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Posts Tagged ‘Langholm Pipe Band’

Today’s guest picture comes from a new contributor, Paul.  Like myself, he is a cyclist and obviously a keen photographer.  He is not absolutely sure but he thinks that this delightful shot was taken at Blea Tarn in the Lake District.

blea tarn

We had another cold and sunny day today, but it was even colder than yesterday with temperatures hitting -7°C overnight.  It was still -3° after breakfast.  Mrs Tootlepedal had left very early to catch a bus from Canonbie to go to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate with a group of embroiderers so I was left on my own.

I went to the new corner shop, did the crossword and then watched the birds for a while as the day warmed up a little.  The goldfinches, which must come from a distance, are not interested in visiting the garden while it is so cold but there were a few resident birds about.

robin dunnock blackbird

Traffic was thin though,  so I went for a walk down to the river to see if I could find some more.

The Kilngreen was quite busy with ducks, gulls and rooks…

duck, gulls and rook

…and reindeer.

reindeer on kilngreen

Wait a minute!  Reindeer???

Yes reindeer.  Some of the Cairngorm reindeer herd are on tour, appearing at pre-Christmas events all over the country.  These ones had stayed at the company’s Yorkshire base over night.

reindeer head

There were old and young animals…

reindeer panel

…and they ate the Kilngreen grass and the ready prepared food with equal eagerness.

When they time came, they were led out onto the main road….

reindeer leaving kilngreen

…where they disappeared into the low sunshine as they made their way to the stable at the Buck Hotel where they would be an attraction at the town’s switching on the lights event.

reindeer going to the Buck

I followed them down the High Street but didn’t go into the Buck Hotel, preferring to head up the Kirk Wynd and on to Whita Hill.

There are plenty of haws on the hawthorns waiting for the birds to get hungry enough to eat them and disperse the seeds.

hawthorn

In contrast to the colour of the berries, a stand of rosebay willowherb stalks looked very monchrome and I helped it by taking the picture in monochrome too.

rosebay willowherb

Looking back as I climbed up the track, the valley below was already deep in shadow and looked very cold.  The sun struggles to get above the hills at this time of year and lying at 55° North, we are on the same parallel as Manitoba, bits of Alaska and much of Russia so if it wasn’t for the gulf stream, this shot might well show a lot of snow and not much else.  The effect of climate warming on the Gulf Stream is something that not enough people in government are worrying about.

chilly valley

Still, I couldn’t complain about the weather for my walk today and if I kept in the sun it was bracing but very pleasant all the same.

ewes valley sunny

It was still freezing though.  This puddle reminded of a painting of doves but I can’t pin down the artist.

icy puddle whita

It s difficult for me to capture on camera as I would like, but I do enjoy the intersecting lines of trees and hills as I walk.

potholm hill

This little scene cheers me up every time that I pass it.

view from copshaw road

When I got back to the Kilngreen, the reindeer were long gone but the gulls were at their posts.

gulls on post

I walked up to the Buccleuch Centre and a gathering of folk caught my eye.  Mrs Claus was waiting for her husband.  He appeared along with Santa’s little helper…

Santa and friends

…and they were joined by a group of volunteers who were going to control the traffic.  The alert reader will notice my flute playing friend Luke and his mother in the panel above.  Mrs and Mrs C chatted for a while.

Soon we were joined by the appropriately dressed Langholm Pipe Band and they led off a small procession…

pipe band santa

… of a unicyclist….

unicycle santa

…and Santa on his sleigh (but sadly, with not a reindeer in sight).

 

santa in TT road

I left them to their chilly fun and went back home to have a bowl of warming soup.  Then I made some tea cake dough and left it to rise while I went back up to the town to sing carols with the Langholm Choir at the switching on of the lights.

There was quite a buzz in the Market Place…

fun inmarket place

..and we sang away lustily, accompanied by members of the town brass band until the moment of switch on came.

christmas tree lights

I then scuttled home, crossing the suspension bridge and admiring the lights on the Town Bridge as I went…

lights on bridge

…and knocked back the tea cake dough and divided it into individual cakes and put it in the boiler cupboard to rise.

