Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my friend Bruce who remarks that he knew some dogs were given chips but he didn’t realise that they got cheese as well.
I made a venison stew for the slow cooker while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and then rather reluctantly got the fairly speedy bike out for a pedal. I had hoped for a wide ranging ride across the hills but settled for skulking up and down the valley bottom to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back three times to make up my 21 miles.
This severely limited my opportunities for taking pictures as I went along though I did stop to record the devastation of the wood along the banks of the Wauchope just before the school.
It is quite striking that escarpments that used to look quite majestic when clothed with lofty trees turn out to be rather undistinguished when the trees are cleared. I shall be more exposed to the winds in future along this section. The foresters have stopped for the moment at this point….
…but I am not sure why. Maybe these trees are too spindly to be worth cutting, The trees that are left show clearly the foresters plan of planting the trees so closely that they have nowhere to grow except straight up.
The effect on the residents of the schoolhouse must be very noticeable. Here is the house photographed on a ride last February…
…and here it is this morning.
The two ladies on the right have recently acquired new speedy bikes and are enjoying using them a lot. I couldn’t help feeling that the young lad in the photo was amazingly hardy to be out in shorts and short sleeves when I was well wrapped up and still feeling chilly. Oh, to be young again.
I did my three laps, struggling up the slight hill into the wind and nipping back down hill and wind at a good speed but didn’t get much satisfaction out of it. The air quality is very poor at the moment and my asthma doesn’t like it much and this may have contributed to my slight lack of gaiety.
I wasn’t cheered up by the complete lack of birds in the garden when I got home. I didn’t see a single bird on the feeder at all. This is the first time since we started feeding the birds that we have had such a drought. I am hoping that things might pick up a bit when the flapping scaffolding and its cover is taken down in a day or two but it may just be that there is still plenty of seed to be had out in the country and there is no call for a feeder in the town.
I had to settle for a picture of one of several bunches of small daffodils which are presently brightening the garden.
The afternoon was taken up by a trip to Carlisle for a choir practice. Once again we had a substitute musical director and although she was very competent, it only went to show what a splendid choir master our regular leader is. He is back next week.
The slow cooked venison stew turned out very well indeed.
There were still no birds in the garden when we got home bar two bickering blackbirds and some gloomy looking jackdaws perched in the walnut tree.