Today’s guest picture is another antidote to gloom and comes from my sister Mary’s visit to Bath last month.
After breakfast, I took it easy in an attempt to recover from all the jollifications of my birthday while Mrs Tootlepedal drove off to Longtown to get her eyes tested.
She was very fortunate to get back to Langholm just before the main road was completely closed to allow the recovery of a large vehicle which had slid off the road just to the south of Skippers Bridge last night in the heavy rain.
I watched a few birds while she was out. The feeder was busy….
…but the gloomy morning made it easier to catch birds when they were standing still.
The early rained eased off so I took the opportunity to go for a short walk.
In spite of continuing rain, the river had dropped a bit more and the turtle was back on dry land.
As I looked down on the upstream side of the town bridge, I could see why the spot is called the meeting of the waters.
The Ewes and the Esk were flowing with very different colours.
It always surprises me that the rivers don’t mix more quickly when they meet. Some knowledgeable reader may be able to tell me if the temperature of the water or the speed of the flow has anything to do with it. At first sight I would expect the rivers to intermingle as soon as they collide.
I crossed the Ewes by the sawmill Bridge and walked up the Lodge Walks.
Although the scene is pretty wintery now, there are touches of colour about.
And plenty of moments of reflection too.
I was pleased to see a scrap of blue sky above the hills.
I crossed the Duchess Bridge on my way home and passed a dripping catkin and another little bunch of leaves hanging on.
When i got home, I looked over the hedge from the road into the garden. Although all the flowers have gone, the neat hedges and box balls still give the garden an ordered look which is pleasing to the eye.
After lunch, we took our courage in our hands and set off to drive to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda. There had been talk of floods and/or snow but in the end, we had quite a pleasant drive over to Lockerbie and the train arrived only a little late due to speed restrictions because the the bad weather further south.
We arrived safely in Edinburgh and had a very good time playing with Matilda. She, with a little help from her parents, had prepared me and Mrs Tootlepedal, whose birthday is very soon, a fine chocolate birthday cake….
…which tasted even better than it looked.
The cake rounded off an excellent evening meal so we arrived back at Waverley Station in a very cheerful frame of mind. Our good cheer was slightly moderated by finding that our train was running late due to floods in the south and that we would be sharing it with the passengers of an earlier train which had been cancelled.
There seemed to be huge numbers waiting on the platform for our train to arrive but in the end, we all fitted in very comfortably and since the train made up a little time on its way, we arrived at Lockerbie not long after our scheduled time.
After the satisfactory journey, our cheer factor had once again been raised but it fell back with a thud as we arrived at the car to find snow on the windscreen and the thermometer registering -1C. It fell even more when we met fog soon after leaving Lockerbie.
However, the fog soon cleared, the roads were free of ice and the only snow we passed was politely sitting by the sides of the road as we went over Callister so the drive home was far less alarming than we had feared.
Once again, we have been lucky with bad weather. Others to the north and the south of us have fared worse. And of course, Matilda’s smile would brighten any day up.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.