Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone. He talk a walk up Whita a few days ago and managed to find some really nice weather to take this picture of the McDiarmid memorial.
We were short of good weather at the bottom of the hill today as it was grey and breezy. I had to turn down both the offer of scones from Dropscone and a walk from Sandy as there were more important things to be done.
With only a week to go to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, we were reminded that Christmas must be coming too and after being very busy with choirs and concerts and social occasions, we felt that this was the day to do something about it.
There was a good deal of making lists and some ordering on-line and by telephone, which was only interrupted by the occasional glance out of the window. It was black out there.
There was very little traffic at the seed feeder…..
…and mostly the light wasn’t very good when there was some.
After an early lunch, we gathered all the lists up and set off to do some shopping. Our first stop was Langholm High Street and then we went on to Carlisle to get some of the things that Langholm can’t supply.
It was quite a slow trip once we got near Carlisle.
Carlisle shopkeepers must be tearing their hair out. Even those who weren’t flooded have been badly affected by the continued closure of the main bridge through the city. As not even pedestrians are allowed to cross it, the journey from the north part of the city to the south has become a great trial. If people can drive, it means a diversion of three or four miles to go 400 yards and if they can’t drive, there is no alternative way across the river as the only other bridge, a footbridge has been severely damaged too.
Traffic is very heavy on the remaining routes into the town centre and the loss of business to the shops must be very severe.
I bought a
little lot of cheese at the cheese stall in the market….
…and they were telling us that business was slow and that the traffic is so snarled up that even if they do take orders for Christmas cheese baskets, they are having difficulty guaranteeing that they will get the supplies in time. I bought an extra piece of cheese.
We managed our shopping very well and with a final visit to purchase four different kinds of coffee beans and some promising leaf tea from the best smelling shop in the town (they roast their own coffee), we set off home.
I had been hoping to take some sparkly shots of the Christmas lights but our shopping had gone so well that it was still light by the time that we had finished and I had to settle for this rather ghostly nativity scene outside the church where we were singing on Sunday.
The traffic was very heavy getting out of the town and so we escaped as soon as we could and took a back road route to Gretna. We were held up at a railway crossing…..
…and watched in wonder as a main line train roared past us.
I sometimes cycle across this crossing and it always makes me a bit nervous, even if he gates are firmly up and the lights are off.
Since our route took us close to it, we stopped off to visit the Gretna Gateway retail outlet. We didn’t linger long but I bought some seeds to add to my next loaf in the breadmaker. Not being a chaffinch, I don’t know quite how I will take to seeds but like sardines, they are supposed to be good for the brain so we shall see.
Tomorrow will be set aside for packing and posting and then we can relax.
I should say that when we got home, I had to ring an electricity company up to complain about a bill that the Archive Group has been sent. This filled me with foreboding and I sat down, phone in hand ready for a long wait and incomprehensible questions.
However, after only a short dance with robot voices, I got through to a human being in Glasgow, who understood what I was saying, took our meter readings and promised to send me a new bill within a few days. It was lucky that I was sitting down or I might have fallen over.
Flying birds were few and far between this morning and this was my best effort under time pressure.