Today’s guest picture shows one of the ponds in Parliament Hill Fields. It was taken by my sister Mary who knows a good pond when she sees one.
There was rain in the night but we woke to a quiet, grey and dry day. After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in church and I retired back to bed for some additional snoozing. I got up again in time for her return and we had a cup of coffee. That was the most exciting moment of the morning.
As I was looking for a quiet time, it was lucky that I had a large and extremely complicated Bank Holiday prize crossword to occupy me and I spent many hours during the day looking at it and not putting any answers in.
As far as I can remember, I didn’t do anything requiring actual physical endeavour until I went out into the garden to do a little dead heading and snapping just before four o’clock.
There were no coloured butterflies to be seen but the subdued light made a white butterfly easier to photograph.
While I was out, the sun broke through and one of our blackbirds warmed up its behind on the roof of our neighbour’s shed.
The weather got to be so nice that I went for a walk. I asked Mrs Tootlepedal if she would like to come to but she had been very busy wielding a pick axe in the process of uprooting a large fern so she was more ready for a sit down than a stroll.
The Esk looked very pretty in the sunshine when I walked along Elizabeth Street…
…and once again, there were wagtails on every side.
I walked on over the bridge and sat down on a bench to enjoy a nougat wafer from Pelosi’s ice cream van on the Kilngreen. I was hoping to see some duck or gull action but they were not in a co-operative mood so I walked up the road, stopping to admire a good looking St John’s Wort …
…and then took the track up the hill from Whitshiels.
I kept an eye out for fungi as I walked through the woods…
…and looked at the view when I got out on the hillside.
It is a view that I never tire of looking at.
As well as the hills, there was a big sky to look at too.
I went up the hill past my favourite three trees.
They are hollow, they have holes underneath them, they look old and rickety and they have healthy branches and leaves. They are a model to old people just to keep going in spite of everything.
I kept going.
The open hill was sprinkled with tiny yellow flowers.
In spite of the overnight rain, the going was very good underfoot and when I reached the Newcastleton road, I went straight across and followed a track leading onto Whita. I thought of climbing up to the monument but it seemed a step too far so I contoured round the hill and joined another track leading down to the top of the golf course.
A buzzard circled high above my head…
…and the town lay tucked in among the hills below me.
It was a good day to be out walking, warm but not too hot and nearly windless.
When I got to the golf course, I walked down the Kirk Wynd, hoping to find interesting things to look at and brambles to pick. There was plenty to see but the brambles were far from ripe.
I had a look at the golf course, as I always enjoy the sight of so much carefully mown grass.
There were a couple of golfers about to play the hole so I didn’t linger and pausing for one last look at the view…
…I walked down into the town and made my way home.
Without looking at it very closely, I had bought a fillet of smoked fish yesterday when we were in Carlisle. It was described as River Cobbler and seemed very cheap. When I looked at the label properly today, I found to my amazement that it was a piece of farmed fish imported from Vietnam. I had never heard of this fish before but I find that it is a species of catfish and has been the subject of trade wars between Vietnam and the USA. It has been been passed off as cod in certain fish and chip shops in the UK. Sometimes I feel that the world is passing me by.
I used it in a kedgeree which I made for my tea and while it was edible, it wasn’t something that I will look for again.
The flower of the day is one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s many dahlias….
…and the (just) flying bird is one of the many riverside wagtails.