Posts Tagged ‘flute playing’

Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Bruce.  He had ventured as far as Aberdeen where he saw this pillar box.  Reading the crest on the front which says Edward VII,  he reckons that it has been standing there for over 100 years.

aberdeen postbox

After some slightly warmer weather, we reverted to type and it  struggled to get over 5°C and because the air was quite damp and the wind was coming from the north east, it felt quite chilly all day.

But it was dry and the wind was light so I got out the fairly speedy bike to have a last ride on it before it went in for its service.  We had plans for the afternoon so I rather boringly went round my customary short 20 mile run through Canonbie.  Since the route was familiar and the skies were leaden, I didn’t intend to stop to take pictures but I almost always carry my camera and I couldn’t pass these characters at Canonbie without stopping for a snap.

canonbie cow

canonbie cow

And my favourite….

canonbie cow

…there is an eye there if you look very closely.

I had just arrived home when the minister, with his coffee radar in perfect working order, arrived.  He told us that he had done a 60 mile sportive in Yorkshire on Saturday and considering that he has done hardly any miles on his bike this winter, he was very pleased to have got round in good shape and at a decent speed.  Kudos to him.

When he left, I had to clean my bike to make it respectable enough to go to the bike shop and then I cleaned the bird feeders and then took a moment or two to look around.

However, the light was so poor and the flowers in such a sulk that there was nothing to see so we went off for our outing.  We combined dropping off the bike at the bike shop with a visit to a garden centre for lunch and then a bird feed emporium to buy more seed.

I took the opportunity to buy a new helmet when I was in the bike shop.  I tried many helmets on but they didn’t fit at all well and woggled about on my pointy head.  In the end, the only one that fitted well and was light and comfortable was also among the most expensive.  I bought it anyway because a comfortable and light helmet is worth a lot

When we got home, I had another look around and this time there were many frogs to be seen.


And a lot of frogs spawn.


Mrs Tootlepedal embarked on some gardening work and I tested the compost in Bin D to see if it would sieve.  It did and I was able to spread a little about on one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s new beds.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that the sparrowhawk had paid three visits to the garden in the morning so it was not surprising that there weren’t a lot of birds about today.  One blackbird caused a stir when it flew up on to the kitchen windowsill and stuck there, frozen into immobility.  Even the arrival of the window cleaners couldn’t persuade it to move and in the end Mrs Tootlepedal went out and shifted it by hand.

blackbird on windowsill

On a nearby bench, another blackbird expressed concern.


I don’t know what had happened to it.  It wasn’t trembling and I wonder if it had seen its own reflection in the window and was baffled about what was happening and where to go.  It flew out of Mrs Tootlepedal’s hand so it wasn’t fatally injured.

The few male chaffinches which came to the feeders were looking very bright.

chaffinch and siskin


But they were not as bright as some gaudy primroses which Mrs Tootlepedal purchased the other day and which are waiting to go into the garden.


The colour will be very welcome.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a good time playing a Haydn sonata.

After tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and although as Isabel put it, we had some room for improvement, we enjoyed the playing a lot.

The absence of birds and the gloomy light made finding a flying bird of the day very hard and this was the best that I could manage.

chaffinch and siskin








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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew, who found some nice light in a quarry on a walk at Little Eaton.

Andrew's quarry

The main excitement of the day was caused by the arrival of workmen who are going to replace the bridge over the dam in the street outside our house. Our road will be shut for a month.

Dam bridge repair

The road is closed to traffic and pedestrians and it gives us a great talking point.

They soon got to work outside and in the meantime, Mrs Tootlepedal got to work inside the house on giving the kitchen a thorough clean.

Under these circumstances, I thought it better not to get in anyone’s way and went off for a walk.  It was dry, reasonably bright and just above freezing so it was a good day for me to check to see if my recent bike folly had given me any aches and pains that hadn’t come to light yet.

I chose a three mile route with a little uphill road work and some gentle contouring round a hillside and this let me know that all my moving parts were in very good order.

This was a relief.

It also gave me the opportunity to have a look around as I went along.

There were gulls….


