Today’s guest picture was taken by my sister Mary in the Japanese Garden in Holland Park, London, England a few days ago. That is a nice international medley of names to go with a delightful picture taken on a dull day.
After our very brief burst of springlike weather yesterday, we were back in the groove today with ten tenths cloud, occasional rain and a cold and uncharitable wind blowing. It was rather disappointing.
However, there was plenty of activity going on to keep my mind off the missing sunshine.
I started with a walk after breakfast and I enjoyed the daffodils along the river bank in Caroline Street. They brought a welcome touch of colour to a dull day.
And for my daffodil of the day, I chose one from the clumps along the banks of the Esk between the bridges.
I was hoping to catch the goosanders but had to make do with an oyster catcher again.
It wasn’t very inviting walking weather so I did more leg stretching than looking around just to keep myself warm but I couldn’t help noticing a rather strange set of fungi on a fallen tree by the river bank.
They are just normal bracket fungi but the way that they sat on the tree trunk made it look as though they were floating.
I did look to see if there were any more hazel catkins and flowers about but once again I saw few catkins and only two flowers.
It is hard to say whether more will arrive with some warmer weather or if this is all that there will be in such a miserable spring.
There were occasional signs of life elsewhere among the lichen covered branches of the trees.
And I passed a party of cheerful Tuesday walkers who had stopped to pay their respects to a small dog.
I was pleased to get home and a have a cup of coffee but I did take a quick look round the garden first….
…where the tree peony is looking healthy and I at last got a half decent picture of the pulmonaria flowers.
I also took a moment to check on the birds.
There were a lot about.
A chaffinch needed only a one footed attack to dislodge a fellow from the feeder.
After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal, Patricia, our guest, and I went off to Hawick in the car to visit a small exhibition of work there by Mrs Tootlepedal’s Embroiderers’ Guild group. She hadn’t been able to go to the opening as she was visiting her mother at the time.
The exhibition had been very well mounted…
…in a small gallery in the Textile Towerhouse. It had gone down so well with visitors that a notice pointing out that the exhibits were not for sale had had to be put up.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a couple of old favourite pieces in the show and one of her newer pieces figured on the poster which was pleasing.
We had an excellent lunch, rather surprisingly accompanied by live string playing from students of Trinity College, London.
We walked back to car, passing many bridges in the town….
…and then drove home by way of Whitrope Summit and Hermitage, passing another bridge…
…and a cottage at the back of beyond.
In spite of the heavy clouds hanging low on the hills or perhaps even because of them, it was a peaceful and picturesque drive.
It would have been nice to get out of the car for a walk but it really was cold and unpleasant even though the rain had stopped so we were happy to go straight home.
The birds had been busy and I filled the feeders again as the lowering of the seed level was leading to regrettable behaviour.
I had hoped to go for a cycle ride when we got back from our outing but the wind was far too brisk to make cycling anything else but a chore so I found useful things to do indoors until Patricia kindly took us out for a meal at the Douglas Hotel in the evening.
The food was excellent as usual. It is not often that we eat out at all so to get two good meals out on the same day was a great treat. It hasn’t done my slimming regime any good though. My new bike when it comes will be a kilogram and a half heavier than the old fairly speedy one so I need to lose a couple of kilograms from my body weight to make up the difference. This is proving hard in the cold weather when a bit of comfort eating is always likely.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, probably looking for someone to kick.