Today’s picture was taken by my brother Andrew recently in Norfolk and shows his wife, Catherine taking the dry route across the ford with her bicycle.
It rained again today. It rained often. It rained heavily. It did stop about 3 o’clock in the afternoon but only after the heaviest downpour of the day.
There was thunder and lightning too. My friend Bruce tells me that after one particularly loud crack, their lights went off and they sat without electricity for a while, imagining that there had been a power cut. When the lights didn’t come back on, they rang the power company who suggested that they might like to look at the trip switch on the fuse board in their house. They looked at it, they pushed it and their power was restored…which all went to show how close to the house the lightning strike had been and how sensitive modern equipment is. They only live a hundred yards from us and we were OK.
I did manage to find a dry moment during the morning to walk up to the town and do a little shopping but mostly I was stuck indoors staring out.
When the rain was at its heaviest, the birds stayed under cover but as soon as it slacked off, they were out in force.
The chaffinches are our most frequent visitors at the moment and they can be seen on the feeder and waiting in the plum tree too.
But the place to see most of them is under the feeder where they congregate in large numbers.
They don’t like the fat balls and they don’t use the peanut feeder like the siskins and tits.
The other big crowd are the sparrows which like the fat balls best but aren’t averse to the seeds…
…if they can find a seat.
At the height of the rainstorm, Mrs Tootlepedal set off rather fearfully for Hoddom and the driving for the disabled but when she got there, the weather was lovely. As she also visited the dump on her way home to get rid of the pyrocantha cuttings, she had a really enjoyable afternoon.
The rain redoubled its efforts after she left.
The lawn was not for mowing today.
And our new swimming pool is taking shape outside the back door.
We had B&B guests today. They are doing the Land’s End to John o’Groats cycle ride and and I was expecting them to arrive like drowned rats but in the event, they arrived dry and smiling having been blown up the road for sixty miles by a strong southerly wind without seeing a drop of rain.
The birds enjoyed the better weather too.
After our visitors were settled in and Mrs Tootlepedal had returned, I got out the (fairly) speedy bike and set off in bright sunshine to see what the roads were like for myself.
When I started, it was sunny…
…and the roads had dried for the most part. There were signs of the heavy rain everywhere. This was just one of the landslips that I saw.
I was intending to go ten miles up the Wauchope road and back but the sunshine soon gave way to menacing looking clouds so I turned left at Wauchope School and headed south. I could still see the sun behind me…
..and hoped to complete a circle and get back to the sunshine before it started to rain again.
Every big dip in the road had a puddle in it and it was a nervous business ploughing through them and hoping that there wasn’t a pothole there too but I made it safely down to the Hollows where I stopped to take a picture of a good deal of water coming down the Esk.
Once again, in spite of a lot of rain, the rivers haven’t been as big as I expected. Many of the culverts under various roads have been blocked but the water seems to have got away well.
From the Hollows, I took the old A7 towards the bike path. There was a small river crossing the road just before the path starts.
I took the bike path so that I could take a picture of the fall of stones across it that constituted a danger to cyclists but some very inconsiderate person had come along and cleared them all away. I wasn’t expecting that.
When I got back to Langholm, I took a picture of the protective barrier that has been put across the gap where the flood washed away a wall on Monday. It is not a dramatic picture but this is a blog of record so I have put it in anyway.
Across the road, there was a lively stream flowing down the Ashley Bank drive and across the road.
The sharp eyed will be able to see a fine waterfall over the wall further along the road.
The trip ended up at 14 miles instead of the twenty that I had hoped for and when I got home, I just had time to photograph a dahlia…
…sign a form to nominate our neighbour for the community Council, have my tea and a shower and then go off to the Buccleuch Centre for a concert.
This was given by Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, a band from New Orleans where they really know what bad weather is like. It was a most enjoyable evening. Here is a list of good things about it:
- New Orleans Jazz music
- No drum solos
- No trombone, just trumpet, clarinet/sax and guitar playing delicate counterpoint.
- No announcements of any sort until the fifth number.
- No one asked us if we were enjoying ourselves.
- An outstanding and original singer with very competent traditional musicians.
- One number started as soon as the previous number finished so we got excellent value for money.
- Two wonderful dancers who danced as a couple to most of the numbers in a very stylish way in a tiny space.
I bought an CD at the end of the show but a quick listen shows that while it is good, it isn’t a patch on the live performance which we heard tonight.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been at work in the morning and I had listened to Paul Simon’s Graceland, a Simon and Garfunkel selection , some Beach Boys and some Beatles, which is a fair selection of popular music but I think that I enjoyed the evening concert most of all the music I heard today. I am not saying that it was the best but there is something about good live music.
There are two flying birds for the price of one today.