….and interesting walls, fence posts and some hair ice as I walked along the main road.

moss and hair ice

Once I turned up hill on the Newcastleton road,  I began to get views…

View of ewes in winter

….with the occasional glimpse of snow and windmills….

View of esk valley

….which were made better by seeing that down below to the south, The Solway was swathed in mist.

mist over Solway

I kept an eye on fence posts for interesting mosses and lichens but in the end, the most interesting thing that I saw was a fence post….

knothole with moss

….though it was amazing that moss had  found space to grow in the tiny cracks in the knothole.

I walked along the hill.

It is a mystery that while some hawthorns have been stripped of berries, others remain with a good crop still attached.


I had a look down at the town….

Langholm from Whita

….and then walked towards it.

As I came off the hill to go past the golf course, my eye was drawn to a mossy wall.

mossy wall

Closer examination revealed that there was a lot of lichen on the wall as well as moss…

lichen and moss

…and by far the most striking thing to be seen was a bright red display of cladonia lichen.

cladonia lichen

I think this is British Soldier lichen, Cladonia Cristatella.


The views were still good as I came down the Kirk Wynd and the sun came out to make it very pleasant day.

Looking towards Peden's view

I thought that I had seen some unusual moss on a stone but when I looked again, it seemed more likely to be some sort of sedum.


By the time that I got home, the bridge mending team had got well stuck into the task.

dam bridge repair

The disturbance from the work had kept the birds away in the early morning but as I made some soup for lunch, they returned to the feeder….

busy feeder

….in enough numbers to  make some shouting inevitable.


After lunch, I had to visit the health centre to get some modest scrapes checked to see that they were healing nicely.  They were but another visit later in the week is still needed.

When I got home again, I found that the eager bridge repair men had dug so vigorously that they had cut through our water pipe.  Mrs Tootlepedal had warned them about where it was but they had preferred to rely on the water board’s view that it was somewhere else.

A water board man appeared and mended the pipe.  Mrs Tootlepedal felt slightly smug.

I visited a neighbour with a bird feeder for her to try out, as she has found that jackdaws eat all her bird food almost as soon as she puts it out.  I got rewarded with a cup of coffee and two chocolate biscuits.  I may have to go back soon and check how it is doing.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a play.  I was pleased to see that I was able to play the flute even though I had bruised my mouth a bit and so after tea,  I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel.

None of the three of us are in peak condition at the moment so we didn’t play at our best by any means but the session was still very enjoyable.

The flying bird of the day really is a flying bird today.  It is a goldfinch.

flying goldfinch



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Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia.  She was happy to see a pied wagtail on her lawn.


We were pleased to see a bit of blue sky in the morning and although the temperature had dropped, it was still well above freezing.

The snowdrops are nearly out.


The birds were visiting the feeder….

goldfinch and siskin

…so it looked like a day to go for a short ride on my bicycle.  A short ride was indicated as my chest was still a bit cloudy after Friday’s longer ride and a busy day of singing yesterday.

Things looked fair enough as I went along.  I had to stop at Tarcoon to let a car by so I took a picture of one of my favourite views….

Whita from Tarcoon

Looking back at Whita

…and then I looked across the road and was struck by the coincidence of seeing a tree that had obviously suffered from strong winds….

tree and gretna turbines

…which doubtless helps to explain the line of wind turbines you can see behind it.

When I got down to Canonbie, it was still sunny and two Highland cows kept an eye on me as I passed.

highland cow canonbieP1060880

I had a number of other photo opportunities in mind for the rest of the trip back to Langholm but unfortunately I was unlucky and my route coincided with a very heavy rain shower for three miles.  It was all the more annoying that there was still plenty of blue sky about.  I got pretty cold and wet though so even though the rain stopped, I didn’t stop until I got home.

Looking out of the window after lunch, there was more rain about…

goldfinch and siskin

…which led to some bad temper….


,,,but it soon stopped again and more peaceful coming and going ensued.


A robin looked on.


This is the time of year when Mrs Tootlepedal thinks of things to come so we paid a visit to a garden centre near Carlisle where she purchased a stock of seed potatoes and some onions.  There is an excellent fresh fruit and veg stall outside the centre so we stocked up there as well.

On our way to the garden centre, we passed a bird food store so I popped in and purchased a big bag of sunflower hearts.

