Today’s guest picture is another fine bridge from my brother Andrew. He tells me that this is an 18th Century road bridge in Nottingham.
It was decidedly autumnal here today, with a chill in the air when we got up. Both Sandy and Margaret remarked on the need for warm clothing when they arrived at coffee time. Sandy has acquired a mirror for his electric bike and now he is very happy that he can see what is coming up behind him when he is out on a pedal. Although people say that it is all too easy to look back a lot when you get older, it is not at all easy when you are on a bicycle.
We were joined by our friend Nancy who brought round some research from the Archive database which she had done for an enquirer to the Archive Group. She had a cup of coffee and regaled us with an account of a recent trip to Paris arranged by her daughter. We were very envious.
After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal and I wrapped up warmly and cycled up to the tree nursery at Cronksbank. It is at the end of a narrow road . . .
. . . and up a very steep hill . . .
. . . which the camera flattens out in a most disappointing way. Even on the electric bikes, we have to pedal quite hard to get up it.
There was a bit of sunshine up the valley when we got to the nursery . . .
. . . and by the time that we had finished watering 50,000 or so trees, it was quite a nice day.
Watering the trees is not quite the Herculean task that you might think, as they are very small and very close together.
Mrs Tootlepedal noticed a sweet smelling viburnum beside the old farmhouse as we set off home.
We got home in time for a rather late lunch. I took a picture of the nerines before I went in.
I like the picture because it shows one of the differences between looking at things in real life and through a camera. In this case, real life wins because the eye sees only a lovely row of flowers and the camera sees a hedge and a flower bed with a tiny sprinkling of flowers on spindly stalks in the middle.
After lunch, I had a quick look at the birds and saw sparrows coming . . .
. . . and going.
Then I settled down to produce this month’s newsletter for the Langholm Initiative.
I broke off in the middle of this work to have a Zoom recorder lesson with our granddaughter Matilda. She had a learned one of her tunes off by heart and played it with great accuracy and verve. I was impressed. She is following a course in a recorder tutor and having mastered B, A and G, we went on to a new note today. To my surprise it turned out to be E and not C as I had expected. That is a change from the old recorder tutors that we used to use. Matilda is now having to learn to use both hands.
The lesson went well, Mrs Tootlepedal joined us for some chat, and then I went back to the newsletter.
I finished it and sent off a preview to be approved by the chair of the Initiative. While I was waiting for a reply, I had a walk round the garden. There was a distinct threat of rain, with some very dark clouds looming up behind a ethereally sunlit monument.
Mrs Tootlepedal was chopping up some kindling for the new kindling rack on the log store . . .
. . . but found that the head on the little hatchet was so loose that it kept coming off. She went in to soak the head and handle in water in the hope that the wooden handle would swell up and get a grip.
I wandered around and the camera caught a secret fly, which I hadn’t noticed, on a phacelia. This was a win for the camera. It has much better eyesight than me.
The leycesteria doesn’t mind the cool weather at all and is flowering freely.
The ornamental strawberries are also doing well. They are very attractive but they have creeping suckers and spread a bit more than the gardener would like.
Even though it looks like a pollen paradise, I rarely see insects on the Japanese anemone . . .
. . . so perhaps the bees know something that I don’t.
The sedum usually has a lot of visitors, but it was cold and windy enough today to have discouraged any bees from dropping in when I had a look.
The prize for the most berries per square metre goes to the Cotoneaster Horizontalis against the house wall.
The newsletter got approval and I sent it off. I hope that it has arrived safely in the inbox of any readers that are members of the Initiative.
Mrs Tootlepedal had prepared a slow cooked beef stew for our evening meal, so a sociable and productive day ended well.
The flying bird of the day is a jackdaw which flew over the garden when I was out in the late afternoon.