Singing here and there

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found a cow looking rather disapprovingly at his son’s dog when they were out for a walk.

We had a busy day today, and there was little time for taking photographs. In the morning we attended church to sing in the choir on the occasion of the Common Riding service or the Kirking of the Cornet, where prayers are offered for the successful completion of his duties. There was a much larger congregation than usual, and more hymns than usual too. We got some good news from our organist Henry. The organ should be back in action in a fortnight.

We had time for a quick sandwich and a cup of tea before dashing off to Carlisle where we were due to sing in the Market Place with the visiting choir that we had met yesterday. The concert had just begun by the time that we arrived, but we slotted in and were soon singing away. Each choir sang some of their own songs, and we joined together to sing songs which we had rehearsed yesterday.

To my dismay, the excellent tenor who stands beside me in our choir was not there, as he had been swept away to hospital overnight. This left me feeling a bit exposed, especially as you often don’t hear the other parts very clearly when singing outside. As the visiting choir only had one tenor, it was not a great deal better when the choirs were singing together. Notwithstanding that, it was good fun, and we managed to stop enough of the passers by in their tracks to have a steady audience. We finished the concert with a rousing version of the very appropriate “With a little help from my friends”.

We made a diversion to a garden centre on our way home. I bought cheese and expensive fancy bread flour in the attached food store, and Mrs Tootlepedal picked up some reasonably priced plants.

I had a look at the birds when we got home and found that there was very little seed left in the feeder which I had filled in the morning. There were plenty of birds though.

They were lining up for a perch and a go at the few remaining seeds.

There was no trouble in finding a flying bird today, although the light was too gloomy to get a really good picture of one.

A small flock of sparrows put on a synchronised flying display.

It had been warm and sunny while we were singing in Carlisle, and we had been sheltered from the brisk wind, but the weather got gloomier and gloomier as we drove back to Langholm. The wind got a lot stronger. I had planned to go for a cycle ride, but a short but extremely heavy rain shower and the rising wind persuaded me to stay at home and confine my exercise to a quick walk round the garden.

I shouldn’t grumble though, as Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge shows that we have had measurable rain recently and that is what we have been needing. (Centimetres on the left and inches on the right.)

When the rain stopped, I took my garden walk.

The phacelia had not been able to stand up to the heavy shower and the wind.

Nearby, a clematis, propped up by the fence, had done better.

Elsewhere, flowers continued to grow.

There is safety in numbers.

There is an astilbe just coming out in the picture above . . .

. . . and I took a closer look at it.

A tall dahlia is showing more petals every day . . .

. . . but Mrs Tootlepedal is a bit disappointed to find that several of the small dahlias she has raised this year from a packet of ‘mixed’ seed have all come up white so far.

I am running low on bird seed, but I topped up the feeder a little and more birds arrived.

In the end, I was very glad not to have gone for a cycle or a walk as the wind became very strong and the day became distinctly unfriendly.

All the driving about and singing over the last two days has left us both feeling a little tired, so we hope for kindly weather and a gentle day tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch.

Footnote: The header picture shows the Dacorum choir about to sing one of their numbers.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Singing here and there

  1. I get a kick out of the number of clothes pegs the Dacorum keyboardist has on the music – should be good enough to withstand whatever Mother Nature threw at the sheets!

  2. That’s too bad about the phacelia but now that I see the leaves I understand why another name for it is blue tansy. I didn’t know it got so tall.
    I thought the dahlias were beautiful, white or otherwise.
    I’m glad you had a good sing and saw some beneficial rain. They say we’re now officially in a moderate drought.

  3. Thanks to mj. I may not have noticed the clothes pins (as we call ’em). Nice little detail there. Our Phacelias don’t seem as bothered by the rain, but then they don’t grow nearly as tall as yours. I’m sure even that bit of rain was appreciated. We haven’t seen a drop here for too long already… except for the wee bit of moisture that drips from the evening or morning fog rolling in off the ocean. We’ll take every little bit we can get.

    1. These phacelias grew very tall. I don’t know if they should have been that tall or it was just that they were in a sheltered spot in a good bed. Fog is better than nothing.

      1. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s all that lovely compost you create. Our soil here is very poor and most thing tend to grow in miniature because of it… except for the trees which are astoundingly tall (for the most part).

  4. This sounds like a good day – small wonder you both felt a little weary at the end. The ‘fancy flour’ will be used for …?

      1. I am having a little difficulty getting a good picture of a blue salvia and time will tell if it is the camera or me. The likelihood is that it it is me.

  5. I did notice all those pegs keeping the keyboard player’s music from flying away. It was very windy here too yesterday – but only a few drops of rain.
    Glad the singing went well, and that you will soon have the organ back in church.

  6. Phacelia is well known here. Mosty it is planted as green manure. Fine the singing went so well.

  7. How lovely to meet up with the other choir for another sing a long…good planning. A good drop of rain fell on your garden so all will be refreshed but not such good news for the phacelia . At least it saved you watering. Love the bird photos with the colourful backdrop.

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