A quiet day

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone. He looked up the other day and found a digger in his garden. (He has kindly allowed the couple who are converting the church next door into a dwelling house to run their drainage through his estate.)

I would like to start this post by thanking the many people who added sympathetic comments to yesterday’s post regarding the death of my sister Susan. She was a remarkable person as you will find if you take the time to look at her blog if you haven’t already done so. She found something interesting to comment on pretty well every week since November 2013, and that takes some doing. To get a flavour of her indomitable character I recommend the series of posts that she did on her middle aged ‘gap year’ when she did a solo tour of the continent in a VW camper van.

We had a very grey day here today, but it was warm enough of get rid of most of the traces of snow and ice from the garden. It wasn’t that warm though and it was drizzly too, so our visitors were happy to find things to do indoors in the morning, with the exception of a very brief excursion to look round the garden.

Evie was impressed by an incipient snowdrop and I was impressed by the survival qualities of the lichen on the drive.

I have spent sometime trying to work what this raindrop on a bramble is reflecting or refracting, but I still can’t make out what it is.

There were lots of birds at the feeder to keep Evie entertained when she looked out of the window . . .

. . . but the light was so poor that it was hard for me to get a decent picture until the birds stood very still.

At one time doves had commandeered the top of the walnut tree, and at other times, small birds had taken over.

It was such a dreary day that we had to keep a light on indoors and I had to be careful not to get the reflection of the light in the way of my attempts to take pictures of the birds. I wasn’t always successful.

I did manage to get to get a shot of a blue tit fetching a seed though

Indoors, an old cardboard box contained a surprise again. You never know when a grandchild is going to pop out of that box.

Mrs Tootlepedal had made a very nourishing broth for our lunch and as it was quite thick, we wondered if it would qualify as an an example of cottage pottage (or perhaps cotage potage).

After lunch, it was nearly warm enough and the rain was nearly light enough to tempt me to get out my bicycle, but the thought of getting damp and cold and perhaps coming upon a surviving icy patch on a back road put me off. I watched as a pack of siskins descended on the feeder . . .

. . . and then went off for a walk. Evie thought about coming with me, but when her mother suggested that this would mean putting on some warm trousers, she thought better of it and I went off on my own.

It was a dark day.

When I went through the park, I saw that the council had removed the hedge round the old play equipment. The hedged enclosure had been rather forbidding before, and even on a gloomy day, it looked a lot more welcoming now.

I walked along the river and then back up to the Stubholm, nimbly skipping over fallen trees . . .

. . . taking in script lichen and wet undergrowth . . .

. . . having fellow feelings about the weather with a rather depressed looking horse . ., .

. . . and finding an unexpected spot of colour by a stable.

I decided to go home by way of Gaskell’s Walk, and I had passed a bush dripping with lichen . . .

. . . and gone down the hill past the site of the old bridge when I received a phone call. Evie had reconsidered the merits of putting on some warm trousers and was taking her mother to the park. Would I care to join them?

Of course. I retraced my steps and found Evie enjoying the delights of the new play area, determined to have fun whatever the weather.

It was just as well that she had the warm trousers on as she had a go at almost everything in the way of swings and roundabouts in both the new and old play areas in spite of some rather wet thinmgs to sit op.

We got home in time for me to have a recorder lesson with our other granddaughter Matilda by way of Zoom. Our granddaughters exchanged cheery digital greetings.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to a practice for the 100th anniversary concert of our local opera group. I had intended to take part in this too but the task of learning the songs off by heart was too daunting for me so I have withdrawn.

We are hoping for better weather tomorrow, but we may have to wait until Wednesday to get a sunny day for our visitors.

The flying bird of the day is an unidentified flying object spotted over the garden in the gloom.

I end by reiterating my suggestion that it is worth a look at my sister Susan’s blog. Pick any month in any year from her archives at random and you are almost guaranteed to find out something that you didn’t know before.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “A quiet day

  1. Glad you have Evie and Annie to brighten dark days. I really, really liked Susan’s blog and will miss it and her so much. I was all agog reading about the adventures of her gap years. Makes me smile just to think about all of her adventures. What strikes me most about Susan, along with being indomitable, was that she never lost interest in art and architecture and all the things that were around her. Whenever I read her posts, I always learned something new.

    1. She loved music, theatre, art and literature and she made the most of the fact that she lived in London where there is a lot of this sort of thing about. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. So do I, which is probably why I liked Susan’s blog so much. I have started reading her early posts, which I hadn’t read as l begin following her blog about five years ago. I seem to remember her coming to visit you and Mrs. Tootlepedal to celebrate her 85 birthday. Do I have that right?

  2. Learning things from Susan’s blog was always a pleasure. Learning music by heart never was. If I had to now, I would do as you did – avoid.

  3. I have bookmarked Susan’s blog, and will have a look through it. I know I will learn much, and I am glad I will get to know her through her words and camera, even though she is gone. By all accounts, she sounds like she was a remarkable woman.

    I am glad you have family, friends, birds and countryside to brighten these days.

    1. She brought us a lot of education over the years. There is rarely a shortage of lichen round here which is lucky as good lichen growth is an indicator of clean air..

  4. For many years I followed Susan’s blog, for many years, she accepted all my comments about Art, Tours, travel and places she visited. We compared how we enjoyed those places. She was always such a nice person, very intelligent and what I admired most, her tenacity, and boldness. I’m sorry that I’ve lost a good friend…

  5. It definitely looks like a warm trouser kind of day; hooray to Evie for changing her mind and venturing out.
    One of the first blogs I ever read of Susan’s, she managed to convince a passing gentleman to disclose his height (6’3″) and then pose in front of a vintage phone box to show that men could indeed fit in them without removing their top hats. I was sold!

    1. She was a very persuasive woman. If she got stuck in a big traffic jam in her driving days, there would be community singing going within a few minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I agree with all the previous comments, Susan taught me an enormous amount by taking us through museums, art galleries, and exhibitions in her blog, and she did so right up until nearly the end of her life, which is a feat!
    Iโ€™m sure it is a wonderful distraction having grandchildren around at this time, and best wishes and a touch of sunshine to you all.
    Geraldine Mackey

  7. What a pity that I was only now able to discover your sister Susan’s blog. I read a few blogs here and there and also the link to the post of the trip through Europe. Really beautiful and especially interesting to read. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  8. Thank you for the introduction to your sister’s blog. I’ve only read the latest posts and I’m reeled in already. They are beautifully written and full of interest and I shall definitely continue to read them….such a wonderful legacy. Your visitors seem to be enjoying themselves even though the weather looks a bit gloomy!

    1. We are doing our best to defy the weather gods. I am glad that you enjoyed Susan’s blog. It would mean a lot as she took a lot of trouble to find suitable subject matter for her posts.

  9. Thanks so much for including the links to Susan’s blog. I am already in awe of her energy.
    Speaking of things one never knew before, I don’t think I have ever seen script lichen or noticed the bright blue legs of the Blue Tit. Thanks to you for that.

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