A small step


Today’s guest picture is the last from Dropscone’s Malta holiday.  He had plenty of sunny weather but some breezy days too.  He tells me he didn’t go swimming in the sea.


Dropscone is safely back from Malta, though he had some trouble with his car on the way home, and I was delighted to welcome him and a batch of his scones for coffee this morning.

He told me that his car had broken down with the odometer reading exactly 123, 456 miles.  That takes some skill.

After Dropscone left, the minister arrived.  He has been poorly too and his scone radar is obviously not back in working order yet.

I was a bit unsociable and didn’t offer the minister coffee as I was anxious to get a few miles in on my bicycle before the forecast rain arrived.

I had only got a very few miles in before it started to rain but I turned left at Wauchope Schoolhouse and avoided the worst of the shower   and by the time that I had done 5 miles, the rain had passed over…

kerr rainbow

…and the road home looked gloomy but dry.

kerr road

It stayed dry and I got home after 12 miles just as the rain started again.  This was a numerically significant 12 miles as it took my total for the month up to 100 miles.  This is less than half of what I would have wished for but considering the poor weather and the bug, I was happy to have got at least a hundred miles in, however slowly.

The birds are very reluctant to come to the feeder at the moment and I hardly saw any today…


….so I am a little worried about the situation.

It may be that small changes both in ours and the neighbouring gardens have made us less welcoming; perhaps the cold and wet weather is making birds reluctant to travel any distance; or perhaps the sparrowhawk’s visits have put the small birds off.  Whatever the reason is,  we are certainly getting less birds than at any time since I put the feeders up.

I felt a bit tired after my cycle ride but when the forecast rain petered out, I took the opportunity to walk up to the Becks wood and see how the tree eating machines  have been getting on.

The tree fellers were busy on the far side of the Becks Burn.

becks wood

The trees beside the burn have been felled and what was a rather mysterious stream flowing through a deep dark wood a month ago is now a rather undistinguished watercourse trickling through a desert.

becks wood

While I was there, another tree was added to the piles on the ground.

becks wood

I walked back through the field down to the road and was very glad that I had taken my umbrella with me as it started to rain heavily.  As a result, the only other picture I took was an addition to my moss collection growing on the hedge beside the road.


Rather annoyingly, I was good for nothing more than a snooze when I got home but I perked up when it was time for tea as Mrs Tootlepedal had cooked pork chops with apples and parsnips and cider.

I am very conscious that a combination of very grey days and the after effects of the bug have led to me leading a dull life in recent weeks and consequently, loyal readers have had to plough through some pretty dull posts reflecting that reality but sooner or later there must come a day  when the sun will shine for more than a few hours and Mrs Tootlepedal and I will be back to full working order.  I just hope that it is sooner rather than later.

No flying bird of the day again.  A robin stands in.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

48 thoughts on “A small step

  1. You always manage to write an interesting post, even when just looking out your window. Your droll humour is key to that.

    I’m impressed with 100 miles considering weather and the bug.

  2. I hope you are soon back to your perky self. I never find your posts dull, and I am still besotted by your Robins, which look so different from ours.

      1. They certainly are. I will try to get a picture of a robin so that you can see one of ours. Unfortunately, my wee camera, excellent in so many ways, doesn’t do a good job of taking pictures of birds.

    1. I think it might be trimming of shrubs and trees in the area giving the birds less stopping off places on their way to the feeder. I see a report in the paper today that garden birds are thought to have done well this winter.

      1. We see a lot fewer starlings since the council cut down the trees they roosted in after complaints about poo. It will be interesting to see what the Big Garden Birdwatch results will be.

  3. I don’t know why you persist in saying your posts are dull – your discerning readership would beg to differ! Taking a peek into someone else’s life, seeing and reading about a place far away, learning new things because of someone else’s interests – what’s dull about that? (And a wee robin is always welcome – in motion or stationary.)

  4. I agree with the others, your posts are never dull, due to your droll humor, and seeing another part of the world that I otherwise wouldn’t.

    Things aren’t much better here, I went out yesterday and only shot 100 or so images, and deleted most of them because the thick haze in the air prevented my normally reliable camera from focusing properly. We both have about a month to go before the weather and light improves on a regular basis, so hang in there, it will get better.

  5. It’s good to hear you’ve managed to get out and about despite the weather and the nasty bug. I’ll add my bit to the chorus that says your posts are never dull. I very much do hope that the birds return. What a puzzle that they have disappeared like that without a by-your-leave!

  6. Loved all the photos and especially the fork in the road with rainbow. Thank you for taking me along on a beautiful ride in your world. A curse on the tree killers ! I do hope the birds will soon return to your feeders. The pic of the little robin is just adorable.

  7. Pleased to see the robin. Here is hoping for some warm, sunny weather to brighten up your day soon, and give a boost to your energy levels.

  8. Pork chops, Apple, parsnip and cider…nothing dull about that! As always, very much enjoyed all your news. As for Dropscone’s miles at breakdown…downright spooky 😊

  9. Love the signpost, the rainbow, the robin and your narrative! My friend has just started following your blog as she says I am always quoting from your posts and praising your photos etc. so keep up the good work which gives so many folk such an enjoyable and addictive read.

  10. Your posts are never dull, Tom. The gloomy weather this winter and the nasty bug will contribute to making you feel dull I am sure. There is always something interesting to look at and or read about in your blog.

  11. I know what you mean about dull posts – I often feel that way about my own. I won’t venture an opinion on mine, but yours are not dull, I like looking at your photographs and reading about your constant battle with mileage targets. I’m the sort of person who enjoys looking into back gardens when I’m on a train journey and blogs enable me to do that without the expense or proximity of irritating strangers.

  12. Your posts are never dull. I have learned many things here!

    It is always sad to see a wood felled, and what it does to the waterways that course through them.

    1. It was just a small commercial wood in the first place and will be replanted but those who used to play in it as children and those who like me walked through it are sad to see it go.

  13. Sadly, the valley sides around Cwmgwrach and Ynysarwed here in the Neath Valley have been laid waste by the forestry commission also. Obviously, they have to harvest the trees but it must have a dramatically negative effect on the wildlife. As do those damned wind farms running the length of this once beautiful valley.

    1. The felling is quite brutal, I agree but the recovery seems to come pretty quickly. We are on the third crop in some of the woods round us since we arrived in the area.

      As far as the windmills go, for some reason they seem to fit into our hills more comfortably than I have seen elsewhere. Perhaps the convex shape of the hillside helps so that the turbines don’t loom over the surrounding country.

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