Today’s picture comes from my brother and shows Calke Abbey. It doesn’t look like an abbey because it isn’t one. It is a grand house built on the site of an old abbey.
It was a good day for a morning pedal with a balmy temperature of 4°C and no signs of ice. I was expecting Dropscone to turn up but it turned out that he had other business and I was left to go round the morning run on my own. It was just as well that I was on my own because I was not very consistent as I pedalled along. I was fine of the flat but every time that I came to a hill, my legs turned into wobbly custard and I struggled badly. I think it is just a product of the cold weather which affects my chest so that I don’t breathe as well as I should and consequently have no reserves of energy when it comes to a bit of pushing.
Still it was a very calm and dry day, there was no traffic on the back roads, the views were good and I got round safely so I am not going to complain.
Sandy came round for coffee after I got back and then helped to put another week of the newspaper index into the database which was very useful.
He went off to get his lunch and I ate mine and then took my first photo of the day through the kitchen window. The goldfinches are still being rude to the chaffinches.
The chaffinch doesn’t look too upset though.
After lunch, Sandy reappeared and we went down to the Hollows. When I had cycled through on the morning run, I had thought it might be worth a photographic visit.
Because of the couple of very calm days since the first frost came, many trees have still good a good complement of leaves on board and the walk along the old A7 from Hollows Bridge….
To the Byreburnfoot bridge….
…was very agreeable. The light was pretty poor and got worse while we walked but we had tripods with us so we were able to take a snap or two on our way.
The big house beyond the bridge is now an upmarket B&B and the owner is doing his best to get businesses in Langholm and Eskdale to work together to encourage more visitors and provide things for them to see and do when they get here. I hope he succeeds as it is a place well worth visiting.
This bridge was the limit of our short walk as the light was getting very poor and the paths into the woods looked very gloomy.
On our way back, we saw a glimpse of the Hollows Bridge. This would have made a fine composition and we regretted that it was obscured by trees.
If I had several hours to spare, I could magically photoshop them all away.
Some quick work got rid of a few branches but much more work would have been needed to do a good job than I had time for as I had to have an early tea and go round to Masonic Lodge where the choir meets to have a practice with the other tenors.
We had a useful session and we have all got disks with three of our songs on to warble along with in the privacy of our own homes. We had a good sing when the full choir appeared, or at least as many of them who hadn’t been put off by the closing of the High Street to all traffic from eight o’clock and overnight. I did a bit of conducting in the second half of the practice and was very alarmed when I looked up from the score to find a member of the choir looking at me. I’m not used to that at all. Who knows, maybe we will start singing in time next.
A curiously contorted chaffinch is flying bird of the day.