Because this year’s Langholm Cornet lives on the corner of Wauchope Street and Wauchope Place, the inhabitants of both streets got together to throw a party for him today.
There was lashings of grub, (Mrs Tootlepedal contributed vast supplies of well roasted chicken legs), ample supplies of drink and as the afternoon went on, we were entertained by both the Langholm Town Band and the Langholm Pipe Band. So good was the music that guests took to the street in an unbridled whirl of dance to the traditional Common Riding Polka.
There was a special cake cooked in the common riding colours of the year and we all sat under the shelter of gazebos which was just as well as there was a chilly wind from the North West. I had been asked to say a few words and broke all records by saying a few words and presentations were made to the cornet, his father, his mother, his granny and the 25 year cornet (also a near neighbour) and his wife.
It would be no exaggeration to say that a good time was had by all. I had a short break from the party to zip round our usual morning ride (21 miles) and perhaps because of the good feelings engendered by the social whirl and perhaps because it was late afternoon, I managed to do the best time I have ever done. When I got back, the party was still in full swing and even when I left to go back home, a hard core of merry makers were settling down for more fun.
A welcome return on a gloomy day. Mrs Tootlepedal has had a busy day what with helping to draw the Bonnie Langholm raffle, distributing the prizes, buying many chicken legs for the cornet’s street party on Sunday and then going to Carlisle to rehearse and perform a scratch Faure’s Requiem. That all meant that I was left on my own on a day that was not very welcoming for a long cycle ride so I was delighted to be able to spend some time trying to get a good picture of our new friend. I just hope he comes back when the sun’s out.
After a damp morning cycle ride (80 miles this week so far), we were sitting enjoying one of Dennis’ (day old) dropped scones when a flash of red at the bird feeder caught my eye. After some time a blurred photograph was obtained but identification was not possible. However the visitor returned to the feeder in the afternoon and it became clear that it was a woodpecker.
In the evening we were visited by Mike and Alison Tinker, who come respectively on a Friday evening for a chat and a little music playing, and they confirmed that our visitor was a greater spotted woodpecker.
The day was so windy and so overcast that it was difficult to get a good photo of the bird but I hope it will come again on a stiller day and pose nicely for the camera. “Watch the birdie” the cry goes up!
By the way, I hope that occasional visitors to this blog realise that if they click on the small pictures, they will usually be able to see a large image.
I might add that during the afternoon I manned the tourist information point at the Kilngreen and got precisely no visitors.
A quiet cycle round our morning ride today because my cycling partner Dennis is not very well but it was followed by a nice cup of coffee and some excellent drop scones provided by Dennis, who in a previous existence was a professional scone dropper.
The rest of the day was spent waiting for files to be written to a dvd for the hen harrier project education officer. This is a slow business. During the waiting I was able to turn a little compost and shift a heap to a new location.
In the evening I handed over the new Archive Group mini disk recorder to a member who is going to record some mill reminiscences for us.
The morning started with a trip to the building society to round off the tax work of yesterday. I made a nice broth for lunch and then got picked up by my playing partner, Arthur Bell and went to play with modified success but great enjoyment in the Wednesday golf competition. (Modified = very little) The course is in excellent condition after the recent rain.
During the morning the missing bits of my recently purchased wormery appeared and I assembled it and placed it in the garage. It may not look much but in six weeks it will rule the world. Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to Hoddam armed with many home made cakes for a fun day at the Driving for the Disabled where she is a helper. On her return she gasped in amazement at the wormery.
While my tea was cooking, I popped out to mow the lawn and I must say that I think it was worth it as the lawn is always at its best in the late evening sun. After that, there was time for a little work for the Archive Group which is always interesting. At sometime during the day, I ordered a smart new pair of prescription sunglasses for cycling. These are so I can see where I am going while pedalling. It will be a novel experience.
