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Archive for the ‘Singing’ Category

The ‘London Trip’ picture for today is a glimpse of the Olympic Stadium in the Olympic park.  It is now chiefly a football ground and was a disappointment to me as I expected something more imposing.

Olympic Stadium

I have not much to say about the morning as it was a sad time.  My older son Tony came down from Edinburgh and together we went to the funeral of Ian, the son of our next door neighbour Liz.  He had died very unexpectedly, being the same age as our two eldest children and it came as a terrible shock to us all.

The words and demeanour of Ian’s wife and three sons made the unconventional funeral service very touching and it seems that they will have the inner strength to cope with this tragedy.

After the funeral and a short visit to the subsequent family gathering, Tony went back to Edinburgh and I finished off making a couple of jars of blackcurrant jelly which I had started at breakfast time, a mundane but soothing task

I wasn’t expecting to take many photos today but the unrelenting rain, which had made the morning even more sombre than it should have been, finally eased off and the sun came out.

I checked on the poppies.

poppy

They were battered but surviving.

As Tony and I had walked over the bridge after the funeral, we had seen a family of goosanders sitting on the bank of the Esk wondering whether it was good weather for ducks or not.  I went back to see if they were still there.

Goosanders

There were four of them but I couldn’t get them into one shot as they swam off in all directions when they saw me coming.

Goosanders

While I was at the bridge, I checked out the rock creation which I had seen  being built a few days ago.  It turns out that it is not a bench at all but a fine tortoise.

Rock tortoise

Nearby, I noticed a very badly painted robin.

robin

I had to put gloomy thoughts behind me as the next business of the day was a final practice for our little choir which was going to sing at the Common Riding Concert in the evening.   The practice went very well and there was time when I got home to inspect the garden.  The front lawn was awash with about thirty sparrows pecking away….

sparrows on lawn

…but like the goosanders, they saw me coming and flew off before I could get a good enough picture to identify the guilty parties.

Could this have been one of them?

sparrow

The sunshine persisted and I had time after my tea and before the performance to go for a quick walk round Gaskell’s.

A horse posed at a gate…

horse

…hoping perhaps that I had an apple in my pocket.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk….

Manse hill

…and although I didn’t have time to dilly dally, I did see some things as I went.

seeds

Everything is so green and lush at the moment that the path almost disappeared at times.

Gaskells

It’s in there somewhere

The wind had dropped and even the grasses and docks were still.

grasses

docks

When I got to the Stubholm and looked at one of my favourite evening views…

Stubholm

…I noticed a lot of furtive movement in the field in front of the house.  It was rabbits.  They all scampered off to hide in nooks and corners….

rabbit

…except one who thought that by remaining very still, he could escape my eagle eye.

Rabbit

Does Bright Eyes come to mind?

It was a beautiful evening for a walk…

Castle Hill from Gaskells

…and I was sorry to have to rush round but my speed did bring me back to the Park just in time to hear the beat of a big drum coming up Caroline Street.

Langholm Pipe BandLangholm Pipe Band

It was the Langholm Pipe Band marching through the town to draw attention to the forthcoming concert.

They were perfectly in step.

Langholm Pipe Band

Their skirling music reminded me that I had no time to waste so I hurried home, put on a clean white shirt and made my way to the Buccleuch Centre and the concert.

It was a most enjoyable evening.  Our eighteen strong choir sang as well as it possibly could and was very well received by a packed house (the tickets for the concert are free which might have helped the attendance).  We hope to sing at the concert again next year.

As the concert ended, the heavens opened and we had to scurry home in a tremendous downpour.  There has been some heavy rain and even flash floods in nearby towns in recent days and I was worried that we might be in trouble but the rain soon stopped and all is peaceful again as I write this an hour or so later.

It was a day of clouds and sunshine, both literal and metaphorical, a day that made me think hard about the unfairness of life and count my blessings.

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is the last from my brother’s visit to to our area.  On his way home, he and Justin stopped at the Bowes Museum.

Bowes museum

I was worried that I might have missed my chance to cut the grass thanks to spending a day pedalling about yesterday but I needn’t have worried as it was a perfect day for grass cutting today too.

I got busy after breakfast with the drying green and the green house grass….

grass

…which are not big areas but they still need looking after.

After a pause for other things, including coffee, I then did the two lawns and Mrs Tootlepedal went round and strimmed the edges so everything looked quite neat and tidy.

lawns mowed

While I was out and about in the garden, I couldn’t help noticing the poppies.  More opium poppies have arrived and they have been joined by the first of the Shirley poppies.

opium and shirley poppies

poppies

We are hoping for many more.

