Today’s guest picture comes from Jane, the wife of our ex-minister Scott. They are currently in Menton on the Cote d’Azure where she saw the sun rising over the Italy this morning. I can give Menton no higher praise than by saying it is obviously nearly as good as East Wemyss. Jane remarks that it s a bit warmer there though.
We had a calm, still, cool and grey day here (10°C, 51°F at nine o’clock). I entered several pages of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database after breakfast, and then walked up to visit Sandy with another month of entries under my arm to give to him. The data miners are working hard at the moment.
I had a look round the garden before I left Mrs Tootlepedal watching the late Queen’s funeral on my behalf.
The nerines are coming along well . . .
. . . and I love this dahlia which looks as though it has been freshly hand painted every morning.
A very late white clematis has come out at the front door in a rather half hearted way.
In contrast to the garden colour, two weeds caught my eye as I walked up the hill to Holmwood.
There was more colour when I got to Sandy’s. His little wildflower bed, though past its best he says, was still looking pretty good to my eyes.
We had a good cup of coffee and a slightly despairing conversation about the state of the world before I strolled back down the hill in time to join Mrs Tootlepedal for the last part of the funeral service.
As the service ended, I looked out of the window and saw a bird at the feeder suitably dressed in black.
It wasn’t disturbing the chaffinch on the other side of the feeder.
Starlings are handsome birds and worth a close up . . .
. . . or two.
When I looked out again after lunch, goldfinches had taken over the feeder.
It had warmed up a bit by this time, but it was still cool enough for an extra layer when I took my road bike out for a trip round my familiar Canonbie circuit.
After a few miles, I had to stop to investigate an annoying rattle. I tried taking off my rear light which often rattles, and I must have looked a bit distressed as a motorist stopped to ask if I needed assistance. I politely declined his kind offer, took the light off, and pedalled on. The rattle continued.
I stopped again, and this time identified and sorted the cause. I must remember to put my back light on again.
It was rather gloomy on the ride, and there was an occasional spot of drizzle so I didn’t stop much except to take two tree pictures . . .
. . . just to show that leaves are still fully in place in spite of the imminent arrival of the autumn equinox this week.
I feared that I might get wet when I saw some cattle lurking under a tree beside the road . . .
. . . and there were some dark clouds about too. Then, a few miles before I got back to Langholm, the sun suddenly came out . . .
. . . and things looked a whole lot brighter . . .
. . . for about three minutes until it started to rain.
I thought that I might get soaked before I got home, but the weather gods, knowing that I had a rain jacket in my pannier, didn’t want to waste their time, and the rain stopped almost as soon as it had started.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal told me that they had had a short but heavy shower in the town, so I had been lucky.
I managed a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit before it was time for a Zoom recorder lesson with our granddaughter Matilda and her father. Matilda had made good progress with her tone and technique, and furthermore was able both to sight read a new piece and play an old piece from memory, two useful skills for a budding musician. Her father is a good recorder player himself, and it was a joy to hear them play together.
Next, before the regular Zoom with my brother and sisters, I had another look at the feeder and found some fierce sparrows had taken over, involving beak to beak confrontation . . .
. . . and back stamping.
Our family Zooms are usually interesting, as my brother Andrew loves to visit interesting stately homes and often has a good stock of pictures to share. Today was no different, and we got a tour of Hardwick Hall and some of its treasures.
After a week when we have been living in a sort of fairy tale country, blessed apparently by universal love and togetherness (and no advertising breaks on the commercial TV programmes today), it will be a shock to wake up tomorrow to the real world and its many pressing problems.
Mrs Tootlepedal wondered as she watched the impressively clockwork organisation of the massive event of today why, if they can organise that so well, they can’t organise things like the national health service, social work and education a bit better. A very good question.
The flying bird of the day is a horizontal sparrow.