A surprise for Mrs Tootlepedal

Today’s guest picture comes from Portsmouth where my sister Caroline spotted this fine magnolia.

I got up early this morning and was pleased to find that it was a fine day. Fine days are always welcome but this one was especially welcome as our older son Tony drove all the way down from East Wemyss with his partner Marianne and their three dogs just so that he could bring Mrs Tootlepedal a cup of tea in bed to celebrate Mothering Sunday. It is not too much to say that she was stunned.

This was demonstrating family feelings with a vengeance, because after a breakfast and a walk with the dogs, the whole party got into their car and drove straight back to East Wemyss so that Marianne’s children could give her a treat in the afternoon.Our admiration for their stamina was unbounded.

The weather stayed fine for the dogs’ three bridges walk.

On our way, the three East Wemyss dogs were excited to meet mountaineering dog Henry who was taking his owner Mark for a walk. The walk felt decided springlike with the cherry blossom, the daffodils and the wild strawberry on the Scholars’ Field wall.

We got back just in time for Mrs Tootlepedal and I to cycle to church to sing in the choir, while the visitors got packed up and left for home. It really was a flying visit, and some might think it not sensible to drive 250 miles for such a short encounter, but it brought us all an enormous amount of pleasure, especially Mrs Tootlepedal and Tony, so I think that it was very worthwhile. We will remember it for a long time.

The church choir was unexpectedly augmented by our ex minister Scott who joined me in the bass section. He came round for coffee after the service and we enjoyed a good gossip.

He mentioned that his wife had been given a Daphne that was not doing well, and Mrs Tootlepedal told him that we had one in the garden. I popped out to photograph it.

It is a Daphne Mezereum and Mrs Tootlepedal has no idea where it came from. She did not plant it but it looks quite at home.

I had had a look round the garden before coffee and found incipient euphorbia, the first scilla of the year, and a hardy bunch of crocuses.

When Scott left, there was just enough time for a pedal round my familiar Canonbie route before going off to Carlisle for our afternoon choir. It was reasonably warm and not too windy, so I got out my pushbike and pedalled as hard as I could (i.e fairly slowly), not stopping for too many en route illustrations.

When I took a second look at the larch tree, I found that it also had some lovely flowers. Along with the hazel flowers, these are a real delight to see in early spring.

When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had been doing some heavy lifting in the garden and a potentilla was about to get moved.

She is going to remodel this bed at the end of the middle lawn. The results should be very satisfying.

I had just enough time to inhale a bowl of soup and have a glance at the birds . . .

. . . before we set off for Carlisle.

Just as we were leaving, a large bunch of flowers was delivered. They turned out to be from Tony, so he scored very highly in the filial stakes today.

We had a hard working practice, including being scattered about during one song so that we were not sitting in our usual groups. I found my self sitting between a soprano and an alto which made life challenging for me (and probably for them too). As the soprano was Mrs Tootlepedal, it wasn’t quite as intimidating as it might have been.

We were feeling a bit disorganised after such a full day, so we stopped at our local chip shop to collect a ready cooked evening meal. It went down very well. Perhaps we might do this again after some future choir practices.

Flying birds were at a premium today and this was the best that I could do.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A surprise for Mrs Tootlepedal

  1. You have a very thoughtful son. That sounds like it was quite an undertaking.
    It was nice to see strawberry and larch flowers again. They’re bound to happen here before too long.
    Daphne is normally a very easy shrub to grow here and it has beautiful flowers. Extremely toxic though, so not

  2. Well done Tony! What marvellous gestures on his part. I remember the hard lockdown during the early onset of the pandemic, when my middle son sneaked into the kitchen as I was serving lunch. Even though he lived across the valley, I hadn’t seen him for two months and I simply burst into tears with happiness. Mrs Tootlepedal must have been thrilled.

  3. Talk about a fantastic surprise. When people drive 250 miles for a (short) visit, this says a lot about the meaning they attach to the people they are going to visit. I think you were more than surprised and thrilled and it must have been very intense moments.

  4. Lovely to have a special day as a parent, and it was very touching of your son and the family to make the journey, Mrs T must be delighted.
    Your countryside photos show that spring is on it’s way, I love the daffodils on the road to Canonbie.

  5. When I got just one paragraph into your post I looked up the distance from Langholm to East Wemyss. I was very surprised it was so far; so much for my Scottish geography. That was an impressive and very loving gesture.

  6. You have a wonderful family! The flowers and visits were a lovely gesture. Wishing Mrs. T a happy belated Mothering Sunday. Mother’s Day here is not until May. 14th.

    It does look like a fine day, but based on the jackets, a cold one. It was overcast and a bit cooler and wetter here yesterday.

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