Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She is getting out and about again after a hip operation and was able to enjoy the colour in Regents Park today.
We had a very lovely sunny day today, though with the wind coming from the east, it was lovelier if you could find a sheltered spot.
When I went to bed last night, I gave my sore leg a gentle massage as I generally do but on this occasion, I hit upon just the right spot to work on with the result that when I woke up, the pain had gone down dramatically.
It was with a light heart therefore that I cycled along with Mrs Tootlepedal to the Buccleuch Centre where a small group of singers from Langholm Sings had been asked to sing carols at the British Heart Foundation coffee morning. We had no accompaniment so did the best we could and this must have not been too bad because after we had paused and had a cup of coffee, we were asked to sing again. Although it is a bit early for carols, it was an enjoyable occasion and got the day off to a good start.
Things got better when Mrs Tootlepedal and I set out to cycle the three and a bit miles to Wauchope Schoolhouse to test out my leg.
Mrs Tootlepedal led the way….
…and I followed behind, taking things very easily up any hills.
Mrs Tootlepedal stopped to examine a telegraph pole and I considered the mystery of why some rosebay willowherb still keeps its white seed heads…
…while others are quite bare.
There were a lot of catkins on the trees along our way.
The wind had blown us up the hill on our way out but although it was chilly when it was in our face coming back, it wasn’t very strong and I could appreciate the fine weather and the leafless scenery…
…and it all made for another enjoyable experience.
And my leg didn’t hurt.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal set to work on a pantomime costume which she is making up and I went to look for flying birds.
I had set the camera up when we got back from cycling but a builder arrived to fix some broken tiles and that put paid to bird watching so I headed off for the Kilngreen in the hope of finding some black headed gulls in the air.
There was a line of them at the meeting of the waters…
…but none in the air.
When I walked towards them, they rose up but instead of flying about in a useful way, they settled down immediately on the fence posts beside the Ewes water.
I waited hopefully but the gulls refused to leave their posts. I nobly resisted the temptation to say “Boo!” very loudly.
I waited a bit more, and it has to be admitted that there are worse places to hang about than the Kilngreen on a sunny day….
…but in the end, I gave up and set off towards the Sawmill Brig with a view to walking round the Castleholm.
I hadn’t gone very far though before something disturbed the gulls and they whizzed past me in all directions.
I snapped away for a while and then crossed the Sawmill Brig, admired the moss on the Castleholm wall…
…and walked back down to the edge of the river and cautiously approached the posts where the gulls were back in their positions.
Obligingly, one or two of them took off and gave me a low level fly past.
I left them to themselves and continued my walk along the path beside the river.
Intrigued by Mrs Tootlepedal’s new found interest in electricity poles, I stopped to check on one near the cricket club. It had many carved inscriptions on it…
I couldn’t interpret any of them.
The horizontal line was quite low so I take it that this means that the pole is well planted in the ground. It didn’t have a stay at any rate.
One advantage of the season is that bridges come more into view as the leaves disappear and I could see the Jubilee Bridge well before I got to it.
I looked back from the bridge towards the path that I had come along. I still think of it as ‘the new path’ but it is looking quite well integrated now.
There was enough sunshine left for a walk round the garden when I got home…
…and then I retired indoors to rest my leg before I got too cocky and did something to set it off again.
Having manged a six mile bike ride and walked a mile and a half, I was very pleased to find that my leg was still pretty much pain free by the end of the day. I will give it another rub on the same spot tonight!
I settled down to watch Scotland play South Africa at rugby football and after a scintillating first half in which both teams played an open and interesting game, the second half was a disappointment as South Africa closed the game down and Scotland reverted to making crucial mistakes when under pressure.
The defeat was not unexpected though as South Africa are one of top teams in the world. What was much more surprising was that the Scottish association football team actually managed to win a vital game in the evening and by a handsome margin.
It is a clear night here so I am going to keep an eye out for shooting stars as there are supposed to be some around in the early hours but in the meantime, I leave you with a high flying gull as the flying bird of the day. It makes a welcome change from the interminable chaffinches.