Party time

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend and neighbour Gavin. He was on North Uist today and was impressed by the amount of work two crofters had put in to provide their only source of heat for the coming year.

We had a generally sunny but very windy day here, with some gusts making us worry about possible damage. I had a busy morning as Sandy came for coffee, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, I sieved a barrowload of compost, and I converted some ham stock, which Mrs Tootlepedal had prepared, into a tasty broth.

When I had calmed down, I looked for birds to watch and found none. An hour later things had returned to normal . . .

. . . and the birds piled back in, with an occasional chaffinch mixing with the siskins.

Down below, a team of pigeons were cleaning up fallen seed.

Mrs Tootlepedal spent the morning taking minutes at a meeting, and after lunch we walked round the garden. It was so windy that taking picture of flowers was hard as they kept blowing about. I did my best.

I used the mower to collect up a lot of the moss which the jackdaws had pecked up on the front lawn, and when I put the mower away, a blackbird on the roof of the greenhouse was waiting for me to move off so that he could get on with the job of feeding the young.

The rest of the afternoon, in contrast to the busy morning, was a bit of wasted space. The bike shop had told me that they would ring at some time to tell me that my bike was ready. My plan was to get a lift down with Mrs Tootlepedal, and then to bicycle home at a furious speed, pushed by the very strong wind. I waited patiently for the call.

Finally, they rang up right at the end of the afternoon to tell me that my bike still wasn’t ready. Luckily Mike Tinker came round for a cup of tea and a chat so that helped to pass the time agreeably.

When he left, I could see that the pesky peckers were back hard at work making a mess on the front lawn which I had mowed clear earlier in the day.

The wind had got stronger by this time, and at 35 mph, the gusts were really too strong for sensible cycling even on the electric bike. I went for a short three bridges walk instead, just to stretch my legs.

There had been some heavy showers overnight, and it was good to see a bit of water in the rivers, even though they were by no means full.

I walked along the Kilngreen, over the Sawmill Brig, round the new path on the Castleholm and back home over the Jubilee Bridge It was impossible not to enjoy the play of sunlight and shadow.

There were smaller things to see as well . . .

. . . and I ended my walk with a look at the honeysuckle in our garden hedge.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I put on smart outfits and walked next door to join our neighbour Margaret in celebrating her birthday. Liz and Ken from next door came too, and we had a merry time with wine and nibbles, a slice (or two in my case) of birthday cake and a lot of cheerful conversation about past times. Outside, severe gusts of winds and heavy squalls of rain battered Margaret’s windows, but they stopped in time to let us walk home in peace at the end of a good day.

The flying bird of the day is one of the many siskins.

Footnote: Dropscone dropped by in the morning to give me a present of an avocado which he had found in a supermarket in Annan at such an advantageous price (29p) that it would have been a sin not to buy it. He is a kind chap.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Party time

  1. I like the shot of the allium. It looks like a tiny basket of purple tulips.
    That’s a nice shot of the aquilegia too. I saw some wild ones here yesterday.
    Happy birthday to Margaret and hooray for thoughtful friends like Dropscone.

  2. it seems that Dropscone is your personal veg shopper, with the added bonus of being able to scout out bargains. A good thing!

    Our winds (today – and many days of late) were much the same as yours. It’s very wearing. Between that and the persistent rain the garden planting seems like a faint hope for a while. Mind you I shouldn’t complain as at least we’re not flooded out as many people are.

    1. Wind is wearing, I agree. I am sorry to hear of your persistent bad weather just at a time when things should be looking up. It must be hard to bear.

  3. Beautiful examples of light and shadow; a wonderfully sociable day – happy birthday Margaret! Enjoy your avocado too.

  4. Another interesting gift from Dropscone- I’d let him do all your shopping! Wonderful gallery of photos from your walk showing the delight one can get from trees, sun and shadows. The crofters do work hard producing all their fuel- I didn’t realise digging the peat (?)like that was still done.

  5. Those rows of cut turf remind me of staying at ‘her indoors’ grany’s farm in Nortern Ireland. I’ll never forget the smell of the burning peat in the hearth and bacon, eggs, soda bread and potatoe bread
    cooking on the stove. Great days. Getting a bike shop to carry out repairs and upgrades is very difficult at the moment. My trusted bike shop told me today I’ll need to wait at least three weeks to get my Tannus solid tyres fitted. I contacted Tannus direct and they told me I could buy a specialist P tool to seat the tyres for £25 but after use could send it back and get a refund of £10. Sounds a good deal, provided I can complete the task. So still waiting for your new handlebars? Cheers.

    1. I got the bike shop to put my solid tyre on as it was well beyond my capability to do it myself. We used to cut peat 45 years ago. I loved the smell of the peat fire.

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