Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He has been out and about enjoying the bright lights of Edinburgh.
We had no bright lights here this morning. In fact it was hard to discern any light at all as it was the gloomiest day imaginable, cold and wet and very miserable.
As we are on a break from our Carlisle choir, I decided to join Mrs Tootlepedal and sing with the church choir here. The organist and choirmaster had extended an invitation to go and sing with them on an ad hoc basis so I was sure of a welcome.
Getting to church proved a tricky business as the cold rain on top of some very cold ground had made our roads and pavements into a sheet of ice and we tottered along very delicately, holding on to anything we could find for support as we went.
The church choir was very enjoyable, though trying to sight read a tenor part while following the words on the opposite page of the hymn book was testing. Luckily, Mike, my cello playing friend, was standing beside me and being a very sound singer, he kept me right.
After we got home, I peered through the rain to see if there were any birds at the feeder.
They looked pretty fed up and who can blame them.
Of course, there is one bird that never seems to be weighed down by life.
I made some soup for lunch and kept an eye out for more birds.
There was a steady stream of chaffinches coming….
…and sometimes receiving an unfriendly welcome.
I very much liked a little cameo performance by a robin and a siskin.
We have blackbirds with yellow beaks and blackbirds with black beaks.
I don’t think that our cat scarer is much good at cat scaring but it does make a nice perch for you know who.
After lunch, I waited for the rain to stop and then got ready to go for a walk. The rain had started again by the time that I got to the back door but I needed some exercise so I took a brolly in hand and set out anyway.
The weather had warmed up quite a bit and the roads were free from ice but a test walk on a rough path showed that every puddle concealed a skating rink so I turned back and stuck to the roads.
It was very misty when I got to the river…
…and there was no sign at all of any hills behind the town.
As I crossed the town bridge, a ripple in a pool below spread out and in the middle of it, a dipper suddenly appeared. I spent a minute or two watching it live up to its name and dive down and reappear after a surprisingly long spell under water.
I saw it fly off and walked over the bridge and on to the Kilngreen where I was delighted to find the dipper again, this time perched on a rock and serenading me with full voice.
On a second glance, I found that I was probably not its intended audience.
Whether it was trying to woo the second dipper or telling it to get out of its space, I am not qualified to say.
Nearby, the mallards were lined up on the river bank…..
…though there is always one who can’t obey simple instructions.
As I walked over the Sawmill Brig, the clouds began to lift from the hills and as the rain stopped too, I had a quietly enjoyable walk.
The light was still rotten so there wasn’t much of a chance to take pictures…
…though just as I was getting near the end of the stroll, a little blue sky appeared over the trees.
I walked home via the High Street and took the opportunity to show you the fine Christmas tree in front of our town hall.
By the time that I got home, the light had almost faded and that concluded the action for the day.
Mrs Tootlepedal is continuing to try out new recipes so we ate baked squash stuffed with fruit and vegetables for our tea. It was a curious but not unpalatable dish but the combination of flavours took me by surprise and it will take another go before I feel comfortable with it.
There was a little sticky toffee sauce left over and we disposed of it with some ice cream for afters. I was very comfortable with that.
A flying bird of the day was hard to come by in the gloom and rain.