A well timed call

Today’s guest picture comes from our younger son, Alistair. The builders provided a cherry tree in his little garden when he bought his house. It is doing well.

We woke to another grey and often rainy day, which was only brightened by the arrival of our neighbour Margaret for coffee. She was in a cheerful mood in spite of the weather as she has just become a great grandmother again, and to top that, a great-great grandmother as well. You don’t meet many great great grandmothers every day.

It remained a miserable day when Margaret left . . .

. . . but it didn’t discourage the birds, even though the seed in the feeder was very low.

I went shopping for groceries and Mrs Tootlepedal combined getting her hair done with buying more bird seed for me. I went by car and she braved the rain on her bicycle.

The condensate outflow for our boiler has been disconnected since it froze solid in the very cold weather before Christmas, and it was time to ring the engineer today to set a date for him to come and reconnect it. As it happened, he was only a few miles away when I rang, and he came immediately, fixed the boiler, mended a small radiator valve leak, and went on his way. If only all life was as well ordered as that.

After lunch I looked round the garden but spring joy was hard to find. The magnolia is a bit depressed and the Jetfire daffodils have lost their red trumpets over the years.

Then I put part of a week of the newspaper index into the Archive group database while I waited for the bread maker to finish a loaf and subsequently, since it wasn’t quite as rainy as it had been in the morning, I went for a walk.

I went round Potholm, starting in the direction which took me up the newly cleared track from the Duchess Bridge.

The trees sheltered me from any rain, and when I got to the road at the top of the wood, I was walking with my back to the wind and the rain had dropped to a faint drizzle. I saw lambs in the field beside the road and it felt quite springlike as I strolled along

This happy feeling lasted for about half a mile . . .

. . . and I was pursued by more rain as I crossed the bridge and walked up past the daffodils on the banking below the farmhouse.

Rather than taking the usual track back to the town, I cut up through the gloomy spruce woods where the pheasants are fed, took a forestry track for a while, and then ploughed over some very rough ground through newly felled areas until I came to the track at the top of the felled woods. The climb was steep enough to encourage me to stop half way up and admire the view. It wasn’t very admirable today.

My plan was to follow the track round the contour of the hill and come down to the town by the track that I had taken when I last climbed up Castle Hill. This excellent scheme was stymied by finding cattle occupying the the track when I got round the hill. I sneaked past them by going down on a rough path through some trees. Flushed with triumph, and covered with mud from falling over twice, I came out to find even more cattle, now both above and below me. Putting on my best ‘nothing to see here’ face, I walked nonchalantly between the two groups, and got off the open hill as quickly as I could. As it happened, the cattle couldn’t have cared less about me, and apart from a curious gaze or two, they kept on grazing.

I didn’t stop to take pictures of them, but took a picture of a tree as I came down the field to the Baggra instead. At least it had stopped raining by this time.

I used my new phone app to identify the urgent calls of a bird as I came down to the Sawmill Brig. It told me that it was a great tit and when I looked, I could see that the bird was indeed a great tit.

I learned from the app that there is a difference between a bird’s song and its call.

When I got to the town, I looked down the river from the bridge and enjoyed a cheery cherry tree as I walked along the riverside.

What with the clambering up the hill and dodging the cattle, this had definitely been a bit more adventurous than my usual ’round Potholm’ walk, and I was very pleased to have a cup of tea and a slice of bread and raspberry jam when I got home. The availability of raspberry jam was the result of an accident when I was shopping earlier in the day. Several trays of raspberries had fallen into my shopping bag and I had had no alternative but to make them into jam when I got back. Nothing beats freshly made raspberry jam on freshly made bread so it was a happy accident.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to the final rehearsal for the Operatic Society centenary concert. I am going to watch her in action tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “A well timed call

  1. A great-great grandmother. Holy cats! Glad the cattle left you alone. I like all jam, but raspberry is my favorite. Hope Mrs. Tootlepedal’s concert goes well.

  2. Beautiful cherry blossoms, interesting adventures, delicious jam on home-baked bread … and congratulations to Margaret!!!

  3. My next-door neighbour – also a great great grandmother – would like, I’m sure, to know your boiler engineer. She’s awaiting a diagnosis of why she has heating but no hot water.

    The wait for those oh so pretty lambs was well worth it.

  4. I enjoyed the selection of photos from your day. The expansive views are still pleasing to look at even on grey and misty days.

    Your Jetfire daffodils that have lost their red trumpets over the years sound like an interesting variety. Is the color loss a soil pH or micronutrient phenomenon?

  5. I think daffs are affected by temperature, as you say in following post. I ordered one that I was quite excited about having a tiny bright green cup. But it turns out that is only in warmer weather than we get! Itโ€™s just a sort of bland chartreuse for us.

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