I was expecting Mrs Tootlepedal back from  her trip to Harrogate but she rang me to say that the bus was stuck on the A66.  Luckily the driver was able to turn round and take a diversion to join the motorway at Tebay so she got home in the end, but much later than expected. There had been a bad crash ahead of them on the A66. She was grateful for a freshly baked tea cake to give her sustenance.

We are due to have another freezing day tomorrow but then things should warm up a bit so we may get more birds back in the garden again.

In the absence of domestic flying birds, one of the Kilngreen gulls is the flying bird of the day.

flying gull

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She came across this artwork in an outdoor exhibition in a park.  It is called The Tudor Ball and it is by Lars Fisk.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have been an artist.

Tudor Ball by Lars Fisk

It was even hotter today than yesterday and by the afternoon, the thermometer was showing 30 degrees C.  I took the day easily but my friend Ken is made of tougher stuff than me, and set off for a ride in the morning as the heat was building.

Ken

I walked round the garden (slowly).

The salvia was sticking even more snakes’ tongues out than ever.

salvia

In the vegetable garden, runner bean flowers are appearing…

runner beans

…and the biggest flower in the garden is the courgette.

courgette

The rosa complicata is doing its best to catch Mrs Tootlepedal’s eye with some late blooming…

rosa complicata

…and once again the garden was full of butterflies sampling different flowers.

four butterflies

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a meeting in Hawick regarding funding for the proposed community moorland buy out.  Later in the day I spoke to another person who was at the meeting, and he remarked that when you meet potential funders, they are always much more keen to suggest other sources of funding than to commit themselves.  There will be a lot of work to be done if the dream is to be realised.

I stayed at home and watched the birds.

They were quite heated too.

two balletic siskins

siskin arriving

It made me tired just watching them.

sparrow arriving

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her meeting and we watched a very exhausting stage of the Tour de France where these giants among men scaled ever more incredible heights.

When the stage was over, we got ready to welcome Matilda and her parents Al and Clare, who are coming to stay with us for the Common Riding.  Matilda is dancing in a competition tomorrow afternoon.

We were somewhat dubious about whether it was a good idea to open some doors and windows to let some air in or to keep them all shut and keep the air out.  In the end we opened the back door onto the dam and I noticed a fine leycestaria growing just beside the door.

leycestaria

When we went out into the garden, I saw that a fine crop of poppies which I had photographed this morning…

poppies

…had completely disappeared by the afternoon.

no poppies

The heat had knocked off more heads than the wind and the rain.

The Wren rose doesn’t seem to mind the heat.  We have never seen so many flowers in good condition on a single stem before.  Usually one bloom starts fading before another comes to full flower.

rose Wren full

Mrs Tootlepedal has five different phloxes on the go so I took a picture of all of them but as I can only cope with two, three, four or six pictures in a composite panel on the blog, I have had to sneak in a ringer.

five phlox

Matilda and Co were held up by heavy traffic in Edinburgh and slow traffic on the way down so I popped out for a steady ten miles on my bike while we were waiting.  Because you make your own breeze while you cycle, it didn’t feel too bad while I was actually pedalling but I was extremely hot when I stopped.

Our visitors arrived safely in time for an evening meal.  This was accompanied by some growls of thunder, streaks of lightning and some rain.  The storm didn’t last long though, and while Matilda was getting ready to go to bed, I went up to the High Street where the Town Band had been playing a concert.  I was too late to hear the brass band play but there were still plenty of people on the street.  They were waiting for the Flute Band to march through the town.

high street flute band

This is an informal gathering of musicians who gather together at the Common Riding.  The band meets exiles returning to the town on the last train in the evening of the day before the Common Riding itself.

