Today’s picture, sent from NZ by my brother Andrew, shows my sister-in-law Catherine sitting beside a boat that was probably the most famous vessel in the world in 1985.
Of course it is summer in NZ but far from that over here. We had a typical winter’s day with a brisk wind and plenty of sleet and rain.
My sister Susan and Mrs Tootlepedal went off to church in the car because it was so miserable outside. It didn’t stop the birds being busy though. They didn’t seem to known that it was Sunday and behaved in a very pushy manner.
As you can see, the sleet was quite heavy but it didn’t turn to snow and by lunchtime, it had taken a break.
The light rain tempted us out for that traditional pastime for a Sunday after lunch, a short family walk. In search of a bit of shelter from the elements, we drove down to the Hollows and walked along the old A7. The rain had stopped by the time we started and being well protected from any wind, our walk was pleasant enough.
The woods here are quite open and since almost everything is covered in moss or ferns, this area has a green feel even in the deepest winter. The retaining wall on the left of the road has a wonderful variety of things growing on and out of it and I liked the little puffs of a bright green moss which look like a virulent sponge.
We pottered along the road for a while and then turned up the track to the Fairy Loup so that I could enjoy a decent waterfall after my failure to find a good one with Sandy on Wednesday.
There was a fair amount of water going down the stream.
We didn’t linger as it was only 2° and even sheltered from the wind, we could feel the cold. For one reason or another (persistent wet weather, high winds, poor soil and forestry working among the suspects) the banks of the Byre Burn were strewn with fallen trees and scarred with landslips all the way along our walk.
We stopped to lean over the bridge when we got back to the old A7.
As we walked back to the car, we could hear the sound of a chainsaw. Someone was working hard on the opposite bank of the river.
I could just see the the Hollows Bridge up river through the ever present branches of the trees lining the bank on our side.
We got home neatly in time for me to watch England play Ireland at rugby but it would have been better if we had continued walking as it was a boring game played in a niggly sort of way.
My sister Susan is turning her family history website into a printed book with the help of one of these clever self publishing websites and we spent some time having a look at it and considering one or two style issues which transferring web pages to print have raised. I must say that the book looks very good on the website, much better than I expected that it would and I hope that the printing quality will match the technical skill of the programmers. Susan has done an amazing amount of work in digging up stuff about our forbears and arranging it very well. Just as she has found other books by previous members of the family useful, I am sure future generations of our family will look on her work very fondly.
She has gone for width rather than depth and has managed to track down some information on 30 out of the 32 members of the fifth generation back and so seriously is he taking it that she is even contemplating buying a little professional help to nail the last two. I hope she finds them.
In the evening, we had a traditional Sunday roast with two veg and this rounded off a very good Sunday surprisingly well in view of the less than perfect weather.
I should say that for the past two days, the chief occupation of the ladies in the house has been as it should be at this time of the year.
I managed to find a flying chaffinch in the morning sleet.