Today’s guest picture is another from the seasonal treats offered in Nottingham. My brother didn’t just have the chance of curry, he could have had Belgian waffles too.
It was my birthday today but since when you get to a certain age, just arriving at another birthday is a treat and a privilege, we didn’t make a lot of fuss about it and just enjoyed the day as it went along.
It was a colder and greyer day than ever today, with a touch of frost on the lawns when we woke up. Under the circumstances, a brisk half hour on the bike to nowhere in the garage was the best way to start the day.
The morning was brightened up by the unexpected arrival of the Scott, our former minister, for coffee. His coffee radar has obviously not been blunted by his weeks in his new parish in Glasgow. We had a very interesting talk about the challenges his parishioners face in one of the poorest parts of the city and we wish him well as he plays his part in trying to help people meet these challenges.
When he left, I spent a little wasted time peering out of the window to see if there was enough light to photograph a bird or two. There wasn’t really enough but I clicked away regardless.
There were birds to watch if I looked hard.
And it was good to see a sparrow among the goldfinches. The chaffinches always seem to be last at the feast when the feeder is busy.
A male blackbird was hard to pick out in the gloom…
…but a female stood out better.
After lunch, we went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda. She welcomed me with a hug and a handsome handwritten birthday card and showed off a whirling light on a stick which was most impressive.
Matilda treated us to a wonderful dance show to music by Tchaikovsky and Ravel and after tea, we played a family game of hide and seek. Mrs Tootlepedal was the most successful hider.
The evening meal was worthy of anyone’s birthday. A dish of crispy onion and mushroom dal with a coriander and ginger chutney, cooked by Alistair, followed by an orange and lemon chiffon pie, cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal and brought up on the train with us, provided a meal fit for a king.
On our way back to the station we passed rather bigger set of twirling lights on a stick, part of the Edinburgh Christmas fun.
I was surprised to be able to catch a flying bird of the day at all today and even more surprised that it turned out to be a blue tit and not a chaffinch.
I should add that Sandy has posted pictures of some of the people that he met on his recent Thai holiday. You can see them here.