Today’s guest picture is from my sister Mary who visited the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
It was a sunny day here when we got up but far too cold to be able to risk a cycle ride with frost about so I pottered about until Sandy arrived with some Archive Group documents and we had a cup of coffee. He and Nancy did a great job in moving Archive Group to their new premises with the help of a very obliging pair of ‘moving men’ and we hope that our data miners will soon get used to the new surroundings.
Dropscone has been our landlord in our old premises for many years and we hope that he will be able find a good use for them now that we are gone.
When Sandy left, he took the sunshine with him and the day got progressively gloomier as it went on. I decided to cook some tea cakes, using a method that is easy but time consuming in the preparation of the dough so I had time to look out of the window at the passing show.
It was perching time for the goldfinches.
Once again, the old sunflower stalk was a handy staging post.
Sometimes goldfinches waited for sparrows to move….
…and sometimes sparrows encouraged goldfinches to move….
…and sometimes chaffinches managed to get a look in too.
The tea cake method involves very light stretching of the dough rather than heavy kneading but it has gaps of a quarter of an hour between stretches so I had many looks out of the window while waiting for the next stretch and as well as birds at the feeder, I saw a dunnock…
…and a blackbird scavenging for fallen seeds on the ground.
After a while, the dough was ready for its first rising so I had lunch and then while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see a screening of a Degas exhibition at the Buccleuch Centre, I went off to collect my new bicycle from the bike shop where it had been having a service. Although I had taken it in to the Carlisle branch, they had kindly brought it back to the shop in Longtown for me to collect it so I didn’t have far to go.
When I got home, I divided the tea cake dough into balls for the second rise and considered my options.
The day had got very gloomy by this time, with a brisk breeze and a hint of rain so once again I neither walked nor pedalled but went to work on my computer until Mrs Tootlepedal got back from her screening when we had a cup of tea.
Then it was time to bake the tea cakes and since the recipe is generally fool proof, they came out quite well.
In the evening, one of the tenors from Langholm Sings came round and we did a little practising. We shall see if it pays off when we meet tomorrow for our next rehearsal.
The forecast for tomorrow is appalling so I don’t think that there will be any chance of a pedal on my newly serviced bike.
In fact, November has not been kind to me from a cycling point of view recently. I see that I only did 58 miles last year in the whole month because the weather was very poor and I had a persistent cold and so far I have only done half that distance this year with three days to go. I might have to take issue with the poet who thought that April is the cruellest month.
The flying bird of the day is two goldfinches showing off their flying skills.