Glad to see it go


Today’s guest picture portrays a fine plate of butter tablet made by my older son to an ancient recipe for the festive season.  I hope he keeps a bit for me.


With dawn at 8 o’clock and dusk at 4 pm, there are not many hours in the day at the moment and it certainly doesn’t help if half them are pouring with rain.  We did get a moment of sunshine this morning…


…and a jackdaw popped in to pick up a pellet.

I took the chance to find a corner  near the pond for my new friend…


…who has settled in very well and looks quite at home.

The sun didn’t last long and with low temperatures and a brisk wind, it wasn’t an attractive day for a pedal. I took a bird picture or two.

two rooks
Two rooks crossed beaks over a pellet
And a full house of goldfinches monopolised the feeder.

Luckily I had a very large challenging prize crossword with ten undefined clues with a single undisclosed link to help me fill the unforgiving hour.

The missing link turned out to be sixteen (as in 2016 I suppose) and the ten mystery solutions were all related to that number so after some heavy research,  I now know that the Yellowhead Highway in Canada is designated as route 16 and the the F16 jet fighter is properly called the Fighting Falcon.  Whether I am a better person for knowing these facts is open to question but it certainly passed the time.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out for a walk, hoping to get round Gaskell’s before any rain arrived.  It was very gloomy as soon as the sun disappeared  and we weren’t anxious to see how wet could get if we had mistimed our stroll so I didn’t stop for many pictures, just a token fungus and lichen near the start…

lichen and fungus

…and a moss and lichen combination on my favourite wall near the finish.

lichen and moss

The lichens are certainly enjoying our weather.

In the garden at home there are signs of a premature spring…

primula and daffodil

…but as we are forecast to get some more winter like temperatures soon, these may be a false start.

The weather deteriorated in the afternoon and we took advantage of the continuous flow of holiday movies on the telly.   I did manage to get myself off the sofa for long enough to put another week of the newspaper into the Archive Group database but in general it was another dull day.  With a total lack of choirs and music groups over the holiday period and little opportunity for photographic outings, the holidays are not quite the same burst of jollity as they were when they provided a welcome break from work.

Still, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who are kind enough to waste a little of your valuable time in following these daily meanderings, a very Happy New Year.  May 2016 be all that you wish it to be (and a little more as well).

My new year wish is a) to get the ISO down below 2000 and b) to get a little sunburn.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch. He tweets ‘happy new year’ too.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Glad to see it go

  1. Happy New Year to you too. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for a year now and loved every word and photo in it…long may it continue! Sorry to ask a question on the last blog of the year but what is butter tablet- I’m too tired to look it up in Google!

    1. It’s a kind of brittle fudge made from sugar and butter. Scottish tablet often contains evaporated or even condensed milk for extra sweetness but butter tablet is made from butter, ordinary milk and sugar and in my view it is better than the condensed milk version. I used to make a lot when the children were at home, either with vanilla or rum flavouring and sometimes with raisins in it.

  2. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and sunny New Year. Looking forward to many new cycling trips and photos.

  3. Hmmmm – I had to look up butter tablet and it sounds a wee bit like a relative of fudge. Very tasty, anyway, and definitely not good for the waistline! I like the addition of your own “Mr. Grumpy” in your garden – he looks very well situated. Wishes for a healthy and happy 2016 to you and yours. (And by the way, we’re very near the Yellowhead Highway – it’s only about 30 miles to the north of us!)

  4. Happy New Year to you and Mrs T; I look forward to another year of birds, fungi, bridges, bluebell woods, views, music, flowers, compost sieving, Matilda, country lanes, and your inimitable gentle wit.

  5. I see your new friend is well adjusted to his new home. I trust he doesn’t want to leave. The goldfinches on the left side of the feeder seem to be singing a duet, perhaps knowing you miss your musical activities and wanting to cheer you up. Happy 2016!

  6. Happy New Year to you and Mrs. T. Thank you for all the wonderful accounts of your doings in 2015! I look forward to reading of your adventures in 2106.

  7. Your new friend looks very realistic, it may just attract a few other new friends that drop by to check him out.

    Getting your ISO below 2000 may be impossible unless you invest in aircraft landing lights to light the garden where the birds are, at least before spring arrives. Even a sunny day here doesn’t provide as much light as a cloudy summer day, and sunny days are as rare there as they are here.

    Thanks for wishing every one well for the new year, may the same hold true for you.

    1. Aircraft landing lights are a good idea, I hadn’t thought of them. I am intending to get one of these LED gadgets to attach to the camera which might help.

      1. I have one of those LED panel lights, it works good for macros, but at least the one that I have, has a very limited range. I’d be careful, and check to see what the actual output is in lumens, and if the unit is intended to produce diffuse light like mine, or a more focused beam.

  8. Sounds like you did very well with that tricky crossword!
    Happy New Year and may you have lots of sunshine.

  9. Loved the goldfinch photo! Good to see that your weather has settled a bit and you are able to get out and about. We continue to have mild weather here, cold now but ready to warm up again at the end of the week. A wild crazy year!

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