Looking at Langholm

Today’s picture shows a goldfinch enjoying the morning sunshine. You can see the brisk breeze ruffling his feathers.

goldfinch in sun

We got up very early as Mrs Tootlepedal was going on an embroiderers’ outing to Harrogate and were sad to find that the fireplace was damp after the rain and wind of yesterday.  The leak through the window looked to be curable but water coming through the wall or down the chimney is more of a problem as this was what the recent works were supposed to have cured.  Perhaps if the wall gets a chance to dry out, things may improve.

After Mrs Tootlepedal left, I retired to bed and read a book.  The weather outside was gorgeously sunny but still very windy so I gave the bike the go by once again and contented myself with looking at birds.

As I came back from the corner shop, I noticed this flock of homing pigeons catching the light as they wheeled in the sky:

pigeons

The feeders were busy with the usual suspects.

Chaffinch missile

goldfinch flying

..and one surprise.

starling in prison
I was intrigued that the starling got in and amazed that it got out again

sparrows on the wing

chaffinch aerobatics

I had a light lunch (which might have involved finishing off one of the outstanding cakes) and then went for a walk.  My knees are not at all sound so I tried to pick a walk which was far enough to be interesting but not so far as to hurt.  It’s a delicate balance.  As an aside, my sister Mary told me on the phone today that I might think that I had aches and pains now but I should see what it’s like when I’m seventy five.   I resolved to enjoy my walk.

I went out onto Meikleholm Hill which has the advantage of being close to our house and providing good going underfoot.

Meikleholm Hill

The weather was sunny but not convincing as there were a lot a dark clouds around.

I looked back over the town as I got near the top of the hill.

Looking over Langholm

The great things about the four hills that surround the town is that they are easily accessible,  quite steep and not too high which means that in a very few minutes after leaving home, you have gained quite a lot of height and are provided with excellent views in many directions.

There are quite a few houses with PV solar cells on their roofs in the town now and I passed one on my way onto the hill.  When I reached the top, I could see our local windmills were doing good business in the brisk winds too.  I like the idea of carbon free energy production even if the means of collecting it are not carbon free to make in the first place.

windmills

The views continued.

Esk valley
Looking up Eskdale

A lot of the lower slopes of the hills are covered with trees.

Castle Hill

I followed a relatively new access road which has been put in by the Water Board down through the tree belt to the Bentpath road.

road

From the road it was a short walk home.  I was in the shade of the hillside but out of the wind and as I was dressed for chilly winds, I was pretty well cooked by the time I got home.  I stopped to cool down beside the Scholars’ Field.

Castle Hill from the Scholars' Field

I was visited by my friend Arthur who was seeking some technical help with a computer task and we sat down to have a cup of coffee.  My daughter Annie gave me a very expensive packet of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans for my birthday and I am eking it out for as long as I can make it last by drinking a thimbleful at a time.  We thought it was extremely tasty but somehow you feel it is a bit wasteful to drink something so costly just one time and then it is gone for ever.  By rights you ought to be able to savour it for a long time.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from Harrogate, she showed me a fine looking stack of coloured felts which she had purchased.  She told me that they would meet a need in her life*.

We then went out to the Buccleuch Centre to see an excellent illustrated lecture on Langholm’s past featuring people and places from 150 years ago to the present day.  I thought I caught a glimpse of a blog reading Canadian exile in one of the slides.  Billy and Dave, the presenters, were in fine form and the evening was both instructive and thoroughly amusing.  They gave the work of the Archive Group some warm words which was very pleasing too.  There was a large and attentive audience which quickly corrected any oversights or errors in the commentary.

I shall find out tomorrow whether I walked too far today.

*A long felt want, I presume.

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

8 thoughts on “Looking at Langholm

  1. Thank you for the walk. You are a progressive group of people! We still have so many barriers to alternative power sources. It is too costly for the average person unless the government subsidies are high. As for wind, recently a wind farm in PA has been put on hold until we figure out how many bats will fly into the blades. My son-in-law has a small solar business in Dallas TX and even with his expertise we discovered solar is too expensive for us!

    1. Government subsidies are driving the business but they have just cut them so it will be interesting to see what is going to happen next. Perhaps installation charges will go down to match the drop in expected benefit.

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