The fact that the last passenger train came into the town about fifty years ago has not stopped them from meeting it every year since.  We like our traditions.

flute band approaching

Henry, the cornet and our church organist was playing in the front row as they marched along the High Street…

henry in flute band

…and I could spot my flute pupil Luke puffing away too.

luke in flute band

The pink ties reflect the Common Riding colours which are always the colours worn by the winning jockey in the Epsom Derby  earlier in the year.

The band crossed over the Town Bridge and marched off down Thomas Telford Road followed by a large cortege.

flute band cortege

I followed the flute band along Henry Street and when they had reached the end of the road, I waited for a minute or two, turned round, and hey presto, another band appeared!

Watched by the traditional one boy and a dog, this was the Burgh of Langholm Pipe Band…

man and dog pipe band

…looking very smart.

pipe band henry street

The bands march and play to remind everyone in the town, as if they needed reminding, that tomorrow is Langholm’s Great Day.

There were more rumbles of thunder after the bands had gone and we are just hoping that the weather will be kind to us.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

flying siskin

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Today’s guest picture comes from the phone camera of our younger son, Al who took it while sitting on the new bench in our garden this afternoon.

Al's bee on calendula

It is a very smart device which not only takes the pictures that he wants but often takes one or two just before and/or just after he has pressed the button of its own accord and then it may politely suggest that its effort is better than his.  I need one of these devices.  Still, his effort was very good.

It was a hot and sunny day today but not as hot as it was in London as our daughter rang us up to point out.

The pest control man appeared before breakfast time and did his work so the painter was able to get on with his work too and this was very satisfactory.

Between the hot weather and the need to prepare the house for visitors, there was not a lot of opportunity to do useful things in the garden but I did manage to trim some of the hedges round the front lawn and take a few pictures.

Not just one…

red cosmos

…but two more cosmos have come out.

another red cosmos

And there was a new dahlia of the day.

red dahlia

Mrs Tootlepedal planted two gaura in her new bed in the spring.  One succumbed to the miserable weather but the other has continued to flower in a very satisfactory way.

gaura

The bed is edged with lobelia and they have often appeared in the background behind other flowers.  I thought that they deserved a picture to themselves.

lobelia clump

Like many other flowers, a closer look is interesting.  They turn out to have two car headlights each.

lobelia headlights

There were a few peacock butterflies about but they were hard to catch.  Here is one on the red buddleia…

peacock butterfly on red buddleia

…and another on a pink phlox.

peacock butterfly on phlox

They weren’t very keen to settle down and open their wings and this one on the other buddleia remained firmly closed.

peacock butterfly on buddleia

It wasn’t idle though. It was getting stuck in.

peacock butterfly sipping

The white butterflies are still about in numbers and I caught this one in mid air by happy accident.

flying white butterfly

The sunflowers are reaching up to more than 10 feet in height.

sunflower heart

Our son Al with wife Clare and daughter Matilda arrived in the late afternoon after a very hot drive from Edinburgh.  Matilda’s first business was to walk three times round the outside of the house with me.  As the dam runs right along the back of the house, this involved crossing our new bridge at one end of the house and then the stepping stone in the dam at the other end.  Then we went in for a drink and a biscuit.

Mrs Tootlepedal had prepared an excellent evening meal for the party and after Matilda had paid another visit to the stepping stone with her father…

matilda at the dam

Out with a helping hand…

matilda at the dam 2

…and back unaided.

…we ate  it with great appreciation.

Langholm Common Riding always takes place on the last Friday in July, which is tomorrow.  The day before, Thursday, is known as Simmer Fair Night and it is celebrated by the three bands in the town.

First, the Town Band plays a programme in the Market Place and then the flute band goes down to the site of the old railway station to greet exiles returning to the town on the last train.  Although the trains stopped running about fifty years ago and the station has long since disappeared, the flute band still turns up.  Then they march through the town….

Langholm Flute Band

…followed by a considerable procession, doubtless some of them being returning exiles.

flute band procession

A town bandsman looked on with the satisfaction of knowing that he had already done his duty.

