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Posts Tagged ‘Langholm Town Band’

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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Today’s picture from our London Trip shows the sign for a long forgotten shop on Brixton Road.  By coincidence, the American senator, Bernie Sanders, a diamond geezer if ever there was one,  spoke in front of a crowd of 5000 people at a Brixton venue nearby only last month.

Sanders in Brixton

I have been doing a bit of washing of clothes lately and as some of my readers will know, this leads to ironing and so I started the day with the ironing board in play.  I am not a skilful iron handler and I never cease to be amazed (and put out) by how much more easy it is to iron a crease into a garment than it is to iron it out again.  It just doesn’t seem right.  Still, it is a great lesson for life – careful preparation is almost always better than just breenging in regardless.  I am going to learn that lesson one day…..but not yet.

I had just got the board folded and the evidence of rather rumpled clothes tucked away upstairs when first Dropscone and then Sandy arrived to share a pot of coffee.  Because it will be a busy day for all of us tomorrow, Dropscone kindly brought forward the traditional Friday treacle scones and we ate them on a Thursday instead.

It was a wet and fairly miserable morning outside and it got a lot worse and fairly bucketed down when I went off to do some shopping for Matilda and her parents (and her other grandparents too) who are visiting me over the Common Riding.  We seem to be in the middle of a spell of occasional sunshine and many really heavy showers.  It doesn’t make for restful days.

Some of the flowers are looking a bit depressed…

poppy

…and who can blame them.

I can blame the sparrows though for pecking holes in my lawn.

sparrow holes in lawn

A water lily seemed quite at home, sheltering from the elements under a leaf in the pond.

water lily

The dampness hadn’t discouraged the bees though and there were quite a few about as soon as it actually stopped raining.

bee on lambs ear

In the afternoon, when it had stopped raining for a bit, I had a visit from my friend Gavin, with his daughter, my Newcastle correspondent and her two children.  Leo was hoping to see a frog in the pond but there was not a frog to be seen and a few tadpoles were scant consolation.  Hannah helped me pick some peas and kindly only ate enough of them to leave me a few for tea.

When they had gone, I picked some beans….

P1010220

… and admired the other fruit in the garden, some for me….

Charles Ross apple

Charles Ross apple

….and some for the birds.

rowan berries

Rowan berries

I noticed that once Leo had left, a frog appeared.

frog

…but by the time that Matilda arrived, it had gone again.

While I waited for Matilda to arrive, I looked around the garden while it was dry.

The privet blossom is falling like snow but there is still masses to come.

privet

And it still looks very curious when you see it lying on the ground.

privet

Rather than dwell on the depressed poppies, I looked at the ever cheerful phlox….

phlox

…and a very flowery hosta.

hosta

Hostas are mostly grown for their foliage but they pack a lovely flower too.

hosta

During the day, an emissary of the Crown builder turned up to pick a few of our rambler roses….

rambler roses

…and I shall feel proud when I see them in the Crown as it is carried through the streets tomorrow.  I shall take a picture of it, weather permitting.  The forecast is not very good for the morning but things look better for the afternoon.  Fingers crossed.

Al and Clare arrived with Matilda on schedule.  The garden was too soggy to play in so we had a pleasant time indoors with a construction set which lets you build marble runs.  Al and I let Matilda play with it too from time to time.

After tea, while Matilda got ready for her bath, I nipped up to the Market Place to hear a snatch of the Town Band’s open air concert.

Langholm Town Band summer fair 2107

Henry, who trained and accompanied our choir last night, can be seen blowing fit to bust on the trombone on the extreme right of the picture.  He is a talented chap.

We had a very quiet evening in as the strange surroundings kept Matilda awake long after she should have been fast asleep but I sneaked out to see the Flute Band lead a procession through the streets.

flute band 2017

They were followed by the biggest procession I have seen on Summer Fair night, it nearly filled the whole of Caroline Street.

flute band 2017

The flautists will wake us up tomorrow morning at 5 o’clock to announce the starting of the Common Riding, Langholm’s great day.