I saw one poppy that was only just hanging on today.

poppy with one petal

It looked a bit like a smart lady going to the races in a silly hat

There is a metal fence between the flower garden and the vegetable garden and there is a lot happening on both sides of it at the moment.

clematis

There are at least three sorts of clematis

ginger syllabub, Bobbie james and honeysuckle

Ginger syllabub, Bobbie James and honeysuckle

The archway in the fence is a work of art in itself.

rambler roses

In the vegetable garden, the main crop potatoes are looking very promising.

potatoes

We are eating the earlies at every opportunity.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that she had seen huge flocks of sparrows in the garden but when I went out, I could only see one….

sparrow

…and she also reported seeing a blackbird picking gooseberries to feed its young but when I went out I could only find one that had been at the blackcurrants.

blackbird with blackcurrants

The green house is playing host to a number of colourful residents.

courgette and celosia

A courgette in a tub and a celosia sitting on a shelf

petunia

The petunia is looking sensational

Mrs Tootlepedal is keeping these plants in the greenhouse to keep it looking cheerful when she is working in there.

Outside there are lots of Icelandic poppies keeping things cheerful there too….

Icelandic poppy

…and Crown Princess Margareta is at a peak of happiness.

Crown Princess Margareta

After lunch, I took a tip from the blackbird and went out and picked another pound of blackcurrants and found that I now had enough (4 lbs) to make some blackcurrant jelly.  The blackbirds may be taking some but there are masses left still for me to pick.

It is always a nervous moment when you have put the hot jelly juice into the jars and you have to wait to see if it will set properly.  On this occasion, the jam thermometer did its job and the six jars of jelly have set perfectly.

All I need now is someone to bring some scones round to try it out on.

The astrantias are still exerting their pulling power on the bees….

bee on astrantia

…and there seems to be at least one about every time that I go past.

We were very sad that Andy Murray has got knocked out of Wimbledon but his brother is still going in the mixed doubles so all is not lost…and the Tour de France is always good viewing.

In the evening, I went off to sing with the Common Riding choir and as we got ready to sing, we could hear the clacking of horseshoes on the road below as the pony ride out, a recent  addition to the annual festivities, went past our window.

Pony ride out 2017

The cornet and his right and left hand men lead the procession of ponies along the High Street

The singing went well and we should be well prepared for the concert in a fortnight.

I did find a flying bird today.  It was that blackbird making off with the berries.

blackbird

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who has been enjoying café society in the sunshine on the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park.

Cafe overlooking the Serpentine, Hyde Park

In a surprise but very welcome move, Mrs Tootlepedal invited me out to lunch today.  The Buccleuch Centre, where she often helps out, is having an Italian week and she thought that I might enjoy a lasagne.

The weather was better today and this kind invitation gave me a big decision to make.  Should I go cycling before or after lunch?  The question turned out to be too difficult for me altogether and in the end I couldn’t choose and didn’t go cycling at all.  Choice is very overrated in my view.

The plus side was that I had a relaxing morning, had a good lunch and then did some useful work and had a walk in the afternoon.

Mrs Tootlepedal decided that it was time to lift the first of the early potatoes and the results were very satisfactory.

first new potatoes

We got a good crop of clean potatoes from the first row of plants and Mrs Tootlepedal soon had the space replanted with spinach (well protected from the marauding sparrows).

I took  time to wander round the flowers.  Yesterday’s rain hadn’t done any damage and even the sodden poppy looked quite perky.

poppy, lily, nasturtium and clematis

There is colour all around….

sweet william potentilla, orange hawkweed

…although the orange hawkweed is going over.

The paler astrantia is pulling in the bees.

astrantia and bee

The star of the morning was a rose once again.

rose

The lasagne at the Buccleuch Centre was absolutely excellent and as it was washed down by a glass or two of red wine and followed by coffee and cake, I was more than happy to sit down when we got home and watch the final kilometres of an enthralling stage of the Tour de France.

When it had finished, I went out for a short walk, just to work off the lunch.  I chose a route along the river to the Kilngreen, then over the Sawmill Brig, across the Castleholm and home by way of the Jubilee Bridge and the Scholars Field.

I saw a large number of ducks on the Kilngreen and among the usual mallards there was a unusual white duck.

ducks

It was sitting peacefully with the regulars but I have no idea where it has come from.

