheery mood too. He had had a good night’s sleep. He is making slow but steady progress in his recovery from the operation and has even been out for a short walk round the block. He didn’t attempt a walk with me when I left, as the roads were still a bit slippery from the overnight frost.

I got home and enjoyed another cup of coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret.

I had time to watch a shady chaffinch or two . . .

. . . and a sunny robin . . .

. . . before Kevan, our builder, true to his word, turned up to see to our blocked drain. It turned out to be quite a complicated matter. The old drain, had to be dug out, and on inspection, it proved to be well past its use by date, leaky as well as thoroughly blocked. It was time for a change, so Kevan went away for a bite of lunch and returned to put a completely new drain in place.

The old sandstone surround for the top of the drain was past re-using, but Mrs Tootlepedal, who is a woman of great forethought, found another sandstone drain surround which she had been keeping in the garden for thirty years for just such an opportunity as this. It is now in place, and I hope to have a picture of the finished work (it still needs a new downpipe) in tomorrow’s post.

In the afternoon, I left Kevan hard at work, and went off for a cycle ride. It was still pretty cool at about 5°C so I was well wrapped up. Sadly, the sun had long since been covered up by clouds, but I had the wind behind me as I pursued a Grand Old Duke of York manoeuvre and cycled up to the top of the hill at Mosspaul. Of course it was against me as I cycled back down again.

I stopped on my way up when I got to the church at Ewes.

It has often appeared in previous posts, but there is a meeting tonight . . .

. . . and the development is that it may soon no longer be a church. There are plans to retain it as a community asset, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

I was cycling up the main road because I thought that there would be less chance of meeting any icy patches on it, so I had mixed feelings when I was passed by a gritting lorry which gave me a good peppering of grit as it went by.

My bike computer program tells me that there was a ten mile an hour wind behind me as I went up the hill, but I might have thought that it was a little stronger as I made good speed to the head of the valley . . .

. . . and I got to the top of the hill at the Hotel at just under 13 mph, an effort which would please me on the flat these days.

I paused there to eat a couple a dates and have a look round. There was a glimmer of sunshine far ahead of me . . .

. . . but it was rather gloomy where I was . . .

. . . so I only hung around for a couple of minutes before heading back home.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t go that much faster on the way down the hill, but the wind wasn’t a great annoyance, and I enjoyed my outing in very light traffic.

Kevan finished his work soon after I got home, and we were very grateful that he had been able to fit us into his ever busy schedule.

We finished the day with a sibling Zoom. My sister Mary had been to the National Gallery and provided us with an art quiz. She had chosen a fine selection of 16 pictures. I definitely knew two of the artists, which was pretty good for me. Well to be fair, it was one artist and two pictures by him.

The flying bird of the day passed over the garden without stopping. I think that it may be a jackdaw.

Footnote: I took a picture of another skein of geese flying over the house yesterday and then forgot to put it into the post. This lot was flying north. I have put the picture in here for the record.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A job well done

  1. It’s very satisfying to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and produce a long-kept part that’s finally needed! (perhaps it’s just that you can finally justify using the storage space for so many years 🙂 )

    1. It was lurking behind a bin and under a hedge so it wasn’t taking up much in the way of valuable space. I was impressed that she could lay her hands on it after many years in hiding.

  2. I enjoyed all your photos from the day, especially the views. It is also good news that Sandy had been able to go for short walk.

    I had to look up up poet Rupert Brooke, A short life, and so sad he died of blood poisoning from a mosquito bite, of all things. He packed a lot into those short years.

  3. I am always fond of church pictures. And I’m very impressed with Mrs. T’s foresight, had to go tell my husband about it as he’s always saving things for a rainy day.

  4. I’m glad to hear Sandy is up and around.
    You seem to be losing a lot of churches, or maybe it’s just my imagination.
    Your landscape views are looking more spring like all the time. Your snowdrops can’t be too far off.
    Glad the drain was fixable. You never know where things like that will go.

    1. The original earthenware pipe had been there for a great many years so perhaps it was its time to go. There was a vast oversupply of churches when every congregation seemed to spilt into ever smaller sects so tat accounts for many closures. In this case, agricultural depopulation is the cause. Every farmer has machines, not workers these days.

  5. Hooray for both Kevan and for Mrs. Tootlepedal who has added weight to my “it just may come in handy one day” practice. Unkind folk mutter about hoarding. Glad you put the geese in…a great photo.

  6. I enjoyed seeing the skeins of geese too! How sad that yet another church is to be de-consecrated and put to another use – lack of money for upkeep and dwindling congregations.

  7. Hope the geese keep flying as I’ve just watched news of Avian flu near Gretna! I know that’s near you as you cycle there! It’s a good idea to keep the churches working in the community so hope that happens to the pretty Ewes church. Good on Mrs T saving her drain cover- she’s a star!

  8. I found that poem you opened with…and I guess I’d only ever read the end of it. I had not realized it was so funny! I’d remembered it as a simple poignant memory.

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