Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my friend Bruce and taken by his son Kevin, shows that it really has been a bit breezy round here lately.
It was even wetter and windier this morning (as forecast) and I was happy to accept an offer of scones to go with morning coffee. Even Dropscone couldn’t consider golfing on such a foul day.
Before he arrived, I took advantage of a lull in the rain to have a walk down to the river. After all the recent wet weather, I was surprised at how low the water was but there was more than enough to keep a gang of canoeists happy.
I would have stopped to watch them launch their kayaks but it started to rain so I made for home.
The rain was lashing down and the garden had water features that would make Chatsworth envious.
After Dropscone had come and gone, I set about making a ragu for the slow cooker and preparing the spare room for a visit from our daughter Annie, who was due to arrive with Mrs Tootlepedal by train from the south in the early evening.
I had a moment to look out of the window.
As I was plumping up a pillow, something strange caught my attention. It was a glimpse of blue sky. I looked out of the window and to my astonishment I could see the top of a hill.
The blue sky looked a bit temporary….
…but while it was there, I rushed down stairs and put out some pellets.
The jackdaws were on pellet alert.
And arrived in numbers.
I have seen quite a few jackdaws with white or pale patches on their plumage….
…but this one….
…was the whitest yet.
A pigeon took advantage of the moment of calm to come foraging for fallen seed.
While the sun was about, I looked at the seed feeder.
There was a handsome looking greenfinch there. Could it have been related to this scruffy looking object in the plum tree?
It was quite breezy up there.
It was a good moment though for some chaffinches to take in a few rays.
I was hoping that the rain might stay away as I drove to Carlisle for a choir practice after lunch, especially as I was going to pick up Mrs Tootlepedal and Annie from the station after the practice but I was to be disappointed in two respects. First a return of the howling wind and heavy rain made the trip to Carlisle more exciting than I would have wished and secondly, Mrs Tootlepedal and Annie didn’t arrive.
They had got on to their train at Euston on time but then had been thrown off it again because a tree had brought down the power cables north of Preston and no train was getting to Carlisle. Along with many other passengers, they nipped along the road to King’s Cross to try to catch a train to Newcastle instead.
The first train they might have caught was packed to the gunwales so they waited for the next train. It was packed to the gunwales too but some brisk legwork by Annie secured them a seat and they got to Newcastle squashed but safe and sound.
They had to wait there for quite a while to catch a Carlisle train so by this time, I had gone home, eaten a plate of ragu and returned to Carlisle in a sleety blizzard. I couldn’t get into the station forecourt as it was full of buses but I parked elsewhere and walked back to meet the travellers. Fortunately, the blizzard had packed it in and gone home.
The travellers were quite pleased to get into the warm car as the walk back to the car park was quite chilly (it was 1° C) and the train from Newcastle hadn’t been heated.
It was very nice to see them.
I should say that amidst the travel difficulties and the wild weather, I had enjoyed a very good choir practice.
On a point of information, I exchanged some remarks with a railwayman on the platform at Carlisle and among others things he said that people were always complaining that Network Rail should cut down line side trees so this sort of thing wouldn’t happen. “Why didn’t this happen?” he asked me rhetorically. “The environmentalists!” he said, answering his own question.
Those pesky nature lovers have a lot to answer for! Mind you, he didn’t mention that if you cut down all the trees, you might get a lot more landslips. Hm.
The flying bird of the day is that white feathered jackdaw.