I got another surprise when I got to the far end of the Kilngreen and saw these two very large fungi.

kilngreen fungi

As I often pass this way and have never knowingly seen them before, either they have grown very quickly or I am not paying  as much attention while I walk along as I should be.

While crossing the Castleholm, I took a look at the horse racing track which is being prepared for a race meeting this weekend.

Castleholm racetrack

On the outside of the neatly mowed track, all is long grass and clover.

grass and clover

After leaving the racetrack, I passed through a gate with a rotten top to one of its gateposts.

A rotten gatepost is always worth looking into.

fungus on gatepost

It’s a different world in there.

I passed many trees with things hanging from them….

tree seeds and fruits

…and noticed that the sheep were keeping a very low profile today.

sheep

I liked this….

haw

…and I liked this even more.

umbellifer

On my way home, I peeped over the hedge into a couple of gardens….

hydrangea and lupin

…and then I peeped over our own hedge to show the view of the garden that passers by see.

garden view

We had some of the new potatoes with our tea and they tasted very good.  I hope the next rows turn out as well as the first one has.

During the day, Mrs Tootlepedal and I were busy with our bow saw and we cleared a literal backlog of logs by sawing them up ready for the stove.  In addition, I mowed the middle lawn which is looking better for its dose of weed and feed and sieved the last of the compost in Bin D.

I know readers will be feeling that they haven’t seen enough compost pictures recently so here is Bin C and Bin D with half the compost removed from Bin C into Bin D.

compost bins C and D

I will shift the other half later. Exciting times.

In the evening, I went off to practise with Henry’s Common Riding choir.  We now have three basses and we are doing our best to provide a sound foundation for the rest of the singers.  The songs are relatively easy and I am finding it most enjoyable to have a sing without any pressure to master tricky parts and memorise large numbers of words.

The flying bird of the day was one of the many young blackbirds in the garden.  It was flying a few moments after I took its picture.

Blackbird

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who was impressed by this polite message on an Edinburgh tram…especially as the delay was only for three minutes.

tram message

The jet stream is currently rushing down one side of the British Isles and up the other, trapping some quite chilly air over the top of us and bringing some brisk winds and unsettled weather with it.

Under these circumstances, today was a pretty good day, quite cool for the time of year and windy too but dry from morning till night.  As I was expecting far worse weather it took me some time to get adjusted to the reality but I managed to get going in the end and went for a cycle ride, mowed the drying green, sieved some compost, did some dead heading and shredded a lot of hedge clippings arising from the activities of Attila the Gardener so I didn’t waste the day entirely.

The first thing that I did was to take the new camera out into the garden and have a poke about with it.

A red poppy stood out, the first of the year.

red poppy

I was looking straight down on it so my feet also figure in the shot

Ironically, this is not one of the many that Mrs Tootlepedal is nurturing with great care in the flower gardens but one that came up of its own accord on a path in the vegetable garden.  Such is the gardener’s life.

The ligularias are just beginning to show….

ligularia

….and Crown Princess Margareta (top left in the panel) has come to join the other roses.

roses

The philadelphus between the lawns is a great sight…

philadelphus

…but there are other varieties in bloom too.  This one is in the back bed.

philadelphus

I took a walk round the vegetable garden where there are encouraging signs that Mrs Tootlepedal’s pea fortress is paying dividends.  I hope to be able to provide pictorial proof of this soon.  Meantime, the blackcurrants are colouring up…

blackcurrants

…and it will be a race between me and the birds to see who can get most of them as it is too much trouble to net them.

The potatoes are flowering freely….

early potatoes

These are the early potatoes

early potatoes

And this is a main crop

We have had radishes, lettuces, assorted leaves, beetroot, spinach, turnips, strawberries and gooseberries already so on spite of a cool dry spring, things are going reasonable well.  If it wasn’t for a voracious flock of sparrows, Mrs Tootlepedal’s bêtes noir, things would be even better.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal kindly cut my hair and left me looking very well groomed.

She then went off to help with the lunches at the Buccleuch Centre and I had a bowl of soup and got the fairly speedy bike out.   I had watched my neighbour Ken set off for a 30-40 mile ride in the morning but my ambitious were more modest in view of the brisk easterly wind and I settled for a run round my 20 mile Canonbie route with stops for wild flowers.

