Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew’s visit to Manchester recently. He found this wonderful 1941 railway bridge across the ship canal there. It is confined to walkers and cyclists these days, he tells me.
After a wet and windy night, we had another rather grey morning today, made greyer by the fact that our daughter Annie had to go back to London.
After coffee and a quick look at the feeders….
…the day brightened up a lot and we set off for Carlisle. We found ourselves peering straight into the low sun and some very bright reflections from wet road surfaces as we drove along. So persistent was the glare that by the time that we got to the outskirts of Carlisle, the white lines down the middle of the roads had turned bright pink and purple for me.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that this is called a negative afterimage. It was very curious and I don’t recall having had noticed such a strong colour change or one which lasted for so long.
We got a little drizzle out of what had seemed like a blue sky on the way down and stopped to admire a rainbow which had formed.
We delivered Annie safely to the station and then went off in search of a mirror. Mrs Tootlepedal had seen one she liked on a previous visit and we were determined to buy it today. Of course it was out of stock and another visit will be required…if we can find it in stock later in the week.
We consoled ourselves with a sausage bap in the furniture store’s cafe, washed down with a hot drink. Over recent years, drinks in cafes have been so big that even a ‘small’ was the size of a bucket so we were very pleased to find that our small drinks today were just that, small and readily drinkable. We drank them.
We got home while the sun was still shining so after putting a dough mixture into the bread machine, I went for a short walk.
There was a bit of water in the Esk after the overnight rain…
…and some more in the Ewes when I got to the Kilngreen.
Mr Grumpy was there, admiring the sunshine and hoping for a fish supper.
I was enjoying the light and the trees.
A moss forest caught my eye.
I walked up the hill past the estate offices and was impressed by how much hart’s tongue fern was growing on the walls beside the well shaded road.
At the top of the road, a brilliant dogwood blazed in a garden.
The sun was threatening to sink below the hills but it was high enough to brighten up the top of Castle Hill as I walked along the track below it.
Dropping down through the woods, I saw a fine jelly fungus on a fallen log.
I passed beneath some winter blossom…
…walked back down beside the River Esk and then took the new path round the bottom of the Castleholm back to the Sawmill Brig and the Kilngreen. I passed a noble fir and was looking for one of its large green cones when I saw this fine example of nature’s basket weaving skills.
I have no idea what is going on there.
The light had gone by the time that I got to the Kilngreen so I made my way quietly home.
After a rest and a cup of tea, I got the dough out of the bread machine and cut it in half. I wrapped one half in cling film and put it in the fridge and shaped the other half into bread rolls. The machine makes more dough than we need at one time so this was an experiment to see if we can use it half at a time. The rolls that I made today came out quite well…
…so perhaps I will give up on the crumpets and stick to rolls from now on.
My flute pupil Luke came for the first time since the holidays and we started on a new Boismortier duet. His sight reading has improved a lot and we were able to play a couple of movements with very little difficulty.
In the evening, we went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see a film version of Swallows and Amazons. This was based on books which both Mrs Tootlepedal and I had enjoyed a great deal when we were children so we approached the film with some trepidation. In the event, it wasn’t at all bad even though they had souped up the action and had lost a little of the gentle charm of the original. The acting was excellent and we enjoyed ourselves and were able to say as we walked home, “Well this and that never happened in the books,” in a very satisfactory sort of way.
The flower of the day is the first potential snow drop of the year. It may not seem much to the casual reader but it means a lot to a gardener.
The newspapers are full of dire predictions of snow storms to come in Britain but the weather forecasts say that this flower may be the only snow drop that we will see in Langholm.
The flying bird of the day is four chaffinches. None of them are great shots and I was too tired to choose between them so I have put them all in.