It’s behind you!

Today’s guest picture shows a friend that my sister Mary met while walking through the park this morning.

Regent's park squirrel

We had another grey and drizzly day today.  It was unseasonably warm but this was little consolation in the face of the gloom spread by the heavy cloud cover.

Luckily there were scones to be eaten as Dropscone came round for coffee and we tried some Old Brown Java which I had bought in Carlisle yesterday.

Then there was supervising to do while parcels were wrapped by the only skilled parcel wrapper in the house and after lunch, I took the results up to the post office to send them off.

It was so gloomy, even at midday, that bird photos were hardly worth taking but luckily no interesting new birds appeared to add insult to injury.

I did click once or twice.

A blackbird discovered some pellets which I had put under a bench to keep them away from jackdaws.
blue tit
And a blue tit sampled the pellets in the covered feeder.

My walk to the post office was made more cheerful by the company of Sandy who had dropped in just as I was about to go.  When I had posted the parcels, we continued our walk by strolling round the Castleholm and back by the Jubilee Bridge.
We were more intent on a little exercise than taking photographs and this was lucky because Sandy didn’t have a camera with him and the light was awful.

I had NewCam with me and took it out to record a tremendous show of catkins at the Lodge.


Nearby, I enjoyed this rather Alice in Wonderland gate in a hedge.

Lodge gate

I did try to take a picture of a single catkin as well a bit later on but I had to have several goes before I could get anything other than a blur.


A shot across the normally vivid artificial grass at the school showed just how gloomy it was.

School pitch

Sandy left me at the corner of the Scholar’s Field and took the direct route to his house while I took an indirect route to mine and walked through the wood above Eskdaill Street on one of the new paths that have been put in for the benefit of local walkers.

Eskdaill Street path
It is well maintained and has stood up to the bad weather very well.

At the end of the path, I looked down at Wauchope Cottage across the roofs…

Wauchope Cottage

…and enjoyed the pattern made by the regular layout of the new town.  Only the bare branches of the walnut tree show that there is a garden in there somewhere.

I had to move smartly as I walked the final few yards along Wauchope Street to avoid being run down by a phalanx of pushchairs.

Wauchope Street pushchairs

The pushers, who have the future of the country in their hands, were remarkably cheerful considering the weather.

I put in a little flute practice when I got home, had a cup of tea and a slice of seedy bread when Mike Tinker dropped in and threw away most of the pictures which I had taken during the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal is in top culinary form at the moment and provided an absolutely delicious leek and cheese soufflé for out tea.  I have never had this dish before but I hope to have it again.

In the evening, we went off the the Buccleuch Centre to see the annual community pantomime done by our youth theatre group…..oh no you didn’t….oh yes we did!

It was great fun with some excellent acting and jokes and a really well drilled chorus of children of all ages.  The chorus danced and sang with plenty of gusto and tremendous discipline.  They are a credit to the team that have put on the pantomimes over the last decade.

There must have been at least one slightly brighter moment in the day because I found a flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “It’s behind you!

  1. An excellent close-up photo of the catkins! I love a good pantomime but since my eldest daughter moved out I can’t get anyone to accompany me to one. I am pleased that Langholm is keeping this worthy tradition going in style.

  2. I do like your catkins and the Alice in Wonderland gate. I’ve always wanted to have something like that in my garden. At the rate the jungle is growing it may be possible soon. I’m glad you weren’t run down by the “phalanx of pushchairs” – what a great description! Well done on getting your parcels in the post. You are much more organised than me. 🙂

  3. NewCam did very well with the catkin.
    Glad you enjoyed the pantomime. Was the turban in it?

  4. The catkins have started on the hazelnut trees here. Sounds like a good start to the day with coffee and scones, although it would be tea & cream with scones here.

    We have a sort of Alice in Wonderland gate here, formed by two ancient and very tall apple trees that have fallen over, but survived. Their “gate” marks the entrance to the back lot of the farm.

      1. The best photo would be in spring at apple blossom time, but I can take one in winter now and send it along to give you a feel for what it will look like later.

        Grey and rainy here, but I believe we get a brief break in the weather this weekend.

  5. Loved the gate! It sounds like the weather there is the same as here, unrelenting clouds despite some pleasant temperatures for this time of year. The good news is that a week from now the amount of daylight begins to increase again. Before we know it, another spring will arrive.

  6. Very bushy squirrel. I love the Alice in Wonderland gate and this lovely path just perfect for strolling. The cheerful pushers brightened the day!

  7. I wonder if your bush full of catkins was a hazel; they are usually out this time of year and tend to hang singly like that. I thought the lichen/moss on the branch by the blue tit was particularly interesting. And I love the little gate.

  8. Beautiful catkins and gate. I’d love to see a good old fashioned village pantomime. I can’t wrap a package well to save my life; thank goodness for colourful Christmas gift bags and tissue paper.

  9. Your day still had some wonderfully bright patches despite the weather : the soufflé sounds divine and I am very jealous of the quality of your walking paths and that you have an annual pantomime

  10. I’m thankful for the closeup catkin because I profess my ignorance at knowing what they were. I should still look them up, I suppose. The gate in the hedge is very Alice in Wonderland.

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