The wind was strong enough to make me hold on to the handlebars pretty firmly as I went across the exposed hilly section of the route but by good luck, the wind mostly came at me from one side or the other and I hardly had to pedal straight into it at all.  The result was a most enjoyable ride.

I saw that the orchids in the verge which Genghis the Grasscutter had missed were developing well….

wauchope roadside wild flowers

…and they had company too so I was able to take all four photos within a few yards of each other.

The wind was very favourable as I went down the Canonbie by-pass so I admired the many orchids there in passing.  I would like to have got some pictures as there were some fine flowers but stopping after you have seen a good subject when you are doing 20mph means that you have always gone too far beyond the photo to make it worth while walking back.

I waited until I got to a slower section where Genghis has not yet visited with his cutter before I stopped again.  This is what a verge should look like.

wild verge

I saw a fine thistle….

thistle

…the first rosebay willowherb….

rosebay willowherb

…and lots of both of these.

umbellifer and meadowsweet

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I got back and this was when I did the mowing and sieving.

And a little more flower shooting.

delphinium, sweet william and Rosa Mundi

Delphinium, Sweet William and Rosa Mundi providing ‘Glorious Technicolour’

I had taken my old Lumix with me on the cycle ride as I thought it might rain and I didn’t want to get the new camera wet and these garden pictures were also taken with it.  It is on its best behaviour just now and I will keep using it on cycle rides until it gives up entirely, as being stuffed in a sweaty back pocket and bumping up and down on poor road surfaces is probably not the best environment for a camera.

The nectaroscordum have finished flowering and are looking a little bit like the turrets on French Chateaux now.

nectaroscordum

The plums are looking promising….

plums

…but we will need a bit of warmer weather to bring them along.

The bee population on the astrantia had changed today and there were a great number of white tailed bumble bees tucking in.

white tailed bumble bees

After tea, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to enjoy a screening of Verdi’s Otello from Covent Garden at the Buccleuch Centre and I went off to sing at a practice for Henry’s compact Common Riding choir.

We both enjoyed ourselves very much in our own way.

Thanks to the cooler weather, the bees were less flighty today so the non flying non bird of the day is one of the bumble bees on the astrantia.  It posed for my macro lens on the Nikon.

white tailed bumble bees

I would like to thank all those who commented on yesterday’s post.  You can imagine how good is it to receive such encouraging remarks.  I will try to live up to them.

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Today’s guest picture shows a flowery scene from Kew Gardens which caught my sister Mary’s eye.

Coming up to the Orangerie

Coming up to the Orangerie

The forecast was full of dire warnings of heavy rain, possible thunderstorms and general mayhem.  In the event, midsummer’s day was a quiet day with some very light rain now and again, hardly a breath of wind and just a hint of menace thanks to a very clammy humidity.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to the Moorland feeders after breakfast as I was acting as a fill in feeder filler for friends who had gone off to some mist covered mountains.  As usual, she sat in the car and kept an eye out for hen harriers while I filled the feeders and then sat under the grass roof of the hide….

Laverrock Hide

…in the hope of interesting visitors.

She got a glimpse of a harrier and I saw many more birds than on my last visit.  There were coal tits, great tits and siskins….

siskin, coal tit and great tit

…as well as blackbirds, chaffinches and a robin.

The inevitable pheasant pushed himself forward…..

pheasant

..and there were several visits from woodpeckers and a jay.

Jay and woodpecker

The jay kept too far down the glade for a good photo op but it was was entertaining watching it as it was clearly quite peckish…

jay

…and found food wherever it could.

That great Scottish pest, the midgie, was in evidence too so I didn’t hang about long as I was getting bitten a lot and we drove down to the banks of the Tarras Water to see if the wild irises were out.

There were some but it was not the great carpet that I had hoped for…

wild irises

…so I photographed a yellow rattle….

yellow rattle

I found another one with seed pods and they really do rattle if you shake them.

…and walked back to the road to see if I could find any of the horsetails which I seen growing on my last visit with Sandy a few weeks ago.

They were not hiding.

horsetails

I was impressed.

The midgies were on the go here too so we didn’t dally and went home for coffee.

It makes life difficult to plan when the forecast is not reliable.  At ten in the morning, the BBC weather map showed heavy rain covering Langholm and the surrounding area for some hours and although there was no sign of any such rain, the thought of it kept me off my bike and wasted what could have been a good cycling day.

I tested the strawberry jam  and found that it hadn’t turned out too badly at all so I tested it again.  It was still all right.

