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Today’s guest post comes from Mary Jo in Canada.  She went to the west coast and found the traffic queuing up in Vancouver harbour.

vancouver harbour

I had a day indoors today to keep resting my foot and was assisted in this by a series of showers throughout the day and a brisk and chilly wind.  If it had been a kinder day, I might have ventured out on my slow bike for a virtual walk.

Dropscone arrived on his bike when he brought treacle scones to go with our coffees.  In keeping with the rest of the day, it rained heavily while we were sipping and chatting but the sun came out as he cycled home.

He has just been on a short break to the coast where he hoped to do some sightseeing and play golf but as he chose to have his holiday while storm Gareth was on the go, he didn’t get much of either.

When  he left, I had a quick garden outing but nothing much was happening there so I took a token daffodil picture…

two daffodils

…and reflected that if it is daffodils that you want to see, then Carlisle is the place to go as the city fathers really love a good display of daffs.

I saw this bed under the city walls when I went to park my car before the concert yesterday.

sdr

The rain gauge is registering three and a half inches for the week so far.  It feels as though there has been more rain than that and the ground is getting quite soggy.

The birds were busy again….

lots of chaffinches

…and there always seemed to be a chaffinch looking for a perch.

two quizzical chaffinches

Goldfinches were active too.

busy goldfinches

I spent some useful time finalising my picture framing for the forthcoming exhibition and tried not to change my mind more than three times every minute on which pictures to include.

I didn’t spend too much time just sitting around except for a time out to watch the Gold Cup from Cheltenham.  I practised some music for church and choirs and put two weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database so I was feeling quite virtuous even if I was a little bored.

I was still sitting at the computer and I had made up my mind to poke my nose out of doors when a strange rattling noise made me look up.  It was a dramatic hailstorm which covered the lawn in minutes and then took not much longer to melt away again.

hail covered lawn

I sat back down at the computer.  A bright sunny moment made me look up again and think of stretching my legs but when I got to the back door, I discovered that it was pouring with rain while the sun shone….

heavy rain

…and since rain and sun means one thing, I popped upstairs and looked out of the back window.

Someone in Henry Street was getting rich.

rainbow over henry street

Mrs Tootlepedal is enjoying the quiet life in the south while visiting her mother but she made the mistake of watching the news and had to ring me up just to shout at someone.  I sympathised.  It was not a good day for news.

The forecast for tomorrow shows even more rain on the way so I may be forced to stay in and watch Scotland get a battering from England on the rugby field.  We have so many injuries that we may soon run out of players altogether.

One of those intent chaffinches is the flying bird of  the day.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture shows the Cave of Drac on Majorca.  Dropscone visited it while on holiday on the island.  He got to listen to a concert while he was there.

majorca cave

We had to agree with T S Eliot today.  The weather was very cruel.  If I went out on my bicycle, it rained and if Mrs Tootlepedal hung out the washing it rained and if we left the washing out in the hope that it would dry after the shower had passed, it rained again just as we were thinking of getting it in.

And then when it had got fed up with raining, it started to hail very heavily.

Finally, when  all hope was lost we got this….

rainbow

…followed by a calm and beautiful evening, unfortunately too late to be of practical use to anyone.

Under the circumstances, Mrs Tootlepedal did an amazing amount of gardening, well wrapped against the cruel wind and I at least got a few miles in on the slow bike before the combination of wind and rain got so discouraging that I packed it in.

The weather made sure it was a rather itty-bitty day but I did find a sunny moment to have another go at the violets.

violet

They require a good deal of crouching which is not my strongest point.

P1090320

Even on a cold and soggy day, Mrs Tootlepedal’s heart is lifted by tulips….

tulips

…and as they are coming out all over the garden, she should find some consolation in the days to come.

tulips

The daffodils give me  a lot of pleasure and here is the daffodil of the day.

daffodil

And I think that this is definitely a colourful corner and I hope that there will be many more to come.

colourful corner

I didn’t take any pictures on my cycle ride as I had to have a rain cape on and every time that I thought of getting at the camera out from underneath it, it started to rain again.

The battle against the wind left me feeling my age a bit and so I had a gentle time for the rest of the day, with a short snooze on my bed included.