Calvert, town band

Almost as soon as the flute band has passed on its way, the Langholm Pipe Band  start a march round the town.

Langholm pipe band

It looked for a moment as though their march pace might speed up a bit as some  heavy drops of rain began to fall from a menacing sky but once again, the rain came to nothing and the march continued in good order.

We are looking forward to celebrating Langholm’s Great Day tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is one of the swifts that traditionally scream  across the sky  on Simmer Fair Nicht.

swift

 

 

 

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In the total absence of a guest photograph today, I have had to resort to one of my own to head up the post.  It shows Langholm Parish Church en fête this afternoon.

church fete

Since it was the day of the parish church fête, it is the customary practice of wise old heads to look out their best waterproofs and tie down anything that might be blown away by the gales that seem to accompany this annual event.  This year however, as you can see, the weather was perfect.

I had been at the church to sing in the choir in the morning and although my voice was still a bit rough, the singing didn’t seem to make it worse so I am keeping my fingers crossed and will have another sing on Wednesday.

I had  time to walk round the garden after breakfast and before going to church.

New flowers were out.

The first of the Dutch Irises….

Dutch iris

…and the first flowers on a verbascum.

verbascum

A young blackbird kept an eye on me as I went about.

blackbird

The ornamental strawberries are still showing and  as I took my first picture of one on May 14th, they are lasting well.

ornamental strawberry

The morning sun picked out some Sweet William.

sweet william

When we got back from church, Mrs Tootlepedal was soon back at work in the garden and I did some shredding and compost sieving in an effort to be of assistance.  I mowed the front lawn too and edged both lawns so the grass department is looking quite neat.

I had time to poke about with a camera as well.

Another new flower has appeared but this time in the vegetable garden.  The potatoes are looking quite healthy.

potato

The Ooh La La clematis had a bad attack of clematis wilt but parts of the plant have survived and there are plenty of the striking flowers still on show.

Ooh la la clematis

The Rosa Wren was looking very fine and…

Rosa wren

..to continue the avian theme, the Goldfinch rose is flourishing too.

rose goldfinch

Among the real birds, this greenfinch looked as though the warmth of the day might be a bit too much of a good thing.

goldfinch

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the fête where she was helping to sell raffle tickets.  I followed along and bought a raffle ticket (in vain as it turned out) and had a couple of goes at the coconut shy in an effort to win a coconut to put out for the birds in the garden.  My efforts here were in vain too with my throws being well shy of the target.

I cheered myself up by listening first to the Town Band…

town band at fete

…which played a very nice selection of tunes in the sunshine and then to the pipe band…

pipe band at fete

…who sensibly found a large tree in the park to provide a bit of shade for their selection.

The plant stall was being looked after by two archivists and a bass from the choir and was doing a brisk business.

plant stall at fete

Mrs Tootlepedal had taken some plants along for the stall but couldn’t find a buyer for all her Doddering Dillies so she had to bring three home and plant them in the garden.  (Some times I think that she makes these names up to entertain me.)

I left a bit early and went along the river to see if the oyster catcher family was still there.

It was.

oyster catcher young

One of the  youngsters

oyster catcher adult

One parent lying low…

oyster catcher one leg

…and the other standing on one leg

When I got home, I felt that it was too hot for a comfortable bike ride so I went inside and in the cool of the house, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.

By the time that I finished, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned and the sun was low enough in the sky to encourage me out for a twenty mile circuit of Canonbie.  It was a lovely day…

Bloch view

…but I had already taken plenty of pictures already so I settled for this view back over Wauchopedale and concentrated on cycling for the rest of the journey.

Once again the breeze was brisk enough to make me faster on the way back up the hill when  it was behind me than I was battling into it down the hill.  We are promised calmer days next week which will be welcome if it is true.

As I had no guest picture of the day at the head of the post, I am going to end abruptly with no flying bird of flower of the day at the foot.

 

 

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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 comes from the sister of the Canadian lady, Lucie, who sent me a fine picture of a bison. Jennifer, the sister, lives in the Highlands of Scotland and sent me this picture of a view from Feabuie woods near Culloden Battlefield, across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle.

