Get up and go (but not much)

coffee belt

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Dropscone and shows a handy chart telling me where to get my coffee from.  He found it in a coffee shop in Bromley, Kent.

coffee belt

I had quite a full day today with a very contrasting set of weather conditions to go with it.

I had to get up early (for me) to take the car to the garage for its annual MOT test.  In order to do this, I needed the full wet weather gear as it was blowing hard and raining heavily and I had to walk back from the garage.

Then it was time for breakfast and a battle with an unforgiving crossword while the rain sluiced down outside.  The rain eased off in time for Dropscone to arrive by bike for a cup of coffee (from Ethiopia).  As we sat and sipped, the wind eased off a bit too and birds returned to the garden.

..and goldfinches

It even got light enough to see some flying birds.

chaffinch and goldfinch

The river had been quite high when I went to the garage in the morning but nothing like as high as yesterday but Dropscone remarked that he had thought that it was well up when he had come for coffee.  It had rained hard before he arrived so after coffee, I went to check.

Dropscone was right.

Church in flood
The church was under threat….
Church in flood
…from all sides.

Once again, I was glad that we don’t live right beside the river.

Esk in flood

Luckily, it had brightened up quite a bit by this time and it looked as though we weren’t going to get flooded in the town.   The park wasn’t so lucky….

Park in flood

…and the Castleholm was awash as well.

Castleholm in flood

Once again today there was talk of road closures and riverside evacuations in neighbouring towns and in the Lake District one poor village was flooded for the fourth time in two months.   We had been lucky again.

But the time that I got home from my brief walk, the sun had come out and the day was looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth.

January sunshine in the garden


I should have gone straight out for a cycle ride but the sudden onset of sunshine gave me such a shock that I had to sit down to recover.

I did get organised in the end though and got the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a few miles up the Wauchope road.

In spite of the blue sky, the ride wasn’t quite idyllic as there was a brisk wind blowing into my face and the road was running with water.  I am trying my very best not to fall off and bang my new knee so very wet conditions make me go cautiously.

Still, the light was gorgeous when I got to my turning point at the top of Callister.


…and even better as I went back down the hill.

view from callister

I stopped to look at one of my favourite cascades but there was almost too much water going over it and it was rather flattened out.

Wauchope cascade

I cycled down to the River Esk when I got back to the town to see if had dropped.  It was well within its banks but looking quite lively all the same.

Esk in flood and sun

Although the temperature had dropped from 10 degrees at eight o’clock to 6 degrees by the time that I had finished cycling, it was still such a nice day that I tempted Mrs Tootlepedal out for a short walk.

Unfortunately, she was deep in some curtain making and by the time that she was ready to go, the sun had gone.  It was still dry though so we took a turn round Gaskell’s Walk.

I took pictures of snowdrops and a nearly out daffodil in our garden before we left…


early daffodil

…and then put the camera away until we passed a tree stump covered with fungus on top and down the side.

fungus on gaskell's

When we came to the top of the bank at the Stubholm, there was more evidence of the damage caused by the weather.

fallen tree Stubholm

We got round our walk in the dry but not long afterwards there was another fierce shower.

It had passed by the time that the car was ready for collection, having passed its test without needing expensive work done.

A bit of research on the internet showed local roads in terrible conditions with landslips and floods on every side.  We were hoping to go to Edinburgh to see Matilda tomorrow but our main railway line is closed because of flood damage to a viaduct and the alternative route requires nearly a hundred miles of driving to get to the station and back.  The forecast for tomorrow is for more heavy rain and driving doesn’t look very appetising at all so we will have to rely on Skype for contact.

In the evening, I went to the Archive Centre with Sandy and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  What with one thing and another, it was our first combined visit for over a month.

There were many opportunities for flying birds today, often all at the same time….

flying birds

…but in the end, I settled for one which wasn’t a very good photograph but which I think makes a striking image.

flying chaffinch

When I was out in the morning, I took a very brief video to show the force of the water passing under the Langholm Bridge.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Get up and go (but not much)

  1. The light was lovely on your ride; beautiful shots. The poor church, surrounded, though I imagine it’s withstood flooding before. Are January daffodils normal for you? We’ve got at least another 11 weeks to go before seeing them here in New Jersey.

  2. The golden light was indeed beautiful and at least it didn’t rain all day.
    I can imagine that the height of the river and landslips have everyone on edge. I hope the weather will take a drastic change for the better for you soon.
    The daffodil is a surprise.

  3. It’s great to see your wonderful photos of both the birds, and the beautiful countryside that you cycled through again!

    On the other hand, I feel sorry for all the people who have had their lives’ disrupted by all the rain and flooding all around you. I sure hope that all of Scotland gets some relief from the rain, or you may be cut off from the rest of the world.

  4. There was a lot of water going under that bridge, quite frightening. Loved the views on your ride and good to see the birds back in action. You were correct about the flying bird, strking indeed.

  5. An alarming amount of water. Glad you escaped serious trouble. The video certainly gave an idea of the power of the downflow.
    Lovely pictures taken on your ride.

  6. My goodness what ups and downs with your weather so dramatically captured in your wonderful photos and video. Do hope that the water levels drop soon so those poor folk living near the river can breathe again! Love the photo of the chaffinch coming in to land!

  7. The river, she is a rising! We have had more than usual rain here, but you have so much flooding and wild weather to contend with, uprooted trees and damaged roadways.

    Beautiful Flying Bird of the Day!

  8. Your poor church looks like it’s sitting on an island. I do hope the water doesn’t get in. The video of the river was interesting. Ours is high but not really threatening at the moment. Much more rain and it may be a different story.

  9. The Church picture is rather concerning! I’m always thankful I live on a hill as our region has had serious flooding before. The power of floodwaters is quite amazing. What a contrast your lovely golden-lit pictures are. I’m surprised you didn’t hyperventilate at the shock of it. 🙂 The colours of the flying body are almost iridescent on my screen – very striking indeed.

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