I did manage to keep an eye on the birds though and noted that some but not all of the siskins were back.

siskins

Male and female

It was their turn to queue up for the feeder…

siskins

…and they defended their position vigorously when they got there.

siskins

They were not immune from outside attack themselves though.

goldfinch and siskin

Once again, redpolls maintained an observer status.

redpoll

It is not just their heads which are red at the moment. a sign of the mating season I believe.

The weather improved enough for me to be able to walk dryshod to my Langholm Sings choir practice, the last regular practice before our concert on Saturday, though we will have a go with the orchestra in the afternoon before the show.

We worked through the whole programme with the result that we got a lot of enjoyable singing in.  We are doing mostly familiar material and it is gratifying to find that some things which I found very hard to get right a few years ago seem miraculously to have got easier.  You are never too old to learn.

The flying bird of the day is  one of the redpolls.

flying redpoll

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Gavin’s Spanish holiday where he came across this chap.  Hard to know what he is thinking.

IMG_5854

We had a lovely day here, warm with light winds.  I will say that again: We had a lovely day here, warm with light winds.

There was an article in my newspaper this morning pointing out that this has been the coldest spring for 30 years and that it is likely to continue to be cold until June.   You can see why everyone thought that today was so special.

It was a bit unfortunate then that I had to spend quite a bit of time making sure that everything would be ready for the return of Mrs Tootlepedal.  This involved brushing, sweeping, hoovering, dusting, cooking and ironing so I was kept quite busy.

Mike Tinker popped in to say that he had seen a pair of goosanders at the Langholm Bridge so as soon as I had finished ironing a couple of shirts, I went out to see if I could see them.  Unfortunately but predictably, they had moved on.  (It takes me quite a time to iron a couple of shirts.)  I snapped a pair of oyster catchers instead….

oyster catchers

..and came home.

I had time for a walk round the garden.  The tadpoles were showing definite signs of life….

frog and tadpoles

…and once again, I found a frog in the pond.

I am going to try to take a picture of a daffodil of the day for a while.  Here is today’s effort.

daffodil

There are peonies growing so fast that that they blurred the shot.

peonies

And there was a good number of bees buzzing about.  Unfortunately they were mostly interested in the hellebores and as the hellebores’ heads hang down, it was hard to get a picture of the bees visiting.

bee on hellebore

Spot the bee.  There is one in each frame.

I am very happy to see that the redpolls are still coming and there were more than two today.

edpoll

The feeders were busy….

chaffinch approaching feeder

…but so was I so I didn’t get many shots.

I had time for a short cycle ride after an early lunch and I was able to discard a layer or two in the sunshine and wear mitts instead of gloves.  This was very welcome but it didn’t make me pedal any faster.

I made a short diversion to look at the alder catkins….

alder catkiner

An interesting shape but still no females flowers to be seen.

…and enjoy the rippling of the little burn beside the tree.

arrisgill  water

I had a much better view from the top of Callister than I had had on my last ride and I have no doubt that readers will be as surprised as I was to see that the turbines at Minsca were not turning, a very rare situation.

minsca windfarm

It was even odder than usual because the wind turbines on the Langholm side of the hill had been going round.  Some freak of land shape must have directed the wind in one way and not the other because there was no breath of wind on my cheek when I took the picture above but after noting a fine lichen on a nearby wall…

lichen on wall

…and being mightily impressed by the clouds behind Langholm…

clouds over callister

…I found a light but distinctly helpful wind behind me as I cycled down Callister and back home…

celandine

…passing turbines that were turning and this lesser celandine on my way.

I had time for a shower and a final look around before I went to Carlisle to pick up Mrs Tootlepedal from the station.  She had come up from London in the company of my stepmother, Patricia who is visiting us for a few days.  The weather had been horrible in London so they were very pleased to find the sun shining in Carlisle.

We hadn’t been in the house for long before it started to rain rather unexpectedly.  However, it was very nice to see that the weather gods were only using the rain to provide a high quality welcome home for Mrs Tootlepedal.

rainbow

Mutter, mutter mutter, “Those telephone wires always spoiling a picture,” mutter, mutter, mutter.

rainbow

Ah, that’s better.

The rain didn’t last long and I took a moment to check the feeders before we had our tea.

greenfinch

After our evening meal, Patricia, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a gentle and pleasant walk along the river in the gloaming.  Rather annoyingly,  two goosanders swam past us, safe in the knowledge that the light was far too poor now for photography.

