Today’s picture, sent by Joyce from Canada, gives a vivid impression of her current weather conditions. She thinks we ought to stop moaning about a little drop of rain.
We had a much better day here and not before time. It hardly rained at all and from time to time it was possible to catch a glimpse of a patch of blue sky. On the minus side there was an extremely strong wind in the morning.
Capturing bird pictures was a lot easier today.
While Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I took advantage of the slightly better weather to catch a chaffinch or two in flight…..
…or indeed, six or seven….
I was as happy as a sandboy.
I thought about this phrase after I had written it and realised that not only didn’t I know why a sandboy should be happy but I also didn’t even know what a sandboy is or was. They turn out to be the people who took buckets of sand for the floor round to public houses in spit and sawdust times and they were happy because they had been rewarded for their labour with a drink. I was happy but sober so I probably wasn’t as happy as a sandboy. I was happy though.
Not all the birds were in the air.
After lunch, I took advantage of the better day to go for a walk. Mrs Tootlepedal gave me a lift as far as the Co-op and then I ventured to the Round House before coming home by the Murtholm. Although I like Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden a lot, I am sometimes envious of people who live on the edge of town because of the greater variety of birds that visit their feeder. I saw a nuthatch on a feeder near Skippers Bridge but it flew off into a bush as soon as it saw my camera.
I had to make do with a great tit which was more amenable to being photographed.
A dripping wall beside the A7 showed that although it was a dry day, it hadn’t been dry for long.
The winter does have the advatnage of improving the views of bridges as the leaves disappear from the trees.
I was intending to walk a little further than I did but it didn’t take much clambering up a hillside to make me turn for home. Nevertheless, I enjoyed taking a few pictures, even though my outing was brief.
When I got to the Round House, a rare shaft of sunlight picked out Meikleholm Hill.
And the sun was still out as I walked back down through the wood.
As I went home along the Murtholm, I took this picture of Murtholm Farm. The estate had obviously laid its hand on a job lot of maroon paint at one time as you can see facing boards painted in this colour all around the area. The sun on the hill behind had already disappeared.
I was able to admire the many huge puddles left by the summer rain both in the fields….
…and in the woods.
I took the last two pictures when I reached the Buccleuch Park at the end of my walk. They show the wall beside the Park Brig and a patch of moss on it.
When I got home, I didn’t have to wait long before Alistair and Clare arrived for a welcome visit. Clare and I made tea cakes while Alistair nursed an injured elbow and Mrs Tootlepedal cooked some spaghetti for tea.
After tea, we played a traditional round of Oh Hell (Clare won easily) and ate a toasted tea cake or two. Oh Hell goes by a variety of names and a website tells me that it can also be called Blackout, Blob, Nomination Whist, Elevator (l’Ascenseur in France), Bust and Up and Down the River (in Australia and New Zealand), Boerenbridge or 10 op en neer in the Netherlands and German Bridge in Hong Kong. Under any name it is a great game.
Tomorrow, being Christmas Eve, it will be time to put the Christmas tree up and decorate the room. The decorations and tree will stay up until Twelfth Night, bringing a hint of cheer to the darkest days of the year.
I kept one brambling back to star as flying bird of the day.