The trip left us both very happy.

It was a beautiful afternoon by the time we got home, too good to waste so I nipped out for a quick walk before the sun went down, hoping for a good view or two.

I took the route that got me up a hill with the least effort and looked about.

Castle Hill January evening

It was well worth the effort.

Golf and bauchle hill

I could see the moon about which there has been a lot of talk, though I gather that I would have to be in America if I wanted to get the best view of it when it is full.

moon and monument

I was hoping to catch another very long shadow but the sun wasn’t in quite the right place….


…but it was in the right place to give me some fine winter colour.

Castle hill from Warbla

view from warbla

It was pretty chilly on the hill as there was a brisk wind blowing so I didn’t go too far up and was soon making my way home along the Wauchope road.

I have been reading an interesting moss book, which I was given for Christmas, and am learning a lot about reproduction in mosses.  It is more exciting than you might think.


There was no shortage of moss to look at beside the road.


When I got home, I had time for a cup of tea and then my flute pupil Luke came.  He has been suffering from a cold and we didn’t have as progressive a session as we might have wished for but there is always next week.

Mrs Tootlepedal is in an adventurous culinary mood at present and we had a parsnip curry for our tea.  It was very good.

Fortified by the evening meal, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel for the first time this year and it was a great pleasure to get back to making music.  Carried away with enthusiasm, we perhaps played for a moment or two longer than we should have and my chest is feeling that it has had a busy day as I write this post.  Still, I take the view that doing things is better than lying around and moaning so I look back on the day with great pleasure.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch trying to sneak up on some siskins.


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Today’s guest picture from Irving, taken earlier on,  shows the Black Esk reservoir, the source of our drinking water these days.

Black esk

After yesterday’s crisp and sunny weather, we could hardly have had a more different day today.  It was soggy, grey, cloudy and cold…

…but there were compensations.

snowy garden 2017

The view from an upstairs window in the morning

snowy garden 2017

Untrodden snow on the drive

It was a winter wonderland.  Or at least, it would have been a winter wonderland if there hadn’t been a persistent damp drizzle and if the clouds had lifted to reveal the hills.  As it was, it was somewhat of a damp squib of a day.

The birds really appreciated the feeder and there were dozens on the ground, on the feeder, on the plum tree and even more waiting off stage on the walnut tree.

snowy birds

Some birds seemed quite happy as more snow fell…

chaffinch, goldfinch, siskin

…but some just couldn’t contain their impatience.


I got out a shovel and cleared a path along the drive and some of the pavement outside the house and then after a look around…

snowy garden 2017

…went back in.

The day took a turn for the better when Dropscone came round with some traditional Friday treacle scones and my coffee blend worked out well.

We caught up on Dropscone’s golfing adventures and his family news and then he walked off through the snow again.

It had stopped snowing by this time so I thought that I ought to take a bit of exercise.  I strapped the Yaktrax to my wellies and set out to see where my fancy would take me.

It took me past the church…..

parish church snow

…with its details neatly picked out by the snow.

Then I passed the Meeting of the Waters, presenting a marked contrast to the sunny scene when we were here feeding ducks with Matilda a couple of days ago.

meeting of the waters snow

There was no golden winter light today and a rather ghostly scene appeared when I looked at the trees across the Castleholm.

snowy trees

Individual trees had been picked out by the falling snowflakes.

snowy trees

I met a jogger on the Lodge Walks.  She was running rather gingerly on the icy surface but remarked as she passed that the conditions on the track to Potholm further back had been more comfortable.

My fancy turned to the track to Potholm.

It would mean a five and a half mile walk in total but the lure of snowy scenes and good conditions underfoot led me on and I pushed ahead, ringing Mrs Tootlepedal first to stop her worrying about a longer absence than was expected.

The decision turned out to be a good one.

There were plenty of snowy scenes.

View of Potholm from Langfauld

And excellent walking on the track through the Langfauld wood.


The bridge at Potholm marked the furthest point of my walk.

