Two rays of sunshine

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3 years ago

Today's guest picture is another from our son Tony taken in sunny East Wemyss.

It was a rather grey morning here with occasional drizzle so it was very lucky that a visit brightened it up a lot. Our son Tony stopped taking pictures in East Wemyss for long enough to come down to Langholm with his partner Marianne and have lunch with his sister and niece. This required a drive of over 100 miles each way so we were very pleased that they was able to come.

Evie was very pleased too and took Marianne out into the garden to show her where to find the flowers.

Tony made himself doubly welcome by mending one of our kitchen chairs before sitting on it to eat his lunch. As he loves to fix things, this was a treat for him as well as for us.

After lunch we went for a walk to the park with Evie. We were dressed suitably for a late summer day in Langholm...

...and it was just as well that we were because we hadn't gone far before it started to rain. By the time that we got to the park, the rain had got heavier and a meeting of the Total Admiration of Evie Society had to be held under a large and sheltering tree.

The rain eased off to a drizzle after a while and we continued our perambulation of the park. stopping under another handy tree when the rain got heavier again for a few minutes. This gave me a chance to take a picture of the church....

...mainly to point out that it is opening again after a long lockdown closure, though there won't be any singing going on.

We were soon able to resume our circular tour and passed some wild flowers as we walked along the riverside path.

Evie had conveniently fallen asleep for her afternoon nap during the walk and when we got to the park bridge, the company split up in the increasingly heavy rain after a meeting of another chapter of the Evie Admiration Society. Mrs Tootlepedal, Marianne and Tony headed home, while Annie and I pushed the snoozing society star down to the riverside again.

I was able to point out a dipper to Annie...

...and she spotted a family of wagtails popping busily along the rocky shore.

Evie was still asleep when we got home and we left Annie gently rocking the pushchair in the front room while the rest us enjoyed a cup of tea and some vigorous discussion in the kitchen. Tony has some very reprehensible views about cyclists but perhaps we shouldn't blame him too much as he has to drive his work van round the busy streets of Edinburgh and city cycle commuters can be a pain.

Evie woke up in time to say goodbye to our visitors as they set off back to East Wemyss. (They sent a message later to say that they had arrived safely.)

I did take a few non family pictures during the day. I checked on the birds before our visitors arrived. There was hot competition for the right to be the fourth siskin on the feeder.

One siskin had learned the benefits of coming out of the shadows as a surprise manoeuvre.

A green finch smiled sunnily.

I also had time to look at the flowers with Evie.

She loves to pick a flower so it is a good thing that there are plenty of calendulas still growing.

I'll have to teach her about dead heading as it is keeping the red poppies going splendidly.

I was struck by how good the astilbes are looking...

...and I always find it hard to pass a clematis without a twitch of the shutter finger.

I cooked some soup for lunch and while it was cooking, I stole a moment to watch a sparrow ignoring a hanger on.

The sparrow looked calmly triumphant when the siskin fell away. Siskin? What siskin?

After our visitors had gone, we were able to watch the last kilometres of toady's mountain stage of the Tour de France. This turned out to be very exciting and I stopped to the end of the stage. Then I put my own cycling gear on and got my bike out.

Needless to say, it promptly started to rain. I waited for a few minutes and when the rain stopped, I set off. Within three minutes, it started to rain again and it got heavier by the minute, but I was wise to it by now and kept my head down and pedalled on. Sure enough, it stopped again after a couple of miles and I continued to the top of Callister... damp and grey conditions but with no rain.

I might not have been quite so keen to run the risk of getting wet again if my legs hadn't been in tip top condition. The six months of steady cycling are paying off and after my short rest, I feel up to pedalling uphill into a wind without crying. The wind was not strong but it was quite a noticeable wind and I see from my computer that I cycled five miles back down to Langholm at over 20mph again. I ended up doing 20 miles, 17 of them in the dry so I can't complain.

Mrs Tootlepedal made us scrambled eggs for our tea and I made semolina and stewed rhubarb for afters, so all in all, it was a very satisfactory day, one firmly entered on the credit side of the great ledger of life....

...except that in the hustle and bustle, I didn't find a very good flying bird of the day. But then you can't have everything. It did fly off soon after I took the picture.

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3 years ago