One step forward, one step back


Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone in Malta and shows the difficulty of finding a parking spot in Valetta.


The overnight snow had settled down when we woke up and it was thick enough and the forecast poor enough to suggest that it might be a good idea for Sandy and me to suggest cancelling our evening meeting Canonbie since travelling didn’t look a very sensible activity.   Large numbers of motorists had spent the night trapped on our local motorway and more snow was forecast.

The organiser agreed and I was relieved because I am still far from feeling up to hard work.  We hope to be able to rearrange the event later on.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I are finding the process of recovery is painfully slow and she retired to bed for the day in the hope that some rest would be helpful.

I went for a short walk in the hope that a little exercise might help me.

It was a black and white sort of day…

Wauchope in snow

…though occasionally, a little blue sky showed up.

Once again, I adopted a very uncharacteristically slow pace and made sure that I took things really easily.  I walked through the woods along the river….

Easton in snow

…and was much taken by the decorated fence posts when I got to the Murtholm.

Murtholm fence posts

I saw an unexpected shape further along the track and when I got my zoom lens on the go, I found out that it was a heron, standing in the middle of the road.

heron on Murtholm track

It let me get quite close before flapping lazily off into the trees.

Looking behind me, I could a see a little sunshine on Timpen Hill and once again, I felt sad that I was confined to the flat areas by the river.

sun on snowy timpen

I looked up river from Skippers Bridge and then…

distillery in snow

….I dropped down to the river below the bridge and looked downstream at the snowy trees on the bank….

snow on Esk trees

…and back up towards the bridge itself.

skippers bridge in snow

I was feeling well enough to climb the steps up to the old railway line where a young beech tree added a touch of colour…

beech leaves in winter

…and then I walked along the line to take the track past a fine old oak….

snowy oak

…up to the Round House.

round house in snow

There was a bit of sunshine about so I congratulated myself on a sound route choice….

view from Round House winter

…although the nearby bench didn’t encourage me to sit down and enjoy the view.

bench in snow

I walked back towards Hallpath and looked across the valley to the plantations on the far side of the river offering a varied pattern of snowiness.


My pleasure in my route choice was soon seriously diminished as a heavy shower of sleety snow caught me just as I got back to the town and stayed with me all the way home.

snow at toll house

I arrived back feeling a bit damp and disappointed as I had hoped for some winter wonderland shots on my way.

I  also wanted some good light for snowy bird shots but the snow persisted.

I took another virtual black and white picture…

blackbird in snow

…and had fun watching a succession of chaffinches defying the weather.

flying chaffinches

The colour of the fence in the background set off the snowflakes very well.

flying chaffinches

There was plenty of action but I didn’t have a lot of patience for waiting around so I…

busy feeder

….made us some soup for lunch and then settled down to put another parish magazine onto the Archive Group website.

Although the snow stopped and the sun made a late appearance…

sun in snow garden

…I was feeling rather poorly by this time and stayed hunched over my computer for the rest of the afternoon.

I am not good at sitting around so  I have enjoyed my short and gentle walks lately but I don’t think that they are doing me any good as I felt worse today than I did two days ago.   I am hoping that Mrs Tootlepedal’s day of rest will benefit her but as we both sat dozing and not watching the telly in the evening after our evening meal, neither of us felt very optimistic about the near future.

A few warm dry days might help.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch among the snowflakes.

flying goldfinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “One step forward, one step back

  1. So sorry that good health is slow in coming to you both. Your photos were beautiful and I thought you captured some lovely winter wonderland shots. Thank you and take care of yourselves!

  2. Some lovely atmospheric shots – just shows what you can do if you make the effort. However, I’d rather you stopped making the effort and concentrated on recovering. 🙂

  3. You captured some beautiful scenery and I was very glad the heron wasn’t frozen to the spot! The current viruses doing the rounds seem to be the lingering types, but I’m sure you will both start to pick up soon.

    1. Everyone seems to be complaining about the length of time that recovery is taking this year so I feel a little less annoyed with myself for being so feeble.

  4. My favorite shots were of the Roundhouse..a *folly* says Wiki and the spot of grand color in the beech in defiance of the gloom. I am a redhead..we won’t be ignored. I would so love to be the keeper of a bird feeder but my housemate, Mrs Purrsnickitty can’t be trusted. She earns her keep with nightly Cat Patrol and so guards Ft Penelope against unwanted mice and rabbits. But the geese flew low over our cabin today and honked loudly to let her know they are not intimidated. Sending healing vibes your way.

    1. have corrected my post and your comment because it was of course a beech and not a birch that gave the splash of colour. I am outting the error down to the effects of the bug.

      Other people’s cats are a threat to our birds which can be a bit annoying at times.

  5. Sorry the bench didn’t encourage you to sit, but it made for a lovely picture. Other favorites were the bridge, the birch and the oak. Snow is wonderful for picture taking. Not so good when trying to recover from such a nasty virus. I’m with Mrs T… surely a bit of rest can’t hurt. 😉

  6. So sorry that it is taking so long to get rid of your nasty bug, very tiresome indeed. Loved the views on your walk and thought the flying bird of the day was a real winner!

  7. I hope you get your warm dry days and hope they’ll help with your colds.
    From the look of the garden bench it looks like you got at least 3 inches. I know that much snow can bring things to a standstill in places that aren’t used to it.
    The heron must be finding plenty to eat but even so think I’d be flying south.

  8. You captured some fine looking landscape scenery, and I love you coming upon a Great Blue Heron, that was pretty cool. I know it’s hard to stay put when not well, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Take it easy, Tom, warm soup/stew and rest please!

  9. Very sorry the recovery for both of you is taking such a long time.
    You managed a fine selection of pictures on your snowy walk.

  10. So sorry that the recovery is so slow. Very discouraging! But the photos are wonderful—the bridge, the water, the heron. All capture the mood of winter, a mood I know very well.

  11. To aid your recovery this is a short and sweet comment- wonderful snowy photos…all of them.

  12. I would say that most of the photos for this post qualify as winter wonderland photos.

    I hope that the rate at which you and Mrs. T return to full health picks up and that you’re both back to full strength soon.

  13. Sorry that you are both still so poorly, I am in the far south and have been very ill indeed with this awful flu, now in my fourth week and slowly being able to do a few things. Walking is not good as I have to stop and rest frequently, so you are doing well in comparison.

  14. You did get winter wonderland photos, but I do wish you’d take it a little easier. I do know it is hard to rest, believe me. I think it’s normal for your recovery to be this slow. Still most frustrating. Sorry Mrs T is even worse off. 😦

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