Today’s guest picture is a vivid view of the south bank of the Thames at night captured by my brother a few days ago.
It was a dry and sunny day and it would have been ideal for the morning run with Dropscone had there not been a very stiff breeze blowing. It was still pretty nice by recent standards and we set off hopefully.
Dropscone had arranged to cycle the eleven miles to Longtown to put his bike in for a service and borrow a bike for the return trip. This, as it turned out, was a trip straight into the teeth of the breeze and we had to work hard to cycle down the gentle slope to Longtown. We were refreshed by a welcome cup of Earl Grey tea provided by the bike shop when we arrived. The bike exchange was effected and having managed a measly 13mph on the way down the hill, we achieved a respectable 16mph on our way back home. Dropscone’s borrowed bike behaved very well.
This 22 mile trip took me over 400 miles for the month which was very gratifying. Any miles in a winter month are welcome and achieving 400 in February is a real bonus. I have only once done more.
After coffee, I took a walk round the garden admiring the crocuses.
While I was out, I also caught the first of the aconites in full flower welcoming a rare bit of sunshine…
…and called in on the frogs.
Then Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a short walk. She had received a message from our friend Bruce that a wooden bridge on Gaskell’s Walk was being replaced and we went to investigate.
We met the workmen doing the job and they explained that they were laying a couple of concrete bases for the new bridge before removing the old bridge. The old bridge spanned a very eroded gully and although it was perfectly serviceable, it was obviously thought that a wider bridge was necessary for safety in the long term.
The timbers for the new bridge were lying beside the path.
They look to be of high quality and the foreman said that they had been very heavy to carry into place. If the weather is suitable, I will go up again tomorrow to monitor progress.
On our way back, I stopped to snap a sedum growing in the park wall among the moss and lichen.
We had had the best of the day for our morning cycle and walk but there was still enough light about to do a bit of bird staring.
The siskins’ small size does not lessen their desire to pick a fight.
I caught an unusual flying shot of a passing chaffinch.
And a very common shot of one just landing.
There has been no demand for the fat balls in the feeders so I broke one up and spread it on the lawn. The blackbirds were beside themselves with joy.
After lunch, I spent quite a bit of time re-ordering some second hand books from the internet for my friend Arthur which has proved to be a more time consuming business than I thought. Then I wrote a letter to an Archive Group enquirer and drove up to the town to post it. Unaccountably, some Italian cheese turned up in my pocket when I got home. If it wasn’t such an inappropriate metaphor for me, I might say that I had killed two birds with one stone.
I drove up to the town and walked back because I had to leave our car at the garage. It has taken it into its head that one of the doors is open, even when they are all firmly shut and as a result, the interior light won’t go off when it is being driven. This is the sort of minor (but probably expensive) fault that is brought on by having more bells and whistles in your car than you actually need.
I took one more flower picture as I arrived home just before the light finally went.
In the evening, Susan drove me to Carlisle to our recorder group and we had another excellent evening’s playing. It was so good that we passed our usual time for tea and biscuits without me even noticing.
The flying bird of the day is another chaffinch doing the side stroke.