Today’s guest picture shows that it isn’t raining everywhere. It is another in our series of exiled grandchildren of Langholmites and shows one year old Elliot, grandchild of our neighbour Gavin, sledging in America under the eagle eye of proud father Fraser.
There was no sign of snow here on midwinter day as it was another warm, windy and wet day. We were woken during the night by a positive battering ram of rain beating on the roof with all the zest of Ringo Starr at his drummiest.
I went to see what the river looked like in the morning….
…and found it full but not overflowing. The cutwaters on the town bridge were earning their money…
…but the rain had stopped and there was no cause for alarm. It was reported later that two towns in the Lake District had suffered a second bout of flooding and with more rain forecast, you have to feel really sorry for them.
I looked at the meeting of the waters….
…stopped to snap a fungus by the waterside…
…and went home.
Some birds were neatly paired in the garden. Two jackdaws….
…and two starlings.
Others were more haphazard.
There were preparations to be made for family visits over the festive period but they didn’t take too long so after a light lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I combined a walk down to Skippers Bridge with some shopping.
The puddles in the Murtholm fields were big enough to be classed as ponds and the nearest one had two herons….
…who rudely flew off without waiting to be photographed.
Someone had told me that the roads maintenance men were standing on Skippers Bridge earlier in the morning anxiously peering over the parapet at the damaged cutwater but it seemed no worse than it was when we looked at it last week.
There was still a good deal of water going under the bridge as they say.
I enjoyed the shape made by steps and stream beside the road at the bridge.
On our way back, we passed a little stream gushing down the hill beside the road….
…it passes not only under the road but also under the old distillery on the other side of the road as well and then out into the Esk through a pipe. I am not sure that I would be entirely comfortable with a stream running through my house but the distillery building has been there a long time so perhaps it is all right.
Further along, another stream ran under the roots of a tree before spilling over the wall onto the road.
More little landslips seem inevitable if this rain goes on.
On the other side of the road, there was no dipper to be seen on this occasion, only rather depressed trees.
When we got home, I plunged into a hot bath in a vain effort to ease away some aches and pains in my hip. Still a good laze was very welcome.
In the evening, we went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see one of the ‘live’ streamed theatre pieces which they show there. This was a performance of the Nutcracker by the Royal Ballet from the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal, who loves ballet, enjoyed the performance very much. I went with every hope of enjoying it but unfortunately Tchaikovsky’s music actively annoys me for some obscure reason and as the classical dancing style doesn’t really speak to me at all, I found it very dull.
The camera work made things worse by being much too close to the dancers who were almost always filling the centre of the shot so that although I could appreciate the skill and strength on show, I couldn’t get a good sense of the movement about the stage.
Still, I shouldn’t grumble as it was interesting to see a top quality work in our own town and at a very modest ticket price. You can’t expect to appreciate everything.
The lack of rain combined with things to do, has put back my review of the year in pictures. I apologise.
I found a flying chaffinch in the morning.