The flying bird of the day, in the nick of time, was that greenfinch I saw before tea.

flying greenfinch

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is a glimpse of the Regent Canal at Camden, kindly sent to me by my sister Mary.

Regent's canal at Camden Town

We had been threatened by heavy rain and gales in the morning, courtesy of storm Dylan but once again we got off very lightly with no more than a stiff breeze and no rain at all when we got up.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I were able to cycle off to sing in the church choir after breakfast with no danger of being blown off our bikes or getting soaked.

We got back from church in time to see a robin…

robin

….and welcome our last visitor of 2017, the recorder playing, choir singing, container lady and good friend, Sue.

Mrs Tootlepedal had made fish pie and there was plenty of cheese about so we had a nourishing lunch and from time to time, we looked out of the window at a flock of goldfinches which had come to the feeder.

goldfinches

Every perch on both feeders was taken by goldfinches and more waited their turn.

goldfinches

The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and it was indeed charming to see so many in our garden.

Although we had been promised rain in the morning and a dry afternoon, it started to rain quite heavily while we ate our lunch….

blackbird

…and things dudn’t look promising as far as a walk went at all.

We had just settled down in the sitting room after the meal, ready to spend an hour or so in quiet conversation, when I spotted a ray of sunshine.

We leapt up and looked for boots.  Sue’s were in her car and while she was outside fetching them, she saw a wonderful rainbow.   I grabbed a camera and went into the garden.

rainbow

The sunshine was fleeting though and by the time that we had put our boots on, the sun and the rainbow had gone.

Still, we had our boots and coats on so we set off for the walk, more in hope than expectation of keeping dry.

It did seem as if it was raining as we went through the park but it was probably just water dripping off the trees.

dripping needles

And when we got into open country, the rain had gone and we did the rest of our walk in breezy but dry conditions.

My daughter Annie has given me a book on moss for Christmas so I will have to pay more attention to moss in 2018.  There is plenty about.

mossy wall

When you walk with different people, you see different things and I would have passed two stones without a second glance but Mrs Tootlepedal, who likes the history contained in rocks, thought them interesting enough to stop and examine them.

stones

Sue liked the colour combination of the hawthorn berries and the tree lichens beside the track.

haws and lichen

My camera didn’t do it justice.

I took the next picture to reassure doubters that there is indeed intelligent life on the earth.

two wise women

It was pausing to enjoy the view as we climbed up Warbla.

The view when we got to the top was sombre and although there were a few gaps in the clouds, the sun never found one to shine through.

gloomy view of Langholm

Proof that we made the summit.

Warbla with women

I took this picture of the town bridge, a mile away and on a very gloomy day just to impress Sue with the abilities of the Lumix.  She was impressed.  It is not cropped.

bridge

Sue has been studying lichens at her plant classes so naturally we stopped to look at the park wall on our way home.

lichen

And as we walked round the garden when we got back, I realised that I hadn’t taken a tree picture on the walk and looked at our walnut tree.

walnut tree

There was still a little light left in the west and Sue decided to make the most of it by heading home before it got dark.

We had been more than pleased both to see her and to get a walk in and we would have been thoroughly delighted with the visit even if she hadn’t brought some very tasty home made biscuits with her.

Alison and Mike had brought biscuits with them when they visited us on Friday so the end of the year has been very well be-biscuited.  These are the sort of friends you want.

Once again it was generally too gloomy for flying birds but the burst of sunshine which brought the rainbow also brought a very fine perching starling of the day.

starling

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the patient readers who have ploughed through another year of these posts and wish you all a very happy new year.   Special thanks goes to those who have sent me guest pictures (keep them coming) and those who have been kind enough to offer the comments on the posts which are always appreciated.

Thank you and good night.

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie.  She is working hard in Zurich at the moment but found time to admire this trio of trees ageing differentially.

Zurich trees

Yesterday we had a sunny morning and a grey afternoon (and by the time that we went to bed, the inevitable rain had returned).  Today we had a grey and drizzly morning which was extremely depressing but by the afternoon, the clouds had broken and a cheerful sun appeared.

As a result, we spent a quiet morning.  Mrs Tootlepedal engaged in domestic tasks while I went off to the producers’ market and made some judicious purchases of fish, honey and a variety of beef, lamb and venison for slow cooked stews over the next month.