I wasted time doing the crossword and then, wondering if it was going to rain soon, I went for a wander round the garden.

The roses are gorgeous…

roses

…with new blooms coning out every day.  The first of the moss roses has joined in.

moss rose

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy planting out poppies and protecting her vegetables from the depredations of the voracious sparrows so I had time for a look at a colourful corner….

colourful corner

…and my favourite colour combination of the day.

campanula and foxglove

Mrs Tootlepedal liked this subtle gradations on a peony.

campanula and foxglove

A few other things made the camera click.

campanula

lambs ear

wiegela

…but in spite of it being the longest day of the year, the light was very dull and I soon gave up and went in for lunch.

After lunch, the day brightened up a bit and even the weather forecast admitted that it wasn’t raining so I got my fairly speedy bike out and set off to see where my legs would take me.

It was lucky that we had gone to see the roadside orchid yesterday because Genghis the grass cutter was out with his machine today and the verge where the orchid had been was totally flattened.

Luckily I found some more on an uncropped verge near Gair….

orchids

…but unluckily my Lumix chose this moment to stop working and I had to fall back on my phone camera for the rest of the trip.

It was a really good day for a leisurely cycle ride with a mixture of very occasional raindrops and some cheerful sunshine and I saw many interesting things which I failed to record as I find using the phone with my cycling glasses on quite tricky.   (If I take them off, I find it even trickier.)

I did see a lot of fields where the silage was being cut….

silage

…and I even noticed a fungus, the first that I have seen in a verge this year.

fungus

I pedalled here and there, keeping an eye on the weather and thinking of going a bit further while the going was good but some more persistent raindrops and a burst of slightly windier weather made me think that the promised storm might be finally on its way so I headed for home and managed  37 miles.

As you can see from the map below, it was quite warm so perhaps it was wise to stop before I got too cooked.

garmin route 21 June 2017

Those interested can click on the map for more details.

Mrs Tootlepedal had rescued a blackbird from the strawberry netting while I was out but there were still plenty of strawberries left to pick so I picked them.

I had time for a shower and a tea of baked eggs with spinach and a cheese sauce before I went out to our Common Riding choir practice.  I was pleased to see my cello playing friend Mike there as it would mean that I wasn’t going to be the only bass.  We had a good session in spite of very sultry conditions which were not very sympathetic to singing and it was still a fine day when I walked home.

I apologise for putting too many indifferent pictures into today’s post but it was the longest day so perhaps it needed a long post.

And I did get a rather indifferent flying bird of the day to round things off suitably.

flying jay

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker who is on holiday in Wales.  He tells me , “I came across this interesting ancient monument while walking here in New Radnor -it is strangely called Four Stones.”  I think that I have worked out how it got its title.

Four Stones Radnor

We had a really pleasant day today – warm and dry, not too windy and with some occasional sunny spells.  I should have been out on my bike all day as I am still short of miles for June but a combination of mild asthma and sore feet kept me off the bike in the morning.

This gave me the chance to go bee hunting again.

bee on geranium

This one was exploring a chive

bee on geranium

This one was getting really stuck into a geranium.

We are getting a good variety of bees which is pleasing.

There are plenty of  bright flowers for the bees to visit.

iceland poppy and iris

And lots of detail for the bees to admire when they make their visits.

flower hearts

I was very pleased to see some flowers on the potatoes…

potato flowers

…and I am looking forward to some new potatoes from the garden in the not too distant future.

After a look at the tropaeolum….

tropaeolum

…which I see has had to be tied down to stop it flying off, I got the hover mower out and gave the greenhouse grass and the drying green a haircut.  Mrs Tootlepedal has been busy with the strimmer so although these areas are in the working part of the garden, they look very neat.

I was just thinking about going for a cycle ride after lunch when a knock on the back door heralded the arrival of Dropscone at a very non standard time.  He had purchased four brioche rolls at such an advantageous price (10p for all four) when passing through Hawick just before the supermarket closed for the night that he felt he had to share them with me.  This was very kind of him and we enjoyed two each over a cup of tea.

After he left, I finally got kitted up and went off on the fairly speedy bike.  I pottered round the 20  mile trip down to Canonbie and back with plenty of stops for photos.  They haven’t got round to mowing the verges immediately out of the town so I was able to enjoy a colourful mixture of buttercups and clover….

buttercups and clover

…with an attendant bee…

bee on clover

This bee really is in clover.

..before pedalling on wondering how they could bring themselves to cut verges when they look like this.