Potholm Bridge

I met a second jogger coming towards me on the road from Potholm.

jogger on Potholm road in snow

The scene was white enough to make a sheep look quite grey by comparison.

sheep in snow

The snow and the grey sky made a good backdrop for this tree at the Breckonwrae.

tree in snow

And I finished up taking the same shot a the end of my walk as I had taken at the start of our walk yesterday.


langholm in snow


View from Scott's Knowe

Both walks had been really enjoyable.

I got back in time to have a very late lunch and enjoy a robin in the snow….

robin in snow

…and a couple of the many blackbirds scavenging under the feeder.


Because the weather was expected to be rather inhospitable later in the evening, Mike and Alison came round for the usual Friday evening visit in the afternoon.  Alison and I enjoyed playing pieces by Rameau, Loeillet and Woodcock and then we sat down with Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal to a cup of tea, some excellent home made (by Alison) mince pies and a few ginger biscuits to dunk in the tea.  It was a good way to round off the Christmas holidays.

Now we are preparing for the New Year.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch once again.  They are very reliable birds if you don’t have a lot of time to look out of the window..

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture is a black and white shot taken by our daughter Annie in Macao.

panda Macao

It was cool but just above freezing with the promise of sun to come when we woke up.

I took a rather surreal picture of the bird feeder while I was making a pot of coffee after breakfast.  A siskin looked as though some avant garde artist had glued its beak to the tube.

busy feeder

Today, being Friday contained a visit from Dropscone bearing treacle scones as a Friday should.  He was a bit subdued as he has been grappling with the bank that holds an account for which he is the treasurer.  Having waited 25 minutes on the phone last night, he had been unable to prove to the satisfaction of the operator that he really was who he is and so he was girding his loins to go into a real bank branch where they will actually recognise him on sight.  So much for the joys of the internet.

He hasn’t got long as the bank is intending to shut our local branch soon.

We were joined by Gavin who was delivering Christmas cards and when Gavin and Dropscone left, I had a look to see if the siskin had come unstuck.

It had.

The feeder was still in the shade but the sun had got to the plum tree…

chaffinch, siskin and goldfinch

…as had a number of finches.  A brisk and nippy north wind was ruffling the goldfinch’s feathers.

There were a lot of blackbirds about again.


It takes time for the sun to creep round to the feeder itself…

chaffinch, siskin, goldfinch

…but this robin seemed quite happy in the shade.


When the sun finally got to the feeder, it didn’t seem to improve the temper of the birds at all.

busy feeder

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal drove off to do some shopping and I went for a walk.

I was unable to truthfully say that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky by this time….

cloud over Arkleton

…because this one fluffy little devil hung about in an impertinent way.

Thanks to the sun and the underlying frost, it was a lovely day for a walk as long as you took a little care when you met an icy patch or two.

Whitshiels track

The sun picked out the views and the frost kept the ground firm enough to walk on without having to worry about boggy bits and wet feet.


And, as always on a good day, the views were well worth looking at.  They never lose their appeal to me.  Today, there was a little distant snow to add variety.

Ewes valley

I walked up the track from Whitshiels and then crossed the Newcastleton road and walked along the track to Whita Well and continued along the front of Whita until I got to the stile at the wall.

My admiration for the people who built the walls up and down these unforgiving slopes is unbounded.

Whita wall

The light made even the winter landscape look gorgeous.


And far to the north, I could see some more serious snow.

view from whita

I passed a very striking set of hawthorn bushes as I went along the quarry track…


…and enjoyed this little dent in the smooth surface of the hill.


I could look down on the town below me and you can see how low the sun is in the sky with only a week to go to the winter solstice.

view from whita

It was 2pm when I took the picture above and already half the town is in the shadow of the hills.

But where the sun was still at work, the light was delightful.


I took a new track down the hill back towards the town.  This was terra incognita for me but the track seemed well trodden…

view from whita

…and it led me to a broad ride through a wood just above the town …

Wood at Hallpath

…so my route was well chosen.

I came back into the town past the old south toll house….


South toll house

…having started my walk by leaving the town by going past the northern toll house.

By the time that I had got home, I had walked just under four miles and climbed about 214m, reaching a maximum height above sea level of 250m (having started at 80m) so you can see that I got really good value from a modest outlay of effort.

