Today’s picture, taken today on a rare sunny day in London by my sister Mary on her morning walk, shows the lake at Kenwood House. The bridge in the background is for decorative purposes only and leads nowhere.
It was a foul, wet and windy day at breakfast and I was pleased that I wasn’t hoping to cycle. This was because I had a scheduled trip to the Health Centre for a blood test. Fortunately I turned out to have some and I returned home cheerfully.
I was still a bit below par generally though so when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work, I sank into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee and a good but undemanding book and spent the rest of the morning in pro resting mode…..though of course I did find a quick moment to look out of the window in the rather gloomy conditions. At least the rain had stopped by the time I got the camera in my hand.
The rest must have done me good because after Mrs Tootlepedal had returned and we had had our lunch, we decided to go for a walk. The weather had brightened up considerable but there was a strong and chilly wind still blowing so we looked for a stroll beside a well wooded stream or river. The Tarras seemed to fit the bill and we got into the car and drove down the Claygate road until we came to the river. There we parked the car and set out to go as far as we felt was sensible before returning.
Our walk started through sheltering woods….
…although it was very soggy underfoot and evidence of the weight of snow combined with strong winds could be seen on every side.
We walked safely enough through the debris and were able to enjoy the lush greenness provided by the carpet of moss.
The branches were well covered too.
As always, we were struck by the layers of sedimentary rock where they are exposed by the river.
It is not surprising when you see the dark seams that they are considering an open cast coal mine not far away from here.
Among the pervasive green, there were occasional splashes of colour.
When we had gone for what seemed like quite a long way in the heavy going, we had to decide on our policy. Should we go and and make a circuit, crossing the river upstream and returning by road or should we retrace our steps? The former seemed like hard work and the latter seemed dull so not being afraid of a little hard work, we pressed on, fording swollen streams carefully and enjoying the sunlight when we got out of the woods.
Trees on every side showed the power of the wind, some with recent scars and some showing old wounds.
We finally reached the bridge and turned back towards the car with the welcome firmness of tarmac under our feet. Now we were exposed and walking into the strong wind. To make things worse, it started to rain but then, to make things better, it stopped and the sun came out again. We pottered on, passing a strangely quiet moorland feeding station with only two birds in sight and finally reached the last lap, the hill back down to the river.
I was tempted by a tree/gate combination with additional sheep. It looked good on the camera but when I got it home I found it mostly featured some of the ubiquitous power cables.
Dash. I spend a little time making them disappear.
It’s a tedious business and to do it really well takes ages so this will have to do. Another tree caught my eye as we walked down the hill.
The arrangement of branches looks randomly higgledy-piggledy but it must have seemed a good idea to the tree at the time.
We were pleased when we arrived back at the car after what seemed like a marathon (well, at least five miles) with the heavy going in the woods and a steep hill and a strong wind on the return. We wasted little time in getting home for a revivifying cup of tea and a biscuit. Mike Tinker joined us for a cup and we considered how far the walk had been, I went and got a map and sadly the Ordnance Survey, who had produced the map, had obviously made a big mistake as our five mile walk only seemed to be three and a half miles when measured on the map. Shoddy work.
All the same, we had enjoyed it a lot and although it wasn’t a great photographic opportunity, it had certainly been very easy on the eye and soul and surprisingly fresh, green and warm while we were on the river banks. As a bonus, there was more than one snowdrop now out in the garden when we arrived back.
In the evening, I went to the Archive Centre with Jean and Sandy where we worked away as usual., Dropscone dropped in to say farewell as he is going to France with three of his children tomorrow for a week’s holiday. I may say that he is going off with no thought of the need of a certain person for the regular treacle scone with his coffee on Friday. In spite of that, I hope he has a good time.
Our after work refreshment at the Douglas was enhanced by the appearance of a new and very nice beer from Lancashire. For some reason, the ability of the English to brew a huge range of really tasty and drinkable bitter beers has never been transferred to the Scots. Perhaps the Presbyterian distaste for pleasure has cramped the Scottish brewers’ style. Or it may be the weather. Or maybe they just don’t like good beer.
A chaffinch obliged as usual though it was only just still flying when I caught it.