To hold my purchases, I had taken along a very stout store bag which Mary Jo from Manitoba had given to us when we met in London and I was quite surprised when a lady at the venison stall said, “I know where that comes from.”  And even more surprised when it turned out that she did know where it came from as she had spent time in Canada and in Manitoba itself.  It’s a small world, as they say.

I put the bad weather to good use when I got home by practising choir songs and putting another one into the computer.  Because I don’t play the piano, the computer gives me a lot of help when I meet a new song.

We had a good lunch and then, as the day had brightened, we went out into the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal set about improving her new path and I did some dead heading and shredding before I got my camera out.

bees on dahlia

The honey lady at the producers’ market had told me that the bees are very hungry at the moment and they were tucking in at the dahlias as soon as the sun came out.

The poppies and cornflowers were quieter.

poppy and cornflower

The absence of really cold mornings has allowed the cream coloured potentilla in the garden to keep flowering and has encouraged the Ooh La La Clematis to have a second go.

clematis and potentilla

A butterfly was to be seen clinging to the back of a dahlia, presumably to get some sun on its wings.

red admiral

It was looking in good condition

The weather seemed to be set fair so I got my cycling gear on and set off up the Wauchope road on the fairly speedy bike.

My confidence in the steady state of the weather turned out to be misplaced and I soon found myself pedalling through a curtain of drizzle.  There was still plenty of sunshine about though and I had the wit to stop and look behind me.

rainbow over wauchopedale

The rain subsided and I pedalled on until I got to Wauchope Schoolhouse where I considered my options.  I had planned to do a triple Cleughfoot recycling route and the weather looking back to Langholm appeared fair enough…

Wauchope Schoolhouse looking east

…but behind Cleughfoot things looked very threatening.

black clouds

I decided to risk sticking to my plan and pedalled as  fast as I could uphill and into the wind towards the black clouds, stopping briefly to admire a combination of sloes and haws….

sloes and haws

…before turning at the top of the road and whizzing back downhill and downwind as fast as I could, hoping to outrun any rain.

The sloe photo opportunity proved my downfall though as I was caught by the shower and had to stop to put my rain jacket on to protect my camera.  Still, it was only just the edge of the rain and I was soon back in sunshine and when I got to Langholm, I stopped in our garden where Mrs Tootlepedal said it had hardly rained at all.

I decided to let the shower get well past before going up the road again and this gave me a chance to admire the nasturtiums and calendula at the end of the drive….

nasturtiums and calendula

…and an unusually dark solo nasturtium flower beside the new path.

nasturtium

The sedum shone so brightly…

sedum

…that it seemed to be giving me the all clear so I set off on my second lap.  In spite of some gloomy looking clouds, it stayed dry and I was enjoying myself when I went over a slight bump in the road and my water bottle fell out of its cage.

I had to stop and retrieve the bottle from the verge and when I realised that I was within a few yards of my favourite cascade, I took this as a sign and clambered down the bank to have a look.

Wauchope cascade

There was not as much water going down the river as I had expected but it is still a lovely spot.

Because I had been delayed by the rain, I was a bit behind schedule so I abandoned the third repetition and only did enough to bring up twenty miles.  I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine to go for a walk so I got changed quickly and set off to walk round the Becks before the sun went down.

Mrs Tootlepedal, who had done a hard couple of hours work on the path, thought that a cup of tea was a better option so I went by myself.

The difference between the miserable morning and the sunlit late afternoon was chalk and cheese.

Whita Hill

It was a pleasure to be out and about.

Becks track

Warbla

I walked down through the woods and across the Becks Burn, keeping an eye for fungus in dark places.  I saw this crop of tiny fungi on a dead branch.

Becks fungi

They were smaller than my fingernail

I was pleased to come out into the sunshine though as it was muddy underfoot in the woods and there were many opportunities to put a foot wrong and end in an undignified position.

As I walked down the hill towards the Wauchope road, the Auld Stane Brig caught the last of the sunshine.

Auld Stane Brig

I was very surprised to see an umbellifer in flower as I walked along the road, but bearing in mind the hunger of the bees, I was less surprised to see that they had spotted it too.

umbellifer with bees

The bee keeping lady told me that the bees are waiting for the ivy flowers to come out to provide them with a last big feed before shutting down for winter.

Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t really approve of garden owners who let their plants impinge on the public highway but there can’t be any objection when it is a magnificent fuchsia like this one.

fuchsia

There was just enough light left when I got home to let me enjoy a last look at the spiky dahlias.

spiky dahlias

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to volunteer at a concert in the Buccleuch Centre and I sat down and watched Strictly Come Dancing and admired the relentless energy of the professional dancers.

