Today’s guest picture comes from the Edmonton busker and bicyclist, Tuckamoredew, a man who sings gaily to himself while pedalling through deep snow in subzero temperatures in the dark. But even he was a bit alarmed when he passed these two characters at night.
The wind was still from the east today and the day was colder and greyer but the Scandinavian high is stoutly keeping us safe from any Atlantic fronts and there has been no sign of frost so we aren’t complaining (much).
I had a quiet spell after breakfast with only a few small birds to distract from an intractable crossword.
Things perked up when Sandy arrived for coffee and we arranged to go for a walk in the afternoon.
After Sandy left, I got down to some serious work and prepared 14 copies of a DVD of the ‘Heritage of Langholm: The Mills and the Railway’ which are on sale in the Information Hub in the Market Place. They have been selling well lately and help to raise funds for the Archive Group. (We have a disk copier in the Archive Centre which copies seven disks at a time so that explains why I produced 14 copies.)
While the DVDs were being copied, I chased up an article on the newspaper microfiches about the dedication of a stained glass window in our parish church in 1925. Scott, the minister had asked me for this and I delivered the DVDs to the Information Hub and the article to him on my way home. I felt very virtuous as a result and celebrated by making some potato soup for lunch.
I had time to walk round the garden before I made the soup. Our small sedum has come out too late for any butterflies I fear but the bees are enjoying it.
There is still colour around and some of it is in the vegetable garden.
In the flower beds, there are more second blooms.
And there is plenty of pink about…
…and a little blue too.
Mrs Tootlepedal noticed a blackbird having a bath in our pond. It popped out onto the side when I approached.
After lunch, Sandy arrived on cue. We sampled the cool temperature, grey clouds and blustery winds and settled on a mainly sheltered walk through the woods above the River Esk below Skippers Bridge.
The first part of our stroll was through oak woods…
…which never fail to be pleasing at any time of year.
There is a sudden glut of acorns and many of the trees were covered with them. We saw a lonely rowan tree among them.
On the far side of the oak wood is a birch plantation. The leaves are coming off the birches, leaving them almost bare.
We came to the top of the wood….
…and walked along the track to Broomholmshiels.
We were not unobserved.
Although the trees are still mainly green, there was enough colour to catch the eye here and there but we felt that it needed a bit of sunlight to do it justice so I shall wait for a better day and come back again.
I saw an old thistle and some fresh gorse as we went along.
It started raining lightly when we went through the farmyard at Broomholmshiels so we picked up the pace as we walked back down the road to the car.
A pair of fresh white fungi shone through the gloom of the trees beside the road.
And as we went down the road….
…we found a lot to enjoy….especially as the rain had stopped again.
We get to the car and then stopped again at Skippers Bridge where I took far too many pictures while we stood right beside the river and watched trout swimming past.
I have selected the traditional view.
In spite of the gloomy conditions, I enjoyed our outing so much that I took well over a hundred pictures trying to capture the best of the walk. Readers have got off lightly.
The forecast is a bit gloomy at the moment but there may be a bit of sun every now and again. I am hoping that it doesn’t come too early in the morning.
In the evening, we had another operatic treat as the Scottish Opera’s touring company arrived at the Buccleuch Centre to give a live performance of L’Elisir d’Amore by Donizetti sung in English.
On a long tour with a cast of nine and a mini orchestra of five (violin, viola, cello, French horn and guitar) the staging had to be neatly designed, the director had to be inventive and the conductor had to be sympathetic to do justice to this popular opera. Luckily for us, the staging was very attractive, the direction was very sensible and imaginative and the singing and acting was first rate throughout. The little orchestra was brilliant. It helps a fellow like me who doesn’t speak Italian to be able to understand what is going on.
I last saw this opera at Glyndebourne in 1962 in a production by Zefirelli with the leads being sung by Mirella Freni and Luigi Alva so it was not too soon to see it again.
There are quite enough pictures already today so no flower of the day but I did catch a glimpse of a flying sparrow.
Sandy has posted a description of our walk too. You can find it here.