Today’s picture is from the archives and shows what the weather was like in Langholm a year ago.
We didn’t get many days like that last December and we haven’t had one like it this December yet. It certainly wasn’t like that today. It was another cold, grey, windy day and Dropscone and I didn’t even think of cycling. This was probably just as well as I seem to have strained a muscle in my ribs somehow. As those you who have strained rib muscles in the past will know, it is not serious but it is a very painful condition and the breakfast porridge was accompanied by some very heavy and theatrical groaning. I had a very light day as a result.
I spent the morning trying to work out what I had done to strain the muscle but the only possibility seems to have been dismounting from my bike which is a bit unfair if that was the cause, considering that I have done it hundreds of times without any damage.
As a result, I had plenty of time to stare out of the window. Unfortunately the fact that there were no birds to be seen only added to my air of despondency. I caught a glimpse of the sparrowhawk again today and I can only suppose that the lack of birds may be down to that. We do have a lot of the neighbours’ cats marauding through the garden which doesn’t help either. As a cyclist, I regard all dogs as likely to try to get you off your bike and as a gardener’s assistant and bird watcher, I regard all cats as potential grubbers up of beds and murderers of birds so that when the great list of pet lovers is compiled, I don’t expect that you will find me in the top ten.
Anyway, finally a bird or two did appear about ten o’clock.
It didn’t come to a feeder though. This blue tit was bolder.
And a single goldfinch came to the niger seed feeder and nibbled occasionally while looking nervously around.
The only birds of which there were more than one about were the blue tits and I counted four of them in a bush by the front door. However, a wait of an hour brought some company.
Since that was the total number, there was very little aerobatics and the light was so gloomy that I wouldn’t have been able to get good pictures even they had been flying all over the place. I sat down to drink coffee and do the crossword. Luckily it was a difficult one and kept me interested for some time. I did notice the arrival of the odd sparrow.
There was a positive rush.
Considering that a month ago we would have at least twenty and sometimes more sparrows every day, I just can’t imagine where they all are now. Perhaps they have found a hawk-less place.
Just before lunch, little coal tit came and carried off a seed.
It was joined by a siskin.
Things looked up after lunch. My ribs hurt a lot less and I got myself organised enough to put a week of the newspaper into the database. Although it had been a windy and wet night, nothing had come through the end wall but I lit a fire to help dry the wall out and sat at the computer quite snugly while Mrs Tootlepedal went out and bought my Christmas present for her. We take a good deal of trouble in this house to ensure that there is no disappointment on Christmas day. Santa’s hand is firmly held.
The afternoon saw the return to the garden of a good quantity of birds and, in the absence of any flowers, there was still quite a bit of colour about.
My evening was enlivened by a phone call from my eldest sister, Susan, who was fairly incensed by a letter from her bank implying that she was now too old now to make any important financial decisions without consulting someone younger. Considering the record of the financial whizzkids over the past few years, perhaps she should write back to make sure that no one in the bank makes any important financial decisions without consulting someone older. I was going to add ‘and wiser’ but almost anyone would be wiser than the people who bankrupted my bank.
This conversation, an excellent plate of mince and tatties and the easing off of the rib pain, all put me in a very good mood by the end of the day.
I should add a note for (new) readers of the blog: This blog is written as a daily diary for me and in particular as a record of all that goes on in our garden and the cycle rides that I undertake. I try to show the passing of the year in plant growth and death and in birds coming and going. If you think that you are seeing far too many pictures of the same old flowers and birds, it is is simply because the same old flowers keep blossoming and the same old birds keep visiting. If the cycle rides are a bit repetitive, it is because there are only four roads out of Langholm. I am pleased and surprised that people read the blog (and even more pleased if they leave the occasional comment) as it makes me enjoy writing it more than if I was just writing it as a record for myself.