I am hoping that the weather is kind and that it will let me out for a morning ride tomorrow.  A ride tomorrow would make this a good week for cycling and go some way to making up for my poor efforts in September.

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I stole today’s fine guest picture from Sandy without asking him so I hope he is not cross.  I used it because it shows the view across the Lothians towards the Forth and you can just see where we are staying in the background on the far shore.

View from Traprain Law

We woke to strong winds and pounding rain but by the time that we had had our coffee, the rain had largely stopped so Alistair and Matilda and I were able to have to have a walk round the town in search of a shop selling towels, as our cottage was rather under-supplied with these.

We found some in the end in an Aladdin’s cave of a little shop called This and That.  It certainly had this…and that…and quite a lot else besides.

The sun broke through the clouds and with Matilda resting after her walk, there was time for me to get the slow bike out of the car and test the back roads of Fife.  I didn’t think that I had done justice to the shell decoration on the house near the car park so I had another go today.  It is very striking.

Anstruther shell house

I was soon pedalling along out of the town.  The countryside is certainly different from ours.

Fife

Not a sheep in sight.

It started to rain soon after I took the shot above but the brisk wind soon moved the clouds along and the rest of the trip was fine and dry.

My target was a test visit to a castle and garden to see if it seemed like the sort of place that Mrs Tootlepedal might like to visit.

Kellie Castle

The castle looked fine enough but of more interest was the prospect of a large walled garden to roam round.  Another visit looked like a good idea.

I made my expedition into a 14 mile circular tour and there was plenty to see as I pedalled along.

alpaca and signpost

The alpacas are no longer a surprise but the signpost certainly was.

flowers and loch

Kilconquhar Loch was dazzling in the sunshine.

The fact that every farm that I passed seemed to have its own windmill was rather ominous and on this day at least, they were all earning their corn, as there was a brisk wind that made the outward journey a slog but the last few miles back home, a breeze.

I got home in time to join Matilda for lunch.  She had been to the beach with Mrs Tootlepedal and was in a very cheerful mood.

After lunch, it was time for Matilda’s siesta so I took Mrs Tootlepedal off in the car to visit the walled garden at Kellie Castle.

The garden is just under an acre and looks larger.  It was full of interest  including a very bright blue comfrey covered with bees, a huge garden bench and a busy thrush collecting worms.

Kellie Castle garden

Although it was very early in the season, the gardens were very beautiful.

Kellie Castle garden

Kellie Castle garden

Kellie Castle garden

 Kellie Castle garden

The castle and garden are in the care of the National Trust for Scotland and we chatted to one of the gardeners who was busy planting some vegetables out.  She told us that it was maintained by two and a half professional gardeners.  As it is organic, it requires a huge amount of work and they have a great team of volunteers to help them.

The day was never without a shower or a threat of a shower and it rained when we started to talk to the gardener but it had passed by the time that we had finished.

The castle looked good as we left it and you wouldn’t know that it was semi derelict and being used as a farm barn 140 years ago.

Kellie Castle

Matilda was up and about when we got back so we set out to walk to a good beach that we had spotted on our walk to Pittenweem on Sunday.  Alistair and Clare came with us and left us on the beach while they walked along the coastal path.

The beach was looking at its best.

Anstruther beach

The waves were just at Matilda’s height.

Anstruther beach

Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda were far down the beach…

Anstruther beach

…when Al and Clare came back from their walk having had enough of being blasted by the very brisk wind.

We were just cursing a rather savage outbreak of rain on the walk back to the cottage when the sun came out and Mrs Tootlepedal asked, “Where’s the rainbow?”

It was over there, just above some roofs.

anstruther rainbow

It was the mother and father of all rainbows and we hurried to get a better view of it.  A gull was being brained by one end of the bow….

anstruther rainbow

…and will now presumably be the gull that lays the golden eggs.  Very sadly, since ot was a superb double rainbow, I didn’t quite have the camera or the position to make the most of it photographically…

anstruther rainbow

…but the sight of it will stay in my mind for some time.

We were all very tired when we got back (nice beach but too far to walk to again) and we perked ourselves up with a fish and chip supper.