I had to go round the morning pedal by myself today as my usual partner had gone off to play golf (rather selfishly, I thought). Nevertheless, I had a good run in light winds and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
After the cycle ride, a large parcel was delivered containing a very swish wormery and a good many worms. Unfortunately the wormery didn’t quite fit together as it should so new parts are on their way. However we rigged it up and put the worms in their new home. We hope they are going to be very happy and turn our kitchen waste into lovely compost. We will keep you updated on this. The booklet with the wormery warns of worm breakout in the early stages of their stay before they get settled in. We sleep in fear tonight.
After a light lunch of sardines on toast and smoked mackerel, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set about preparing our accounts for the annual tax return. After some head banging, we seem to have done most of the work and are going to see a new tax adviser shortly.
Tea was followed by a call to my sister Susan regarding some improvements to her family history site. She is forever putting up something new and improving the looks of pages. I am very impressed by her perseverance.
Finally, I was forced to have yet another plate of strawberries and cream while I did a little work on the Langholm Archive site…….and so to bed, don’t let the worms bite.
The rain and the gales had eased off so Dennis and I were able to go for our usual morning run today and for one reason or another the wind seemed to be behind us pretty well all the way which is most unusual. Dennis is not very well with some breathing problems so we did not race round. When I returned I found Mrs Tootlepedal in full painter and decorator mode going at the wall in the sitting room with a paper stripping machine. As long as she is enjoying herself.
I listened to the recording that she had made of the recorders last night and I was going to put a snippet on the blog until I discovered that it would cost me money. Prudence won out over vanity.
In the evening Mrs Tootlepedal went out to annoy the Community Council (or the other way round) and I put several pictures which an Australian lady had sent onto the Archive Group website. We’re very international in the Archive Group.
As I write this, I am melting a little ice cream from the freezer to have with a plate of strawberries and cream. Life is good.
The day started with a visit for coffee of Mr and Mrs Mein from Australia who were in the district to unveil a plaque on the family mausoleum in Canonbie. They kindly brought us a bottle of wine to thank us for posting some photographs from our website to them for their family history.
The day was marked by some fiercely windy conditions and we were seriously worried about damage to the garden, trees and even buildings but in the end we came through pretty well unscathed bar the odd twig here and there.
In the late afternoon Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off for Carlisle and a quick practice before heading off to Appleby for a second concert with the Brampton Chamber Choir this time with Jenny, our fourth member. The concert went not badly and we left Appleby to be greeted by a glorious sunset which rounded the day off pretty well.
After a quick visit to our local farmers’ market I was able to mow the lawn thanks to some recent rain.
The lawns have not recovered from the drought but they are looking a little better and with more rain forecast, I hope to get them in good condition soon.
A quick peer into the greenhouse revealed some progress on the tomato and pepper front after a slow start because of the very cold spring.
After all this early excitement, Mrs Tootlepedal returned from selling Bonnie Langholm raffle tickets at the farmers’ market and together we attacked a hedge to its severe detriment. I thinned a few apples on the apple tree and then had to go inside for a little sit down.
A pleasant morning ride with Dennis in spite of a strongish wind. It is never too bad when the wind is blowing you home at the end of the ride. Mrs Tootlepedal had picked some strawberries from a friend’s garden who is in Glasgow having a knee operation so I made two jars (and a bit) of strawberry jam, one for her and one for us. This is the first jam of the season and that is a red letter day. We are still eating last year’s blackcurrant jam and gooseberry jam.
I had a peaceful interval in the afternoon, whiling away the time in the tourist information office at the Kilngreen. A few visitors but not many.
After that, it was home for tea and a glimpse of Andy Murray going downhill fast and then off to pick up Susan my tootling companion ( daughter of my cycling companion) and off to Lanercost Priory where we were playing at a Brampton Choir concert as the light relief. We had to play some Michael East trios with very little (one) practice because of medical emergencies for our fourth player but all went very well considering, although there were two tiny breakdowns.