Blown up

I have given my daughter a camera for her Christmas present and I think perhaps she must have opened it already because she sent me this for a guest picture today.  She has been staring out of her kitchen window.  Living as she does in the heart of a great city, she can’t expect to get the variety of birds that we do here of course.

London Woodpecker

It was a brighter morning here today but the wind was blowing vigorously to make sure that we didn’t enjoy it too much.   It wasn’t strong enough to put the birds off though.

busy feeder

And even a robin was bold enough to share the feeder with a chaffinch.

robin and chaffinch

I particularly liked one shot of a chaffinch that I took during the morning as it reminded me strongly of the manner of Woodstock, the little bird in the Peanuts cartoon strip.

chaffinch landing

I left the birds to go to Carlisle to welcome two of my sisters and my stepmother who are coming to celebrate Christmas with us.

Our  visitors were blown up the railway line to Carlisle by a favouring gale and, in spite of dire warnings about travel disruption, arrived safely and almost on time.

The evidence of the weather conditions was to be seen on all sides.   The river Eden had broken its banks in Rickerby Park….

River Eden in flood

…and road to Langholm passed through sodden fields on both sides.

Our house was warm and welcoming when we got there, although we wonder whether we might perhaps have gone a bit over the top with our Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree

Mrs Tootlepedal knew that the visitors were coming and had naturally baked a cake for them so we sat down when we got home and enjoyed the cake and conversation in the kitchen.

In the evening we further enjoyed a splendid meal and more conversation and this should set the template for the next few days, as talking and eating are right up our street.

Fortunately, our internet connection seems to have been restored to its former health and so everything is good.  I hope anyone who may read this post is enjoying a very happy holiday and Mrs Tootlepedal and I send them our very best wishes for the season.

Although I couldn’t rise to a woodpecker (envy, envy), I did find a flying bird today.

flying chaffinch





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Blown up

  1. Merry Christmas to Mr. and Mrs. Tootlepedal! I heard that bad weather had made travel difficult in Britain so I”m glad your visitors arrived when expected.

  2. It feels rather odd to read this blog actually staying in the house where it is written. The hospitality is as splendid as you would expect. We are being very well looked after.

  3. A happy Christmas to everybody at Wauchope Cottage from the Graham’s in Newcastle. As I write this the Graham’s in America are enjoying the slopes of Beaver Mountain in Utah and superb snow as the ski down the slopes.

  4. All the very best to you, and Mrs T for grand festivities …and with many thanks for your super blog, and photos.
    Before I forget (easily happens!) the ref book is ‘Grasses, Ferns, Mosses and Lichens’ by Roger Phillips, published by Pan. Great for ID, but needs a larger bag if using for field ID! I couldn’t get the broadband to work here yesterday.
    Happy Christmas, Mr T!

    1. Happy Christmas to you too, although it will be past by the time that you read this so I will add good wishes for the New Year. Thank you for the reference and the other helpful and encouraging comments that you have made. They are always welcome and appreciated.

  5. Merry Christmas to the both of you! Wishing you good company, good conversation, good food and excellent walks or cycles. All the very best for the New Year, while I’m at it…..

    1. Thank you for these kind words. We remain in awe of your determination and fitness, not to mention handiness with a camera. I hope that you get all the good fortune that you deserve in 2014…..or even more.

  6. P.S. I caught up. Was reading in a format that makes it hard to comment on see posts. So: sorry about your leaky wall. Love that bright primrose and the assorted fungi, and much relieved your eye problem is not serious.

  7. Talking and eating are right up MY street, too! (I only discovered you a couple of weeks ago and imagine I shall be a frequent visitor in 2014!) By the way, I think the Tottlepedal’s Christmas tree is charming.

  8. Great to see a woodpecker in the city! I, too, am very envious, I’ve yet to see one visit my neighbour’s bird feeder, though I have seen the green, lesser spotted and spotted varieties when out and about on my bike. Cheers

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