Culloden

We could have done with some of Jennifer’s nice weather here today as we had another mostly grey, mostly windy and often rainy day.  Currently any resemblance to summer in Langholm is purely accidental.

When I ventured out into the garden after breakfast, I saw that the three Shirley poppies were feeling much the same about the weather as me…

shirley poppies

…depressed.

There were other soggy flowers.

phlox and marigold

Blue phlox has come to join the pink and white

However I was cheered up when I went to the Welcome to Langholm office…

wtl

…and found that not only did we have enough photographs to make a modest exhibition…

camera club exhibition

A corner of the show

…but that several members had turned up to help so it didn’t take us long to get everything sorted out.

One of the helpers was Sandy and after we had finished, he and I went back to Wauchope Cottage for a cup of coffee and a Jaffa cake (or two in my case).

There are plenty of lettuces in the garden so Sandy took one away and I had some of another one in the form of a lettuce and marmite sandwich for my lunch.  A lunch fit for kings.

After lunch, I checked the weather and as it seemed to be likely to be reasonably fair for a while, I went off to see the the horsemen on the Castle Craigs ride out.  This is part of our Common Riding tradition and in a way, it is a rehearsal for the great day on Friday.

Horsemen career up the Kirk Wynd and onto Whita Hill (it is all men at the Castle Craigs ride out unlike the Common Riding procession, which is open to all riders) and I went some distance up the Wynd and waited for them to arrive.

The cavalcade is led by the cornet and so I was surprised to see his left and right hand men coming up before him…

left and right

…but the cornet was following close behind on his white horse.

cornet

I learned later that the cornet’s horse and its rider had had a difference of opinion about the route further down the hill but no harm came of it and he was soon back in his proper position at the head of affairs.

Mounted followers soon appeared in good numbers…

castle craigscastle craigs

… leaving sensible gaps between groups as they came.

They soon all disappeared up the hill….

castle craigs

…and I followed behind on foot, pausing to take in anything interesting that I saw en route.

hare bell and fungus

The horsemen go round the shoulder of the hill and assemble at the Castle Craigs where they get a group photograph taken.   I walked up to the monument and then down to the track  along which they would return and I had time to see that a good number of supporters had travelled up by car to greet the riders…

castle craigs

…and to position myself among the heather…

heather on the hill

First signs of flowers

…below the track and wait for the arrival of the horses as they came back from theCastle Craigs.

They were preceded first by a quad bike and then by the editor of our local paper….

castle craigs

…but they didn’t keep me waiting long.

castle craigs

There were over eighty horsemen picking their way carefully along a very rough track along the hillside.

castle craigscastle craigs

castle craigs

A study in concentration from horse and rider.

They passed me and turned down the track towards the road at the White Yett where the cars were waiting…

castle craigs

…and we could see the whole troop of riders in a line as they headed off towards Cronksbank….

castle craigs

….where they would stop for refreshments before returning to the town.

I left them to it as I had got a very kind offer of a lift back to the town from the editor who was going to drive through the town and round to Cronksbank from the opposite direction, intending to arrive there before the horses.

I was glad that I got out in the High Street and didn’t go with her,  because the cornet’s father, when I met him on the return of the horsemen, reported that it had been very wet and very cold while they were there…and very, very wet, he added just for emphasis.

I was happy to sit at home and watch the time trial from the Tour de France which was following roads in Marseille very familiar to us from our holiday there last year.  I could swear that I did almost exactly the same course as the cyclists did although I was on a tourist bus.

I went out to see the horses and riders on their return from Cronksbank, pausing to enjoy the crocosmia and hosta beside the dam as I went.

Crocosmia and hosta

Adding much needed colour to a rather grey day

The cavalcade parades round the town when it come back, preceded by the Langholm Pipe Band, seen here about to cross the Langholm Bridge…

Langholm Pipe Band castle craigs

……followed by the riders dressed for the weather.

castle craigs

The Front Three

Those who had hired their horse for the day went off to the Kilngreen rather than cross the bridge but the rest followed the cornet down Thomas Telford Road.