As we had arranged yesterday, Mike and Alison came round at 4 o’clock and while Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike put together Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden cultivator which had come back from a service and needed re-assembling, Alison and I played some music and then we came together to eat some drop scones that Mrs Tootlepedal had made and to drink a pot of tea.

We had played our music in the afternoon because in the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out to attend the community pantomime, Dick McWhittington, at the Buccleuch Centre.  The test of an amateur pantomime is whether the interval and the final curtain come before you have started to check your watch and this performance passed that test with flying colours.  It had good scenery, a large and enthusiastic cast, several good jokes and some charming moments.  Who could ask for anything more?

To round off a good day, Mrs Tootlepedal had made some sticky toffee pudding for our tea.  I have never eaten this popular dish before but Mrs Tootlepedal’s version was delicious and I hope that I will get the chance to try it again before too long.

I struggled to find a flying bird of the day in the sunshine and shade but I did catch a chaffinch in the end.






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Today’s guest picture comes from Irving, who sent me this fine shot of the bottom of Bealach-na ba on the way to Applecross, one of the most spectacular roads in Scotland.

bottom of Bealach-na ba on the way to Applecross

We had another day of frozen sunshine here, with temperatures at zero or below all day.  However, with stories of snow and slush in England, we certainly weren’t going to complain about a little tingle in the cheeks when we went outside.

It was still freezing hard when Dropscone came round (on his bike) bearing scones to go with our morning coffee.  He has just come back from seeing his eldest son in the south of England and had managed to avoid all the traffic chaos caused by wind, rain and snow recently so he was feeling quite smug.

After coffee, I tempted Mrs Tootlepedal out for a walk to enjoy the sun.

When we got to Pool Corner, we found the the Wauchope had completely frozen over…

frozen wauchope

…and it was definitely a good idea, where possible, to direct one’s feet to the sunny side of the street.


The sharp eyed reader will be able to spot Mrs Tootlepedal heading for a patch of sun.

I always like the combination of sycamore and cypress which line up so perfectly as you walk along the road here.

The absence of leaves, lets the lichen on the roadside bushes have its moment in the sun.


I try to keep an eye on fencepost tops on a day like this.

frozen fencepost

When we got to the Auld Stane Bridge, we could see that there was enough running water there to keep the Wauchope mostly free of ice.

frozen wauchope

We turned onto Gaskell’s Walk and I was looking for hair ice because this is a spot where it can often be found.  Unfortunately, a lot of the dead wood that grows the hair ice has been cleared and this small and not very exciting sample was the only bit around.

frost hair

On the other hand, there was any amount of decorative frost to be seen as we went along the track.

frosty leaves

I particularly liked two patterns which had formed on one of the small bridges on the track.  The Y shapes are wire netting which has been put there to improve the traction on the bridge on slippery days.

frost patterns

We were pleased to get out of the shady part of the walk and back into the sunshine…

Meikleholm Hill

…as even the low winter sun (10 days to go to the Winter Solstice!) had a bit of heat about it.

We had to keep our eyes down for quite a lot of the time as there were plenty of icy patches along the track but we made it up to the Stubholm on safety….

frosty bench

…and resisted any temptation to spoil the patterns on the bench there by sitting on it.

As we came down the hill to the park, Mrs Tootlepedal spotted this fine crop of icicles…


…and this curious frozen formation on the track itself.


When we were out of the sun, it was a very blue day, chilly to feel and chilly to look at.

Langholm Church in winter

The benefit was the great number of interesting frosty things see.  This was some moss on the park wall.

frosty moss

And this was the frozen dam behind our house when we got home.

frozen dam

I made some warming potato and carrot soup for lunch and with the co-operation of our bread making machine, a dozen rolls, a couple of which we ate with our neighbour Liz who came round for tea later in the afternoon.  As she left, Mike Tinker arrived so we were well supplied with visitors today and this cheered up the cold late afternoon.

In between times, I looked out of the kitchen window.

I put out an apple and it disappeared into blackbirds in the twinkling of an aye.


This one looks as though he might have most of it.


The strong contrasts in the light and shade makes catching birds in the air tricky at the moment but I liked this dramatic scene.

flying chaffinch

Robins are easier to spot.


As are sitting birds.


