Today’s picture is another from my sister Mary, taken on the recent Scottish tour. It shows that the sun was shining not so long ago.
It was raining heavily this morning and Dropscone and I decided that cycling was not on the menu. The kitchen made more progress with a flying visit from the electrician on his way to another job. This let the joiners get on and by mid afternoon, they had done all they could do, the electrician had returned and gone again and at last we could get into the kitchen and use it more or less as normal. There is still work to be finished; plastering, painting and some final joinery stuff but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I kept out of the way while this was going on and happily found an interesting crossword in the paper which helped the soggy morning slip by. The rain stopped about midday and I put some of the bits and pieces that we are throwing away as a result of the kitchen and garage clean out into the back of the car.
The heavy rain hadn’t made taking pictures much fun in the morning but at one o’clock, with no van outside the window and only a light drizzle, I had a go.
At least two blue tits are regular visitors now and there have been glimpses of great tits and coal tits too but unlike the blue tits, they are here and gone in a moment.
As you can see, it was pretty gloomy and damp so instead of sitting around moping, I got into the car and discharged three tasks in one go.
I went to Canonbie first to collect a missing ticket for my show entries. Then I headed to the bike shop in Longtown. They had said that they might take my daughter’s old bike, a twenty year old Peugeot in reasonable working order. They looked at it and agreed that it might be some use and I was glad to find a home for it.
I headed on to the council dump where I threw away everything but the kitchen sink. No, that’s a lie, because I did throw away the kitchen sink too. That’s not something you do every day. With the car much lighter, I headed home. I had the camera with me and I had intended to take some scenic pictures on the way but a cloud base of about 300ft put paid to that idea.
Instead, when I got home and found that it was not raining, I went for a walk. I went to see if the herons were still in the field. I was disappointed to find only a single bird on guard.
It looked a bit hunched and grumpy but when it saw me, it stood up straight for the camera…
…stretched its wings…
..and flew off, passing a swallow going in the other direction…
…and settled down in reflective mood beside a pond.
There was some talk a week or so ago of the swallows being ready to go away but there were many still about in the heron’s field today. I took lots of pictures with little success but as usual that hasn’t deterred me from putting one in here.
I was snapping away like mad when I became aware of Langholm’s answer to Bradley Wiggins looming up behind me.
Not only is this man a serious cyclist but he is also the father of our kitchen joiner. I stood with bowed head as he pedalled past.
He told me in passing that he had seen the group of five herons in the field a few times lately. We noticed yesterday that one of the herons seemed detached from the others so perhaps the one I saw today is not a member of the family.
I walked on along the Murtholm road and enjoyed the sight of the Esk running strongly past me.
I would feel a bit nervous living in this house with the river pounding at the wall below. The wall has been there for a long time though.
I took yet another picture upstream from Skippers bridge to show the full river.
In spite of dire weather warnings and some heavy rain, we have escaped the worst and the river has never threatened a real flood yet this year.
I looked back at the bridge as I headed up to the town.
I got home without further excitement and took the opportunity to walk round the garden.
Someone liked the astilbe and hostas yesterday and so I took another picture from a different direction today to try to give a truer idea of their colour. The hostas still look paler than they really are.
When I came back in, I had the pleasure of cooking a proper meal in the new kitchen. Not everything has been moved back in but Mrs Tootlepedal has been very busy finding the best home for things in the new cupboards and drawers. As a result finding the ingredients and utensils for cooking a Spaghetti Bolognese was an adventure in itself. The spag bog wasn’t too bad though.
In the evening, we went to Mike and Alison’s where I enjoyed playing the flute and recorder with Alison as always and Mrs Tootlepedal was fortified after the rigours of the day with a comforting G & T. It was raining again as we walked home.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, probably not singing in the rain.
Note: Even in the rain, the white phlox is so bright that its colour has spilled onto the chaffinch in the picture.