Today’s guest picture shows a bridge on the Trent and Mersey Canal which was visited today by my brother Andrew.
I started my day with a visit to the doctor to discuss statins. After stopping taking them a few months ago, I was persuaded back onto them and I was hoping that a recent test would show that they were having no effect so that I could stop taking them again.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it, they have proved to be very effective and my cholesterol is now in a happy place. A bit of negotiation has got me onto a reduced intake so both the doctor and I were reasonable content with the outcome.
I took a picture of some of the decorative cobwebs which festoon the suspension bridge on my way to the health centre.
When I got home, I celebrated by knocking out a batch of eight drop scones to share with Sandy when he came round for coffee after filling the Moorland bird feeders. Although they were obviously not up to the standard of the great Dropscone himself, they can’t have been too bad, because we ate them all between us.
When Sandy left, I wandered round the garden for a while. Butterflies were sunning themselves.
Flowers were looking quite cheerful.
And a starling was doing some heavy grooming on the wire at the end of the house.
Then I went in and put a week of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database and as a result found myself pretty well on schedule to keep up with the data miners. Things were going well so I settled down to the crossword and an early lunch.
After lunch I got the fairly speedy bike out.
When I went to get it back from the bike shop yesterday, I purchased a new saddle while I was there. This is always a tricky business as the saddle is a thing that can bring misery to a cycle ride if it doesn’t fit. I had hoped to go for a long ride today as the weather was fine and the wind light but the bike mechanic had impressed upon me the importance of running the new saddle in gently.
I mentally whittled my proposed 60 mile ride down to 40….and then to 30…and finally a bit of good sense kicked in and I went for a modest 20 mile ride up and down the fairly flat road to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back three times.
I started off very gingerly for the first lap but gradually my confidence grew as the saddle gave me no trouble and by the third lap, I was going at a good speed. These are early days though and it will take a second and third ride to find out if the saddle really will suit.
Here is a portrait of the saddle on the fairly speedy bike.
The man in the bike shop was rather shocked that I should consider having a white saddle on a black bike and I agree that it isn’t very stylish. However there are two points to consider – one, he didn’t have a black saddle in this model and two, I will now be able to recognise my bike quite easily in a crowd….and as a bonus, no discerning bike thief would be seen dead on such a mismatch.
When I got off the bike, I rang Sandy and suggested a walk and when he came down, he said he would like to find some fungi. I told him that I knew just the place and we set off to walk the couple of miles to the Becks road and back by Gaskells.
There were fungi.
The track along the fields was a delight.
When we got to the woods, we could hardly move for fungi.
Of every sort.
Even deep in the darkest spots, there was still fungus and mould to be seen.
We didn’t neglect the lichens.
We came out of the other side of the woods into the sunshine…
…and enjoyed the view of Whita.
We couldn’t pass the Auld Stane Brig without a snap.
And there was still more fungus to admire as we came home along gaskells.
We ate a few blackberries to keep our strength up as we walked along and got home in very good spirits, having enjoyed a short autumn walk in perfect weather.
Sandy went off and I had another walk round the garden. My favourite poppy had looked a bit head down and depressed in the morning but the sunny afternoon had perked it up a lot.
The main question though was what would happen when 30 starlings….
…noticed that I had put some pellets in the new feeder.
The answer was starling frenzy….
…followed by a starling shouting match.
Mrs Tootlepedal was away in Edinburgh visiting Matilda so I cooked myself a fillet of haddock for my tea in her absence. When she returned, she had to go out again almost immediately, this time to a WRI meeting and I waited for a short while before Sandy reappeared and we went off to the Archive Centre.
Sandy did some painstaking searching through microfiches for the year 1930 to answer a query from a correspondent while I put another week and a half of the index into the database. After a suitable refreshment in the Eskdale, it was finally time for a little rest.
The flying bird of the day is a horizontal chaffinch.