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Today’s guest picture shows an ominous haze behind the financial district on a sunny day on the Thames in London.   Perhaps it is an ill omen for 2017.  My sister Mary took the picture.

The murk can be seen in the background

A bright but chilly day ushered in the new year here and encouraged by the good weather, I took up an invitation from Mike Tinker to join his party for the now traditional New Year ‘Whisky Run’ which Mike has organised with his wife and Charlie Graham for many years.

I should say straight away that Mike’s party, consisting of Mike, Mike’s daughter Liz and his grandson William along with Charlie, was of the strictly walking variety while others did the running.

The object of the event is to go round the eight mile road and track course starting at such a time and going at such a speed as to get you to the Market Place exactly as the clock strikes eleven.

We started early in the day!

The sun was just rising as the party set out….

Mike, Charlie, Liz and William

…but it was still behind the hill as we went along the road above the River Esk.

Gates of Eden

With a north wind in our face, it was decidedly chilly and it wasn’t until we had crossed the river and climbed up the road leading towards the gap in the hills which you can see in the picture above, that we could look back and see the sun at last.

Esk Valley

It was a glorious day for walking…

Mike and Charlie walking

Mike’s daughter and grandson had wandered off ahead of us by this time.

…and the surrounding hills were covered in gold.

Bauchle and Golf hill

Our way back took us through woods and as we got nearer to the town, groups of brightly clad runners began to pass us.

Runners on Longfauld

We reached the Lodge Walks in good time….

Lodge walks new year's day

…and actually arrived at the Market Place ten minutes early.   The walk, exactly eight miles long, had taken us two hours and thirty five minutes.    As this was the longest walk that I had undertaken for many years, I was grateful both to my new knee which had made it possible and to the company of Mike and Charlie which had made it most enjoyable.

Waiting in the Market Place was Matilda and her father who had walked up from the house to meet me.  We stayed for a while to listen to the Langholm Town Band which arrived soon afterwards…

Langholm Town Band

…and Matilda enjoyed their performance a lot, concentrating hard on clapping in rhythm.

Matilda listening to the Langholm Town Band

This is just a glimpse of what Matilda was listening to.

We walked home, following the band for part of the way, and as we went up Lizzie’s Entry, we were reminded of how low the sun is in the sky at this time of year even when it is near the middle of the day..

Al, me and Matilda

When we got home, there was time to look at the birds.

Jackdaw

A Jackdaw looked back at me

Jackdaw

The fat balls are to a jackdaw’s taste if I leave the cage off.

The small birds were enjoying the sunshine of the bright new year.

goldfinch

robin

After the older members of the household had had a cup of coffee, her father and I took Matilda to the park to get the best out of the fine  day.  She enjoyed herself a lot….

Matilda in the park

…as did her father.

Matilda in the park

We didn’t stay too long though as Mrs Tootlepedal had cooked us a delicious lunch of roast chicken.

There was just a brief chance to look at birds again before the meal was served.

goldfinches and chaffinch

When the jackdaws left, the small birds piled in…

robin

…and with the cage back on, the fat ball feeder was safe for the robin.

By the afternoon we had all slowed down a bit so we settled in to watch Frozen.  I hadn’t seen this before but it is a favourite of Matilda and her parents and they all joined in the songs with gusto.  Matilda was quite cross that I couldn’t sing them too.

There was more good food in the evening and then Matilda enjoyed dancing along to the Vienna Philharmonic new year’s day concert under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in the Musikverein.  Her polka was most energetic and her waltzing was particularly expressive.  We all joined in.

We shall miss Matilda, Al and Clare when they go back to Edinburgh tomorrow.  They have given us a very cheerful New Year.

The flying bird of the day is not this hopeful chaffinch…

flying chaffinch

…but this stylish high flyer.

flying matilda

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Today’s guest picture, sent by my sister Mary, shows Mr Grumpy’s London cousin posing on the Serpentine.

