Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan. She found this charming table decoration when she went for a cup of coffee while shopping this morning.
According to the old saying, a red sky at night should be a shepherd’s delight, and our hopes for a bright day after yesterday’s good sunset were realised as we woke to the sun shining on the town. The shepherd might have wished for a slightly warmer day though, but it was very pleasant as I walked through to the High Street to do a little shopping after a late breakfast.
The sun never gets very high in the sky at this time of year so there were plenty of shadows about to remind us that it is winter now, even when the sun shines.
The wise old owl in Mary Street has seen a few years go by now.
Having done my High Street shopping, I had passed the owl on my way to the monthly market in the Buccleuch Centre where I purchased fairly local cheese, fresh fish and good sourdough bread. An iced pain au raisin might have been involved too.
When I got home, we had a rather late cup of coffee with our neighbour Margaret, and then I took a moment to look at the birds. Chaffinches and goldfinches were to the fore today.
Mrs Tootlepedal had slow cooked a ham hock in the Ninja Foodi yesterday and she used the stock to make some excellent broth which we enjoyed for our lunch today with slices of the sourdough bread.
Fortified by this nourishing meal, I decided to brave the cold and go for a cycle ride. It was 6°C with a light north wind and in spite of the sunshine, the temperature was dropping. After the successful test ride yesterday, I resolved to do a sporting 26 mile circuit on my electric bike, taking in some hills and good views in the sunshine. You can imagine my deep disappointment when I discovered that although my repaired rear tyre had survived the test ride, I now had a puncture in my front tyre. It seems as though there are thorns on every back road at the moment.
I put my e-bike away and got out my road bike and cycled rather boringly up the thornless main road to the north of the town for ten miles. And then I bicycled back again.
Before I left the garden, I noticed that airline pilots were trying to set up a game of noughts and crosses.
The Ewes valley was looking inviting when I started out . . .
. . . and as I pedalled up it, the hills were bathed in the low sunshine . . .
. .. on both sides of the valley.
The top of the valley looked quite dramatic.
I followed the road to the top of the hill as it squeezed through its narrow gap, and then paused for a look to see how the aerial noughts and crosses game was going. The pilots had made a complete mess of it.
It is only on days like today that we can see just how many aeroplanes are overflying us.
It was so sunny at Mosspaul . . .
. . . that I was almost tempted to go a little further. I am glad that I was sensible as the sun was quite low enough on my return journey . . .
. . . and was just sinking behind the Gates of Eden when I was nearing the end of my ride.
It was also pretty cold by this time, so I was glad to get home for a warming cup of tea. I did have a quick check round the garden before I went in. Special Grandma is not giving up without a struggle.
Then Mrs Tootlepedal and I spent some time on her spreadsheets, a rather thankless task that required reconciling two lists of over 300 names to see what had been missed out and what was to be added. However, we did it, and it was good to get the job done.
It was just as well that I got my cycle ride in today because when I looked at the forecast, it seems that we might be in a for a week of quite frosty nights and fairly chilly days from Monday on. I will have to get my walking boots out.
A second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pie rounded off a satisfactory day.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.