There was a different sort of growth beside the road at the top of the hill on the Kerr road.

new trees

These tubes all contain broad leaved saplings as the landowners can’t get permission to plant conifers unless they provide a fringe of native trees round the new plantations.  On the other side of this little summit are rows of identical conifers.

I am looking for views taken in Canonbie Parish to enter into the Canonbie Flower Show in August so I tested out a few possibilities as I went from Langholm Parish into Canonbie and then back out again.

Chapelhill

A typical scene

baling the silage Canonbie

Baling the silage

The natives were interested in what I was doing.

Canonbie cows

In between taking those two views, my route took me down the main Canonbie by-pass. This is quite a busy road with fast traffic  and and I don’t usually stop for picture opportunities while I am on it but some bright colour caught my eye today and I applied the brakes.

orchid

More orchids

orchid

Lots more orchids

For a short section of the road, the verge was full of orchids.  They must bloom there every year but I have never noticed them before.  I couldn’t miss them today.

I stopped for my three favourite trees in full summer rig out….

Canonbie trees

…before cycling through the village and back up the Esk to Langholm.

The verges on the old road hadn’t been cut and I stopped twice for things that got my attention.

ragged robin

Ragged Robin

an umbellifer and friend

An umbellifer and friend

I was going to take a picture of a yellow rose in the garden when I had a walk round after I got home but on closer inspection, I decided that it might not be quite what the readers would want to see…

rose with flies

The downside of a warm and calm day

…so I didn’t take it.

After tea, another excellent fish pie from Mrs Tootlepedal, I went off to sing with the small choir that is practising to sing three songs in a concert in the town in July.  There were nine sopranos and trebles, four altos and three tenors.  I modestly took my place as the one  and only bass but I certainly didn’t oompah up and down the square.

We had a most enjoyable practice and I have got a month to try and get a bit of tone quality into my unused low notes.

No flying birds or bees today.

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter’s visit to Devon and shows the picturesque Royal Oak in Winsford, originally a 12th C farmhouse and now a hotel and restaurant.

Royal Oak Winsford

After a very dry month of May, we are suffering from a very wet June and things are not made better by persistently strong winds.  This morning it was merely showery but the very strong wind made cycling deeply unattractive so while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I did some pro relaxing on the sofa.

I roused myself for a quick look round the garden but the wind made even ‘hand held’ flower photography a bit of a trial.  Luckily the peonies are well sheltered from the prevailing wind.

peony

The first of many.

peony

I hope we get enough sun to get these ones to open fully

One of the little roses is coming out but I will need a lot less wind to do it justice.  In the absence of birds at the feeder, this goldfinch is very welcome.

Rosa Goldfinch

Rosa Goldfinch

The first campanulas have arrived…..

campanula

…but they are finding it very hard to keep upright in the wind and the rain.

The Sweet Williams are much more stocky and sturdy.

Sweet William

Sweet William

And the patch of the little yellow allium moly is well sheltered at the front of a bed.

yellow allium

The main business of the day was the last flourish of our Carlisle Choir before the summer break.  A modest choral  ‘flash mob’ experience had been planned at the Cumberland Infirmary to celebrate the end of a prayer week there and a group of choir members met to be the mob.

We had a practice in our usual rehearsal place and it went remarkably well considering that there were only two tenors and three basses to offset a good bunch of sops and altos.

However, when we got to the Infirmary, the basis of the flash mob experience, i.e. that a few singers should emerge from a crowd and gradually accumulate more singers as the song develops, was slightly undermined by the fact that there were more of us than members of the public but the those members of the public who were there looked suitably amazed and reasonably entertained when we wandered up and started to sing.

The performance went as well as could be expected and we wandered off at the end and went home.  I am glad that this was the last time that I will have to sing parts from memory for a few months at least.

I was hoping to go for a walk when we got home but it started to rain just as we turned into the drive and I settled for a second go of pro relaxing in front of the telly.  We kept off the politics for a change and watched some triathlon instead.  It was very calming.

Looking at the forecast, the showers and strong winds seem set to continue for another week so I will find it hard to get any enjoyable cycle miles in.

Still, if we are confined to the house and telly watching, we should be royally entertained by the sight of our present incompetent government digging themselves an ever deeper hole to get lost in.

Mrs Tootlepedal made  a lemon surprise pudding for our evening meal but as she had told me that she was making it, I wasn’t much surprised when it arrived on the table.  It was very good though.

 

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