Castle Craigs

I was going to follow too but it soon started to rain again so I went home.  I found a moment to look at the privet flowers which are beginning to fall like snow….or possibly like pasta on a closer look.

privet

Needless to say when all the excitement was over and the soaked riders had got home, the sun came out and we had a beautiful evening again for a while.  It does this sort of thing on purpose.  It did mean though that I could pick some peas to have with an omelette for my tea.

There was a spot or two of feeble  sunshine while I was walking up the hill in the afternoon so I looked at my favourite view…..

Ewes valley

The flying birds of the day are either standing around or about to go swimming.

blackbird an duck

 

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Venetia and shows a green woodpecker visiting a hornbeam in her garden.  DShe says that it made a tremendous amount of noise.

green woodpeckerMrs Tootlepedal spent the day visiting Matilda in Edinburgh while I made the most of a second sunny day at home.  To make the day even better, there were no threatening clouds or passing showers.

I was very good though and spent the first hour after breakfast putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  This post finished off 1890 and it is always a great moment when another year is tucked away.

Luckily Dropscone was on hand with freshly made scones to go with a cup of coffee (or two) when I had finished.  Fortified by this, I went out on the fairly speedy bike to test my creaky knee.

I did walk round the garden first though.

Dahlias

The sun had brought on the two new dahlias

nasturtium

A nasturtium’s mouth looked like rather a dangerous place.

apple and rose

There was promise of further delights to come

nicotiana and lupin

The first nicotiana and the last lupin

Polemonium and musk

Two lasting old friends, polemonium and musk. I like the way that little footprints lead into the heart of the musk.

I put the camera away and got started.  It was a wonderful day for cycling….

Kerr…with light winds which were behind me on the exposed parts of the route and against me when I was in the sheltered sections.

Sensibly I slowed down a bit as I got onto the gently uphill section back to Langholm and this gave me a moment to enjoy the wild flowers in the verges.

Old A7

There is still plenty of colour left on the old A7

Old A7

A closer look

I got home in very good order and after a light lunch, set about some garden tasks.  I mowed lawns and I sieved compost and felt very virtuous.  So virtuous in fact that I had to sit down in an easy chair to recover.

Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Edinburgh, having had an enjoyable visit to Matilda.

It was Summer Fair today in Langholm, the eve of our annual Common Riding and it is celebrated with music so after tea, Mrs Tootlepedal and I walked up to the High Street and joined the crowd in the Market Place who were listening to the Langholm Town Band playing a programme.

Langholm Town band

It was a glorious evening

After the band finished, we walked back home but I was soon out again to watch the Flute Band march round the town.  The flute band meets the last train of the day into Langholm,  greets returning emigrants and then leads them through the streets.  The fact that the last train arrived in Langholm nearly half a century ago doesn’t make any difference.  They still go to meet it.

Flute band

There seemed to be about 50 flautists in the band tonight

…and even more people following along behind it.

Shortly after the Flute band had passed by, the Langholm Pipe Band also marched through the streets of the New Town.

Langholm Pipe bandThey too have their followers….

band followers

Pipe band enthusiasts on the left and flute band fans on the right

It is one of the best things about the Common Riding and its proceedings that the streets of the town, for  short time at least, are reclaimed by its inhabitants from the grip of the motor car.

Although my camera makes it look as though it was still quite light, a full moon was looking down benignly from the sky above the town as the bands went by.

full moonThe end of a very good day.  It looks touch and go as to whether the weather will be as kind to us tomorrow.

I did look at the birds in the garden from time to time and the sparrows were as hungry as ever…

sparrows…even to the extent of sharing a perch.

sparrowsIt will come as no surprise that the flying bird of the day is another sparrow (though I should have been able to get a better picture on such a sunny day).

flying sparrow

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