A day of song

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She met a moorhen on a recent outing..

It stayed above freezing here overnight but it was far from warm as we cycled to church this morning. Only four choir members turned up, but as the hymns provided plenty of opportunity for cheerful singing, we did our best to make ourselves heard. It was rather a short service today which suited us because we had to make an early start to get to Carlisle in the afternoon. Our Carlisle choir were due to sing in the market place to entertain visitors to the Christmas Fair there.

When we got home from church, we had a cup of coffee and I watched the birds for a while. It was quiet at the start with the occasional chaffinch and sparrow about. . .

. . . but things soon warmed up when greenfinches arrived followed by a bunch of goldfinches . . .

. . . and it wasn’t long before a greenfinch replaced the chaffinch and then another greenfinch tried to shift the first greenfinch.

There was some bad feeling.

I left them to it, and went out to stretch my legs with a quick three bridges walk.

I was pleased to find Mr Grumpy standing up today . . .

. . . and he stood so still that I got a close up of him looking comparatively cheery.

Gulls and ducks were also to be seen . . .

. . . but as it started to rain lightly as this point, I didn’t linger and pressed on over the sawmill Brig and through the gate onto the Castleholm. I used the small pedestrian gate beside this bigger one . .

. . . but I took this picture of the main gate because I think it is an elegant construction.

Although the rain didn’t come to anything, I kept going because I wanted time to eat some lunch before going to Carlisle. I noted a few things on my way, including a quince in a neighbour’s garden.

I met a group of cheerful residents putting up a seasonal sign at the end of Eskdaill Street . . .

. . . and had a quick look for flowers in our garden when I got home.

I walked fast enough to give me time for lunch and a last look at the birds before setting off.

Considering that we were going to sing in the open air, we were rather alarmed to find that it had started to rain again as we drove to Carlisle. In the end though some very nasty looking clouds with quite heavy rain had passed over before we arrived at the car park, which happily for us, is provided free at weekends to encourage shoppers to come to the city centre.

About half the choir had braved the cold weather to come and sing in the Market Place. We had a bit of struggle as our piano kept on malfunctioning in the middle of songs but we managed to carry on unaccompanied. We ended up producing a reasonable programme of carols and Christmas songs even though two of the more elaborate numbers had to be shelved.

The outdoor concert was followed by a rehearsal in St Cuthbert’s church for our Christmas Concert next week. The slightly shortened outdoor programme left us with enough time to do some shopping before we headed down the well signposted St Cuthbert’s lane . . .

. . . to St Cuthbert’s Church.

There was even time for me to take the shopping to the car in the car park on the other side of the railway line before coming back to the church with my recorder playing friend Jenny who arrived in the near car park just as I passed through it.

We noticed this very fine ivy as we made our way to the church.

More choir members turned up for the rehearsal and we are reasonably well prepared for next week’s concert with one final practice still to go on the day.

We were very lucky with our weather for the outdoor singing and shopping as it started raining again as we drove home.

After our evening meal, we watched the second half of the England vs Senegal football match. It seems to me that although England were quite sharp going forward at times, they will have to be a lot tighter at the back next week if they are to give the French a run for their money.

Mrs Tootlepedal is very pleased with how well a rose in one of her birthday bouquets is lasting. I have put it into this post for some added colour as the garden fades away.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch trying to squeeze onto a feeder perch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “A day of song

  1. I am pleased the outdoor concert went well despite a few problems with the piano. It could have been quite miserable if the rain had persisted. I also like the photo of the men putting the sign up on the street corner. It’s so nice to see three cheerful faces!

  2. I also like the Christmas sign – What a nice idea! We’ve pinned our hopes on France bit were very happy to see Henderson score. He’s a Homestead favourite.

  3. The bird look extra hungry now… Funny to read that parkings are free in the weekend to encourge people to come to the city. Here they do everyhing to avoid that people come to town by car for shopping 🙂
    St Cuthbert’s Lane must be a special street to deserve a big sign above the street entrance. Also the church look special, however not so elegant on the outside. Have a good start in the new week
    Many greets,

    1. I take your point about encouraging motorists but Carlisle is in the centre of a very spread out rural area and the bus services are not always good.

  4. Your singing day sounds busy, fun and satisfying! Listening to choirs sing in the open at Christmas time or at any time in the year is a real pleasure but Christmas singing in the cold is the best! Love Mr Grumpy ‘s close up and seeing that the birds on your feeder still have no manners and plenty of spirit!

  5. It’s nice to see Mr. Grumpy standing but when a heron sits in its nest it must fold itself up like Mr. Grumpy does, so maybe the sitting position he shows us isn’t as uncomfortable as it appears.
    I’m glad you were able to bring some Christmas cheer to the town.
    That’s quite an ivy. I’ve never seen one do that.

    1. You make a good point about the heron sitting. I have never ben able to study one on a nest. The ivy was impressive. It was very well sheltered against a brick wall.

  6. I am glad the weather held for your outdoor concert, and that Mr. Grumpy was standing and appears well. Allen makes a good point about the position a heron must take to sit on a nest.

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