Mr G's cousin posing by the SerpentineOur spell of dry weather continued today, although it was rather gloomy in the morning.  The main feature of the weather, apart from the lack of rain, has been the prevalence of light winds and this has been very welcome after such a windy year.  This morning there was hardly any wind at all.  I had contemplated cycling but a phone call from Dropscone offering scones to go with coffee made me put that idea on hold.

The scones were well up to their usual standard and I hope that a good cup or two of coffee put Dropscone in the right frame of mind for an important golf competition in the afternoon.

While we were sipping our coffee, a robin paid us a visit.

RobinThere was another one about too and as they were not fighting, I hope that they are a happy couple.  I always like to see robins in the garden.

After coffee, Dropscone left and a coal tit arrived.

coal titThen I went for a walk round the garden.  In the rather grey weather, the poppies once again provided many rays of light.

poppiesI thought that two of them deserved solo spots.

poppypoppyWhat a great packet of seeds that was.

I cut some sweet peas to put in a vase in the kitchen.

sweet peasThere were a lot of insects about in spite of the lack of sunshine and I noticed some life on a Japanese anemone.

Japanese anemone

I waited for some action but none came.

The bug eyes mini monsters on all sides again.

bug on a daisy

On the Michaelmas daisies

bug on marigold

And on the marigolds

As I was toasting some cheese for my lunch, the sun broke through for a while and I watched the birds…

chaffinch…and after lunch, I even saw a new butterfly.

Red admiral

Red admiral butterfly on the sedum

I took a picture of the ornamental strawberry which has lasted very well….

pink strawberry…and then I got myself organised and set off for a ride of indeterminate length on the fairly speedy bike.

My plan was to sweet talk my legs into a medium distance ride by starting off very gently.  A light wind had got up by this time and as it was in my face, I had no difficulty in not going very fast.  This let me stop for some pictures.

Thistle down

Signs of autumn are not hard to find.

brackenAnd when I stopped and looked back while going up the hill at Callister….

Callister…it was clear that green has now pretty fully turned to brown.

I did get the chance to test whether the phone camera was up to a little bug shooting.

bug

The bug is less than a centimetre long so I think the phone passed the test.

I had a choice of whether to to go north or south at one point in my ride and fortunately I made a good decision when I went south, as this turned out out to be the sunny side of the street so as to speak.  Looking north, there were threatening clouds but in Middlebie (so called because it is exactly in the middle of nowhere), the sun was making their little church look very cheerful.

Middlebie churchAnd the sun followed me down the road to Eaglesfield, lighting up the bridge over the  Mein Water on the way.

bridge over Mein waterAfter that, the light wind was behind me and I pressed on a bit with the agreement of my legs so I didn’t stop for any more photo opportunities.  I ended up doing 33 miles at exactly the same speed as I had done yesterday.  I should have tried a bit harder!

I had enough energy left to sieve a little compost before I went for my shower.

In the evening, I spent a little time at a party to celebrate 200 years of brass band music in Langholm.  I played in the Langholm Town Band, as it now called, for some years when I first came to Langholm and was pleased to be invited to the do.  A kind lady invited me onto the dance floor in a snowball waltz and then we walked gently through The Gay Gordons, a well known Scottish country dance.  I am happy to say that my new knee passed the dance test satisfactorily although no one could say that we were whirling round the floor.

I didn’t stay for long as I had bread cooking in the machine.  To tell the truth, although I was enjoying the company, I was quite pleased to leave because there was a DJ present with a disco machine blasting out loud music accompanied by flashing lights.  As this is exactly the technique that unscrupulous intelligence torturers have been using for many years on their victims to break them down, its charm as a medium of social interaction is lost on me entirely.

The flying bird of the day is a beady eyed chaffinch.

chaffinch

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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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Today’s guest picture shows Lincoln Cathedral, seen from the Castle walls.  It was taken by my sister Mary on a recent visit.