The day had started gloomily but ended brilliantly as far as the weather went and I took a picture at each end of the day to show the difference.

am and pm anstruther

The flying bird of the day is yet another gull.

flying gull

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Today’s guest picture is the last from Tom’s wild life adventures in South Africa.

lionsWe had another late start today but it didn’t matter much because it was miserable, wet and nasty morning, not fit for anything other than sitting over the breakfast table and doing the crossword.  We managed to get breakfast finished in time for me to welcome Dropscone for coffee.

I had ground some coffee beans a few days ago for a friend who had bought beans instead of ground coffee by mistake  and I had lent him a handy tin to keep the ground coffee fresh.  He was so impressed by my little coffee grinder and the prospect of endlessly freshly ground coffee  that he went out and bought himself a (better) grinder and yesterday he gave me back my tin with some of his own ground coffee in it.  Dropscone and I tested it out and found it very good.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set about sawing up a couple of the apple tree branches.  If we take our time and don’t jigger ourselves, we will get the whole tree sawed up and into the log pile before too long.

I took a few pictures in spite of the rain.

jackdaw with pink pellet

The pink pellets are still pulling them in.

chaffinch

goldfinch and chaffinch

A goldfinch and chaffinch exchange views on the value of deficit reduction at the expense of the poor. (They are against it.)

After lunch (lentil soup), the day took a turn for the better and a little blue sky appeared…and a little blue tit as well…

blue tit…so I took a walk round the garden to see if there were still some flowers about.

nerine, clematis and salvia

Nerine, clematis and salvia laugh in the face of raindrops

marigold and poppy

Marigold and poppy look at things differently

Walking across the little bridge over our pond, I saw a streak of green between the planks which I took to be moss…I was wrong.

lichenThe hint of blue sky tempted Mrs Tootlepedal and me to get on our cycling gear but even as we were pulling on the leggings, it started to rain.  It was one of those days when the weather was unreliable because by the time we had our shoes on, it had stopped again so we set off up the Wauchope road.

We found ourselves pedalling along a river of sunshine…

Wauchope road…between banks of grey and threatening clouds….

cloudy windmills…and by the time we got to Wauchope schoolhouse, Mrs Tootlepedal voted for a quick return home before we got soaked.

The river of sunshine got narrower as we pedalled home….

wauchope road…until it closed up entirely…

rainbow…but it opened up a bit as we hit Caroline Street….

Caroline St rainbow….and I can confirm that the happy householder at 37 is the proud owner of a crock of gold.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had enough of this uncertainty and stopped cycling but I looked at the now blue sky, picked up Pocketcam and went back up the road.

You can see why I might have been tempted to risk a downpour.

Pool corner

Looking back at Pool Corner as I left the town.

I dropped in on my favourite cascade…

Wauchope cascade….and was pedalling happily up the road with a few miles in mind and enjoying the sunshine…

Wauchope road…until I got to the top of the hill past Wauchope School where massive grey clouds sent me scuttering back home.  I was putting my bike in the garage when the rain started.

It didn’t take long until the sun came out again though and I popped down to the suspension bridge to see how things looked there in the evening sun.

riverside treesMrs Tootlepedal looked at my picture when I got back and remarked that it was a pity about the telephone pole.

It was a pity…

riverside trees…so I disappeared it.

In the evening, we drove down to Canonbie to attend a performance by the Border Strathspey and Reel Society in Canonbie Church.

This is a group of musicians who keep alive traditional Scottish dance music.  There were about 25 of them tonight, mostly fiddlers but with an accordion, double bass, guitar, drums and keyboard players to add some depth to the sound.  As well as reels and strathspeys, they played jigs, marches and slow airs.  They were pretty good and a pleasure to listen to and they had an excellent local singer as one of their guest soloists.  By coincidence she sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as part of her program.

The concert would have been unalloyed joy had the first half not gone on for an hour and a quarter with the second half looking to be just as long.  I was beginning to feel like Mr Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (“You have delighted us long enough.”) but fortunately the concert organiser had some strong words with the group at half time and the second half was pruned sufficiently so that we got out after two and a quarter hours.   It was good to see a group so proud of their own work that they thought that a three hour concert would be needed to show it off but you can have too much of a good thing…..

…especially as I still had the pictures to prepare for posting and the blog to write when I got home.

Luckily the clocks go back tonight so a late bedtime won’t matter so much.

The flying bird of the day is another jackdaw with some white markings.

flying jackdaw

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