My flute pupil Luke came in the evening and we had another go at our new sonata as well as working on the Quantz as well so he will have plenty do if he finds himself with an idle moment at home.  (I need to practise as well.)

Our Monday trio group is not going to meet again until the new year so although I miss the playing, I wasn’t entirely unhappy to have a quiet night in after travelling to Edinburgh and then having two concerts in the last four days.

I am hoping to get a few more cycling days in before the end of the month but the forecast is not optimistic.

The flying bird of the day is a chiaroscuro chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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A last look at the Kelpies is Bruce’s guest picture of the day.


We were greeted by another cold and sunny day today but as the temperature had risen a degree or two and the north wind had slacked off a bit, it was a more promising day.

It was still pretty cold in the morning so I was more than happy to sit inside, drinking Ethiopian coffee and easting the traditional Friday treacle scones that Dropscone brought round.

He has been quite pleased that it has been too cold to play golf lately as the state of his game has been giving him no pleasure.  I am hoping that this little break will do his game some good.

Normally, I would spend a fair bit of time on a morning like this glancing out of the kitchen window and enjoying the antics of the finches on the feeder but today the garden went all Rachel Carson and there were no finches to be seen.

Not any?  Not any.

Not any at all? Well hardly any.

Honestly, I only saw three finches all morning…


…and they didn’t stop.  We suspected that a sparrowhawk might be lurking and putting off visitors but on the hedges, under the feeder and in the plum tree, blackbirds…




This one was checking out some apples which I have put on the bench.

…and no less than four robins scampered about very freely.  I know that there were four robins because I saw them all at the same time.  I think that we might have two couples as there was some chasing going on but quite often two robins seem happy to co-exist.

I took a lot of robin pictures but it is hard to tell whether I got shots of four different birds or four shots of the same bird.


It is a real treat to have so many robins about.

I went out into to the garden to see if I could see a sparrowhawk lurking but I only saw a robin sitting on the fence.


There was a sudden rush of finches just after lunch….


…and a little unpleasantness too among the greenfinches…


..but it was a small rush and it didn’t last long.  We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether this is a temporary phenomenon or not.    It was quite worrying to see so few birds.

However, it was less worrying to find that the temperature had climbed to a balmy 4.4°C after lunch so I put on a stout jacket and set off for a short pedal on my slow bike to check the state of the roads.  Because of the combination of my prolonged cold and some very unsympathetic weather, I only cycled three times in the whole of November,  totting up the grand total of sixty miles.

The roads proved to be pretty well ice free today, though a little care was needed at some very damp and sheltered corners, and I enjoyed my outing very much.  I was in no hurry and stopped to take pictures as I went along.

The sun brought a little warmth but the hills and fields are looking very wintery now.

Wauchope field

One of my favourite trees near the Bigholms.

Wauchope field

The wide blue yonder.  I turned for home at the end of the straight.


Brown is the predominate colour now.

wauchope view

I was surprised to see this little crop of fungus looking quite healthy beside the road.


The sun was still out when I got home so after taking a picture of a Leycesteria in the garden which has obstinately remained out….


…..I took the opportunity to walk round my Langholm, Sawmill and Jubilee Bridges short walk in the hope of catching a flying gull.

There were gulls about….

black headed gulls

…but they obstinately refused to leave their posts….

black headed gulls

…so I had to make do with some late afternoon sunshine on the Kilngreen…

Kiln Green

…some trees silhouetted against the sinking sun…

bare trees

…and any amount of interesting lichen.


It was just about dark by the time that I got home so I had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal.  She had been test driving the cooking of a vegetarian recipe while I had been out.

In the evening, having eaten the vegetarian meal, we were delighted to welcome Mike and Alison for the first Friday evening visit for some weeks.  What pleased me most about the visit was that it meant that there was Friday evening music again after quite a gap.

Alison and I played Telemann, Loeillet, Rameau and Marcello and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting these old musical friends.  If we weren’t exactly note perfect after the lay off. we hit enough right notes to keep us happy.

And of course the playing and cycling made for a Tootlepedalling day and filled a cold winter’s day with warm feelings.

The flying bird of the day is not a good picture but i felt that since the robins had stayed while the finches had deserted us, one of them deserved the accolade.

flying robin

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