Slow progress

Today’s guest picture is rather small but that is how it was sent to me by my friend Sandra.  I have put it in because it shows some of her regular flock of long tail tits visiting her feeder.  It is a great benefit to live right on the edge of town if you want a better class of bird visitor.

long tailed tits

There is still a distinct lack of perkiness in the Tootlepedal household.  I am up and about but not at all active and Mrs Tootlepedal is still mostly in bed having lost all her get up and go.  We are both doing a lot of coughing.

This makes the house a somewhat gloomy place and the succession of grey days isn’t helping.   It looked for a while as thought we might get some sunshine this morning but by the time that I looked out at the birds, the skies were heavy with cloud again.

The robin was in a stand offish mood….


…and the goldfinches were too busy eating to wave at me.


The chaffinches always seem to be getting a chilly welcome from…..

chaffinch and goldfinch

….goldfinch or siskin.

chaffinch and siskin

Although I had occasional visits to make with a hot drink or a slice of toast for Mrs Tootlepedal, I was getting increasingly bored and restless with sitting around doing crosswords and listening to the radio so I realised that this might be a good moment to get back to putting copies of the 1960s Langholm Parish Church newsletters into the Archive Group website.  We have a collection of these newsletters given to us by the widow of the minister of the time and I put a lot onto the website  at one time but I have neglected them over the last few years.

This seemed the right moment to get back to work on them.  It requires scanning, OCR and HTML formatting and as they are not very well printed in places, the scanning and OCR requires attention and time.   If you wish, you can see one of the months that I put in today here.  I don’t guarantee that it will be error free.

It is interesting to me that 20 years after the end of the war, the minister still drew a lot of his examples from the war experience.  You get little feeling from the newsletter that the cultural stirrings that were rippling through the country in the mid 60s were affecting life in Langholm, though I am sure that they must have been making themselves felt even here.

This task proved a very good decision as it was interesting in its own right and as it required a lot of concentration, I didn’t have so much time to feel sorry for myself and I ended up a good deal more rested and cheerful than when I started.

To give myself a break between editions, I went for a very slow walk across three bridges.  The light was very poor by this time but I was still pleased to see some old waterside friends.

waterside birds

And the moss once again offered a bit of colour on a grey day.

The parapet of the Sawmill Brig was home to a mossy contrast.



And there was more to see as I went round the new path.


It wasn’t a day for colourful views….


….so I kept an eye out for other points of interest.

ferny tree

catkin and seed head

I had plenty of time to look about because I was walking very slowly indeed.  In fact I was going so slowly at one point that I thought that I might even have been going backwards.

Still, I managed to cross the Duchess Bridge and combine moss and bridge in one shot.

mossy tree and Duchess bridge

This part of the river in is shade for most of the year and it is no surprise to find a lot of moss covered trees on its banks.

The most colourful moss of the outing was this fine curtain on the wall at the end of the Scholars’ Field.

moss on Scholars Wall

Mike Tinker was working in his garden when I passed and kindly offered me a cup of coffee but I had done more than enough by this time and headed home for a sit down.

I thought that it was about time to eat a more or less proper meal for my tea but in retrospect, this wasn’t a brilliant idea and a boiled egg and a finger of toast would have been better.

The quality of the flying bird of the day continues to be appalling.

flying chaffinch

We are promised our next sunny day on Saturday week so things may not improve until then.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Slow progress

  1. Your moss photos are getting better and better.

    I find it much worse to be sick in beautiful weather, so I’d find comfort in the dreariness.

    I hope Mrs T soon progresses to the walking about stage.
    I seem to recall you got your flu jabs.

  2. I am pleased you found some amusement today – the newsletter is very interesting and wholesome! I was also struck by the reference to the war until I thought back twenty years to 1998 and it seems like yesterday! Everything slows down when we are ill, including digestion. I hope your stomach settles soon. I liked all your photos very much!

    1. I ate with a bit more comfort today whihc was a relief. Good point about the closeness of past times. I often hear sports commentators saying things like, “They haven’t won anything since 1985,” and think, ‘that’s not very long ago!’

  3. I was fascinated by the Parish Church newsletter that you gave a link to. The thinking and the events it describes do seem very old fashioned for 1965 but interesting nonetheless. You have a good eye for interesting mosses. Do hope the heaith of the two of you picks up tomorrow.

  4. The newsletter is an interesting read – excellent that they are being preserved. Glad that you got out for some fresh air – hope Mrs. T. is up to that soon as well.

  5. I love to see the mosses and ferns on the trees because we have nothing like that here.
    The little tufts of moss might be a type of cushion moss but I don’t recognize it.
    I hope Mrs. T. will be able to be up and out again soon.

  6. Sorry you and Mrs.Tootlepedal are still feeling under the weather. Dratted colds! Still, having a project that’s not too taxing is just the thing when you’re not really sick but not really well. I gave a the newsletter a quick read and will read it more closely later. Fascinating! That moss is amazingly green and in January. An astonishing sight for this Mainer. 😉

  7. If there’s anything worse than being housebound on a dreary grey day, it’s being housebound on a delightful day, although a dreary day doesn’t improve one’s mood as much.

    Your photos of the mosses are getting better, and it is nice to see some green this time of year.

  8. Lovely to see a photo of the long tailed tits- I missed out on a photo of our flock today! The newsletter is fascinating- it’s excellent that they are being preserved in a format that others can see. Love all those moss shots- miniature forests. Hope you both recover your strength soon.

  9. The moss-bridge photo is simply amazing. Your photos belie any feeling-less-than-100% on your part. I would be falling asleep just processing them, but not because of the content.

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