Lincoln cathedral, from the Castle wallsWe woke to heavy rain and strong winds but as Mrs Tootlepedal and my sister Susan went off to church and I spent the time inside sorting out the framing of my pictures for the exhibition, we didn’t much mind the weather.  The forecast correctly predicted that the skies would clear by eleven and it soon turned into a reasonable if breezy day.

During this period, I dialled the number for the customer services for my phone supplier with some trepidation, a good book and an easy chair to hand and was stunned to get the whole problem sorted out in a few minutes.  Perhaps firms have finally learned that annoying their customers is not good business.  I even got £10 taken of my next bill.

As well as my sister, we were visited by my older son Tony and his partner Marianne,  who stopped off on their way back to Edinburgh from a weekend in the Lake District.  The hotel that they stayed in allows guests to bring one dog and they had taken one of their three dogs with  them.  Tara was very excited when she came into the house but calmed down when I promised to take her photograph.

She sat well for the portrait.

TaraTony is always looking to be helpful.  Last time he visited, he plastered a wall and today he got a ladder out and cleared a leaking and blocked gutter along the back of the house for us in no time.  What with getting computer advice from one and home improvement from the other, we are very well off for useful sons

They didn’t stay for lunch as Tony had work to see to when they got back home.

With all this excitement, I didn’t pick up a camera until the early afternoon and didn’t even have time for a leisurely garden tour.  I took one picture of the new peony, which had survived the overnight rain well…..

 peony….and had a couple of quick looks out of the kitchen window….

busy feeder

The feeder was busy as ever….

sparrows

…mostly with sparrows

…before I went off to the church fête with Susan and Mrs Tootlepedal.

There was plenty of music at the fête, as both the town’s brass band….Langholm Town Band…and the pipe band….

Langholm pipe band….were playing, though not at the same time.

As you can see, the fête was blessed with fine weather and after having spent a little money, I left Mrs Tootlepedal and Susan to walk home and took myself off along the path by the river with Pocketcam in hand.

This path has been subject to a number of small landslides over the past few years and I was interested to see a lot of new planting….

new planting…on the unstable bank above the path.  I peered into some of the tubes to see what plants they held but was none the wiser.  I imagine it will be shrubs with good root systems to help hold the bank together.

I was still looking at the right hand side of the path, where there were interesting little plants like this….

Easton's walk..and this….

Easton's walk…when to my great surprise I found myself sitting at path level with one leg doubled up beneath me.  I was mystified for a moment as to how this unexpected state of affairs had come about and, more importantly, where my other leg was but all became plain when I noticed that my un-doubled up leg was sticking straight down into a large hole on the left hand side of the path which I had failed to notice.

Two things were good about this.  One was that my new knee was on the straight leg and the hole was so deep that my foot was hanging in fresh air and my knee had not got banged at all.  The other was that my doubled up  leg had gone straight down and not twisted  and rather to my surprise, I was able to get up and walk rather gingerly onwards.

I learned in my hill running days that if you can keep going after a fall, you can often walk off minor sprains and strains so I continued round Easton’s Walk, trying not to limp.

I paid a little more attention to the path than to the wild flowers beside it on this part of my walk but I didn’t meet any more large holes.  I did see some pretty roses in the hedge.

hedge rosehedge roseI was wondering whether it would be a good idea to extend my walk to aid recovery when a look across a field made up my mind for me….

Stubholm …and I headed for home.

I took a picture of a plant growing out of the park wall as I went past.  It has an unusually high stem to flower ratio.  The flowers are so few and so small that you can hardly see them at all.

wall flowerAlong the way,  I noticed that my thumb was a bit sore and when I checked Pocketcam, I found that the viewing screen had been cracked and realised that I must have hit the ground with the camera in my hand when I fell.  The crack doesn’t seem to have affected the camera’s working parts and I am keeping my fingers crossed (with some light groaning) that the accident won’t have any long term bad effects on Pocketcam…..or my thumb.

