Miserable day

Today’s picture shows a bridge over a local brook crossed by my brother on a recent walk near Banbury.

Sor brook bridge

It was snowing when we woke up this morning but it was insubstantial stuff and although it persisted for an hour or two, it disappeared from the ground as quickly as it had come.  The snow hadn’t discouraged a local predator from stalking its prey.


I don’t know why cat owners can’t feed their own pets properly.

I feared for a robin which was perching nearby…


..but either the cat didn’t see it or it was stalking other prey.

The feeder wasn’t as busy as usual but there was enough action to keep me watching from time to time.

brambling and chaffinch and golfinches
A goldfinch prudently ducks as a chaffinch and brambling approach in close order.

I liked the very old fashioned breaststroke which this brambling uses on its final appraoch.


I also quite like the way that they sometimes look as though they are wearing a jumper that their mum has knitted for them.

During the morning, fellow archivist Nancy came round with the results of some research which she had done for an enquirer through our website.  She very kindly dallied for a moment or two so that I could try out the talk so far on her.  Surprisingly we found that it might need a little tightening up in places.  It would be even more surprising if it didn’t.  As she left, she told me that there was work going on at the bottom of our street.  I took out sandycam to investigate.

There were men with machines.


The machine had some hefty hydraulics on board.


It was using them to help bore a large but very neat hole in the ground.


The holes were to put new taller electricity poles into.


This was all so exciting that I had to go home and have a little sit down.

After lunch, I shot a couple of sitting targets…

It had obviously survived any cat attack


I took advantage of the snow stopping to nip out for a short walk.  I went through the park and up the steps to the top of the Stubholm bank.  It is a steep and rather soggy bank and the trees on it are always likely to fall over.

fallen tree

tree on bank
Could this be the next?

Walking along the road on top of the bank, I took this picture of a tree perched on the edge.

tree on bank

It looks quite safe until you stand beside it and realise just what as steep edge it is on.

Stubholm bank

I walked back along the path by the river side directly below this tree.  It is frequently blocked by little mudslides and falling trees.  This view up one of the little gullies that come down from the top shows some of the wear and tear.


The general sogginess of the bank is well illustrated by these icicles.


In spite of all these perils, I got home quite safely and we set off soon afterwards on a trip to Carlisle.

The purpose of the trip was twofold, first to get some items of grocery shopping that aren’t readily available in Langholm and secondly to go to the pictures.  The shopping went well and we were able to use a voucher for the cinema which one of our sons had given us for a Christmas present.  The film of choice was Les Miserables which Mrs Tootlepedal had seen only a few days ago with a friend.  She said that she enjoyed it even more on a second viewing.  I was looking forward to it because I have enjoyed watching a concert version of the stage show but I didn’t enjoy the film at all.   In my old age I have developed a serious aversion to hand held or pseudo hand held camera (wobbly cam as it is called).  In the director’s view, I presume, it adds realism but in my view it just makes me feel ill.  The director used it nearly all the time in this film. In addition, because the singing was done live, all the songs tended to be sung in close up and I didn’t really take to people shouting in my face.    Having read the book, the plot seemed terribly compressed and without any subtlety so although there were some good moments, the whole thing was a great disappointment to me.  Still the seats were very comfortable, the cinema was warm and Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed herself so three out of four is not bad.

It was snowing lightly as we left Carlisle but again it didn’t come to anything and we got home without inconvenience.  Once there I sat down to eat a late tea and watch Borgen, a Danish political drama about the hard work that has to go into coalition government and enjoyed that thoroughly.  The direction is so calm and the acting so good but understated that the audience is left to work things out for themselves without having the director and actors tell them what to think and feel every second of the show.  When a member of the cast does get worked up, it is as shocking to watch as it would be to see in real life.  I watch very little telly but I would watch more if it was like this.

All in all though, an entertaining day with a flying bird to be seen as usual.  It was angry about something.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

16 thoughts on “Miserable day

    1. Yes. Mrs Tootlepedal is much more tolerant of directors’ idiosyncrasies than I am. Even watching a countryside program tonight made me wince with the longest shot remaining on screen a mere six seconds and the vast majority flicking by in a blur. I have come to like restful things in my relatively old age.

  1. Splendid robin picture. I liked the icicles too. Glad to hear Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed Les Miserables for the second time, though sorry it was a disappointment to you.

  2. Thank you for the wintry walk pictures, the trees do seem to be hanging on for dear life. I thought, like you, that looking at the actors in close up when they were singing was not to my taste at all. I like the music though so enjoyed the film despite it being, like opera, a bit slow at times with too many songs!

  3. do you use hiking poles when you are out and about? with my luck, I would slip on that ground and break my ankle again.. and thank you for the words about Les Mis.. I had read a review about the close-ups and decided I didn’t want to see it, and then last evening my daughter-in-law said how much she liked it and that I should go.. thanks to your review, I will stick to my original thoughts and avoid it..

    1. I don’t but I should. When I have the camera with me though, they would be just one more thing to heave about. I choose my paths as carefully as I can and if I think it is going to be slippery, I use Yaktrax which are very good.

  4. The Stubholm bank series is good.

    Although I was thought it a passing fad I have become reconciled to shaky-cam being one of the standard items in directors’ bag o’ tricks. Fake shaky cam (where they simulate a hand held camera with a steady one by jerking it around) still annoys me.

    1. I am afraid that it shows the director’s unremitting commitment to realism and authenticity. The fashion will pass and serene tranquillity will became the thing (I hope).

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