No guest picture today as none have been supplied. I will put an unseasonable bunch of primroses from the garden in to take its place.
The primroses are not just surviving, they are thriving and not far away, a good crop of spring bulbs are also showing above ground.
This is the result of not having had a good frost yet. The autumn and early winter weather has been cold and grey for the most part but it has hardly fallen below zero and just at the moment it is quite warm for the time of year. This is a bit worrying because we don’t want a lot of plants sticking their heads above the parapet only to be mowed down by severe frosts. I am hoping that the darkness will keep things dormant even if the temperature doesn’t.
At times yesterday, I had watched the forecast for today with misgivings as it offered strong winds and passing showers. As a result, particularly as my joints are still not co-operating, I cancelled a planned morning ride with Dropscone. When today arrived however, it came with little or no wind, no rain and even a hint of sunshine in the morning.
You can see from the rivers that there has been a fair bit of rain recently but there was none today. I wasn’t able to change my mindset and get the bike out even though I should have and instead did some bits and bobs that needed doing. These included walking up to the town to purchase an inexpensive Christmas gift and negotiate with another couple of shops regarding the postcards. As far as the inexpensive Christmas gift goes, we have a non aggression pact with the family members of our generation in both our families which is very satisfactory.
I took the picture of the rivers from the town bridge as I walked home and another one from the same spot looking down Thomas Telford Road just because I like the view so much, even a few days away from the shortest day of the year.
The better light made it possible to spot a few birds today in between tidying the office (which strangely always seems to need tidying) and making bread and moaning about sore feet.
I was pleased to see a siskin but the picture shows one of their down sides. They are very messy eaters, perhaps because the sunflower hearts are a bit too big for their beaks, and when there are a lot of them about, mangled seed piles up below the feeder.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day with a social coffee morning with the rest of the church choir and a spell at work in the afternoon. In between times, she did Christmassy things while muttering, “I am going to do all this in August next year.” As she says this every year, I am not expecting August to be particularly busy in the wrapping department in 2014 but I may be surprised. You never can tell.
There were plenty of flying chaffinches about in the better weather and enough light to catch them at work.
Late in the afternoon, I had to go and see Mrs Tootlepedal at her place of work as I had an appointment with one of the doctors to have a look at my eye which seems to have a slight infection. As often happens, as soon as i had made the appointment, my eye felt a lot better but i still went and came home with a little tube of ointment which should do the trick
In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had an fruitful half hour. His dad comes to the lessons too and carefully writes down the suggested practice points which may well explain why Luke has always improved by the next lesson. I am hoping to encourage Luke to play be ear as well as read music. This is a most valuable skill and one which I never developed myself to my great regret in my later years.
My Monday music trio and the camera club have both stopped meeting for the festive season so I had a rare Monday night at home and was able to watch University Challenge. The questions must have got a lot easier these days. I could answer some of them.
The forecast is for quite a nice day tomorrow. I am expecting rain.
The flying bird of the day is a handsome chaffinch. (We need some cold weather to bring new birds to the garden too.)