An arrival and a farewell

Regent's canal at Camden Town

Today’s guest picture is a glimpse of the Regent Canal at Camden, kindly sent to me by my sister Mary.

Regent's canal at Camden Town

We had been threatened by heavy rain and gales in the morning, courtesy of storm Dylan but once again we got off very lightly with no more than a stiff breeze and no rain at all when we got up.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I were able to cycle off to sing in the church choir after breakfast with no danger of being blown off our bikes or getting soaked.

We got back from church in time to see a robin…


….and welcome our last visitor of 2017, the recorder playing, choir singing, container lady and good friend, Sue.

Mrs Tootlepedal had made fish pie and there was plenty of cheese about so we had a nourishing lunch and from time to time, we looked out of the window at a flock of goldfinches which had come to the feeder.


Every perch on both feeders was taken by goldfinches and more waited their turn.


The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and it was indeed charming to see so many in our garden.

Although we had been promised rain in the morning and a dry afternoon, it started to rain quite heavily while we ate our lunch….


…and things dudn’t look promising as far as a walk went at all.

We had just settled down in the sitting room after the meal, ready to spend an hour or so in quiet conversation, when I spotted a ray of sunshine.

We leapt up and looked for boots.  Sue’s were in her car and while she was outside fetching them, she saw a wonderful rainbow.   I grabbed a camera and went into the garden.


The sunshine was fleeting though and by the time that we had put our boots on, the sun and the rainbow had gone.

Still, we had our boots and coats on so we set off for the walk, more in hope than expectation of keeping dry.

It did seem as if it was raining as we went through the park but it was probably just water dripping off the trees.

dripping needles

And when we got into open country, the rain had gone and we did the rest of our walk in breezy but dry conditions.

My daughter Annie has given me a book on moss for Christmas so I will have to pay more attention to moss in 2018.  There is plenty about.

mossy wall

When you walk with different people, you see different things and I would have passed two stones without a second glance but Mrs Tootlepedal, who likes the history contained in rocks, thought them interesting enough to stop and examine them.


Sue liked the colour combination of the hawthorn berries and the tree lichens beside the track.

haws and lichen

My camera didn’t do it justice.

I took the next picture to reassure doubters that there is indeed intelligent life on the earth.

two wise women

It was pausing to enjoy the view as we climbed up Warbla.

The view when we got to the top was sombre and although there were a few gaps in the clouds, the sun never found one to shine through.

gloomy view of Langholm

Proof that we made the summit.

Warbla with women

I took this picture of the town bridge, a mile away and on a very gloomy day just to impress Sue with the abilities of the Lumix.  She was impressed.  It is not cropped.


Sue has been studying lichens at her plant classes so naturally we stopped to look at the park wall on our way home.


And as we walked round the garden when we got back, I realised that I hadn’t taken a tree picture on the walk and looked at our walnut tree.

walnut tree

There was still a little light left in the west and Sue decided to make the most of it by heading home before it got dark.

We had been more than pleased both to see her and to get a walk in and we would have been thoroughly delighted with the visit even if she hadn’t brought some very tasty home made biscuits with her.

Alison and Mike had brought biscuits with them when they visited us on Friday so the end of the year has been very well be-biscuited.  These are the sort of friends you want.

Once again it was generally too gloomy for flying birds but the burst of sunshine which brought the rainbow also brought a very fine perching starling of the day.


I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the patient readers who have ploughed through another year of these posts and wish you all a very happy new year.   Special thanks goes to those who have sent me guest pictures (keep them coming) and those who have been kind enough to offer the comments on the posts which are always appreciated.

Thank you and good night.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

48 thoughts on “An arrival and a farewell

  1. The dripping trees against the wall in the park – lovely. Thank you for all the work you put into this blog – I’m sure there must be days when you’d rather just go to bed, but at least one of your readers is very glad you don’t! Wishes for a healthy and sunny 2018 for you and Mrs. T.

    1. We can face any weather now that we have shopping bags for all seasons. I hope that you can survive the big chill and come out smiling in springtime.

  2. “A charm of goldfinches.” I like that.

    Every post you’ve written for the past however many years has been an enjoyable and informative read. You’ve inspired me to notice details that I used to miss. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    1. Thank you. When I occasionally look back at old posts, they often seem unnervingly similar to current ones. I don’t lead a very adventurous life but I try to make the most of the life that I lead.

      1. My blog goes in circles, the same work routine every year. I once read an excellent memoir, which I intend to reread: “A Full Life in a Small Place.”

  3. Another interesting read and excellent pictures to finish the year.
    Well done for capturing the fleeting rainbow.
    Happy New Year.

  4. I thought at first that your use of “plough” was harsh on yourself. Then, as one who at least tries to espouse and abide by principles of evidence-based practice, I realised I was in error. Ploughing is part of a process that prepares ground for growth. But, not only do your posts prepare, they also sow and nurture crops and finally, produce bountiful harvests of wit and wisdom. I look forward to more of your daily Reithean blogs that, among other things, retain my connections with the Muckle Toon. Happy New Year to you and Mrs Tootlepedal.

  5. Happy New Year! Proud to be part of the Tootlepedal family and will try harder on the guest photos in 2018! What a nice walk and a good way to end 2017.

  6. Great log, love reading it, wishing you and Mrs T a very happy and peaceful new year, a sunny one would be the icing on the cake. Love the lichen photos it does look amazing close up.

  7. I would say that it was a fine day despite the weather if you’re visited by good friends and you’re able to go for a walk without having to fight cold, rain, or snow.

  8. No patience or ploughing required Tom! Your blog is a great read, and I’m sorry I don’t comment as much as I should. A lovely lunch and afternoon with you yesterday, really glad we seized the moment for a walk! A great way to end the year.

  9. Thank you Tootlepedal. Whenever I feel down or lazy I know I can peruse a few of your inspiring posts and feel much better for it. Your ability to get the most from every day is a constant reminder that as we get older we should not let opportunity escape. Thank you for sharing your biscuits, scones and outings with such wit and astute observations.

    Wishing you and your family a very happy and rewarding new year.

  10. Nice shot of the rainbow.
    I wonder if the stones Mrs. T. was admiring are a type of flint called chert. They have that look.
    The moss book was a great present. I have two that I use quite a lot, but there are many mosses that look alike so it can still be tough at times.

  11. Lovely post to end the year. I feel the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow is your blog- it’s such an enjoyable read and a favourite part of my day when I read what you’ve been up to! Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. I am afraid that one of our neighbours must have got the pot of gold but they are keeping very quiet about it.

      1. That is a very beautiful, fleeting rainbow. Here it wold be the gophers holding onto the pot of gold. They have stored it along with some of our potatoes. 🙂

  12. As always, a delight to read your post. A “charm” of goldfinches gets it just right. And friends who bring biscuits are to be cherished.

  13. It’s been a pleasure finding your blog and following your adventures. Even when I fall behind at times. I especially liked the lichen today. I seem to have plenty of examples around me here, but obviously need to start paying a bit more attention to them. Then again it occurs to me that I have posted some maples with lichens hanging from the moss covered branches. How could I forget my favorite Dr Seuss trees? If you wish to see a sample of our mounds of lichens, you’ll see it at the second to last image:

    I commend you for getting out for your frequent walks, even when the weather isn’t altogether inviting. I must try to follow your example for my new year’s resolution.

  14. Life would be very dull for me if I didn’t have your posts to read and your photographs to admire each day. My favourite photo here is the starling!

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