A sore ankle, thumb and hip are lingering mementoes of my lack of concentration and we will have to see what tomorrow brings in the way of aches and pains but I am walking about quite freely and was able to make omelettes for our tea without any trouble so I am hoping for the best.

An excursion to Hadrian’s Wall with Susan  is planned for tomorrow and I will try not to fall over while we are there.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

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No guest picture today as there has to be a space for the magnificent birthday cake cooked for me by Mrs Tootlepedal on the occasion of my birthday.  Because of my advanced age, it was impossible to cook a cake large enough to hold an appropriate number of candles so in the finished product, the candle is a decimal fraction of 0.0136986301 (approx) of my accumulated years.

birthday cakeOwing to the distribution among us of dodgy knees and persistent coughs, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a quiet day today.  I did contemplate a morning pedal but it was a very dull and grey day and the trip to Edinburgh yesterday had been quite tiring so I didn’t contemplate it for very long.

However the weather did brighten up a bit as the morning went on and I was able to point a camera at a colourful show in the plum tree….

blue tit and goldfinch…catch a worm meeting its end on the lawn….

blackbird with worm…and admire the trim lines of a dunnock under the feeder…dunnock…and a queue of chaffinches up above.

chaffinchesWe were promised a bit of brighter weather after lunch and this indeed appeared so while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do a little shopping, I took a stroll round Gaskell’s Walk.  At the moment, it is a perfect walk for me, with a level surface, no big hills and at a mile, just about as far as I can go before needing a reviving cup of tea and a sit down.

I had Pocketcam with me and kept my eyes open as I tottered round.

Park WallThe stones on the park wall were covered in lichen and closer examination shows that there is often more to the white sheets than meets the eye of the casual passer by.

Park WallThe sun came out as I walked along the track past Stubholm….

Stubholm…and I liked the soft, late autumn colours of the larches and grasses on Meikleholm Hill across the valley.

MeikleholmI saw a glitter among some moss beside the path.  At first I thought that it was raindrops on the moss but once again, a closer look showed me a different story.

mossAlthough I must have passed this spot many times, I have never knowingly seen this attempt at Christmas decorations by a moss before.

There was a variety of fungus and lichen to enjoy as I walked out along the path and back by the road.  Some on wood….

fungus and lichen….and some on stone walls
lichenThe local sheep kept an eye on me as I went by.

sheepThe biggest fungus was this roadside beauty near the old manse….

fungus…but the most interesting thing that I saw beside the road was this ghostly hand reaching out from under a hedge.

fungusI can’t find anything like it so I would welcome suggestions as to what it might be.  There was more nearby.

fungusThe Wauchope was quite full but flowing gently as it approached Pool Corner….

Wauchope…and I took my last two pictures on my walk nearby..

peltigera and toadflaxThe lichen on the left is peltigera and Mrs Tootlepedal suggests that the little blue flower on the right might be ivy leaved toadflax.

The walk got me home nicely in time to watch Scotland play Tonga at rugby.  Just to be confusing, they were playing at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock which is a soccer ground.  It wasn’t the most exciting game that I have seen but Scotland played competently and won. These have both been quite rare occurrences in recent years.

I did have a quick look round the garden before I sat down to the rugby match.

Lilian Austin and Special Grandma

We still have roses out, though not quite at their best it must be said.

For my birthday evening meal, Mrs Tootlepedal made me a very nice plate of mince and potatoes and then we went out to the Buccleuch Centre to listen to a concert by the Langholm Town Band, to celebrate the production of a CD of their playing.

I used to play in this brass band a long time ago but there is no question but that they are playing to a far higher standard now than when I was a member and I was very impressed indeed by their work.  Although I was very impressed by their playing and ensemble skills, I found the programme rather dull and sadly lacking in opportunities to tap my feet or smile.  This was a fault in me though as I like brisk marches with rollicking bass solos and overtures from popular operas rather than the more serious modern arrangements and compositions that brass bands tend to play these days.

After yesterday’s failure to provide a flying bird of the day, I have got a double take to make up for it today.

goldfinch and chaffinch

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