Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone. He sent it to me to show that his daughter Susan is not just a fine recorder player but a good cook too. This is her beef Wellington.
We had another warm and dry December day here but the 35 mph wind in the morning was a forcible reminder that we should not expect too much good weather in the winter.
I had plenty of time therefore to watch birds through the kitchen window as I idled the morning away but once again birds were in very short supply and no photo opportunities beckoned.
The wind eased off a little around midday and as my cycle stats spreadsheet told me that I only had twenty three miles to go to reach three hundred miles for the month and that at the same time I would hit a significant annual target too, I decided to get my bike out and battle with the breeze.
I thought that skulking in the valley might be the best policy so I started by cycling up to Cleuchfoot along the Wauchope road with a view to doing two or three repetitions in the valley bottom depending on the weather.
The Glencorf Burn never fails to please me as I cross over the bridge on my way to Cleuchfoot…
…and I was fully expecting to cross it again in a short while. However, by the time that I got back to Langholm after eight miles, the wind had dropped to a very tolerable level so instead of coming back up the Wauchope road, I cycled straight through the town and took the main road north.
The sun was out and the traffic was light and I headed northwards in a cheerful mood. It is a very scenic route and there is plenty to look at on the way.
I stopped at Ewes Church….
…where the church bell hangs in a tree and not in the bell tower.
Behind the church, one of several little glens winds up between the hills.
At the next gap in the hills, a stone tells of a vanished tower and an intrusive apostrophe.
This is the valley where the tower once stood.
I went as far as the old toll house at Fiddleton….
…and took a look round at the hills at the head of the Ewes valley.
To the east…
…to the west….
…and to the north.
And then I headed back south to complete a most enjoyable 25 miles.
The only flower still in bloom in our garden is the winter jasmine…
…but there are plenty of signs of potential flowers to come.
Once inside, I was happy to find that Mrs Tootlepedal had made another pan of duck soup so I had a late lunch and looked out in hope of seeing a few birds.
I did see a lone greenfinch…
…but it wasn’t in any danger of getting knocked off its perch by the crowd.
I was so pleased with getting to three hundred miles for the month and hitting a significant annual target that after a shower, I sat down at my computer to put my twenty five miles into my cycle stats spreadsheet and do a bit of gloating. The smug look was soon wiped off my face though as I discovered an error in a vital column which meant that although I had indeed hit the 300 mile mark for the month, I was still thirty miles short of my annual target. Oh catastrophe!
Mercifully, the weather forecast predicts reasonable weather for tomorrow but it will be a shock when the legs find out that that they have to go out again. I hope that they won’t complain too much.
Along with the lone greenfinch, a single chaffinch flew by and it takes the honour of being the uncontested flying bird of the day.