A black and white day

Today’s picture is a siskin staring you in the eye


It was a very varied day today. It started with a visit to the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen where I do odd stints during the season. The recent freeze had burst a pipe and Mrs Tootlepedal, Dropscone and I went along to help with the mopping up. Fiona, from the Langholm Initiative, had brought along her sucking up carpet washing machine and we gave that a go for about an hour, taking out a lot of water from the carpet but leaving a lot still there. I am going to go back and put down newspapers to help suck up the moisture and then use the sucker up again but it will be a long job. The carpet is glued to the floor so we can’t take it up. While we were doing this, a sleety blizzard raged around us.

After that, we retired to Wauchope Cottage and had coffee and several slices of an enormous chocolate cake that Dropscone had bought in Hawick when he had had to go and fetch his son who had missed the last bus home. His pain was my gain, as the cake was delicious. By the time we had finished the cake, the snow had stopped and the sun had come out.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I then set out for Carlisle where we did good, sound shopping of every sort. We purchased soft furnishings (Mrs Tootlepedal), excellent goat, sheep and cheddar cheese (Mr Tootlepedal), bedding requirements for visitors (Mrs Tootlepedal) and Christmas presents for seven people (both). On the way home, we visited a garden centre where we purchased mince from the farm shop (guess who) and some fancy bird seed (both) that cost a fortune  and will be thrown on the ground by ungrateful sparrows. It says it will attract nuthatches. We shall see. Altogether, this was an A1 shopping experience and even the traffic wasn’t too bad.

When we got home we were doing this and that when, all in a flash, the lights went off. It was a very local power cut affecting just our immediate neighbourhood. It was not a great surprise, as the lights had been flickering all day. Luckily it didn’t stretch quite as far as the Buccleuch Centre so Mrs Tootlepedal was able to go off to her panto duties, though she had to get ready to go out in the dark.

The pantomime had been a great success last night and she had thoroughly enjoyed herself. The audience got so involved that at times it seemed that the show might never end.

I waited in for our B&B guest to arrive, editing photos on the laptop by candlelight. I wasn’t able to go archiving with Sandy as I usually would on a Thursday because I couldn’t leave the house until the B&B visitor came under the circumstances. In the event, he arrived exactly to the second as the lights came back on so he wondered why the house was full of candles and I was boiling a saucepan on a camping gas stove. I told him we always did that for religious reasons on the third Thursday in December.

I had to reset the central heating but nothing else seemed to have suffered from the power cut so I cooked the mince I bought earlier and had a late tea.

During and after the blizzard in the morning, we got visited by a large number of siskins and I have put a little gallery below.

With mouths shut
A female and a male
And now with mouths open
With a friend

and now for some other birds..

coal tit
A coal tit
A brambling in the sleety snow
The sparrow still doesn't seem any cheerier

The captions are for the benefit of my sister Susan.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “A black and white day

  1. Many thanks to everybody who helped clear the water from the Kilngreen TIC. Much appreciated. I was away walking on Tom Stothart’s Birthday Walk so was unable to make it.

  2. Sorry to hear about the power cut, the flood and the sleet. The bird pictures are stunning.

  3. Thanks so much for naming the birds. I have a folder called Tom’s birds on my desktop to keep them in. Sorry about the power cut but glad the pantomime was able to go ahead!

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