Today’s guest picture is another from Mike Griffiths’ visit to Stratford-upon-Avon. This is Cox’s Yard, once a timber merchant’s place of business and now a high class eatery.
We had plenty of sunshine here today but it had to struggle against the chill and on the whole, the chill won.
It was sub zero C when we got up and it never got above 3 degrees all day. Still, it made for pretty patterns in the garden.
And as a bonus, it wasn’t icy underfoot so after Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to sing with the church choir and I had made a pasta sauce for the slow cooker, I went for a short walk.
There are still remnants of my cough lurking about to discomfort me just when I think that all is clear so my walk was short and easy.
It was just above freezing when I set out but only just…
…but where the sun had had an opportunity, it had melted the frost away.
A beech tree at the entrance to the park still provides a bit of colour on a sunny morning…
…but in the woods along the river bank, things are bleaker….
….and the ice persisted.
As soon as I could, I came out from under the trees and enjoyed the sunshine.
My walk was very short and I was soon back down among the ice crystals on the park wall.
I was even more impressed by the top of a fence post in the road just outside our house.
As we were going to Carlisle in the afternoon, I took our car out from the very cold and shady spot where it lives in our drive and parked it in a pool of sunshine on the road outside our gate.
It needed a chance to defrost a bit.
Once the car was parked, I had a moment to watch the birds.
The plum tree made a good vantage point for a goldfinch to check out the seed scene.
Down below, birds were both coming and going….
…and going and coming.
I liked this picture which shows that landing on the perches is not quite as straightforward as the birds make it look.
And of course it is easy to miss your footing when greenfinches start shouting just as you are landing.
There were more peaceful moments.
After lunch, we had to go into the choir a bit early as a journalist from the local Carlisle newspaper was writing a story about the choir’s fifth birthday and I had been asked to chat to him as a long serving member who had joined with no singing experience.
As they are hoping to recruit more men to sing with the choir, I hope that the remarks that I and another of the tenors made will be reported in a way that encourages others to come along and try.
The journalist stayed for the first half of the practice and was quite impressed so we await his article with interest.
Once again, we were worked very hard by our conductor but with the Christmas concert looming, quite a lot of homework is on the cards.
The slow cooked pasta sauce, basically mince and veg, went very well with some tagliatelle for our tea and as Mrs Tootlepedal made semolina pudding to follow it up, we were well insulated from any evening chill.
The weather is due to warm up for the next few days but it is going to bring wind and rain so we may soon be looking back on our frosty mornings with nostalgia.
If the prose in today’s post seems a little distrait, blame it on Mrs Tootlepedal. She kindly cut my hair today so I am feeling a little light headed.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch trying to avoid the paparazzi.