Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He passed a prominent landmark on a recent cultural trip to the capital.
I would have enjoyed a quiet day of rest today but medical matters intervened and I had to drive to Dumfries in the morning to see a specialist about my hip. It has been giving me modest pain for a number of years and I was hoping that getting a new knee would improve my walking enough to stop it hurting.
My walking has improved but my hip pain hasn’t so I went to see what was what.
I had a moment to look out of the window on another cold and grey day before I went.
You don’t think of birds arguing but these two chaffinches are taking the Brexit debate very seriously and if you look closely, you will see that one is putting his foot down most firmly.
When I got to Dumfries, a very nice doctor gave me the once over, was flatteringly amazed by my youthfulness and bendability (you might well worry about his judgement) and assured me that whatever else I had, I didn’t have arthritis in the hip joint and that no surgical invasion of my body would be needed.
This was quite a relief but did leave the question of what is giving me the gyp. He was less definite about that, counting out a number of possibilities on his fingers and writing me a prescription to see a physiotherapist. So, no arthritis and no cure. I call that a 1-1 draw.
I was going to do a bit of sight seeing on the return journey but a smir of rain and a biting wind, coupled with the fact that I had carelessly come out without coat, hat or gloves, persuaded me that home was the place to be and I was back in time for lunch.
We had been promised rain but it hadn’t arrived by the time that lunch was over so I popped out for a walk to stretch the legs after all the sitting around yesterday.
I had the oyster catchers in mind and there was a pair at the meeting of the waters but they were very uncooperative. When I was on one side of the river, they were on the other and when I crossed over to get closer, they crossed back.
Pairs of birds are noticeable now and both the oyster catchers and the mallards were keeping company.
I was idly trying to take the perfect flying gull picture (not easy in the poor light)….
…when I got a multiple choice option, not just once…
I don’t know what had disturbed them It certainly wasn’t me.
I crossed the Ewes and walked round the new path. Life is on hold during the cold spell and exciting developments are hard to find..
I strolled on up the Esk, first on the riverside path…
…and then following the path that climbs up the slope beside the river on the way north.
This track was carefully cut into the steep slope many years ago and has survived remarkably well. The cold, dry spell has made walking conditions very good for the time of year.
I did try to creep down to the waterside for an arty bridge shot on my way but I slipped over in a most undignified manner and got a very soggy spot on the seat of my trousers so I desisted.
Once I got to the road, I was going to walk back along an open hill track but a suspicion of rain made me think better and I scurried home along the sheltered road as best as I could. In the end, it didn’t rain properly until the late evening so I could have taken my time.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I arrived back and she drew my attention to horticultural mathematics in action, kale fractals.
Instead of a long awaited phone call from the power company with whom I am in dispute on behalf of the Archive Group, I received a letter today. This was quite exciting until I read it. It says, “I am sorry that you recently had to raise a complaint with Scottish Power. Unfortunately it is taking longer than anticipated to resolve your complaint.” It didn’t specify why this should be. In spite of the doctor’s kind remarks this morning, I am ageing fast.
I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and felt better.
My flute pupil Luke came and cheered me up even more with some excellent playing.
The flying bird of the day is a departing duck.