Today’s guest picture is another from my daughter’s recent Hampshire holiday and shows a cliff which looks as though it has had a few batterings over the centuries.
Mrs Tootlepedal is pursuing her get fit for gardening regime with great enthusiasm and while she did 40 minutes on the bike to nowhere upstairs, I put in a less energetic 20 minutes on my bike to nowhere in the garage. To while away the time, she watches endless episodes of The West Wing on DVD while I listen to music on the radio so we are both happy in our own way.
After a fortifying cup of coffee we got some use out of our loan car by driving to Carlisle to do some necessary shopping. We bought a small solid fuel stove to go in our new end wall (when it is finished) and then went to a garden centre. My target there was some fancy cheese from their posh food shop and Mrs Tootlepedal was in pursuit of seed potatoes. The cheese selection was dull but Mrs Tootlepedal found potatoes (Sarpo Mira), onions and shallots to her satisfaction.
Our next stop was a DIY store where we acquired some polythene sheeting to cover the floors in the end rooms and a battery driven strimmer. With the sun out, potatoes purchased and a strimmer in hand, there was a definite hint of spring coming but Mrs Tootlepedal said darkly, “February can be a lot worse than January.”
Where the weather is concerned, she is a pessimist….or possibly a realist.
After a thoroughly Mediterranean lunch of sardines on toast, I watched the birds for a while. Or rather, I tried to watch birds for a while but there was scarcely a feather to be seen. Finally a redpoll appeared but it lurked inconveniently on the wrong side of the feeder.
I had arranged to go for a walk with Sandy and when he arrived, we decided on a flat walk along one bank of the river and back on the other side. It might have been flat but patches of slushy snow and occasional ice made it hard going and after forty miles driving and walking round three shops, my legs found the two miles quite a task. Still, it is always a pleasure to walk with Sandy and see what things catch his eye as we go.
I had to keep my eyes so firmly fixed on the next step ahead that I wasn’t able to look around as much as I would have liked but I was still able to appreciate the sunny day.
We stopped on the suspension bridge to look at some lichen on its supporting planks. The quantity of the lichen on these planks is very varied. The New Hampshire gardener had suggested that this might reflect the state of health of the planks, with the more dilapidated ones perhaps carrying more moisture and thus more lichens. On examination this didn’t seem to be the case. The most lichen was on a very stout looking plank…
I was very glad to sit down to a cup of tea and a hot cross bun when we got back and was almost fast asleep by the time that Sandy left to go home for a nice snooze himself.
A session of well judged resting restored me to something like normality but once again I was forcibly reminded of how much work lies in store to get back to fitness.
I really didn’t have much of a moment to look out of the window at all and was pleased to get any flying bird of the day today, even this very grainy chaffinch which was only just still flying..